Gall Bladder Flush
By Steven Horne, RH (AHG) & Kimberly Balas, ND
The gall bladder flush is a natural procedure used to ease
gall bladder attacks and potentially pass gall stones. It has
been around for years and many people have had good success in using it. How it works isn't totally clear, but one explanation is that the large amount of Olive Oil ingested during the gall bladder flush sends the gall bladder into spasms
which eject small stones and may also clear bile ducts.
The procedure is controversial and there is a slight risk that a large stone may get stuck in the bile ducts resulting in the need for surgery. However, in nearly 30 years of experience Steven has heard only one report of this happening. Besides, surgery is the standard treatment for this condition and surgery carries a much higher risk than this procedure, which makes me think that it is worth trying first. If it fails, then go for the surgery.
Here's the standard way to do a gall bladder flush.
Start by fasting for 24 to 48 hours on fresh, raw apple juice or fresh squeezed grapefruit juice to clear the colon. Malic acid, an ingredient in the apple juice, is reported to soften the stones, but persons with hypoglycemia or yeast infections will do better on grapefruit juice. If using grapefruit juice take Fibralgia, which contains malic acid and magnesium, for a similar effect.
Just before going to bed at the close of the fast, drink 1/2 cup of Olive Oil and 1/2 cup of lemon (or grapefruit) juice. Mix these together thoroughly like you would shake up a salad dressing. The lemon juice cuts the olive oil and makes it more palatable. It sounds and smells worse than it tastes.
Next, lie on your right side for a half hour before going to sleep. In the morning, if you don't have a bowel movement, take an enema. This procedure may need to be repeated 2 days in a row.
Generally, you will pass some dark black or green objects that look like shriveled peas the day after drinking the olive oil and lemon juice. These objects are not gall stones. Gall stones that can be passed are much smaller than this, generally less than 2 millimeters in diameter. Chemical analysis of these objects shows they are composed of soap, and are created by the bile interacting with the oil.
The controversy over this procedure is whether the stone actually pass, or it just eases the pain and discomfort of gall bladder attack and allows the problem to become asymptomatic again. You see, most people with gall stone don't know they have them, because they cause no symptoms. Whether stones are passing or not, this procedure typically eases gall bladder pain and allows the person to resume a normal life without surgery.
There are a number of variations of this procedure, they all rely on olive oil. This may be because Olive Oil acts as a solvent of cholesterol, the chief constituent of most gall stones. Some gall stones, however, are calcium based.
One variation that seems to work particularly well is take a dose of Epsom salt about two or three hours prior to taking the olive oil and lemon juice. Follow the direction on the container of Epsom salt as per the dosage.
Certain herbs may also enhance the procedure. Herbs called cholagogues increase the flow of bile and help
dissolve stones slowly over a period of weeks and months. Herbs that have this property include dandelion root, artichoke, barberry bark, yellow dock root, fringetree turmeric and celandine. Any of these can be taken before attempting the gall bladder flush to increase its effectiveness or afterwards to continue improving gall bladder function.
In fact, taking these herbs regularly for a year or more even help to dissolve larger stones. I would recommend
a combination containing artichoke, barberry, fringetree turmeric, as these seem to be especially good at helping the gall bladder to heal and potentially removing stones.
If gall stones are calcium-based, then hydrangea and magnesium will be helpful in dissolving them. Take these herbs during the fast and for two or three months after the gall bladder flush. If the procedure does not bring relief, medical help should be sought.
Below is a list of suggested products. Those in bold are key products for the health issue explained on this page.
Herbal Formulas: Gall Bladder Formula
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