How to Do The Most Effective Gallbladder Flush Ever
A healthy way to prepare for springtime is with a liver cleanse and gallbladder flush.
By Dr. J.E. Williams |
The best time of year to detoxify your liver is in the springtime. But, before you start a liver-cleanse program, consider flushing bile and stones from your gallbladder.
The gallbladder is located in the upper right portion of your abdomen, just under your ribs near your liver. It’s a long pouch that stores and concentrates bile. The common hepatic duct connects the gallbladder to your liver. Bile production occurs in the liver and drips down the duct for storage in the gallbladder. The gallbladder empties the conjugated bile, a brilliant green color, into the small intestine on demand to help digest food, especially fats and oils.
Most gallstones are a combination of saturated bile and cholesterol. Some contain bilirubin, coloring these stones black; others contain calcium. The process of gallstone formation is gradual. It starts with bile building up in the gallbladder and then turning to soft stones. Over time, these soft gallstones become calcined, turning hard enough to be detected by X-ray.
“Most of the time, gallstones sit quietly in the gallbladder and pass unnoticed.”
Most of the time, gallstones sit quietly in the gallbladder and pass unnoticed. But, if a gallstone gets lodged in the bile duct, the greenish bile backs up and causes jaundice, a yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes.
Some people are prone to getting gallstones. Underlying liver disease and obesity make you more likely to develop gallstones. Women tend to have more gallstones than men. Taking birth control pills and hormone replacement that increase estrogen also increase the risk of stone formation, because estrogen increases cholesterol secretion in the gallbladder. Other factors that increase your risk of developing gallstones include taking cholesterol-lowering drugs, diabetes, rapid weight loss, and a high-fat diet.
Sometimes, gallstones don’t pass naturally out of the body in stool. If they get stuck in the bile duct, gallstones trigger inflammation that cause abdominal pain. Some people have multiple gallstones that fill their entire gallbladder. In severe cases, an emergency operation is needed to remove the gallbladder.
How Do You Know If You Have Gallstones?
Most gallstones are small to medium sized, but some can be as big as a golf ball. Large gallstones are dangerous to try to flush out because they can lodge in the bile duct.
Determining whether you have gallstones and their potential size is important before you do a gallbladder flush.
To find out whether you have a single stone or many and to determine their size, get an abdominal ultrasound.
For a safe gallbladder flush, stones should be less than 1 centimeter. Stones larger than 2 centimeters are too big to attempt a flush. Gallstones between 1 and 2 centimeters must be shrunk before purging the gallbladder.
Symptoms of Gallstones:
- Abdominal distention with intense pain in the center or upper right of your abdomen.
- Severe back pain between your shoulder blades or behind your right shoulder.
- Nausea or vomiting.
An acute gallbladder attack may wake you in the middle of the night with excruciating abdominal pain. Besides inflammation, a bacterial infection might occur. If you have a fever with chills, plus severe abdominal pain, see you doctor or go to the nearest urgent care center.
With the right information, you can handle most chronic liver and gallbladder trouble, including small- to medium-sized gallstones, on your own.
Natural Medicines to Shrink Gallstones
It takes three to six months—sometimes longer—to shrink a gallstone. It’s wise to treat all gallstones, even smaller ones, as potential trouble. Serious inflammation happens if a stone gets stuck in the common bile duct or pancreatic duct, a tube that runs from the pancreas to the common bile duct.
First, soften gallstones with malic acid. Apples contain a lot of malic acid. Perhaps that’s why the saying “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” is true.
Every morning, drink a glass of warm water with organic apple cider vinegar and raw honey. You can also take 500 to 750 milligrams of magnesium malate (Di-Magnesium Malate) daily.
Since the pancreas plays a major role in digesting food, supporting the pancreas makes it easier on your gallbladder. Take a digestive enzyme that includes hydrochloric acid and pancreatic enzymes with every meal.
Take liver and gallbladder supportive herbs, called cholagogues, to promote bile secretion. There are many commercial herbal formulas for liver and gallbladder detoxification. Berberine is one of the most important active components in this class of herbs. Others include Chinese coptis, milk thistle, and gentian.
- Coptis (Coptis chinensis)
- Milk thistle (Silybum marianum)
- Oregon grape root (Berberis aquifolium)
- Gentian root (Gentiana lutea)
One of the most effective natural medicines for dissolving stones is Li Dan Pian, a traditional Chinese herbal formula. The active component in Li Dan Pian is Jinqiancao. Depending on the patented formula, sometimes Lysimachia desmodii/christinae (Yang et al., 2011) is used.
In other formulas, the principle herb is Desmodium styracifolium. (Glikson, 2013)(Ma, Zheng, Hu, Rahman, & Qin, 2011) These herbs help clear inflammation and dissolve stones in the kidneys and gallbladder. Studies show that Desmodium is 80-percent effective in removing kidney stones. Other herbs are added to Lysimachia to help guide the effects to the liver and gallbladder or kidneys.
For best results, take four to six pills three times daily before meals. Be consistent. Take Chinese stone dissolving herbs daily for at least two months before you start your gallbladder flush.
Rowachol is another natural product that stimulates bile flow and helps dissolve gallstones. Researchers also found that Rowachol helps manage abdominal pain after surgical removal of the gallbladder.(Han, Kwon, Oh, Choi, & Lee, 2016) It is manufactured by Amoun Pharmaceutical in Egypt, a country know for liver and gallbladder disease with a high incidence of gallstones. Each capsule contains a blend of aromatic oils, including menthol and camphene, that reduce bile buildup.
Remember, it can up to six months to dissolve gallstones.
Chanca piedra (Phyllanthus niruri) is a well-known herbal stone breaker from the upper Amazon, but has a wide range across the tropics. However, it has milder action than the other herbs for dissolving stones. It is considered mainly effective in the prevention of kidney stones.
Now you’re ready for the gallbladder flush.
Your Gallbladder Flush Kit:
- Organic apple juice
- Cold-pressed organic olive oil
- Pancreatic digestive enzymes
- Milk of Magnesia
- Heavy whipping cream (optional)
- Castor-oil compress
- Heating pad
The week before your flush: Drink plenty of organic apple juice to optimize malic acid levels. Avoid all fats and oils for one week before your flush. Eat plenty of fresh greens that benefit the liver like dandelion and endive. Vegetables in the cabbage family, including broccoli and cauliflower contain glucosinolates, (Johnson, 2002) a naturally-occurring compound that promotes liver and intestinal health. Radishes are another liver and gallbladder friendly vegetable.
24 hours before your flush: Drink a glass of organic apple juice every two hours. Stay hydrated by drinking pure water as well. Avoid all solid foods. If you work with a naturopath (ND) or doctor of oriental medicine (DOM), or a traditional physician who practices functional medicine, consider getting an injection or intravenous infusion of magnesium sulfate to relax muscle tightness, induce bile flow, and promote duodenal emptying. Electroacupuncture can do the same, helping the gallbladder to contract to squeeze out bile and stones, reduce muscle spasms, and alleviate pain when the stone passes.(Wan et al., 2011) These procedures are done at your doctor’s office the day before your flush.
The evening of your flush: Eat a rich, fatty meal. Take a pancreatic digestive enzyme formula with 500 milligrams of betaine HCL with your meal. After dinner, drink 2 ounces of olive oil, and if you’re not sensitive to dairy products, mix it with 2 ounces of heavy whipping cream. It doesn’t taste all that bad!
Before bedtime: Take a tablespoon of magnesium hydroxide liquid, Milk of Magnesia, to promote bowel movement, induce bile flow, and duodenal emptying.
Go to bed early: Apply a castor-oil compress. Use a hot-water bottle or electric heating pad. Gallstones usually pass in a bowel movement between 3 a.m. and early morning. Sometimes there is severe cramping or abdominal pressure when the stones pass. Applying heat to your upper right abdomen helps lessen abdominal discomfort.
Safety and Precautions
Every year, thousands of people complete gallbladder flushes safely on their own without a doctor’s help. According to doctors who practice natural therapies, shrinking and flushing stones from the gallbladder is beneficial for many people. (Gaby, 2009) Most of the time, it’s safe to do a gallbladder flush on your own. However, you may find it wise to seek professional help if you have a history of pancreas, liver, or gallbladder disease.