Gallstones can cause very painful gallbladder attacks and keep the digestive system from functioning properly. It is possible to have gallstones and have no overt symptoms. Effective natural remedies for gallstones include alfalfa, apple cider vinegar and gallbladder flushes.
What are Gallstones?
The gallbladder is under the liver on the right side of the abdomen. It stores bile which has been made by the liver. When the body eats foods containing fat, the gallbladder squeezes bile into the duodenum to help the fat break down. This makes it more easily digested by pancreatic enzymes. The bile salts are also necessary for fat to be absorbed by the intestines.
Gallstones are made of bilirubin or cholesterol from the bile.
Cholesterol stones are formed as a result of an imbalance of the components in the bile. “Supersaturation” of cholesterol crystals can lead to the formation of cholesterol stones. This may be caused by incomplete gallbladder emptying, excess cholesterol from the liver, insufficient absorption of cholesterol and fat from bile by the gallbladder lining, or high levels of bilirubin.
Pigment stones are made from calcium bilirubinate. They are commonly associated with cirrhosis of the liver or hemolytic anemia.
It is possible to have both types of stones, though the cholesterol stones are more common.
Symptoms of gallstones in the gallbladder can be mild or severe. They may come and go. They can include the following:
- Pain under the right rib cage
- Pain in the back, between the shoulder blades
- Excessive burping
- Shoulder pain
- Pain below the breastbone
Because gallstone symptoms can mimic other diseases, a medical evaluation is wise. A heart attack, which requires immediate medical care, can cause similar symptoms. ,Blood tests and ultrasound are used to ascertain the presence of gallstones. Other tests may be used to rule out other health problems.
Once the presence of gallstones and other health conditions are ruled out, natural remedies can be very effective in relieving the pain of gallstones. Natural remedies can even dissolve or help expel gallstones.
Ted’s Gallbladder Remedies
Here are remedies the famous contributor Ted from Bangkok emailed us back in 2002 for Earth Clinic readers.
“So, I must start with the basics first. Gallstones are really caused by a magnesium deficiency. In fact, at LEAST 95% of the U.S. population is magnesium deficient. Magnesium comes from food sources like fresh green vegetables. I have a strong suspicion that gallstones are also formed by lecithin deficiency as well as magnesium:potassium:phosphorous: boron being imbalanced.
In practice, magnesium and boron supplementation will balance the necessary problems and bring to balance the blood calcium – which is quite high in U.S. Finland, by the way, had the same problems as in U.S. until they got wise and made a law by adding magnesium to their food and/or water supply. They now do not have high rates of heart attack as in U.S. but they have one of the lowest in the world (lower than Japan). My suspicion is that gallstones are also going in the same direction. Let’s go back to magnesium….
I personally supplement myself with 2000 milligrams of magnesium chloride (other forms do not do well except of course magnesium bicarbonate, which can be made at your home by bubbling magnesium carbonate with carbon dioxide in 90% water solution, since magnesium bicarbonate can only exists in water). Well here is an article of magnesium which you can read about:
In addition to the prevention of kidney stones there is evidence that magnesium can prevent gallstones Our medical dictionary says that the gallstones is a concretion formed in the bladder or the biliary ducts, composed, in varying amounts, of cholesterol, bilirubin, and other elements found in bile. The biliary ducts are in the liver. In this case also, magnesium is a specific preventive factor in the formation of gall- or liver stones. For one thing, in a previous chapter, we showed that magnesium has the effect of reducing the amount of cholesterol in the bloodstream.
The matter is mentioned in a communication to the French Academy of Medicine (June 23, 1931) by Pierre Delbet, M.D., reproduced in his book Politique Préventif du Cancer. He says that when the diet is rich in magnesium it immediately shows up in the bile. In this manner the quantity of the magnesium in the bile can be actually doubled. This was confirmed by Bretau. Dr. Delbet also mentions clinical work by Drs. Godard and Palios, which showed that such increase in magnesium can have a favorable influence on gallstones
Dr. Delbet studied human bile in the laboratory and found that the addition of magnesium drove out practically all the cholesterol, and he noted that the addition of magnesium added a pigmentation to the bile, gave it a deeper coloring. Its effect on the bile was to make the cholesterol in it more soluble.
Dr. Delbet then adds that, “It is a clear result of experiments … on the action of magnesium chloride on the elements that make up calculi [stones] that the addition of a food ration of magnesium in the form of halogenated salts has the power to reduce chance of biliary calculus formation.
“This conclusion is confirmed by facts. I know a great number of people who take delbiase regularly. None of them has vesicular trouble. That’s probably not very convincing. You can’t prove that those who take delbiase would have had biliary calculus if they bad not taken it. On the other hand, quite a few patients have biliary calculus without being magnesium deficient.”
In other words, there are other causes of gallstones than a magnesium deficiency.
However, says Delbet, “cases of the gall bladder being healed by the regular use of halogenated magnesium salts are numerous.”
Delbet gives an interesting account of a doctor who used magnesium in connection with difficulties he had with the bile:
“The clinical facts have, for the most part, been observed by chance. My followers take much magnesium chloride. They are enthusiasts propagandizing for it. Others adopt it, partly, perhaps, because it often produces systemic excitation. Among those who take it for its tonic action, several are afflicted with various ailments which disappear, and they report from time to time successes I did not expect, acting on ailments that are out of my province. Thus I am led to discuss matters of which I do not know a great deal.
“About the preparation of the sick for operations, I have reported the action of magnesium chloride on the digestive tract.
“Laborde states that it has a strong action on the secretion of bile. I have no experience on this point, but I have confirmed with de Wades that, introduced into the duodenum, it leads to evacuation of the tube. By this mechanism it can render service in infections of the biliary duct. One of our associates has sent me his own observation which seems interesting to me. He had repeated attacks of inflammation of the gall bladder and the biliary ducts With fevers up to 39.6º, chronic intestinal troubles (diarrhea, distention, painful spasms after eating). In spite of a strict regime and treatment by physical agents on the liver and abdomen (diathermy and infra-red light), he showed no improvement. He put himself on delbiase in a dosage of 2 tablets (1 gr. 20) a day, stopping all other medication. Here are the results: it is he who has recounted them. “No more liver attacks, no more epigastric pains; intestinal troubles improved. After several weeks the stools became normal, as they had not been for five months. In two months, a weight gain of 10 kilograms. Transformation of the appearance, appetite normal, digestion easy, in spite of a return to hard work. The possibility, without the least sensation of fatigue, of taking up once more my habitual occupations.”
So we pause and look back on what we have been reading. It sounds too good to be true– magnesium seems to be good for anything that ails you.
Therefore, why don’t we hear much about it? The newspapers sing the praises of the wonder drugs in headlines, but the action of this miracle mineral is ignored. One wonders about the honesty of medicine. There have been hundreds of researches on magnesium. Is there a specific reason why it is being ignored?
Also, some EDTA supplements and/or humic acid/fulvic acid might help with gallstones by reducing oxidant actions resulting in gallstones And one more thing, oxidized form of cholesterol might also be responsible for gallstones. When I say oxidized form of cholesterol, I mean overcooked foods. They might be a source of those soft gallstones you heard about. This is especially dangerous when you are doing cooking using microwave, because we get all sorts of nonexistent organics compounds not found in nature. In fact, there was a Swiss study which found cholesterol level to be higher within a week of drinking and eating food heated with microwave.
Chemicals formed from microwave cooking such as d-proline is a neurotoxin and may be responsible for alzheimer and parkinson’s disease. l-proline is found in nature and it is safe. So stay away from microwave cooking and learn to eat raw food. Gelatin is especially important in our diet in helping absorb vitamins and riding ourselves of toxins.
Fulvic acid/Humic Acid to Loosen gallstones:
Fulvic acid/humic acid acts like a chelating agent (as in EDTA) which attaches to the gallstones causing them to be loose and dissolving them. It is a traditional used. It also reduces inflammation by increasing the immune system. How or what actions fulvic does really is that it removes “free metal radicals” which causes hydroxyl radicals to form in our body thus making it a good source of antioxidant, and at the same time loosening the gallstones.
One of my personal theory of formation of gallstones has to do with colloidal suspension. Eating or drinking foods which DESTROYS COLLOIDAL DISPERSION is what causes our body to precipitate forming gallstones This is caused really from eating canned foods, soda pop and frozen dinner. It is well known that aluminum destroys colloidal suspension and causing a precipitation resulting in gallstones. Eating foods deficient in magnesium and excess in calcium make it even worse. Denatured foods found in canned food has no colloidal suspension really does not help either.
One of the easy techniques to increase colloidal dispersion (and thus zeta potentials), thus preventing gallstones in the first place is drinking water with lots of magnesium (hard water) and some potassium (not much) whose water is alkaline (you can add baking soda or sodium bicarbonate – but must be free of aluminum!) This is the reason why EDTA is helpful in prevention of gallstones, by chelating aluminum out of the body. Antacids, toothpaste tubes, rice cookers, cooking utensils, candy wrappers (chocolate kisses), and antiperspirants are the worse offenders because they have aluminum. You can read an eye opening article for colloidal suspension here:
(truly a classic article if somewhat technical for the general audiences – pictures is a real eye opener what it does to your body!)
Blood high in cholesterol or fats will also clump together without adequate lecithin (from raw yellow egg yolk and soy milk).
Nicotinic acid, known as Vitamin B3 known commonly as niacin maybe useful in reducing cholesterol buildup and hence reduced gallstones. There is a big distinctive difference between vitamin B3 called Niacinamide and Nictonic Acid. Do not use niacinamide as it is harmful to certain enzymes in suppressing SIR2 enzymes, use only nicotinic acid. I suspect also that a deficiency in nicotinic acid might have something to do with gallstones.
The usual dose is about 500 milligrams/day. The dosage used in RDA (recommended daily allowance) does not have therapeutic doses used in orthomolecular therapies, commonly used by Linus Pauling.
Please remember one thing environmental toxins are what influences our health the most. If you have fish aquarium than you know what its like to put tap water (with chlorine) killing the fishes instantly. In fact fish aquarium, chlorine destroys colloidal dispersions which is why fishes are killed. pH, gH (general
hardness), kH (carbonate hardness) are important fishes as it is for our own life also. Therefore it may be important to put dechlorinator when we drink water as we do to fishes. (dechlorinator used in aquarium is really sodium thiosulfate). You can restore colloidal dispersion of water somewhat by adding this. The chemical is quite safe since it is found in human bodies and it is used as a treatment for cyanide poisoning and prevention of side effects in chemotherapy treatment.
I hope this helps.”
More Natural Remedies for Gallstones
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar will often relieve gallstone pain. For an acute attack, 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar are added to a glass of apple juice or water and consumed over 30 minutes. Relief is often felt before the glass is emptied. Taken regularly, apple cider vinegar will often prevent gallstone attacks and may help eliminate some types of stones. For daily use, 2 teaspoons are added to a glass of water or juice. This tonic is taken once or twice daily.
Herbs for Gallstones
Alfalfa is high in nutrients, aids digestion and supports liver function. 1-2 tablets taken with meals helps to prevent attacks and can even stop a gallstone attack in its tracks.
Chanca Piedra is sometimes called Stonebreaker because of its reputation in dissolving stones. This herb from the amazon rainforest can be taken in tincture, tea or capsule form.
The herb dandelion supports the liver and promotes healthy digestion. Dandelion tea can be consumed. Tincture are capsules are also available online.
Consuming 6 radishes daily can help to dissolve some types of stones. This may need to be done over the course of several weeks.
Gallstones interfere with proper function of the gallbladder and thus the digestive system. For chronic gallstone problems, the gallbladder is usually removed surgically. However, removing the gallbladder means that the digestive system will never function fully again. Even after gallbladder surgery, continued digestive problems are common. An alternative is to “flush” the gallstones from the gallbladder. The gallstone flush protocol has brought relief to many. Stones are passed and can be seen if the flush is successful. And the resulting relief of symptoms is further confirmation of success. The complete protocol is explained on this page. Sometimes several flushes are necessary to totally eliminate stones.
Keep reading to learn which remedies Earth Clinic readers have tried to eliminate gallstones. Please join the conversation and let us know what you tried!