The Gallbladder - Part 1

This blog will be presented in two parts. Part One is an introduction and understanding of the gallbladder.  In Part Two, my daughter Natalie tells in great details how she eliminated her gallbladder stones without surgery or medical intervention, how she handled the pain, and how much diet and emotional well-being influenced her healing. She elaborates on her extensive research on gallbladder stones, the various popular treatments to eliminate them, and her own protocol to eliminate gallbladder stones. Natalie has successfully freed herself from her gallbladder stones, made some lifetime changes to never again experience gallbladder stones again.  


The gallbladder sits beneath the liver; it stores and secretes bile produced by the liver, to emulsify fats for digestion. When food passes through the stomach, hormones stimulate the gallbladder to expel bile into the first stage of the small intestine, called the duodenum. Bile breaks down the fats, permitting them to be absorbed by the small intestine. Bile, which is extremely bitter, stimulates peristalsis, the cramp-like movement of the colon, moving the food through the intestines.  Bile is a mixture of bile acid (also called bile salts) and cholesterol. The cholesterol acts as a buffering agent to prevent bile acids from eating away at the gallbladder and small intestines.  


The most common illness people experience with their gallbladder is gallstones. This condition causes excruciating pain, and most of the time results in the removal of the gallbladder. Every year over ½ a million gallbladder surgeries (cholecystectomy) are performed and the higher percentages are women. This may be due to the drop-off of estrogen levels in postmenopausal women, which is associated with higher cholesterol levels and greater incidence of heart disease. Gallstones are made mostly of cholesterol but have other minerals  in them as well. People who eat high fats/high cholesterol foods have greater chance of making gallstones in their gallbladder. Common symptoms people experience when they have gallstones includes pain  and tenderness on the right side of the body, referred pains to the shoulders and the back between the shoulder blades, tension in the hips and thighs, as well as cramping and gas in the abdomen, mental and overall physical tension, as well as migraine headaches.  


According to the Chinese acupuncture system the gallbladder meridian, or energy path, begins at the outer corner of the eye, runs over the top of the ear, zigzags along the sides and top of the head, onto the neck and shoulder, then to the front of the body, continuous down the side of the torso to the hip; it then goes down the side of the thigh and calf, along the top of the foot and ends at the 4th toenail. As a diagnostic point, traditional healers will examine the fourth toe to  see if a bunion protrudes from it, which usually indicates some kind of gallbladder imbalance.  


Bile, which is composed of bile salts, cholesterol, and lecithin, is kept in solution by a delicate harmony. The ratio between bile salts to cholesterol is the most important, because the bile salts are acid, and without this acid, the cholesterol would form crystals and stones. Therefore, sufficient bile acids are needed to keep the cholesterol from forming stones in the gallbladder. When the cholesterol in the bile becomes too concentrated, it saturates the bile acids and begins to form crystals and then stones. The best way to prevent and eliminate gallstones is to lower the body’s overall cholesterol level, which reduces the cholesterol in the gallbladder, and thus creates a healthy bile-to-cholesterol ratio. Once this ratio is re-established, the bile acids can dissolve the cholesterol crystals and stones, and restore health to the gallbladder.  


All emotions are grounded in various parts of the body. A person with a healthy gallbladder will have a balanced temperament, but one whose gallbladder is distressed will likely suffer from suppressed anger or outbursts of ill-tempter. This behavior leads to rash decisions. When the liver and gallbladder are balanced and healthy, decisions are made from an emotional equilibrium. However, when decisions are difficult to make, many Oriental healers will recommend people to eat simply, avoid extremes in emotions, and meditate. Harmony can then be restored throughout the body, allowing for a healthy gallbladder function, which can assist in making the right decisions.  


Therapeutic agents to strengthen the gallbladder are leafy greens, wheat, the sour taste (for example grapefruit juice), apple juice (malic acid in apples softens gallstones), and cabbage tea. Drink six to eight glasses of water a day to prevent gall stones.  


Herbs for the Gallbladder: 

Artichoke leaf  
Artichoke leaf is for poor fat metabolism, sluggish liver and gallbladder. It can also lower cholesterol levels. 
Beet is highly nutritious vegetable/herb particularly effective for the kidneys and the liver/gallbladder.  
Celadine is useful for insufficient bile with clay  colored stool and liver congestion, and to prevent gallstone formation.  
Dandelion improves gallbladder function and bile production. More bile production means there is less chance of it becoming oversaturated with cholesterol or calcium and that means less chance of forming gallstones.   

Fringe Tree  
Fringe tree is indicated in cases of bilious colic, jaundice, and gallstone pain. 

Ginger helps with gallbladder pain.  
Milk Thistle  
Milk Thistle reduces the concentration of cholesterol in the bile.  
Oregon Grape  
Oregon grape increases digestion and absorption especially of fats and oils.
Peppermint is a specific for the gallbladder and can help keep gallstones blockage from occurring.  
Turmeric increases the ability of bile to dissolve  cholesterol and calcium, reducing the chances that gallstone will form.  
Yucca reduces inflammation.

Herbal Protocols for Gallbladder

Flax Seed Seed Tea   
Place one tablespoon of whole flax seeds into 12 oz of water and bring to a boil. Simmer for 10 minutes.  Stain through a fine mesh strainer and sip this tea slowly.  The consistency is very slimy, especially when the tea begins to get cold.  Make sure to sip slowly while the tea is hot/warm.  This is a soothing tea to drink when experiencing gallbladder pain, also known as biliary colic. 
Stone Formula   
Simmer the roots in water (two quarts water for every 2 ounces of herbs) for about one hour, reducing the volume by half through evaporation. Strain and take ½ cup every 2 hours. Stone Formula has been instrumental in dissolving and expelling kidney and gallstones. For people who have a predisposition to gallstones, as well as kidney stones, may want to drink this tea as a preventative. 
Castor Oil Packs   
Castor oil applied topically can greatly reduce gallbladder pain. Prepare a castor oil pack and place it over the liver/gallbladder area and leave it on for about 1 ½ hours. This can be done 1-3 times  a day for acute ailments and 1-3 times a week for chronic ailments. be continued   
You were born with a gallbladder to keep for a lifetime. Natalie was able to avoid surgery and if you are interested in healing gallstones, please read Part two of the Gallbladder Blog. Learn from Natalie’s own experience in eliminating gallstones and keeping them away.  

*These statements have not been approved by the FDA and is meant for informational purposes only.  This information is not intended to treat, diagnose or cure.
**If you suspect gallstones, please consult your healthcare practitioner.  In some cases gallstones can be life threatening. This is meant for information only and does not replace the advice of your physician and in some cases medical intervention. 
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