gallbladder is a small organ located directly under the liver. It
acts as a bile reservoir, concentrating the bile that the body
uses to digest fats. Bile contains cholesterol, bile salts,
lecithin, and other substances.
Cholecystitis is the inflammation of the gallbladder. It may
be acute or chronic.
Cholelithiasis is the formation or presence of calculi or
bilestones (gallstones) in the gallbladder or common duct of the
cholecystitis is almost always caused by gallstones. Other causes
may include bacteria or chemical irritants. Chronic cholecystitis
can occur with or without stones. But not all patients with
gallstones experience cholecystitis.
Gallstones are concretions formed in the gallbladder or bile
ducts. Traditionally gallstones have been classified according to
their composition. This information was then used to demonstrate
the cause of the stone formation. This is no longer considered
valid. Generally the core of all gallstones contains a mixture of
cholesterol, bilirubin, and protein.
acute cholecystitis there is fever, gradually developing or
sudden pain in the upper abdomen, nausea, vomiting, visible
jaundice in about 25% of patients. Frequently pain is referred to
back or right shoulder. Approximately 10% of the patients do not
have pain. In chronic cholecystitis symptoms are usually less
severe than in acute cases, but recurring stones may or may not
Gallstone symptoms include digestive disturbances, heaviness
in right upper abdomen, and tenderness on pressure over the
gallbladder. Gallstone colic occurs when a stone obstructs the
bile duct. Jaundice is flow of bile is obstructed. Pain may be
associated with vomiting and sweating. If distended, the
gallbladder is palpable. Treatment may include surgery. See the
doctor, whether acute or chronic condition.
Stones may remain dormant and give little distress unless
inflammation and distention of the gallbladder take place or
unless it enters and is unable to pass through the biliary ducts,
when colic ensues. The pain usually starts several hours after
eating and when the stomach is empty (often after eating fried or
fatty foods). Flatulence is a common symptom. If left untreated,
the inflammation of the gallbladder can be life threatening.
Often a patient with gallstones will have no symptoms.
- Alfalfa, 10 tablets 3 times per day, is
a liver cleanser, rich in vitamins and minerals.
- Lecithin, 1 tbsp. before meals or
capsules as directed on the label, aids fat (cholesterol) digestion
and is a fat emulsifier.
- Multienzymes (containing ox bile), taken
with meals (Caution: if heartburn is present, use pancreatin
after meals. Do not use products containing hydrochloric
- Unsaturated fatty acids, taken as
directed on the label.
- Vitamin A, 25,000 IU capsules daily
(emulsified vitamin A is more easily assimilated.
- Vitamin B complex with B12 and choline,
500 mg. per day, is important in cholesterol metabolism
and liver and gallbladder function.
- Inositol, 500 mg. per day, usually comes
added to the vitamin B complex.
- Vitamin C, 3,000 mg. per day (a lack of
vitamin C can cause gallstones).
- Vitamin D, 400 IU per day (gallbladder
malfunction interferes with vitamin D absorption.
- Vitamin E, 600 IU per day, prevents fats
from becoming rancid.
- Barberry, root bark
- Cramp bark
- Cactus, prickly-pear
- Ginger, root
- Yam, wild
- Clover, red
- Dock, yellow
- Cascara sagrada
- Birch, leaves
- Witch grass
- St. Benedicts thistle
- Radish, black or Spanish
- St. Johns wort
- Dandelion, roots (note dandelion should not be
used with inflammation or blockage of the common bile
- Nettle, stinging, leaves
- Birch, leaves
- Milk thistle, fruits
Visit The Herb Finder
- For inflammation: Eat no solid food for a few days, only
distilled or spring water. Then begin to drink juices
such as pear, beet root juice, and apple juice for 3 more
days. Then add solid foods: shredded raw beets with 2
tbsp. of olive oil, fresh lemon juice, and freshly made
- For gallstones: Use 3 tbsp. olive oil with the juice of a
lemon before retiring and upon awakening. Many stones
pass in the stool with this technique. Look for them!
Grapefruit juice can be used instead of lemon juice. Try
a castor oil pack on the gallbladder area. Soak a
multifolded cotton flannel cloth in castor oil; heat to
very warm but not hot enough to burn the skin. Place the
pack on the gallbladder area, cover with plastic and a
light towel and apply a heating pad to retain warmth.
Leave in place for one hour. Apply pack twice a day or
more if desired.
- With gallbladder diseases, do not overeat. Obesity and
gallbladder disease are related. The female who is forty
and overweight and who has had children is more likely to
suffer from these disorders.
- Avoid surgery if the stones show up on x-ray but are
without symptoms. A gallstone may slip into a bile duct,
which drains the gallbladder and the liver. If this
occurs, then extraction or surgical removal might be
needed. Sometimes stones can be fragmented without
surgery. Bile acid preparations used to dissolve stones
work very slowly and can be used only on small stones.
- Eat 75% raw foods. Include each day in the diet:
applesauce, eggs, yogurt, cottage cheese, broiled fish,
fresh apples, and beets. Avoid sugar and products
containing sugar. Avoid all animal fat and meat, fried
foods, spicy foods, margarine, soft drinks, commercial
oils, coffee, chocolate, and refined carbohydrates.
- For 5 days consume as much pure apple juice as possible,
pear juice occasionally and beet juice (beet juice will
cleanse the liver).
- Rapid weight change may cause gallbladder problems.
For gallbladder problems the following tea is recommended:
Alder buckthorn bark (1 part)
Restharrow root (5 parts)
Yellow gentian root (5 parts)
Peppermint leaves (10 parts)
Steep 1 tsp. in 1/2 cup boiling water. Take 1 to 1 1/2 cups a
day, in mouthful doses.
For gallstones, here is a tea to assist in passing small
stones and gravel:
St. Benedict thistle
Mix in equal parts. Steep 1 tsp. in 1/2 cup boiling water. Take 1
to 1 1/2 cups per day, unsweetened, in mouthful doses.