Gallstones are small stones that usually form in the gallbladder. They come in different size. The American Medical Association claims that 80% of gallstones occur as a result of hardened cholesterol that develops when there is too much cholesterol in the gallbladder.
Gallstones can also develop due to a concentration of bile in the gallbladder and high levels of bilirubin.
There are many factors which can lead to gallstones, including liver disease, obesity, pregnancy, a high-fat diet, diabetes, a sedentary lifestyle, and certain forms of anemia.
It is considered that people older than 60 years of age and people of Native American or Hispanic descent are more likely to experience gallstones. Typically, people develop gallstones and they are even not aware of it.
However, when a gallstone obstructs the bile duct, it can lead to symptoms like sudden severe pain, particularly in the right side of the stomach, back pain, vomiting, nausea, indigestion, bloating, chills and clay-colored stools.
If you notice some of these symptoms, visit your doctor immediately. Check out these natural remedies that will help you to prevent and treat gallstones.
The best 10 home remedies for gallstones
1. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is acidic in nature. It means that it can stop the liver from making cholesterol that contributes to the formation of gallstones. This is of utmost importance for dissolving gallstones and relieving pain.
In a glass of apple juice, you should mix 1 tablespoon of ACV. Consume this whenever you have a gallstone attack. You will get relief within 15 minutes.
You can also add 2 teaspoons of ACV and 1 teaspoon of lemon juice to a glass of warm water. Consume this in the morning, before your breakfast. Repeat this procedure for a few weeks and you will effectively dissolve gallstones and prevent pain.
2. Lemon Juice
Lemon juice is another natural remedy for treating gallstone attacks. It can stop your liver from making cholesterol, thus accelerate the healing process.
Lemon contains pectin which can eliminate gallbladder pain. Moreover, lemon juice is an excellent source of vitamin C that makes cholesterol more water soluble, thus promoting faster elimination of waste products.
Squeeze the juice of 4 lemons and drink it every day, on an empty stomach. After drinking the juice, drink 1 glass of water. Repeat this procedure for 1 week.
You can also mix a glass of water and 4 tablespoons of lemon juice and drink this on an empty stomach.
Peppermint stimulates the flow of bile and other digestive juices, thus aiding digestion. It contains terpene, a compound that has the ability to dissolve gallstones. It can also relieve acute gallbladder pain and help relax spasms.
You should boil 1 cup of water. Add 1 teaspoon of dried peppermint leaves. Remove from heat, cover and steep for 5 minutes. Strain and add 1 teaspoon honey.
Drink the tea while it is still warm. You should drink it 2 times a day, for 6 weeks. For best results, drink it between meals.
4. Vegetable Juice
People suffering from gallstones should avoid fried and fatty foods. You should follow a strict diet rich in fruits and vegetable juices for a week or two.
To prepare a good remedy for gallstones, you can combine beet root, carrots, and cucumber. Beet root can strengthen the gallbladder and cleanse the liver.
Due to its rich content of water, cucumber can detoxify the liver and gallbladder. Carrots are abundant in vitamin C and other nutrients that can strengthen the immune system.
You should extract the juice from 1 beet root, 1 cucumber and 4 medium-size carrots. Mix well and consume this juice two times a day, for 2 weeks.
Psyllium is an excellent source of soluble fiber, therefore it is a great remedy for gallstones. The fiber found in psyllium can bind to the cholesterol in bile and prevent the formation of gallstones.
Moreover, it can promote proper bowel movements, which in turn reduces the risk of the gallbladder system becoming congested. It can also prevent constipation which is closely related to increased gallstones formation.
To a glass of water, add 1 tablespoon of psyllium powder. Mix well and drink this 2 times a day. Repeat this procedure until the gallstones are eliminated.
Note: When using psyllium, you should drink plenty of water as it absorbs water.
Dandelion is another herb that can treat gallstones. It contains taraxacin, a compound that can help in bile excretion from the liver. It can detoxify and metabolize fat accumulated in the liver.
With proper liver function, the gallbladder will function properly as well.
In a cup, add 1 teaspoon of dried dandelion. Pour hot water over it, cover it and let it steep for 5 minutes. Strain and add honey. Consume this tea 2-3 times a day, for 1-2 weeks.
You can also add 2 teaspoons of marshmallow root and 1 teaspoon of Oregon grape to 4 cups of water. Let it simmer for 15 minutes then remove from heat.
Add 2 teaspoons of dried dandelion leaves and 1 teaspoon of dried peppermint leaves and let it steep for 15 minutes. Strain and drink this tea.
Note: People suffering from diabetes should avoid dandelion.
7. Milk Thistle
Milk thistle is another remedy for gallstones. It contains silymarin, a bitter compound that can stimulate bile production. This can reduce its concentration and help flush out gallstones.
You should grind 1 tablespoon of milk thistle seeds in a coffee grinder. Put the seeds in 3 cups of water and boil. Remove from heat and steep for 20 minutes. Strain and add honey. Drink this 2-3 times a day, for 1 week.
You can take this herb in supplement form as well. Before using it, make sure to consult your doctor for proper dosage.
8. Castor Oil
Due to its potent medicinal and healing properties, castor oil can reduce the number of gallstones. It has powerful anti-inflammatory properties that can neutralize inflammation and reduce pain. Moreover, it is very beneficial for the immune and lymphatic system.
In a pan, warm 1 cup of pure castor oil. You should soak a piece of cheesecloth in it then squeeze out the excess oil.
Put the cheesecloth over the right side of your stomach. Use a plastic sheet to cover the cheesecloth. Put a hot water bag on it and let it stand for 30-60 minutes. Repeat this 3 times a week.
Pears can help you get relief from gallstone pain and other symptoms. Pears contain pectin which can soften the gallstones that are filled with cholesterol, thus eliminating them from the body.
You should mix half a glass of pear juice with half a glass of hot water. Add 2 tablespoons of honey. Drink this 3 times a day for 2 weeks.
You can also peel some pears and discard their seeds. Cut them in small pieces and cook them in water for 20 minutes. Eat one bowl of cooked pears two times a day, for 2 weeks.
It has been shown that wine can prevent gallstone attacks. A 10-year study showed that people who drank two units of wine (a medium-sized glass of wine) a day had a lower risk of developing gallstones by one third.
If you have gallstone pain, you should drink half a glass of wine. You will get relief within 20 minutes. Actually, half a glass of wine a day can reduce the gallstone attacks by 40%.
Note: Before using dandelion, peppermint or milk thistle, consult your doctor.
Besides using these remedies, make sure to drink plenty of water (6-8 glasses of water a day).