Have you ever suffered from gallstones? Luckily I never have, but rumor is that the pain resulting from gallstones is horrendous – as bad as a kidney stone (been there) or giving birth (not yet been there). If you have experienced this pain, you might have been willing to do anything to get rid of it at the time – give up your first born child, pay the gallstone gods a million dollars, promise to never tell a lie ever again, etc., etc.
Well, what if you didn’t have to promise, give up or pay anything? What if the answer was a simple mixture you could brew up yourself and take in the comfort of your own home?
You may be in luck! Much has been made of the gallbladder cleanse, a concoction made from olive oil, Epsom salts, fruit juice (generally orange or lemon) and water. An assortment of herbs may also be added to the mix.
So is the gallbladder cleanse safe? Does it really work?
Let’s take a look . . .
First of all – what are gallstones?
Gallstones form when excess bile hardens into stone-like pieces that vary in size. Eighty percent of gallstones are asymptomatic, which means they can exist in the body for years before they become painful. When they do cause problems, the pain can be uncomfortable at best and excruciating at its worst.
How does the gallbladder cleanse work?
Downed over several days, the gallbladder cleanse reportedly breaks up existing gallstones and passes them out of the body through the stool. Many people swear by it, even claiming that they can see the gallstones in their stool the next day. However, skeptical doctors point out that those “gallstones” might actually be food and fat deposits instead.
Is the gallbladder cleanse for you?
Should you try the gallbladder cleanse? That depends. If you haven’t had symptoms in awhile, you may not want to do anything at all. The cleanse should be approached with caution, as it can lead to diarrhea.
If you’re unsure about the cleanse, try these natural alternatives:
Magnesium: Supplementing with this mineral is linked to a reduction in the risk of gallstone disease. It helps to raise the level of HDL (the “good” cholesterol) and decrease triglyceride levels.
Vitamin C: Low levels of this antioxidant are common in people with gallstones, so supplements are taken to raise the amount in the system to an optimal level.
Turmeric: This spicy herb stimulates bile production and helps prompt the gallbladder to empty regularly.
Flaxseed: The fiber boost that flaxseed provides can help flush waste out of the gallbladder, reducing the likelihood that gallstones will form.
Dandelion: The root of this flower is known for its cleansing abilities in the gastrointestinal tract, and reportedly has the same effect inside the gallbladder.
If gallstones are anything like kidney stones, I wouldn’t wish them on my worst enemy. If you suffer from gallstones, perhaps this cleanse is something that can help prevent them from returning.