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gall bladder removed

topic posted Sun, March 28, 2010 - 2:57 PM by  Leslee
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After finding that I had gall stones, I did a cleanse that used herbs, olive oil and lemon juice. The cleanse was painful. I also used a drug that is used in Europe to control gall stones. After learning that a friend of a friend was doing the same cleanse when her gall bladder exploded, I went back to my doctor to see if the treatment was working. But my insurance refused to pay for a second ultra sound. I ended up having surgery. But when they removed my gall bladder, there was only one stone left. (I had thirty in the beginning.) I later found out that there is a place one can go to with a doctor on hand to do the cleanse safely.

Just like both of my parents I was thin when I had my gall bladder removed. All three of us gained weight soon after the surgery.

Any one know of herbs for post gall bladder removal?
posted by:
Leslee
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  • Re: gall bladder removed

    Sun, March 28, 2010 - 3:31 PM
    good info on this in the book by Lindsay Berkman on natural haling for the digestive system. let m get mine back from the friend to whom I lent it and give you more concrete info.
  • Re: gall bladder removed

    Sun, March 28, 2010 - 3:39 PM
    wow, I know a lot of people who've had gall bladder surgery like yours and I've never heard of the weight connection (and I'm possibly facing that surgery in the future). That's interesting. What pharmaceutical did you use- Actigall/ursodiol or one of the other options? I'm really interested in this issue. I think one of our other moderators has gall bladder issues also. I was actually trying to learn more about this issue last month and didn't turn up a lot of credible information about gall bladder and herbs because there's such a huge market in marketing 'cleanses' like the one you're describing- so the info that's out there is diluted with all kinds of sales pitch stuff.

    There are serious questions about whether the 'gall bladder cleanse' that involves lemon, olive, and magnesium sulfate (Epsom salts) actually expels gallstones, or whether the expelled material is just crystalized salt that is created by the Epsom salt/oil/lemon interaction with your digestive system (here's a bunch of info on that: www.pathguy.com/altermed.htm#gallstone - ignore the fact that this guy's a skeptic about a few alt-med modalities that he's wrong about and he's really angry and ranting about the Hulda Clarks of the world- I think he knows what he's talking about here).

    That's absolutely horrible that they wouldn't pay for a followup ultrasound. Ugh!!!! What in the world DO insurers pay for, I wonder.

    As for what to do post-surgery, I'm thinking that liver support, gentle liver support, would be important. Much of the info I'm finding about traditional treatment for gall bladder issues (there's of course not a traditional treatment for post-surgery situations as that's not so traditional) talks about bitter herbs that stimulate bile production- oregon grape, coptis, and others. Another interesting aspect of those herbs is that they're very antimicrobial, and some gall bladder disease seems to be linked to infection because it's one of the areas of the body where your immune system doesn't reach easily, so perhaps treating gall bladder attacks with something like oregon grape and coptis works on more than one problem at once. Apparently salmonella is one of the germs that has an affinity for the gallbladder.

    I'm thinking that post-surgery, one thing to do would be to be careful about fats- they can be one source of stress to the liver- and of course alcohol and drugs that are metabolized in the liver. Liver support is a pretty complicated issue that's also complicated by the 'liver cleanse' fad of 2005-07, meaning that a lot of internet info about it is full of drastic interventions sorts of approaches.

    What herbs were in the cleanse that you and your friend's friend used?
    • Re: gall bladder removed

      Sun, March 28, 2010 - 4:28 PM
      Here's some info I found after I wrote that- seems to agree with what I'm learning from other gall bladder disease patients while I research this. Pardon the lengthy copypasta:

      www.mothernature.com/library...5/46.cfm
      From the Rodale book

      Herbs for Health and Healing
      by Kathi Keville and Peter Korn

      Think of the gallbladder as the liver's sidekick. In comparison to the much larger liver (under which it appears to nestle for protection), the gallbladder has comparatively little to do. Primarily, it stores bile manufactured by the liver. When you eat a fatty meal, the gallbladder contracts and releases bile into the first section of the small intestine, which is called the duodenum. In fact, two signals of gallbladder problems include stomach pains and a bloated feeling after eating high-fat foods. Bitter herbs like gentian are the best way to stimulate bile-production and improve fat digestion.

      Most North American physicians are not very concerned about bile deficiency, but European doctors do worry about this problem. If a patient of a European doctor is diagnosed as being bile-deficient, chances are, the physician will prescribe an herbal formula to correct the problem. Several European drugs contain one of the most potent bile stimulants in the plant world—dandelion. When the German over-the-counter drug Hepatichol—which is made mostly from dandelion—along with nettle and a few other herbs, was tested, the results were impressive. A study conducted in Germany in 1952 showed that all the people with gallbladder problems who took Hepatichol improved within only a few days.

      Several compounds in turmeric increase bile and also help other bile stimulants do a better job. In the early 1970s, German researchers found that when turmeric was taken with milk thistle and celandine, it increased bile flow about six times more than when the herbs were used without it.

      \One of the most common—and most unpleasant—gallbladder problems is gallstones. These little "stones" are usually formed from concentrated bile and cholesterol combined with minerals and pigments. Gallstones do not create much trouble until they journey out of the gallbladder through the narrow duct that leads into the small intestine. If the stones are large, this can be very painful. Even worse, if the stones get lodged in the duct, they can block the flow of bile, upset the digestion of fats and cause inflammation, infection and even jaundice.

      Because of these serious consequences, any gallstone treatment should be conducted only under the expert care of a health care professional. Any herbs that increase the production and flow of bile will encourage gallstones to move along. However, if the stones are moved out into the duct or are already blocking it, you could make things worse instead of better by taking herbs. This is particularly true of "the liver flush"—a popular home treatment for gallstones. If someone recommends drinking this unappetizing combination of olive oil and lemon juice, be wary. I have heard many people describe the impressively large "gallstones" that they magically passed with no pain.


      According to Michael Murray, N.D., and Joseph Pizzorno, N.D., the authors of The Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine, these are not gallstones at all, but rather balls formed when a chemical reaction causes oil and lemon to combine with minerals in the intestine.


      British physicians suggest the over-the-counter drug Rowachol, which contains a mixture of compounds from numerous herbs, including peppermint. Several studies proving this drug's effectiveness in dissolving gallstones have been done in England. This product is not readily available in North America, but capsules of peppermint essential oil are. If you want to take these capsules, you should take one or two with each meal. Also, you should know that the enteric-coated ones are best—they will act most directly because their special coating will not dissolve until they reach the intestines.

      The best use for herbs is for preventing gallbladder attacks in the first place. Dandelion root, Oregon grape root, fringe tree bark, yellow dock, wahoo and radish root were once considered so effective in treating stones that they were listed in the U.S. Dispensatory, a common doctor's prescription guide. Milk thistle, artichoke and turmeric all help prevent gallstones by making bile less saturated. Whatever route you choose to treat your stones, you can reduce the inflammation with marshmallow, chamomile and an old Russian folk remedy, nettle. And you can use cramp bark to help prevent painful spasms.

      A diet that contains too much refined food and too little fiber may be at least partially responsible for gallstones. With such a diet, the gallbladder secretes less acid into the bile fluid. The body needs this acid to dissolve cholesterol. Without sufficient acid, cholesterol builds up into stones. One reason that vegetarians hardly ever get gallstones may be that they eat so much fiber.

      Gallbladder Formula
      1 teaspoon each dandelion root, Oregon grape root and marshmallow root
      1 quart water
      ½ teaspoon each chamomile flowers and nettle leaves
      Combine roots and water and simmer for about 5 minutes. Turn off heat, add remaining herbs and steep for about 20 minutes. Strain herbs. Drink at least 1 cup daily. This formula can also be used to make a tincture or pills.
  • Re: gall bladder removed

    Sun, March 28, 2010 - 4:51 PM
    So- I'm thinking that if you don't already know a lot about herbs, it might be good to do some studying so that you can understand the different actions of different herbs on the liver. There are herbs that stimulate bile production, herbs that help raise or inhibit detoxification of various substances, herbs that are generally hepatoprotective, and some that are more nourishing and some that are more of an extreme intervention. If you already know all this stuff, sorry about my assumption. The reason I'm suggesting studying intensively is because there is SO much misinformaiton about what's "good for the liver", again, as a result of the "cleansing" fad that swept the alt-health world a few years ago (some of which involves pretty intense and stimulating herbs that I wouldn't want to take if I were you), and I would think that if you're researching this stuff online, it'd be helpful to be able to sort out the relevant and less relevant info. A good herbalist should be able to help in person, as well, but it might be useful to research the different liver function and dysfunction issues just so that you can assess your options better.

    what's your starting point with this stuff, so we can make some suggestions- are you already an experienced herbalist or herb user or are you just starting out with it?

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