For Quick Alerts
ALLOW NOTIFICATIONS  
For Daily Alerts

    Gallstones: Natural Remedies, Foods To Eat & Avoid

    |
    Gall Bladder Stone: पित्त की पथरी को ख़त्म करेंगे ये उपाय | Home remedies for Gall Stones | Boldsky

    The heart, liver and kidneys perform various functions that work towards the smooth functioning of the body. Another organ that goes unnoticed is the gallbladder, until and unless you suffer from gallstones. In this article, we will be writing about the natural remedies and foods to eat and avoid for gallstones.

    What Is The Function Of The Gallbladder?

    The gallbladder is a small, pear-shaped organ that is located just under the liver and on the right side of the abdomen. It collects and stores bile produced by the liver. The gallbladder, after collecting and storing the bile, adds the bile to the food as it enters the small intestine. The bile then helps to break down the fats into fatty acids during digestion[1] .

    gallstones home remedies

    So, it's essential to keep the gallbladder healthy to maintain proper digestion and prevent conditions like cancer and gallstones with the help of a proper diet and natural remedies.

    What Causes Gallstones?

    When excess cholesterol is stored in the gallbladder, gallstones form. It is mainly the result of a poor diet [2] , [3] .

    Bile consists of dissolved cholesterol, but too much cholesterol leads to the formation of small, hard stones in the gallbladder known as cholesterol gallstones [4] . Also, stones in the gallbladder are formed by excess bilirubin or calcium salt build-up which is referred to as pigment stones [5] .

    People who are obese or overweight tend to have a higher risk of developing gallstones [6] .

    What Are The Symptoms Of Gallstones?

    • Pain in the right shoulder
    • Nausea and vomiting
    • Back pain between your shoulder blades
    • Sudden intense pain in the upper right portion of your abdomen

    Natural Remedies For Gallstones

    1. Castor oil

    Castor oil is used as a gallbladder cleanse. It works by eliminating the cholesterol from the body [7] . Castor oil possesses healing and anti-inflammatory properties that help in reducing the pain, a common symptom associated with gallstones [8] .

    • Heat a cup of castor oil and soak a cheesecloth in it. Remove the excess oil from the cheesecloth and place it on the right side of your abdomen.
    • Hold the cloth and wrap a plastic sheet around the stomach. Place a hot water compress bag over it for 30 minutes.
    • Do this thrice a week.

    2. Peppermint tea

    Peppermint contains a natural compound called terpene that has the ability to dilute gallstones and aids in digestion by triggering the flow of bile and other digestive juices in the digestive tract [9] .

    • Add a few peppermint leaves to a cup of boiled water.
    • Allow it to steep for a few minutes and strain the water.
    • Drink it daily between meals.

    3. Turmeric and pepper

    Turmeric contains an active compound called curcumin which is known to have anti-inflammatory, healing, anticancer and antioxidant properties. This compound can reduce the incidence of gallstone formation. Piperine, an active compound in black pepper, when combined with curcumin, can significantly enhance the effect of curcumin, thus preventing the development of gallbladder stones [10] .

    • Steam a glass of water, add a teaspoon of turmeric and a pinch of black pepper.
    • Stir it and drink it daily.

    4. Wild-crafted Chanca Piedra

    Many healthcare practitioners suggest their patients wild-crafted chanca piedra for the treatment of gallstones and maintaining gallbladder, kidney and liver health. Consumption of wild-crafted chanca piedra prevents the stone formation in its early stages [11] .

    • Add the dried leaves to a cup of boiling water.
    • Steep it for 10 minutes.
    • Strain the drink and have it daily.

    5. Apple cider vinegar

    Apple cider vinegar contains acetic acid which helps in dissolving gallbladder stones. It also aids in easing gallstone pain by increasing the levels of antioxidant enzymes and vitamins [12] .

    • In a glass of warm water, add 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar.
    • Drink this in the morning on an empty stomach.

    Individuals with gallstones may experience various gastrointestinal symptoms and are also at risk of developing acute or chronic cholecystitis. So, here are some foods to eat and avoid for the prevention and treatment of gallstones [13] .

    Foods To Eat To Prevent Gallstones

    1. Citrus fruits

    Citrus fruits like lemons, limes, oranges, grapefruit, etc., are packed with vitamin C. Studies have shown that vitamin C, a water-soluble antioxidant prevents the gallstones from occurring in the first place. The reason is vitamin C breaks down the stored cholesterol in the bile [14] . Consume vitamin C-rich fruits regularly.

    2. Pectin-rich fruits and vegetables

    Pectin is a water-soluble fibre found in fruits like apples, pears, berries, plums, guavas, etc., and vegetables like carrots, beetroot, parsnips, green beans, etc. This fibre binds with excess cholesterol in the gut and removes it from the body through stool [15] . Have pectin-rich fruits and vegetables every day.

    3. Garlic and onion

    According to a study, consumption of garlic and onion could reduce the incidence of cholesterol gallstone formation by 40 per cent. Researchers found that garlic and onion increased the activity of two enzymes in cholesterol metabolism - cholesterol 7 alpha-hydroxylase and sterol 27-hydroxylase [16] .

    4. Foods rich in magnesium

    A study published in The American Journal of Gastroenterology revealed that an increase in magnesium consumption from foods may decrease a man's risk of developing gallstones. A high intake of magnesium reduced the risk of gallstones by 28 per cent[17] . Consume magnesium-rich foods like avocado, nuts, seeds, green leafy veggies, etc.

    5. Polyunsaturated fats

    Polyunsaturated fats found in olive oil, canola oil, walnuts, flaxseed, fish, soybean oil, sunflower oil, etc., are beneficial in preventing the formation of gallstones. This healthy fat removes high cholesterol from the bile and reduces the risk of gallstones [18] .

    6. Psyllium

    Psyllium is a type of soluble fibre found usually in the form of husk, granules or powder in breakfast cereals and baked goods. It has the ability to bind with excess fat in the bile duct which promotes their excretion from the body. This prevents the formation of gallstones [19] . Furthermore, psyllium increases good cholesterol levels and decreases bad cholesterol.

    7. Lecithin

    Lecithin is a fat found in foods like soybeans, egg yolks, oatmeal, cabbage, chocolate and peanuts. The study shows that lecithin may help prevent gallstone formation by keeping cholesterol from solidifying in the gallbladder [20] . Another study found that consuming soybean rich lecithin for 6 months reduced the stones in size [21] .

    8. Caffeine

    Caffeinated beverages like tea and coffee could significantly lower the risk of gallstone disease by stimulating gallbladder contraction and lower cholesterol concentrations in bile [22] . Many other studies have also shown the effectiveness of caffeine in preventing cholesterol gallstone formation[23] , [24] .

    Foods To Avoid For Gallstones

    1. Refined carbohydrates

    Foods high in refined carbs like sugar, flour, refined grains, fried foods, soft drinks and starches increase the risk of gallbladder dysfunction by increasing bile cholesterol saturation and doubling the risk of cholesterol gallstone formation [25] .

    2. Saturated fats

    Saturated fats found in processed foods allows the cholesterol to accumulate in the bile. A study showed that dietary fats rich in saturated fatty acids enhanced gallstone formation [26] . Also, fatty red meat contains saturated fat. So, limit the consumption of saturated fats.

    3. Whole-milk dairy products

    Whole-milk dairy products have a high amount of fat which may increase the risk of gallstone formation. So, switch to skimmed milk or low-fat milk to ensure that your gallbladder is not affected.

    View Article References
    1. [1] Marteau, C., Sastre, B., Iconomidis, N., Portugal, H., Pauli, A. M., & Gérolami, A. (1990). pH regulation in human gallbladder bile: study in patients with and without gallstones.Hepatology,11(6), 997-1002.
    2. [2] Stinton, L. M., Myers, R. P., & Shaffer, E. A. (2010).Epidemiology of Gallstones. Gastroenterology Clinics of North America, 39(2), 157–169.
    3. [3] Park, Y., Kim, D., Lee, J. S., Kim, Y. N., Jeong, Y. K., Lee, K. G., & Choi, D. (2017).Association between diet and gallstones of cholesterol and pigment among patients with cholecystectomy: a case-control study in Korea. Journal of Health, Population and Nutrition, 36(1).
    4. [4] Sedaghat, A., & Grundy, S. M. (1980). Cholesterol crystals and the formation of cholesterol gallstones.New England Journal of Medicine,302(23), 1274-1277.
    5. [5] Soloway, R. D., Trotman, B. W., & Ostrow, J. D. (1977). Pigment gallstones.Gastroenterology,72(1), 167-182.
    6. [6] Radmard, A. R., Merat, S., Kooraki, S., Ashrafi, M., Keshtkar, A., Sharafkhah, M., ... & Poustchi, H. (2015). Gallstone disease and obesity: a population-based study on abdominal fat distribution and gender differences.Annals of hepatology,14(5), 702-709.
    7. [7] Hisatsugu, T., Igimi, H., & Nishimura, M. (1972).Dissolution of human gallstone. The Japanese Journal of Surgery, 2(2), 62-72.
    8. [8] Iqbal, J., Zaib, S., Farooq, U., Khan, A., Bibi, I., & Suleman, S. (2012).Antioxidant, Antimicrobial, and Free Radical Scavenging Potential of Aerial Parts of Periploca aphylla and Ricinus communis. ISRN Pharmacology, 2012, 1-6.
    9. [9] Ellis, W. R., Somerville, K. W., Whitten, B. H., & Bell, G. D. (1984). Pilot study of combination treatment for gall stones with medium dose chenodeoxycholic acid and a terpene preparation.Br Med J (Clin Res Ed),289(6438), 153-156.
    10. [10] Li, Y., Li, M., Wu, S., & Tian, Y. (2015).Combination of curcumin and piperine prevents formation of gallstones in C57BL6 mice fed on lithogenic diet: whether NPC1L1/SREBP2 participates in this process? Lipids in Health and Disease, 14(1).
    11. [11] Barros, M. E., Schor, N., & Boim, M. A. (2003). Effects of an aqueous extract from Phyllantus niruri on calcium oxalate crystallization in vitro.Urological research,30(6), 374-379.
    12. [12] Nazıroğlu, M., Güler, M., Özgül, C., Saydam, G., Küçükayaz, M., & Sözbir, E. (2014). Apple cider vinegar modulates serum lipid profile, erythrocyte, kidney, and liver membrane oxidative stress in ovariectomized mice fed high cholesterol.The Journal of Membrane Biology,247(8), 667-673.
    13. [13] Gaby, A. R. (2009). Nutritional approaches to prevention and treatment of gallstones.Alternative medicine review,14(3), 258.
    14. [14] Walcher, T., Haenle, M. M., Kron, M., Hay, B., Mason, R. A., … Kratzer, W. (2009).Vitamin C supplement use may protect against gallstones: an observational study on a randomly selected population. BMC Gastroenterology, 9(1).
    15. [15] Kritchevsky, D., Tepper, S. A., & Klurfeld, D. M. (1984). Effect of pectin and cellulose on formation and regression of gallstones in hamsters.Experientia,40(4), 350-351.
    16. [16] Vidyashankar, S., Sambaiah, K., & Srinivasan, K. (2008).Dietary garlic and onion reduce the incidence of atherogenic diet-induced cholesterol gallstones in experimental mice. British Journal of Nutrition, 101(11), 1621.
    17. [17] Ko, C. W. (2008).Magnesium: Does a Mineral Prevent Gallstones? The American Journal of Gastroenterology, 103(2), 383–385.
    18. [18] Kim, J. K., Cho, S. M., Kang, S. H., Kim, E., Yi, H., Yun, E. S., … Lee, D. K. (2012).N-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid attenuates cholesterol gallstones by suppressing mucin production with a high cholesterol diet in mice. Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, 27(11), 1745–1751.
    19. [19] Schwesinger, W. H., Kurtin, W. E., Page, C. P., Stewart, R. M., & Johnson, R. (1999).Soluble dietary fiber protects against cholesterol gallstone formation. The American Journal of Surgery, 177(4), 307–310.
    20. [20] Angelico, M., Mogavero, L., Baiocchi, L., Nistri, A., & Gandin, C. (1995). Dissolution of human cholesterol gallstones in bile salt/lecithin mixtures: effect of bile salt hydrophobicity and various pHs.Scandinavian Journal Of Gastroenterology,30(12), 1178-1185.
    21. [21] Toouli, J., Jablonski, P., & Watts, J. M. (1975).GALLSTONE DISSOLUTION IN MAN USING CHOLIC ACID AND LECITHIN. The Lancet, 306(7945), 1124–1126.
    22. [22] Zhang, Y.-P., Li, W.-Q., Sun, Y.-L., Zhu, R.-T., & Wang, W.-J. (2015).Systematic review with meta-analysis: coffee consumption and the risk of gallstone disease. Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics, 42(6), 637–648.
    23. [23] Lillemoe, K. D., Magnuson, T. H., High, R. C., Peoples, G. E., & Pitt, H. A. (1989). Caffeine prevents cholesterol gallstone formation.Surgery,106(2), 400-407.
    24. [24] Gottlieb, S. (1999). More coffee, fewer gallstones.BMJ: British Medical Journal,318(7199), 1646.
    25. [25] Thornton, J. R., Emmett, P. M., & Heaton, K. W. (1983). Diet and gall stones: effects of refined and unrefined carbohydrate diets on bile cholesterol saturation and bile acid metabolism.Gut,24(1), 2-6.
    26. [26] Jonnalagadda, S. S., Trautwein, E. A., & Hayes, K. C. (1995). Dietary fats rich in saturated fatty acids (12∶ 0, 14∶ 0, and 16∶ 0) enhance gallstone formation relative to monounsaturated fat (18∶ 1) in cholesterol‐fed hamsters.Lipids,30(5), 415-424.

    Read more about: gallbladder diet food home remedies
    We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. This includes cookies from third party social media websites and ad networks. Such third party cookies may track your use on Boldsky sites for better rendering. Our partners use cookies to ensure we show you advertising that is relevant to you. If you continue without changing your settings, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on Boldsky website. However, you can change your cookie settings at any time. Learn more