How to Perform a Gallbladder Flush

by Dr. David Williams
Filed Under: Gallbladder Problems, Digestive Health
Last Reviewed 02/06/2014

Clean out your gallbladder for optimal function

To ensure a free flow of bile, both into and out of the gallbladder, you should clean this organ out with a gallbladder flush. It's simple to perform, but if you have a history of gallstones or other gallbladder issues, I suggest you check with your doctor first to rule out the possibility that you have any large calcified gallstones that might not be able to pass through the bile duct during the flush. And, obviously, you don't need to perform the flush if you’ve had your gallbladder removed.

The gallbladder flush requires one week, beginning on a Monday and ending on a Sunday. Before you begin you'll need to purchase:

  • Plenty of apple juice or cider (not concentrate, but the real thing, without added sugars)
  • Standard Process Disodium Phosphate Capsules (you can purchase these online)
  • Citrus fruits for fresh-squeezed juice (you can substitute canned or bottled citrus fruit if you prefer) and to eat whole
  • Unrefined olive oil, which is available at most health food stores
  • Lemon juice

Then, starting on Monday morning, follow these instructions:

  1. Monday morning through noon on Saturday, drink as much apple juice or apple cider as your appetite will permit, in addition to your regular meals.
  2. At noon on Saturday, eat a normal lunch.
  3. Three hours later (at 3 p.m.), take 1 serving (3 capsules) of disodium phosphate with 8 ounces of water.
  4. Two hours later (at 5 p.m.), repeat step 3.
  5. Limit your evening meal to grapefruit or grapefruit juice, or other citrus fruits or juices.
  6. At bedtime, take either:
    ½ cup of unrefined olive oil followed by a small glass of grapefruit juice, or
    ½ cup of warm, unrefined olive oil blended with ½ cup of lemon juice.
  7. Go immediately to bed. For the first 30 minutes, lie on your right side with your right knee pulled up close to your chest.
  8. The next morning, one hour before breakfast, take 1 serving (3 capsules) of disodium phosphate with 8 ounces of water.
  9. Continue with your normal diet and activities.

What You Can Expect During the Gallbladder Flush

Some people feel slightly nauseated while they're drinking the olive oil and citrus juice mixture. If you do, don't fret. The feeling will disappear soon enough.

You may also feel some discomfort in the area of your gallbladder—what's known as the upper right quadrant, on the right side of your abdomen just below the rib cage. This is actually a good sign because it indicates your gallbladder is being stimulated. This feeling will also pass with time.

On Sunday, you'll likely feel the urge to defecate and may notice a change in the nature of your bowel movement. This is natural and is a result of the increased amount of bile released after the gallbladder flush.

Some people report the presence of what look like dark green peas or even marbles in their stool. This is softened material from the gallbladder that has not yet become calcified. Again, it's not cause for alarm, and indicates that the gallbladder cleansing has been effective.

More Dr. Williams Advice on Gallbladder Problems

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