My Natural Treatments and Remedies for a Bad Gallbladder

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Filed Under: Gallbladder Problems, Digestive Health
Last Reviewed 02/06/2014

My Natural Treatments and Remedies for a Bad Gallbladder

Boost the function of a bad gallbladder naturally

Improper gallbladder function makes it difficult to digest any fats in the diet, which can cause a wide variety of symptoms. Luckily, there are a few natural treatments you can try to boost the function of a bad gallbladder.

Flush the Gallbladder Out

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.

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Food and Nutrients to Promote Bile Flow

There are a number of foods and supplements that can stimulate the production and flow of bile, whether you have a bad gallbladder or even after the removal of your gallbladder. Try:

  • Red beets and beet top extracts. Several nutritional companies have developed very effective extracts from the beet plant, particularly the top, that enhance bile flow. Combining beet extracts with bile salts improves the overall effectiveness of the product. You can find these extracts at many health food stores.
  • Artichokes. Leaves from the artichoke plant contain caffeylquinic acids, which promote bile flow. The simplest and least expensive way to benefit from these compounds is to eat the artichoke leaves. They're easy to both prepare and eat. Place two artichokes in a shallow, glass baking dish with about 1/2 to 1 inch of water in the bottom. Cover with plastic wrap and cook in a microwave on high for four to five minutes. To eat, simply break off each leaf and scrape the flesh from the leaf between your teeth and throw the pithy part of the leaf away.
  • Sauerkraut and sauerkraut juice. When used regularly, sauerkraut and its juice will promote bile output. A cup of the juice by itself taken once or twice a week before breakfast has worked wonders for dozens of my patients. And it's easy to make homemade sauerkraut.

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Manipulation to Promote Bile Flow

Stimulating certain reflex points can also help normalize the flow of bile, whether you have a bad gallbladder or even after the removal of your gallbladder. The following technique is adapted from the brilliant work of Dr. Bertrand de Jarnette. It involves the use of a combination of acupuncture meridian points, as well as foot and neurolymphatic reflexes. Two or three sessions over the first week followed by a weekly session can make a dramatic difference in the way you feel. All you need is an able and willing assistant.

The four points you need to know are:

  • Acupuncture point large intestine-4 or LI-4, located in the web of skin between the thumb and index finger on the right hand.
  • The reflex point for the small intestine on the bottom of the right foot.
  • The edge of the rib cage overlying the gallbladder, which also happens to be the acupuncture alarm point for the gallbladder or GB-24.
  • The area where the gallbladder bile duct and the pancreatic bile duct meet before dumping into the small intestine (also called the Ampulla of Vater) is located 11/2 in. to the right of the bellybutton and then 3 in. below that.

There are five steps to the procedure:

  1. Grasp the LI-4 point on the patient's right hand between your thumb and index finger and apply a squeezing pressure with a circular-type motion until the pain in the area decreases.

    Bile flow maneuver step 1
  2. Using your thumb, rub the bottom of the right foot in a circular motion until the pain begins to subside.

    Bile flow maneuver step 2
  3. Cup your right hand so that the ends of your fingers are even and gently contact the bottom edge of the right rib cage. Hold just a slight pressure there for a minute or so to help relax the gallbladder. You may feel a gurgling or emptying of the gallbladder.

    Bile flow maneuver step 3
    Once you've performed the above three steps, then proceed with the next two.
  4. With your left thumb and index finger, again grasp the LI-4 point on the right hand. Place your other index finger over the Ampulla of Vater. Apply about 2 lbs. of pressure to each site and hold it for three or four minutes.

    Bile flow maneuver step 4
  5. Next, apply direct, steady pressure of about 4 lbs. to the reflex point on the bottom of the right foot while at the same time applying 2 lbs. of pressure with your opposite hand to the Ampulla of Vater.

    Bile flow maneuver step 5

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More Dr. Williams Advice on Gallbladder Problems

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