What is a Gallbladder Flush? (with pictures)

Ron Marr
Ron Marr
Several abdominal organs, including the gallbladder.
Several abdominal organs, including the gallbladder.

Home remedies tend to come and go in terms of popularity, yet some seem to linger. Falling into the latter category would be a homeopathic treatment known as a gallbladder flush. This procedure purports to naturally cleanse the body of gallstones, eliminating pain and removing the necessity of surgery. Most Western medical authorities believe this process simply doesn’t work, however, and may even pose a degree of danger for those attempting it.

A gallbladder flush attempts to naturally cleanse the body of gallstones.
A gallbladder flush attempts to naturally cleanse the body of gallstones.

Proponents of a gallbladder flush claim that by consuming a combination of herbs, oils, foods, and juices, gallstones will be flushed out of the tiny organ. The gallbladder itself plays a part in digestion, primarily by collecting and concentrating the bile that is produced in the liver. Advocates of the flushing approach say this treatment will flush gallstones from the body through the natural process of elimination.

Almost all methods detailing a gallbladder flush involve drinking varying amounts of olive oil, apple juice, and lemon juice. There is generally a fasting period involved. Other recipes include large amounts of water, herbal combinations, raw fruits and vegetables, and sometimes the extracts of rare or exotic plants. There are many different recipes for homeopathic versions of a gallbladder flush.

Certain herbs can be beneficial to one’s well-being when administered correctly. In this sense, they are much like vitamins, minerals, and natural oils, all of which can bring on positive effects when used as a dietary supplement. Without doubt, consuming fruits and vegetables is also a smart choice.

The potential dangers of a gallbladder flush lie in the fact that some people may have allergies or serious reactions to the various ingredients that are consumed. Sometimes the combination of these ingredients leads to intense vomiting and diarrhea. Most medical professionals believe that the only safe method of removing gallstones comes via the care of a qualified medical doctor. Sometimes sound waves can be used to crush the stones, and sometimes the gall bladder is removed entirely.

There have been no scientific studies that prove a gallbladder flush works. Having gallstones can be an extremely serious issue, and if left untreated can be fatal. They can affect the liver and pancreas, in addition to the gallbladder, and cause significant damage. Anyone who may be experiencing gallstones should see a doctor as soon as possible to determine what type of treatment is best.

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Discussion Comments


Gallstones? Or something far less serious?

A 2005 piece in the journal Lancet related the story of a 40-year-old woman who embarked on a series of “cleanses” upon the advice of her herbalist. The patient consumed 600 ml of olive oil and 300 ml of lemon juice then “passed” several semisolid objects via her bowels several hours later.

The patient then took what she apparently thought were gallstones to a clinic and had them looked at by medical professionals. According to the doctors who examined this patient and her stones, the “stones” were simply very, very crude balls of -- soap.

Soap? Yes. Your “Gallstones” are soap.

Before you dismiss this story as just another one of those stupid urban myths, think about it for a moment. Soap is, after all, just a salt made up of some kind of fatty acid mixed with some kind of alkaline. The olive oil provided the fatty acid and the lemon juice provided the potassium. Mix in a little bile from the gallbladder, because bile is, remember, an emulsifier, and you have soap. Not a very good soap, but soap nonetheless.

This “cleansing” method for clearing the gallbladder of gallstones was made popular by authors like Hulda Clark and is often discussed on natural health forums. But, as you can see, at least in the case documented in the Lancet, what’s being “cleansed” has nothing to do with your gallbladder.


Your article reeks of ignorance and a false sense of superiority over natural healing methods.

I encourage you to come down from you perceived ivory tower and honestly look at the verifiable evidence behind not only gallbladder flushes but natural healing methods on the whole, that has been around much longer than Western Medicine and has much more success in dealing with day to day ailments.

Unlike Western Medicine which gets rich off people sickness and disease whether real or not. Many of the natural remedies can be effectively dealt with through the use of holistic foods and herbs. No one is getting rich off of that, least of all Western Medicine which of course explains the negativity, and hysteria involved in critiquing natural healing methods. The AMA isn't concerned with people being hurt they're concerned with not making millions of dollars.

The tradition Medical Establishments day of reigning as it has with the blind following the blind is limited. The public is sick and tired of the lies and hype, overpriced and under effective treatments.

May we return to the ways of wisdom and as Hippocrates said "Let food be our medicine and medicine be our food." --Teressa

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    • Several abdominal organs, including the gallbladder.
      Several abdominal organs, including the gallbladder.
    • A gallbladder flush attempts to naturally cleanse the body of gallstones.
      A gallbladder flush attempts to naturally cleanse the body of gallstones.