Gallbladder Cleanse – Benefits, How to do (VIDEO)

Gallbladder stones (Cholelithiasis) and inflammation (Cholecystitis) mostly (80%) do not cause any symptoms.

The stones in gallbladder are generally asymptomatic and are found during investigating for other problems.

In symptomatic cases, the most common symptom is pain in the abdomen. The location and details of gallbladder pain can be viewed in detail by clicking here.

In symptomatic gallbladder stones, the gallbladder has to be removed surgically, or by sound wave therapy or bile salt tablets.

Many articles and papers can be found on the internet and other media supporting alternative methods to dissolve or push out these stones by methods generally called as gallbladder flush, gallbladder cleanse or liver flush.

To understand the reality about these methods, keep reading on (1, 2, 3, 13).


Gallstones are not real stones but formed due to hardening of certain digestive juices.

They may be single or multiple and can vary in sizes from small as a sand grain to that of golf ball size.

They can be formed due to increased cholesterol production, increased bilirubin or incomplete or insufficient gallbladder emptying.

Certain risk factors have been found to be associated with increased incidence of gallstones.

Females of 40 years or more of age, fatty appearance, pregnancy, high fat diet, low fiber diet, liver disease, diabetes, oral contraceptives etc are considered risk factors for gallstones (14, 15) .

Types of gallstones

  1. Cholesterol stone: Majority (80%) of the gallstones are this type. They contain cholesterol which are un-dissolved and few other components. This gives them a yellow or yellowish-green appearance (14, 15).
  2. Pigment stone: They are formed from bile pigments, which when produced in larger amount can become hardened in the gallbladder or the ducts. They appear brownish or black in colour and can be smaller in size and multiple in number (14, 15).

Image showing types of gallstones photo pictureImage 1: Image showing types of gallstones.
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What is Gallbladder cleanse/flush?

Certain alternative medicine proponents and supporters do speak a lot on alternative methods of removing gallstones without surgery.

These methods include removal of the stones by means of certain diet, oil or fruits. Proper and detailed research material or information has not been available regarding these methods, yet.

Either the researches have been conducted on a small sample population or large researches by trustable scientific authorities have not been available on the said subject.

It is important for any person who is suffering from gallbladder stones, to understand the propagated effects and probable adverse effects of all methods included in treatment of the condition, before deciding on any treatment protocol.

Obviously, the choice is personal, because the results may vary from person to person (3).

Olive oil and lemon juice gallbladder flush image photo picture

Picture 2: Olive oil and lemon juice gallbladder flush.
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How is gallbladder flush or liver flush done?

The aim of this method is to push out maximum of gallbladder stones along with the stool.

According to certain journals, few hours of fasting followed by ingestion of olive oil and lemon juice in prescribed amounts at prescribed intervals help in releasing the stones to the stool.

Enema also is used to help in passage of the stool easily. Other method includes use of fresh apple juice and vegetable juice. The process results in passage of soft green or brown spheroids in the stool.

These were considered to be gallstones released in stool. Some reports say Epsom salt has been used for gallbladder cleansing.

Epsom salt is magnesium sulphate and causes contraction of the gallbladder while relaxing the muscles that control the release of bile into the intestine (4, 5, 6, 7, 11).

Interestingly, the subjects who had undergone gallbladder flush did not do any follow up checks to see if they were free of gallstones.

Neither were the globules in stool subjected to study if they were really bile stones. Investigations had shown that these spherules were soap globules formed due to interaction of olive oil with lemon juice.

It was also shown that they were not gallstones. Some follow up studies had shown a reduction in the gallstones following the treatment.

However, I could not find any trust worthy research data showing a supportive view towards this mode of alternative treatment for removing gallbladder stones (7, 8, 9, 10).

How does it work?

The idea behind the process of flushing the gallbladder or biliary duct is by increasing gallbladder contractions.

This causes the gallbladder stones to dislodge from the gallbladder and pass on to the ducts.

One should be aware that whenever a larger stone is present in the gallbladder, it can obstruct the already inflamed gallbladder outflow and cause much worse pain.

Similarly, the bile duct which opens into the intestine gets relaxed with certain substances such as Epsom salt. This helps the stone to pass into the intestine easily.

Again, a stone can always get lodged within the bile duct and cause obstruction. Whenever the obstruction is present in the bile duct or in the gallbladder, it can lead to severe abdominal pain associated with nausea and vomiting (11).

Does gallbladder flush cause any side effects?

In general, though they do not cause any side effects, it cannot be completely said as free from adverse effects.

Patients who had undergone this treatment often experienced diarrhoea and abdominal pain. Vomiting may be observed in some patients.

If a gallstone dislodges from the gallbladder and enters into the bile duct, there is a possibility of the duct getting blocked by the stone which may lead to severe gallbladder attack.

One case of biliary pancreatitis was reported in a patient who underwent gallbladder flushing (6, 7, 12).

How can gallstones be prevented?

  1. Reduce obesity/overweight: A gradual reduction in bodyweight by reducing the consumption of high cholesterol diet can help.
  2. Increase dietary fibers: Increasing fiber in diet helps in excreting extra cholesterol and fats in the consumed food.
  3. Increase physical activity: Regular exercise can burn the extra calories stored in your body (14, 16).

A healthy diet helps in prevention of gallstones image photo picture

Photo 3: A healthy diet helps in prevention of gallstones.
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Finally a video from on on natural ways and remedies to a Healthy Gallbladder


  4. Kotkas L. Spontaneous passage of gallstones. J R Soc Med 1985;78:971.
  5. Dekkers R. Apple juice and the chemical-contact softening of gallstones. Lancet 1999;354:2171.
  8. Sies CW, Brooker J. Could these be gallstones? Lancet 2005;365:1388
  9. Bhalotra R. “The liver and gallbladder flush”. J Clin Gastroenterol 1990;12:243
  10. Savage AP, O’Brien T, Lamont PM. Adjuvant herbal treatment for gallstones. Br J Surg 1992;79:168
  12. S. U. Christl, Biliäre Pankreatitis nach alternativmedizinischer Leberreinigung, Die Medizinische Welt 2006; 57 12:596-598. (article in German)
  13. Lee, JY; Keane, MG; Pereira, S (June 2015). “Diagnosis and treatment of gallstone disease”. The Practitioner. 259 (1783): 15–9, 2

Published on September 28th, 2018 by under Uncategorized.
Article was last reviewed on January 12th, 2022.

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