If you have gallstones, you know the pain and discomfort that goes along with them. As of October 2017, it’s been reported that about 20 million people in the US suffer from gallstones, and within that population around 300,000 gallbladder surgeries are performed each year (1). As we age, the chances of developing gallstones increases, and if you’re a woman that chance is even greater. If left untreated, gallstones may further lead to inflammation of the gallbladder, infections, and other complications with the digestive process.

Gallstones typically occur due to imbalances in the components that make up the bile found in your gallbladder. Common culprits can be too much cholesterol in your bile, excess bilirubin, suboptimal gallbladder function related to not emptying fully or often enough, and lack of bile salts (2). Most stones are made up of a mix of these components but generally there are two types, 80% of them are made of hardened cholesterol and 20% of them are called pigment stones, which are made from bilirubin (2)(4). Though gallstones can range in composition, signs and symptoms of gallstone discomfort are the same (1).

Some conventional treatments of gallstones usually involve surgery to remove the gallstones or the gallbladder itself.

If you have gallstones, there are some supplement formulas that may help dissolve or ease the passage of them on their own naturally:

Planetary Herbals Stone Free: provides kidney and gallbladder support, promotes healthy organ function, help’s the body’s natural cleansing processes, aids in normal fluid elimination and bile production. This formula was developed by world-renowned herbalist Michael Tierra, L.Ac., O.M.D. and contains:

  • Parsley root: supports the eliminative function of the kidneys and assists in the balance of fluids in the body.
  • Marshmallow root: may soothe, moisten, and protect the genitourinary tract.
  • Coin-leaf, Desmodium, and Lysimachia: helps to rid the body of mineral waste by stimulating the production of bile, may help to flush and detoxify the gallbladder which can aid in the break-down of fat deposit build-up common with high fat, low fiber diets. 
  • Dandelion Root and Turmeric: bitter substances that support digestion, support normal bile flow, and supports the liver’s natural detoxification pathways.
  • Licorice root: is soothing and assists with the excretion of toxins and waste.
  • Ginger Root and Lemon Balm Leaf-  aid in digestion and elimination.

Herb Pharm Stone Breaker: May be beneficial for both kidney and gallstones

  • Stone Breaker (Chanca Piedra) herb: this herb’s name means “stone crusher”, may help with inflammation, act as a diuretic, and help in the breakdown of gallstones.

Also Contains Hydrangea Root, Celery Seed, and Burdock Seed


In addition to supplements, there are some lifestyle changes to consider when supporting your gallbladder and possibly prevent future gallstone formation from occurring (4):

When losing weight, do so in a slow and sustainable way, as crash dieting can increase chances of gallstone formation.

Drink at least 8 glasses of water a day, this helps to keep the bile in your gallbladder fluid instead of thick and sticky and helps support the fat digestion process.

Some foods to avoid when supporting gallbladder health:

  • Sugar: high sugar intake can lead to inflammation and weight gain, thus increasing the risk of developing gallbladder issues
  • Fried Foods and Hydrogenated Oils: such as fast foods, packaged foods, and processed oils
  • Conventional Dairy Products: non- pasture raised, or grass-fed sources are more inflammatory than their counterparts and may increase your chances of developing gallstones
  • High Fat Heavy Meals: try eating smaller meals throughout the day with smaller amounts of fat consumed in one sitting.

This information is not intended as personal medical advice and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

 

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK448145/
  2. https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/digestive-diseases/gallstones/definition-facts#develop
  3. http://doctormurray.com/health-conditions/gallstones/
  4. https://www.drweil.com/health-wellness/body-mind-spirit/liver-kidney/gallstones/