Some of the most common problems in your body’s health comes from an often-overlooked organ:  your Gallbladder.  

What does your Gallbladder do?  It stores bile which is made from the toxins filtered out of your blood by your Liver and in turn, releases bile acids to aids in the digestion of fats.  This is an important step in the digestive process.  

In Chinese medicine, your Gallbladder does even more than this:  

  • gallbladder meridianYour Gallbladder channel (system of nerves, muscle tissue, and blood vessels connected to the functioning of your Gallbladder) runs from just outside of your eyes, around your ears and side of your head and neck, over the tops of your shoulders, down your sides, intersecting with your gall bladder and liver organs internally, through the sides of your hips, legs, and ending on your 4th toes.  
  • Governs decision-making and assertiveness (having the “gall” to do something).
  • Balances your Liver.  If your Liver is weak (from chronic stress, improper diet, medication, etc.), your Gallbladder helps to balance out the problem and you may experience pain along the Gallbladder channel.

Some common problems associated with Gallbladder toxicity***:

  • Gallstones
  • Vomiting, nausea, bloating, or pain along the upper abdomen (just under your ribcage)
  • Headaches along the temples or sides of your head
  • Shoulder and neck tension
  • Acne
  • UTI, bacteria vaginosis, yeast infection, or prostate inflammation
  • Achiness and swelling in the lower body
  • Anxiety
  • Fatigue
  • Hypertension

***The only way to properly diagnose a Gallbladder problem is with a licensed healthcare practitioner.  Many of the problems associated with a toxic or congested Gallbladder may be related to other types of imbalances in your body, especially fatigue and anxiety.  If you attempt to diagnose yourself and do a Gallbladder cleanse without consulting a registered healthcare practitioner, you may end up feeling worse.  

In the case of toxicity, or we say “excess condition” in Chinese medicine, you will almost always observe other signs as well:  

  • Bright red tongue with yellow, thick tongue coating 
  • Strong smell (of the urine, body odor, etc.)
  • Warm temperature of the skin to the touch
  • Strong body-type (not frail, weak body-type)
  • Loud voice
  • Tendency for higher-than-average blood pressure and pulse rate

Interesting fact:  China has the lowest rate of gall bladder removal surgery in the world!  With Chinese herbal medicine, we can actually shrink gallstones and improve gallbladder functioning without surgery.  They have been doing this successfully for thousands of years.  

Other important things to keep your Gallbladder healthy:

  • Ease up on the french fries and other fried foods
  • Same goes for the extra-spicy foods and alcohol
  • Eat more greens.  Your Liver-Gallbladder complex resonates with the color of green and the flavor of sour.  Have some lime with your water and eat your salads every day.  Do a shot of wheat grass if you get the chance.  
  • Try to go “gluten-free”.  Often, an undiagnosed sensitivity to gluten products (wheat-based breads, pasta, cereal, pastries, tortillas, etc.) is the underlying cause to many Gallbladder problems.  

If you know that you have Gallstones or other symptoms of Gallbladder congestion, you can also try this at-home cleanse.  It is very safe to do, but as always, please consult first with a healthcare practitioner to make sure that it is suitable for your individual body constitution.  The elderly should not try this and should seek other variations of Gallbladder treatment.   

Beginning in the morning and throughout the day, eat only apples, preferably organic, as many as desired, but at least four-to-five. Apples of the green variety seem most effective, although all apples will help soften the stones. Water, herbal teas, and/or apple juice may also be consumed (organic apple juice, with sediment at bottom). At bed-time, warm up 2/3 cup of virgin olive oil to body temperature and mix in 1/3 cup of fresh squeezed lemon juice. Slowly sip the entire mixture, and then immediately go to bed, lying on your right side, with the right leg (or both legs) drawn up. In the morning, all the stones should pass in the stool.

This remedy has undoubtedly made gallbladder operations unnecessary in thousands of likely candidates. An added benefit is that gallbladder cleansing clears residues of excess from your liver as well.

Do not be alarmed by short-term (~24 hrs) loose bowel movements or diarrhea with this flush, that is a normal reaction. Your body is cleansing and purging toxins.

A mild variation of the Gallbladder Flush: For five consecutive days, ingest on an empty stomach 2 tablespoons of olive oil, followed by 2 tablespoons of lemon juice.