Given that this is an article about natural remedies for gallstones, please patiently humour me whist I talk about the liver.
The liver has a huge daily work load to carry out. Not simply from processing what we intentionally put into our bodies, but also because we inhabit an increasingly toxic world. Any discomfort that signals the sign of gallstones, such as wind, pain under the right ribs, indigestion and heartburn, serves as a warning about the liver too. Whilst we have little control over our external environment, we can and must take care of our livers!
The formation of gall sediment or small stones is directly related to liver and bile function. Bile works with the enzyme “lipase” to break down the fats in foods.
Paul Pitchford, author of a mammoth book – of the size that if it fell on your head would likely kill you – states that if the liver is stagnant, then the sediment settles and accumulates in the gall bladder. He points the way to some gentle gall bladder cleansing, using the combined wisdom of Asian medicine and a whole food diet.
In conventional medicine, if someone suffers repeated pain from the accumulation of gall stones in the gallbladder, the answer is to remove the gall bladder, obviously taking all the stones with it. It appears from studies that some people are more predisposed due to hereditary factors to suffer with gall stones, but any wrong in the body can be righted with enough attention to diet and healing. It just may take more consistently applied attention to the matter, for some.
Why Thin Thighs Are Not Necessarily Healthy
It doesn’t really make a lot of sense to me, removing a vital part of the body. Diet and exercise expert Rosemary Conley was given this option back around 1990. The thought appalled her so much, that she took the only other option offered to her which was a fat free diet.
From this arose her empire of low fat weight loss as her life long chunky thighs and hips dissolved before her eyes. “The Hip and Thigh Diet” sold millions of books. I used this diet myself. (Pre raw I did a lot of diets). This one worked really well, and I got the slim thighs I longed for.
However, little did I know then about EFA’s (essential fatty acids), named as such because they ARE essential to health. So for anyone wanting to live a healthy life, it does not make long term sense to be on a very low fat diet, and does not come under the natural remedies for gallstones spotlight in my opinion.
The Gentle Approach
Pre raw I would not have been so gentle with my approach to what I put my body through. I found through eating a high raw diet, I become a lot more aware of what my body wanted in terms of treatments and remedies from food or herbs. So although I have carried out the “standard” gallstone/liver flush on 3 or 4 occasions, it is not the way I would approach this now. I feel there are better options to solve the problem than this. As fellow raw fooder Hugh puts it on his website:
“There is a liver cleanse that involves consuming apple juice for a few days and then consuming Epsom salts, later a large quantity of olive oil with grapefruit juice, followed the next day by more Epsom salts. Some praise this plan for the “stones” released and others claim those stones to be solidified olive oil from the night before. I have done that cleanse and the stones did seem to be comprised of fat, and I did not notice any positive effects other than feeling very glad to be done with the cleanse itself. Raw food juicing and blending are definitely gentler, are easier, more natural, and are known to work well.”
I feel that one very good reason for this, is that it sets you on a healthy course for life, re-educating your taste buds as well as your brain. Whereas if we get half a chance, the all too human temptation is to do some cleansing as a one off, then revert back to our usual habits. Plus drinking Epsom salts is particularly disgusting. I drink and love bitter-ish green juices, so if I say something is disgusting, trust me it is!
I have come to respect my body, and know that treating it gently is the right way, coaxing it to health rather than whipping it.
The Bitter the Better
Your liver loves being stimulated with bitter greens, and there is a bottled mix on the market called Swedish Bitters. But if you have a juicer and can make your own concoction, then this of course is best. Why? Because it is fresh. Fresh beats bottled any time.
Use a mix of leaves such as dandelion, mustard, endive, rocket or kale, along with cucumber, celery and apples. Add a dash of cinnamon and a bit of grated ginger and yum’s almost the word.
Drink apple cider vinegar or lemon juice, in water, 10 mins before a meal. These are cleansing drinks, but also help stimulate the digestive process, which subsequently aids the liver.
Taking these steps will prevent the formation of stones, and will help dissolve any present.
Finally, another item that belongs in the natural remedies for gallstones category is the herb Chanca Piedra (stone breaker). This has been proven to aid in the dissolving of gallstones. Please seek herbalist advice for this, and don’t assume that standard health shop herbal teabags will do the trick. Herbs work wonderfully well, but only if they are the real thing, and not some dried up remains.