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The gallbladder is a small pouch shaped organ, which maintains the bile flow to the intestines during digestion. However, the gallbladder can sometimes become hardened and filled with stones, a condition known as cholelithiasis or gallstones. Gall bladder stone can cause a lot of pain and discomfort and finding relief can be a challenge. If you’re struggling with gallbladder stones, there is hope.
Ayurvedic medicine offers a safe and effective alternative to invasive procedures as surgery. Ayurvedic treatment for gall stone can help to dissolve stones, improve digestion, and reduce inflammation in your body. It will help you to find relief from gall bladder stone and also prevent cholelithiasis from recurring.
In this blog post, we will explore some of the most effective Ayurvedic remedies for gall bladder stone treatment.
What are gall bladder stones?
The gallbladder is a small, pear-shaped organ that sits just below the liver. It stores bile, a yellow-greenish fluid produced by the liver and released into the small intestine during digestion. Bile helps to break down fats absorb fat-soluble vitamins in the digestive process.
Gallstones are small stones that form in the gallbladder, made up of cholesterol, bilirubin and calcium salts. They can range in size from a grain of sand to a golf ball.
Type of Gallstones
- Cholesterol stones: mainly made up of cholesterol
- Bilirubin pigment stones: primarily made up of bilirubin and calcium salts
- Mixed stones: consists of cholesterol gallstones, salts and bilirubin pigment stone
Symptom of gall bladder stones
Gallstones can induce “gallstone attack” or , a severe and sudden abdominal pain that can become worse very fast. The pain usually ranges for 20 -30 minutes or for several hours in some cases. Gallstones pain is felt in the upper abdominal region just below the ribs on the right-hand side. It can also spread to your side or shoulder blade.
Other symptoms include:
- Digestive discomforts and pain after eating a fatty meal.
- Nausea and vomiting
- Bloating, gas, constipation and indigestion
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- Acid reflux, GERD and heartburn
- Fever and chills
- Jaundice and yellowish skin, tongue and eyes
- Pale color stools
- Dark urine
- Low hunger and irregular appetite
- Skin rashes and foggy memory
If gallstones become large enough, they can block the common bile duct, a condition termed as acute cholecystitis. This can lead to serious complications like pancreatitis.
Diagnosis of gallstones
Gallstones are typically diagnosed using imaging tests like an ultrasound, CT scan, or MRI. Your doctor may also order blood tests to check for signs of infection or other problems. If gallstones are suspected, your doctor will likely recommend gallbladder removal surgery.
Causes of gall bladder stones
The most common cause of gallstones is an imbalance in the gallbladder’s ability to break down cholesterol. Other possible causes include obesity, pregnancy, certain medications, and a high-fat diet.
- High cholesterol
- Extreme weight loss
- Fatty Liver and Liver Disease
- Kidney Disease
- Too much fasting with intake of fatty diet
- Hormone therapy and birth control pills
- Obesity and being over weight
- High fat diet
- Health conditions as diabetes, thyroid disease and pcos in which metabolism is compromised
Gallstones formation: This is how it happens
Gallstones typically form due to two reasons:
- There is reduction in helpful enzymes due to poor liver function or poor gallbladder function. Thus, the gallbladder is not able to dissolve and break down the substances such as cholesterol, calcium salts and bilirubin in the bile. At high concentration, these substances can crystalline and settle as stone like material inside the gall bladder.
- There is too much cholesterol, bilirubin and calcium salts in the bile due to underlying health conditions. This also leads to crystallization of the salts as gallstones.
Additionally, both of these processes makes the bile very thick and viscous, making it hard to flow. Thus bile flow to and from the gall bladder goes down, increasing the chances of formation of sludge and stones inside the gall bladder.
The Risk factors for gall bladder stones
There are several risk factors for gallstones, including age, gender, diet, weight, and certain medical conditions. People who are overweight or obese are at a higher risk for gallstone formation. Other factors that can increase your risk of developing gallstones include having a family history of gallstones, eating a high-fat diet, and being over the age of 60.
Health complications when gallstones are not treated
If gallstones are not treated, they can also block the bile duct and cause an obstruction. This can lead to serious health complications like pancreatitis, biliary colic, and gallbladder disease. If gallstones are large or causing complications, surgery may be necessary to remove the gallbladder.
Conventional treatment options for gallstones
There are several treatment options for gallstones, depending on the severity of the condition. In some cases, gallstones can be treated with diet and lifestyle changes. If gallstones are large or causing complications, surgery may be necessary to remove the gallbladder. Other treatment options include oral dissolution therapy and gallbladder removal surgery.
Ayurvedic Treatment for gallstones
Gallstones are referred as “Pittashmari”, wherein “Ashmari” means stones or calculi and “Pitta” denotes the imbalanced Pitta dosha of bile in the gall bladder.
Ayurvedic treatment for gallstones focuses on gallbladder cleanse and liver flush, as well as improvement of digestion. Some of the most effective remedies include detoxification therapies like panchakarma, herbs like milk thistle and dandelion root, and dietary changes.
Here are the objectives of gall bladder stones Ayurvedic Treatment:
- activate the gall bladder, so as to make it contract and empty excess bile into the intestines
- stimulate the liver to secrete more bile and avert accumulation of cholesterol in the fluids
- promote liver healing and support liver function
- reduce cholesterol levels and help in losing weight
1. Ayurvedic medicines for gallstones treatment
Ayurvedic treatment to dissolve and treat gallstones involves potent cholagogues, choleretics and hepatoprotective herbs that help to stimulate bile production and help to dissolve gallstones, thus providing effective natural ways to flush out gallstones and improve gallbladder function. Some of these herbs include:
Ayurvedic Herbs that stimulate bile production and dissolve gallstones
– Turmeric (Curcuma longa)
– Ginger (Zingiber officinale)
– Garlic (Allium sativum)
– Bhumi amla (Phyllanthus amarus)
– Manjistha (Rubia cordifolia)
Ayurvedic herbs to reduce cholesterol levels in the body
– Guggul (Commiphora mukul)
– Shilajit (Asphaltum punjabium)
– Amalaki (Emblica officinalis)
– Haritaki (Terminalia chebula)
Ayurvedic herbs to remove blockage from bile ducts
– Chanca piedra (Phyllanthus niruri)
– Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale)
– Milk thistle (Silybum marianum)
– Turmeric (Curcuma longa)
– Burdock (Arctium lappa)
Ayurvedic herbs that can make the bile thin and support healthy liver function
– Yellow dock (Rumex crispus)
– Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale)
– Burdock (Arctium lappa)
– Milk thistle (Silybum marianum)
– Turmeric (Curcuma longa)
2. Diet and foods to prevent & treat gall bladder stones
Some dietary changes that can help with gallstones include:
Avoiding high -fat foods: A high-fat diet can increase the risk of gallstone formation. It is important to avoid fried foods, processed meats, and full-fat dairy products.
Increasing fiber intake: Fiber can help to reduce cholesterol levels in the body and promote healthy digestion. Foods that are high in fiber include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes.
Eating more healthy fats: Healthy fats can help to reduce inflammation and promote gallbladder health. Good sources of healthy fats include olive oil, avocados, nuts, and seeds.
Limiting sugar intake: Sugar can contribute to gallstone formation by increasing the amount of cholesterol in the gallbladder. It is important to limit sugar-sweetened beverages, desserts, and processed foods.
Avoid alcohol and caffeine: Alcohol and caffeine slow down liver function, affect bile quality and increase the risk of gall bladder stone formation. It is best to limit or avoid these substances altogether.
Avoid fried and spicy foods: Fried and spicy foods can trigger gallbladder attack and worsen gallstone symptom. It is best to avoid these foods when possible.
Stay hydrated: Drinking plenty of fluids can help to thin the bile and prevent gallbladder stone formation. It is important to drink at least 8 glasses of water per day.
Sip on herbal teas: Herbal teas can help to promote gallbladder health and relieve gallstone symptoms. Some good options include dandelion tea, milk thistle tea, and chamomile tea.
3. Ayurvedic Lifestyle changes for gallstones treatment
Some lifestyle changes that can help with gallstones include:
- Maintaining a healthy weight: Being overweight or obese is a risk factor for gallstone formation. Losing weight can help to reduce the risk of gallstones.
- Exercising regularly: Exercise can help to promote healthy digestion and reduce the risk of gallstone formation.
- Reducing stress: Stress can contribute to gallstone formation by affecting digestive function. Managing stress with relaxation techniques like yoga or meditation can help to reduce the risk of gallstones.
- Quitting smoking: Smoking is a risk factor for gallstone formation. Quitting smoking can help to reduce the risk of gallstones.
- Manage your blood sugar levels: If you have diabetes, it is important to control your blood sugar levels. High blood sugar levels can contribute to gallstone formation.
If you are struggling to make these lifestyle changes on your own, it may be helpful to consult with an experienced health care professional. They can provide guidance and support to help you reach your goals
4. Helpful Yoga asana for gall bladder stones
Yoga can be an effective treatment for gallstones. Yoga helps to promote healthy digestion and reduce stress levels. It is also beneficial for maintaining a healthy weight, stimulate the liver and gallbladder. Some helpful yoga asanas for gallstones include:
Paschimottanasana: This asana stretches the muscles of the back, shoulders, and chest.
Dhanurasana: This asana stretches the muscles of the back, shoulders, and chest.
Bhujangasana: This asana stretches the muscles of the back and spine.
Yoga is a gentle and effective way to improve gallbladder health. It is important to consult with a yoga instructor before beginning any new practice. They can help you choose the right asanas for your needs and abilities.
Gallstones can be a very painful and debilitating condition, but there is hope. With the right treatment, you can get rid of gallstones for good and find relief from your symptoms.
If you are suffering from gallstones, don’t hesitate to seek out professional help. Ayurvedic doctors are trained in the diagnosis and treatment of gallstones and can create a personalized treatment plan to suit your needs.
Consult with Medhya’s Ayurvedic Doctor to get your personalised health plan involving prescription for Ayurvedic medicine, diet, yoga and lifestyle guidelines.
Can gallstones go away without surgery?
Although many people believe that surgery is the only way to remove gallstones, this is not always the case. In a large number of cases, gallstones can be dissolved using natural methods, such as Ayurvedic medicine. Ayurveda is a holistic system of medicine that takes a whole-body approach to health. One of the tenets of Ayurveda is that imbalances in the body can lead to disease. As such, Ayurvedic treatments focus on restoring balance and supporting the body’s natural ability to heal. Ayurvedic medicine is an effective way to treat stones without resorting to surgery.
What triggers gallbladder pain?
The gallbladder is a small, pear-shaped organ that sits just below the liver. Its main function is to store bile, a yellowish-green fluid produced by the liver that helps to break down fats. However, the gallbladder can also be a source of pain for many people. Gallbladder pain is often caused by gallstones, hard deposits of cholesterol that form in the gallbladder. These stones can range in size from a grain of sand to a golf ball and can cause severe pain when they become lodged in the bile ducts. Other causes of gallbladder pain include inflammation of the gallbladder walls (cholecystitis), tumors, and infection. Most of the cases of gallbladder pain can be treated with proper treatment.
What is biliary sludge?
Biliary sludge or gall bladder sludge is a thick, viscous material that can form in the gallbladder. It is made up of cholesterol, bile pigments, and calcium salts. This can happen when the liver is not able to process cholesterol properly. Bile is normally stored in the gallbladder, where it is released when fat enters the intestine. However, if the bile becomes too thick and viscous, it may not be able to flow out of the gallbladder. As a result, biliary sludge can lead to gallstones and other health problems. Sludge can be caused by a variety of factors including diet , obesity, pregnancy, and certain medications. Ayurvedic doctors typically recommend a diet that is low in fat and cholesterol as a treatment for biliary sludge. In some cases, herbs and other supplements may also be recommended.
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About the Author
Dr. Pawan Bansal (Ayurveda Acharya)
Namaskar! I am a registered Medical Practitioner with more than 40 years of experience in Ayurvedic and Herbal treatment. Ayurvedic principles allow us to awaken the incredible physician within our body, help us to attain our potential, to perform, and to heal naturally.
Some areas in which I have successfully applied Ayurvedic medicine – Cysts, PCOS, Obesity, Fibroids, Infertility, Chronic Digestive Disorders, Autoimmune Disorders such as Thyroiditis, IBS, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Joint Pain, Inflammation, Chronic Cough, and Sinusitis.
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Ayurvedic Remedies: Various ayurvedic treatment use to remove gallbladder stones and some specific Ayurvedic remedies such as Shankavati, Sootasekar ras, Pravaalpanchaamrit, Hingwaashtak choorna, Avipattikar choorna, etc., are generally prescribed to dissolve gallbladder stone.Is there a way to dissolve gallstones without surgery? ›
If you can't or don't want to undergo surgery and your gallstones are small, one option is to take ursodiol (Actigall, Urso), a naturally occurring bile acid that helps dissolve cholesterol stones when taken by mouth two to four times a day.What drink dissolves gallstones? ›
In most cases, a gallbladder cleanse involves eating or drinking a combination of olive oil, herbs and some type of fruit juice over several hours. Proponents claim that gallbladder cleansing helps break up gallstones and stimulates the gallbladder to release them in stool.What things will dissolve gallstones? ›
Ursodiol link (Actigall) and chenodiol link (Chenix) are medicines that contain bile acids that can break up gallstones. These medicines work best to break up small cholesterol stones. You may need months or years of treatment to break up all stones.What are the best supplements to dissolve gallstones? ›
These include lecithin/phosphatidylcholine, choline, methionine, and glycine. Other supplements can help stimulate bile production to keep it flowing and prevent stones. These include Vitamin C and Vitamin E. Bitter herbs also stimulate the gallbladder and are known as cholagogues or choleretics.What medicine can shrink gallstones? ›
Ursodiol is used to dissolve gallstones in people who do not want surgery or cannot have surgery to remove gallstones. Ursodiol is also used to prevent the formation of gallstones in overweight people who are losing weight very quickly.How does turmeric affect gallstones? ›
Curcumin and Gallstones
If anything, curcumin may help protect liver function, and help prevent gallstones, by acting as a “cholecystokinetic agent”—meaning it facilitates the pumping action of the gallbladder, to keep the bile from stagnating.
This medicine is available only with your doctor's prescription. This product is available in the following dosage forms: Capsule. Tablet.Is ginger good for gallbladder attacks? ›
The NCCIH suggest that those with gallstone disease should be cautious when using ginger. This is because it may increase the flow of bile.How do you unclog a clogged bile duct? ›
The goal of treatment is to relieve the blockage. Stones may be removed using an endoscope during an ERCP. In some cases, surgery is required to bypass the blockage. The gallbladder will usually be surgically removed if the blockage is caused by gallstones.
Apple cider vinegar
While ACV may have positive effects on blood sugar, there are no studies to support the use of ACV for the treatment of gallstones. There is little evidence that cleanses are needed or effective.
In addition to medical treatments, there are several natural methods that can help treat gallbladder stones. These include: Drinking apple juice: This may help soften the stones and make them easier to dissolve. Taking apple cider vinegar: This can help detoxify the body.Can probiotics dissolve gallstones? ›
Furthermore, this probiotic treatment exhibited a marked gallstone dissolution effect. Hosomi et al also reported infestation of Clostridium butyricum Miyairi No. 588 in the intestine enhanced the excretion of bile acids and inhibited gallstones formation in mice.Can drinking lots of water dissolve gallstones? ›
Natural Ways to Dissolve Gallstones
A very effective way to dissolve gallstones naturally is by staying hydrated. Drinking at least six to eight glasses of water per day helps in keeping the bile production smooth.
The goodness of dietary fibre in cranberry juice aids in diminishing the cholesterol levels in the system, thus averting the formation of cholesterol gallstones. And for pigment stones, the acidic nature of the juice will assure that bile flows via the system to avert build-up.Can coconut oil help gallstones? ›
Since the gallbladder helps with digestion of fats, it is important to avoid most fats until you have surgery. Limited data is emerging that suggests that Coconut oil stimulates the gallbladder less than other oils and may reduce the risk of further attacks.How do you remove gallstones without removing the gallbladder? ›
Endoscopic retrograde cholangio-pancreatography (ERCP) is a procedure that can be used to remove gallstones from the bile duct. The gallbladder isn't removed during this procedure, so any stones in the gallbladder will remain unless they're removed using other surgical techniques.Does magnesium get rid of gallstones? ›
Magnesium can be a helpful component for gallbladder emptying. It can also ease gallbladder spasms and pain. Magnesium deficiency can increase the risk of gallstone formation.Can vitamin D cause gallstones? ›
Vitamin D plays an important role in regulation of bile salts and megalin thus preventing gallstones. Since an increase in Biliary Calcium was found during gallstone formation in various studies.Can Omega 3 dissolve gallstones? ›
It has been reported previously that ω-3 PUFA supplementation may modify the composition of biliary phosphatidylcholine (24). This change may stabilize the cholesterol-phospholipid vesicles, which play a significant role in preventing cholesterol nucleation and gallstone formation (25).
Among the different modes of treatment of gallbladder stones, homeopathy is considered to be an ideal method. Homeopathy successfully dissolves small and medium-sized gallstones and help you avoid the gallbladder removal.Does metformin dissolve gallstones? ›
These findings indicate that there is a duration-response relationship between the risk of gallstones and metformin use. That is, the protective effect on gallstones is greater for longer duration of metformin use.Is Honey good for gallstones? ›
A mixture of honey and turmeric: Honey's antiseptic nature prevents infection and the curcumin found in turmeric makes the bile more soluble in the gall bladder. These two herbs in tandem can ease the gall bladder pain and get relief from the stones too.Is ghee good for gallstones? ›
Limited amounts of foods high in fats and sugars. Limit saturated fat that is found in animal products, such as butter, ghee, cheese, meat, cakes, biscuits and pastries. Replace these with unsaturated fats found in non-animal products, such as sunflower, rapeseed and olive oil, avocados, nuts and seeds.Does fasting reduce gallstones? ›
As the body metabolizes fat during rapid weight loss, it causes the liver to secrete extra cholesterol into bile, which can cause gallstones. Fasting. Fasting decreases gallbladder movement, which causes the bile to become overconcentrated with cholesterol.Is triphala good for gallstones? ›
Triphala: Triphala is a combination of three fruits (amla, haritaki, and bibhitaki) that can help improve digestion and prevent the formation of gallstones.