- By Rebecca Wong
The Liver and Gallbladder Flush
Gallbladder surgery is one of the most common surgeries in North America. According to a May 1995 article in the New York Times, over 600,000 of these surgeries were being performed in America alone, and the rate has probably risen since then.
According to the Mayo Clinic , risk factors for gallstones include:
Being age 60 or older
Being of native or Mexican descent
Being overweight or obese
Eating a high-fat or high-cholesterol diet
Eating a low-fiber diet
Having a family history of gallstones
Losing weight very quickly
Taking certain cholesterol-lowering medications
Taking medications that contain estrogen, such as hormone therapy drugs
As you can see, most of us have one or more risk factors for gallstones, particularly as we get older and have families. Many people carry gallstones for a long time without even realizing it. Your body has natural ways of flushing out gallstones, but if something goes wrong during this process, it can be painful or even dangerous.
In the 1980s, there was considerable research into drugs and other non-invasive methods of dealing with gallstones, such as disintegrating them with ultrasonic waves or "percutaneous extraction" of the stones without removing the gallbladder itself. However, when laparoscopic surgery became popular toward the end of the 1980s, simply removing the entire gallbladder became the surgery of choice, and gallbladder removal became much more common:
"The introduction of laparoscopic gallbladder surgery resulted in rising rates of cholecystectomy ... Such a rise was not seen for hernia repair surgery or appendectomy." 
According to the UK's NHS , gallbladder removal surgery carries a risk of the following complications:
Infection from surgery
Possible complications from general anaesthetic
Bleeding from surgery
Bile leakage (this may require another operation)
Injury to the bile duct (this may require another operation)
Injury to intestine, bowel, and blood vessels
Deep vein thrombosis, caused by blood clots developing during surgery
Post-Cholecystectomy Syndrome: symptoms similar to a gallbladder attack, even though the gallbladder has been removed.
Luckily, there is something that you can do to remove your gallstones in a more natural way, if you prefer to avoid gallbladder surgery. This is the traditional liver and gallbladder flush: rather than surgically removing the stones or the entire gallbladder, the liver and gallbladder flush helps your body eliminate stones naturally.
There are many different, traditional folk recipes for the natural removal of gallstones, and even some that involve the use of Coca-Cola as a solvent. However, we believe the particular flush outlined below to be most effective. This flush begins with a fasting segment for the duration of two days. By fasting on apple juice for two days, much stagnant bile in the liver can be softened and released due to the malic acid content of the apple juice, which is known for its solvent effect on bile. For best results, you can begin by doing some intestinal cleansing. Although this step is optional, it would be particularly helpful if you have had constipation problems in the past. Instructions for intestinal cleansing and liver and gallbladder flushing are outlined below:
Soak 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon of Bentonite clay in one cup of filtered water for 12 hours. Start soaking in the morning.
Then add 1/2 to 1 tablespoon of psyllium husks or plantago seeds to the clay mixture and mix well.
Drink and eat the whole cup of mixture immediately and then followed by 1 cup of warm water before bedtime.
Drink at least 8 cups of warm water a day including 2 cups first thing in the morning.
Repeat the procedure until the stool becomes normal (usually 1 to 2 weeks), when no more intestinal cloggings are coming out.
Combination Liver and Gallbladder Flush
This flush is based on the one found in "Herbally Yours" by Penny C. Royal, Sound Nutrition, Utah, 1982. People with cancer, candida yeast infections, diabetes, hypoglycemia or stomach ulcers should not use this apple juice fasting procedure and can instead use malic acid in capsule or powder form. The fasting procedure will be the same except that the two cups of apple juice every two hours are replaced by 1,000 – 2,000 mg of malic acid taken with 2 cups of warm water every two hours.
Take two 8 oz. glasses of organic apple juice or apple cider every two hours from 8 am to 8 pm. Altogether 14 cups will have been taken during this period. Do not take any other food or drinks except plain water. Please note that the apple juice you drink should not be taken cold from the refrigerator. It should be kept at room temperature or mixed with about 10% hot water before use because cold drinks will tend to chill your liver as well as all your other internal organs. Once your liver has been chilled, its ducts can constrict, preventing congestion from being released. For people who have a lot of stagnant bile in their biliary system, the collapsed bile may rush out quickly after drinking the apple juice. Although this experience will be like having diarrhea, it is actually stagnant bile (which has a yellowish-brown colour) being released from your liver.
Repeat Day 1
At bedtime (preferably no later than 10:00 pm), take 1/2 cup (4 oz.) of olive oil (extra virgin cold pressed) mixed with 1/2 cup of lemon juice (squeezed from 3 lemons) or with 1/2 to 3/4 cup of freshly-squeezed grapefruit juice.
Go to bed immediately and sleep on your right side. It is important to lie on your right side because this will lessen the weight of your liver on your caval vein, allowing better circulation through your liver so that it can decongest itself more easily and thoroughly. If a large amount of stones is attempting to move out of your gallbladder, nausea may be felt after drinking the olive oil, but this feeling should largely disappear on the third day once the stones begin moving out of your body, or after stimulating your digestion by taking some food.
Upon arising in the morning, take 1 litre (approximately 4 cups) of warm distilled or filtered water containing two level teaspoons of un-iodized sea salt. Alternatively, the addition of juice from half a lemon may be used in place of the sea salt. Wait for at least half an hour before eating. The salt and water mixture has both a cleansing and laxative effect which helps your intestines to release any accumulated debris or stones. Warm water by itself can also have this effect, and lemon juice is naturally detoxifying.
Eat only vegetable broth and softly cooked vegetables. The stones should be passed in your stool any time between midnight of Day 2 and the morning after Day 3.
Gallbladder Flush (based on “Natural Liver Therapy” by Christopher Hobbs, L.Ac., Botanica Press, Captiola, CA (1993).
If you are either unable to fast due to blood sugar considerations, or simply because you are uncomfortable with the idea of fasting in and of itself, then you can also follow this simple gallbladder flush to remove gallstones instead. It is not as thorough a flush as the Combination Liver and Gallbladder Flush already outlined above because it has no real effect on your liver. However, it will assist in the removal of gallstones from your gallbladder. Once some of the gallstones from your gallbladder have been removed, the improvement in bile flow throughout your biliary system can indirectly assist your liver.
Eat only whole foods (unrefined foods) without fat for a whole day.
About an hour before bedtime, drink 1/4 cup of extra virgin cold pressed olive oil mixed with 1/4 cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice (from one lemon). Repeat this process every 15 minutes until a total of 1 cup of olive oil and lemon juice is finished. An alternative to this procedure is to replace lemon juice with freshly-squeezed grapefruit juice. 1/4 to 1/2 cup of grapefruit juice can be used each time. A total of 1 to 1½ cups of grapefruit juice is required. It works well and tastes better than lemon juice.
Go to bed immediately and lie on your right side. It is important to lie on your right side because this will lessen the weight of your liver on your caval vein, allowing better circulation through your liver so that it can decongest itself more easily and thoroughly. If a large amount of stones is attempting to move out of your gallbladder, nausea may be felt after drinking the olive oil, but this feeling should largely disappear on the third day once the stones begin moving out of your body, or after stimulating your digestion by taking some food.
The next morning take 1 litre (approximately 4 cups) of warm distilled or filtered water containing two level teaspoons of un-iodized sea salt. Alternatively, the addition of juice from half a lemon may be used in place of the sea salt. The salt and water mixture has both a cleansing and laxative effect which helps your intestines to release any accumulated debris or stones. Warm water by itself can also have this effect, and lemon juice is naturally detoxifying.
Eat only softly cooked vegetables and broth the second day. The gallstones should come out sometime during the second day.
The gallstones released during these flushes are usually bright green or brown in colour. The green stones look very much like green peas, and are pigment stones. Green stones seem to predominate during the first few flushes, after which you will tend to see more brown, white, or tan coloured stones, which are cholesterol stones. Towards the end of your flushing, the stones will be more black in colour (calcium stones), and some people have seen red stones as well, although this is rare.
It is important to remember that when gallstones exist, the gallbladder cannot contract efficiently. Therefore, only stones from the front area of the gallbladder may be pushed out during your first flush. After that, stones from the back area of your gallbladder will slowly move forward, and as these stones move towards your common bile duct, they may partially block your flow of bile and cause symptoms to return temporarily. If you continue to flush, these stones should gradually move out too. You will know when you have finally gotten rid of all of your stones when you can do a flush and your symptoms of pain or discomfort do not return.
It usually takes at least 3 to 4 flushes to clean out all of your gallstones. Ideally, you would continue to flush until hardly any stones come out of your gallbladder, even though your flush has been a good one. The weaker your gallbladder is in contraction, the more flushes you may need to do to push out all of your gallstones. An ideal interval between flushes is 1 to 2 months, as repeating the procedure too soon may not allow enough time for packed stones near the back of your gallbladder to move forward and then come out.
That being said, if you are disappointed in your flush because you have not released anything at all, it sometimes helps to repeat the olive oil and lemon juice mixture again for a second night. This will often result in exceptional flush results the next day. In this case, loose stones may have been pushed up against your common bile duct, but for whatever reason, there was not enough momentum produced to actually push them out. This is why a repeat of the olive oil and lemon juice procedure can allow a return of momentum, and the stones can finally be released from your body.
Once gallstones have formed once, your gallbladder will tend to always be sluggish and new stones may form again easily. Therefore, after your initial period of gallbladder flushing has been completed, we recommend that you do maintenance flushes once or twice a year, usually in the spring, or in both spring and fall, to remove any stones which have been newly formed over the course of the year.
The Use of Epsom Salts
If the gallstones in your gallbladder are so closely packed that they have difficulty moving out, Epsom salts (magnesium sulfate) can be used to dilate the bile ducts and assist with their movement out of the body. This can often happen to someone who is doing their first flush, in which case, nothing may come out during the flush at all. In this situation, you may need to repeat the olive oil/lemon juice procedure a second day, after a day of eating only vegetables or vegetable soups. This time, an Epsom salt solution, prepared by dissolving 4 tablespoons of Epsom salts in three 8 oz. glasses of water can be used.
For best results, you should mix the Epsom salts and water together in a glass jar and then shake it vigorously to dissolve the salt into the water. This will create four servings of Epsom salt water, with each serving being 3/4 cup in size. Your first 3/4 cup portion of Epsom salts can be taken at 6:00 pm on the night that you are drinking the olive oil and lemon juice mixture. The second portion of Epsom salt water can then be taken at 8:00 pm that night, with the olive oil and lemon juice mixture taken at 10:00 pm. The next morning, you would drink the next 3/4 cup portion of Epsom salt water as soon as you awaken in the morning, with the last portion taken two hours after that. 1 to 2 hours after drinking the last portion of Epsom salts, you can begin eating food. This description of the use of Epsom salts is from the book The Amazing Liver Cleanse by Andreas Moritz.
Increased cholecystectomy rate after the introduction of laparoscopic cholecystectomy, JAMA, 1993, Sep 22-29 (abstract)