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The Gallbladder: What it is and does

The gallbladder is a small organ that is located just below the liver and to the right of the stomach. It is shaped like a pear with its stem pointing up to the liver. The gallbladder is about 5 cm in length and 3 cm in diameter. It has a smooth surface and is covered by a thin layer of the mucous membrane. It stores bile which is produced by the liver. The bile helps in the digestion of fats and oils and it is also responsible for the secretion of bile into the small intestine. The gallbladder can store up to a liter of bile at one time. The bile contains acids, enzymes, cholesterol, and bilirubin. When the gallbladder becomes full of bile, it sends a signal to the brain telling it that the body has had enough bile. The signal causes the gallbladder to contract and release the contents into the duodenum. The bile flows through the bile ducts to the liver where it is processed before being reabsorbed into the bloodstream.

Gallbladder Disorders

If the gallbladder is unable to release its contents into the duodenum, it may become stuck in the gallbladder and form a gallstone which is made up of calcium salts and cholesterol. The stones can be soft or hard and vary in size from 1 mm to 10mm. Most gallstones are not painful, but they can cause abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, bloating, indigestion, gas, constipation, and diarrhea. They are most common in women between the ages of 20 and 50 years and are more common in people who have high cholesterol.

Parasites can also cause gallstones. Parasites can live in the gallbladder and cause the gallbladder to become inflamed and irritated. The inflammation can cause the gallbladder to produce bile that is full of parasites. The parasites can then travel through the bloodstream and lodge in other organs such as the kidneys and the pancreas. When they reach these organs they can cause problems there too.

Cholecystitis: Cholecystitis is inflammation of the gallbladder. It occurs when the gallbladder becomes inflamed due to infection, inflammation, or irritation caused by gallstones. Symptoms include fever, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, severe pain in the upper abdomen, jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes), and dark urine.

Gallbladder Cancer: Gallbladder cancer is a type of cancer that develops from the cells lining the gallbladder. It is most common in older people. Symptoms include pain in the right side of the abdomen, nausea, vomiting, weight loss, jaundice, anemia, and blood in the stool.

Herbs for Gallbladder Disorders

There are many herbs that have been used for gallbladder disorders. Some of these herbs are: Here is just a partial list of herbs that will help to either cleanse, increase bile, or dissolve gallstones:

  • Artichoke

  • Barberry

  • Bhringaraja

  • Blessed Thistle

  • Blueberry

  • Blue Vervain

  • Buckthorn

  • Cardamon seed

  • Cascara Sagrada

  • Celandine leaf

  • Chicory root

  • Dandelion (root and leaf)

  • Garlic

  • Goldenseal

  • Mistletoe

  • Oregon Grape

  • Parsley

  • Peppermint

  • Rosemary

  • Shave grass

  • Wood Betony

  • Wormwood

  • Yellow dock

These herbs are available as a tincture here at Positive Life Changes, LLC. We have also on hand a formula specific for the gallbladder with these herbs: Dandelion root, Oregon Grape, Rhubarb, Yellow dock, Bayberry bark, and Lobelia. All our tinctures are made onsite with the highest quality ingredients, ionized water, and only 30% grain alcohol. (for 98% of our tinctures that is all that is needed to preserve and pull out all the medicinal constituents from the herb) They come in sizes from 2 oz up to 32 oz (even gallon if needed). You can also request to have the tincture made as a non-alcohol product.

Please call, email, or text with any specific herbal questions.

Good Health to You!

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