A sluggish liver can manifest a malaise of symptoms that lead to misdiagnoses for other chronic autoimmune diseases. This sluggishness can be prevented and also corrected through rejuvenating Continue reading
Certain bitter herbs are considered liver herbs because they stimulate, cleanse, and protect the liver and gall bladder. While Western palates are not fond of bitter tasting foods, they do stimulate and support digestion. German research shows that bitter tonic herbs stimulate bile and hydrochloric acid production. They stimulate nervous system and immune system function, Continue reading
Sometimes one of the compounds in bile — usually cholesterol — becomes so saturated that it forms a solid. This is called a gallstone. It is estimated that as many as one in 10 people have gallstones, though they might not know it. Gallstones may not necessarily cause you any problems, but sometimes when one is pushed out of the gallbladder, it gets stuck in your bile duct. This can cause a lot of pain and is what is known as a gallbladder attack.
Nobody wants to have a gallbladder attack. The best natural health advice is to avoid having one in the first place. With that in mind, here are 10 tips for avoiding stomach problems and painful attacks.
1. Get your doctor’s advice about testing for food allergies. Eliminate any food allergens you might have, such as dairy (milk, cheese, and ice cream), wheat (gluten), soy, corn, preservatives, and chemical food additives. Eggs, especially, Continue reading
You may think that your brain rules your body, but you can make a strong philosophical argument that the liver really rules your physiology. Yes, the brain is the prime minister that administers the nervous system and many important bodily processes, but the liver is the royal organ that loyally maintains the body’s inner workings. So you’d be wise to keep your liver happy if you want to be healthy.
The liver is plenty powerful in its role of ruling the kingdom of Bodyland. It removes toxins from the blood, plays a role in protein and hormone synthesis, stores glycogen, and yields bile along with other chemicals that help break down fats and aid indigestion. The liver helps decompose red blood cells, stores blood and regulates how much blood circulates. In other words, the Liver King supervises your inner kingdom, Continue reading
Our livers, the chief detoxifiers for our bodies, are being overworked. Our stressful lifestyles, drugs we consume, and chemical food additives are just a few of the stressors. Free roaming toxins can burden our hearts, reduce available oxygen, and, consequently, become trapped and stored to produce bile clumps, also known as gallstones. The body forms gallstones for our protection by preventing the toxins from being absorbed through the intestinal wall and back into our bodies. Our bodies function well following this design – until they become clogged with too many gallstones. Because too many gallstones can have a negative effect on our bodies, flushing gallstones from the liver and gallbladder becomes essential to maintaining our health.
Why would we want to flush the stones out of our systems? Continue reading
The ancients considered artichokes to have many benefits. Artichokes, including leaves, were thought to be an aphrodisiac, a diuretic, a breath freshener and even a deodorant. Decoctions of artichoke leaves have been used as blood cleansers to improve bile production and secretion and to detoxify the liver and the skin.
The globe artichoke is a member of the Composite family, closely related to the thistle. The part we eat is from the immature flower bud. Artichokes are nutrient dense, so, for the 25 calories in a medium artichoke, you’re getting 16 essential nutrients! Artichokes provide the important minerals magnesium, chromium, manganese, potassium, phosphorus, iron and calcium. For example, that 25 calorie artichoke provides 6% of the Continue reading
The gallbladder is a small pear-shaped organ that sits on the right side of our bodies just beneath the liver. Its primary function is to store and secrete bile. Bile is a yellow-brown fluid produced by the liver, which helps us digest fats. Our liver produces up to three cups of bile a day. Our gallbladder can store up to a cup of bile as it awaits a fatty meal.
When we eat, our gallbladder contracts and pushes bile into the small intestines where it helps with the digestion of fats. Bile is made up of water, cholesterol, fats, bile salts, proteins and bilirubin. Under certain conditions, substances in the bile, especially the cholesterol or bile pigment (bilirubin) can harden into gallstones. Gallstones can be as small as a grain of sand or as large as a golf ball. We can develop one large stone or a multitude of smaller ones.
Many people with gallstones have no symptoms at all. Others go through life relatively symptom free, experiencing minor symptoms such as abdominal bloating, intolerance to fatty foods, belching, intestinal gas and indigestion. For others, however they may suffer what is called a gallstone “attack”. Gallstone attacks often follow a fatty meal. Symptoms of an attack include steady, sever pain in the upper abdomen that can last from 30 minutes to several hours. Sufferers may also experience pain in the back between the shoulder blades or under the right shoulder. A gallstone attack is often accompanied by nausea or vomiting. If symptoms such as sweating, chills, a fever or a yellowish color to the skin or whites of the eyes occur, it is important to seek medical assistance.
There are a number of factors that increase your risk of having gallstones. Those at a higher risk include women, especially women who are pregnant, on hormone therapy or taking birth control pills, people over 60 years of age, Native and Mexican Americans, overweight individuals and individuals who fast or go on crash diets and lose a lot of weight quickly.
It is important to recognize that if the gallbladder is loaded with stones, there is very little room to store bile and fat digestion may become impaired In turn, the unused bile can back up into the liver causing liver congestion. If this is the case, it is important to evaluate your liver’s health prior to cleansing on your gallbladder.
Recommendations for Wellness
The traditional treatment for gallstones is to have your gallbladder removed. There are, however, a number of things you can do to reduce your risk of producing gallstones or experiencing a gallstone attack.
Reduce your consumption of saturated fats typically found in red meat and pork, while increasing the amount of fresh fruits and vegetables you consume.
Start a diet and exercise program, but avoid crash dieting which can increase your risk of gallstones. Both diet and exercise can help you reduce your risk of producing gallstones.
If you are taking birth control pills or are on hormone replacement therapy, speak with your doctor regarding your risk of forming stones or have them check your gallbladder for the presence of gallstones regularly.
Studies indicate that coffee increase the flow of bile and may help to decrease the risk of gallstones. Should you decide to add a little coffee to your health plan for this reason, make sure you only consume organically grown coffee beans.
Supplement with vitamin C. Vitamin C is needed by the body to convert cholesterol to bile acids in the body.
Lecithin has been shown to help break down and transport fat molecules and may help dissolve gallstones. Studies indicate that it is helpful in protecting us from gallstone formation.
Safflowers can be used to thin body fluids as well as aid in the digestion of oils.
Nature’s Sunshine Gall Bladder Formula can be used to help stimulate circulation, improve liver function & aid in the production of digestive fluids.
Do a gallbladder flush. During a gallbladder flush, 1-2 cups of olive oil are consumed to simulate the gallbladder into releasing bile. This increased demand on the gallbladder to release bile works to push the stones out.
If you think your liver is congested, or if you have been having minor symptoms of gallstones for a long period of time, it is important to support and cleanse your liver for a period of time before doing a gallbladder flush. Try taking herbs such as milk thistle, dandelion or a liver cleanse formula.
Other names: Cynara scolymus
Artichoke is a plant native to southern Europe, North Africa and the Canary islands.
Artichoke is a food. It’s also available in some health food stores and online as a liquid extract or in capsule form.
Why People Use Artichoke
Artichoke is approved by Germany’s Commission E for liver and gallbladder complaints. It appears to stimulate the flow of bile.
Artichoke extracts are thought to help decrease cholesterol and triglyceride levels, although it hasn’t been proven in human studies.
Side Effects and Safety Concerns
Artichoke is thought to stimulate the flow of bile, so supplements shouldn’t be used if there is a known or suspected blockage of the bile duct.
Artichoke supplements should be avoided by people with gallstones, unless under the supervision of a qualified health profession, due to the risk of gallstones getting stuck in the bile duct.