Gallbladder and Gallstones
The gallbladder is tucked just under the liver and stores bile which is produced by the liver. Bile ducts carry the bile to the intestine where it helps to digest fats in our diet. You could say that bile is like our own ‘washing up liquid’!
Gallstones can cause the bile ducts to block up or not work as well as they should. They are made of hardened cholesterol. Symptoms can be severe abdominal pain, jaundice and a high temperature. These can also indicate inflammation of the gallbladder.
Conventional medicine offers surgery as the main way of dealing with gallbladder issues. Removal of the gallbladder is very common. However, in TCM it is associated with our decision making abilities. Paired with the liver, it helps us to make the decisions needed to carry out our future plans. We can see this in the language we use e.g. ‘how does she have the gall?’ or ‘I don’t have the gall for it’ etc.
Gallbladder hours in the organ clock are 11pm-1am. The body should be resting at the this time to make sure you wake up feeling energized. You may also feel subconscious resentment at this time or have dreams about making decisions. You may have difficulty sleeping if there is an imbalance in your gallbladder energy. Emotion represented by the gallbladder is resentment.
So how can you keep your gallbladder healthy? Here are my top tips:
1. Don’t hold on to anger and resentment.
In TCM, gallstones are called ‘little balls of anger’. So find ways to decrease stress and let go of these emotions in a healthy way. Writing a letter and burning it at the full moon, exercise, talking things through with a friend or even identifying why you are feeling resentful, can all help with this.
2. Supplements for gallstones.
These are what I would recommend: essential fatty acids such as krill oil, chia seeds and flaxseeds, acidophilus, Vit B complex, Vit C, Vit E, Vit K, zinc and magnesium.
3. Gallbladder cleanse.
There are several cleanses that you can do to help break down and pass the gallstones naturally. Please contact me for details of the one I recommend.
4. Foods to eat and avoid.
Avoid alcohol, caffeine and decrease the amount of protein you eat. Increase fluid intake to help flush through toxins. Avoid large quantities of rhubarb, spinach, almonds, okra and cashews. These all naturally contain a substance called oxalate which can form stones.
5. See my liver blog!
There is a list of foods here that is good for your liver. As the 2 organs are paired in TCM and so physically close together, it makes sense to eat these foods for the health of both organs.
There are many ways in which homeopathy can support the gallbladder as well as dealing with gallstone colic (pain). Email me for more information.