Gallstones - McDowell's Herbal Treatments

Gallstones are rocklike collections of material that form inside the gallbladder. Different types exist, and they are categorized by their primary composition; cholesterol stones are most common followed by pigment, then mixed stones. The stones form when there is an imbalance or change in the composition of bile...

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Normally, bile acids, lecithin, and phospholipids help to maintain cholesterol solubility in bile. When bile becomes supersaturated with cholesterol, it crystallizes and forms a nidus for stone formation. Calcium and pigment also may be incorporated in the stone. Impaired gallbladder motility, biliary stasis, and bile content predispose people to the formation of gallstones.

Gallbladder sludge is crystallization within bile without stone formation. Sludge may be a step in the formation of stones, or it may occur independently.

The cause of gallstones varies. Some stones form when there is too much cholesterol or bilirubin in the bile. (Bile is a liquid that helps the body digest fats.)

Other stones form if there are not enough bile salts or if the gallbladder fails to empty properly.

There are some differences between the cholesterol and calcium stone mixes but I wouldn't wait to get the definitive diagnosis before making a start on both the acute mix which is fine for both types of stone also and probably the Cholesterol Stone mix which contains the more powerful liver tonics.

All gallstones are due to an imbalance in the liver function and often associated also with your own peculiar way of handling stresses in your life.

A diet rich in sugars and fats as well as one having a low fibre content, is the most likely contributing factor to the formation of gallstones in humans, the specific underlying reasons or causes of the gallstones remains unknown and there could be other underlying reasons for the formation of gallstones.

Other contributory conditions to gallstones could be the presence of disorders such as IBD and other digestive tract disorders. Women are at a greater risk of developing gallstones compared to men and are three times more likely to have it on average, people over the age of forty are also a high risk group. Physiological factors such as obesity is also a very real contributor to the presence of gallstones in the body, at the same time rapid weight loss can also result in the formation of gallstones in the body.


  • To minimise the risk of gallstone formation, avoid fatty foods such as fried foods, full cream dairy foods, chocolates, rich cakes and desserts, biscuits, slices and snack foods.
  • Try to cook and make salad dressings with olive oil and avoid deep frying and frying foods in butter.
  • It is best to avoid 'crash' diets, as losing weight too quickly is associated with an increased risk of gallstones.
  • Lecithin granules or capsules may help with the emulsification (break down) of fats.
  • Gallstones have been linked to young people who consume high amounts of sugar. A low-sugar, high fibre diet is thought to help reduce the stone-forming potential of bile.
  • Aim for 3-4 serves each day of fresh fruits and vegetables. Include 4-6 serves of wholegrain cereals in your daily diet. Gallstones are also less common in vegetarians.
  • Reduce cholesterol in the diet; cholesterol is found in animal products e.g., red meat, dairy products and eggs etc.
  • Eat regular meals, 5 or 6 small meals per day. This helps to avoid overloading the digestive system and allows the body more time to digest any fats.
  • Try to drink 6 to 8 glasses of fresh water daily to help the natural elimination processes of the body.

McDowells Products

We recommend a free consultation to ensure you have the right product.

After starting on the herbal mix you should start to feel benefits from the early weeks of treatment in terms of lack of pressure or pain and more comfortable digestion, but the stones will only slowly reduce in size. Expect 3 months for size changes to show up on scans and 6 months total treatment time on average.


Have a question? Contact McDowell's Herbal Treatments

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McDowell's staff Herbalists can not diagnose your disease or illness. What they can do is offer a herbal program to assist with healing, after you have had advice from your doctor or specialist. If you have unexplained pain or symptoms, seek medical advice.

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