Natural Remedies for Gallstones

| Modified on Apr 04, 2023
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Natural Remedies for Gallstones

Gallstones can cause very painful gallbladder attacks and keep the digestive system from functioning properly. It is possible to have gallstones and have no overt symptoms. Effective natural remedies for gallstones include alfalfa, apple cider vinegar and gallbladder flushes.

What are Gallstones?

The gallbladder is under the liver on the right side of the abdomen. It stores bile which has been made by the liver. When the body eats foods containing fat, the gallbladder squeezes bile into the duodenum to help the fat break down. This makes it more easily digested by pancreatic enzymes. The bile salts are also necessary for fat to be absorbed by the intestines.

Gallstones are made of bilirubin or cholesterol from the bile.

Cholesterol stones are formed as a result of an imbalance of the components in the bile. “Supersaturation” of cholesterol crystals can lead to the formation of cholesterol stones. This may be caused by incomplete gallbladder emptying, excess cholesterol from the liver, insufficient absorption of cholesterol and fat from bile by the gallbladder lining, or high levels of bilirubin.

Pigment stones are made from calcium bilirubinate. They are commonly associated with cirrhosis of the liver or hemolytic anemia.

It is possible to have both types of stones, though the cholesterol stones are more common.

Gallstone Symptoms

Symptoms of gallstones in the gallbladder can be mild or severe. They may come and go. They can include the following:

  • Pain under the right rib cage
  • Pain in the back, between the shoulder blades
  • Excessive burping
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Heartburn
  • Shoulder pain
  • Pain below the breastbone

Because gallstone symptoms can mimic other diseases, a medical evaluation is wise. A heart attack, which requires immediate medical care, can cause similar symptoms. ,Blood tests and ultrasound are used to ascertain the presence of gallstones. Other tests may be used to rule out other health problems.

Once the presence of gallstones and other health conditions are ruled out, natural remedies can be very effective in relieving the pain of gallstones. Natural remedies can even dissolve or help expel gallstones.

Natural Gallstone Treatment

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar will often relieve gallstone pain. For an acute attack, 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar are added to a glass of apple juice or water and consumed over 30 minutes. Relief is often felt before the glass is emptied. Taken regularly, apple cider vinegar will often prevent gallstone attacks and may help eliminate some types of stones. For daily use, 2 teaspoons are added to a glass of water or juice. This tonic is taken once or twice daily.

Herbs for Gallstones


Alfalfa is high in nutrients, aids digestion and supports liver function. 1-2 tablets taken with meals helps to prevent attacks and can even stop a gallstone attack in its tracks.

Chanca Piedra

Chanca Piedra is sometimes called Stonebreaker because of its reputation in dissolving stones. This herb from the amazon rainforest can be taken in tincture, tea or capsule form.


The herb dandelion supports the liver and promotes healthy digestion. Dandelion tea can be consumed. Tincture are capsules are also available online.


Consuming 6 radishes daily can help to dissolve some types of stones. This may need to be done over the course of several weeks.

Gallstone Flushes

Gallstones interfere with proper function of the gallbladder and thus the digestive system. For chronic gallstone problems, the gallbladder is usually removed surgically. However, removing the gallbladder means that the digestive system will never function fully again. Even after gallbladder surgery, continued digestive problems are common. An alternative is to “flush” the gallstones from the gallbladder. The gallstone flush protocol has brought relief to many. Stones are passed and can be seen if the flush is successful. And the resulting relief of symptoms is further confirmation of success. The complete protocol is explained on this page. Sometimes several flushes are necessary to totally eliminate stones.

Do you have a natural remedy to reduce gallstone pain or eliminate the stones all together? Please send us your story!


2 User Reviews
5 star (2) 

Posted by Rocio (Modesto, Ca) on 01/21/2018
5 out of 5 stars

JoJo, thank you so much for your post in 2015! I was diagnosed with gallstones over 2 years ago. The gallbladder attacks got more frequent and unbearable. Doctors wanted to remove my gallbladder. I refused. I tried a variety of remedies including baking soda and raw Apple cider vinegar for the attacks which did help sometimes. I didn't do any kind of gallbladder flushes. Then I read your post and decided to try the Alfalfa pills. As soon as I felt a gallbladder attack coming on, I took 1-2 Alfalfa pills and every single time I took the pills, it worked! The attack always stopped in it's tracks! Since then, I also discovered a supplement which claim to dissolve stones. Took those as per instructions and only used Alfalfa if I felt a gallstone attack coming on. I haven't had an attack in well over 1 year. Not sure if I even have stones anymore but I haven't had that confirmed yet. I will share the Alfalfa benefits in this site as well. Thanks again!


Replied by Maricruz

Hello, I have gallstones and I would like to know what supplement you took to get rid of them.

Replied by Pay It Forward

So grateful for Earth Clinic! I start each day with 16oz distilled water and 1 Tbsp lemon juice. I also take dandelion tea 1-2x, as well as bile salts, milk thistle, and ACV. But my gallbladder has continued to flare up at times. Today something felt off and I began wondering if a stone was stuck. So, researching today I learned of more herbal remedies: Collinsonia (aka stone root) and Peppermint leaf extract. Both of these help relax the bile ducts (very important), as well as reduce inflammation and promote the normal bile flow, which is an issue for those with gallstones. Slippery Elm too and the other herb was Alfalfa tablets. So I've made a good strong cup of peppermint tea (4 tea bags to 1 cp boiling water) as I have no extract yet, and will go out once feeling better and pick some up along with alfalfa tablets.

But again, I think keeping those bile ducts relaxed is very important to avoid a stone getting stuck which can be more concerning and problematic. Oh, and of course a 2-3 Tbsp ACV in a cup of warm apple juice. Also soothing can be one of those rice/corn microwave bags and place it over your gallbladder/liver. Now, I'm not having a full mind blowing attack of pain (I know this too well) but something wasn't right. Being prepared, I'm glad I bought the Collinsonia Root, great brand (initials SP)

Posted by Jojo (Wisconsin, US) on 02/21/2015
5 out of 5 stars

I experience terrible pain in my stomach. I research the net and found that eating fried foods, spicy dishes, pizza and etc. I have gallstones and never knew. It started at about 3-4 am in the morning with eating those dishes I listed above. I start the pain in stomach, nausea, and feelings of constipation. I would first throw up and the nausea passed. When this ended I would finally be able to go back to sleep. I would have to be at work at 7am and extremely tired.

Finally I discovered Alfalfa pills, no particular store brand but they worked!!! 2-1300 mg pills in the afternoon before eating the above listed foods. No more attacks!!

Apple Cider Vinegar

9 User Reviews
5 star (7) 
3 star (1) 

Posted by Reese (Manila ) on 12/08/2021
5 out of 5 stars

More than a decade ago, I was on this very same site, looking for a health remedy for my father who was suffering from gallstones (due for an operation) and a number of other ailments like diabetes and heart issues. A man posted about the apple cider vinegar cleanse and I emailed him about it to ask more. He saved my father's life. We devoted a few months to his cleansing, and he avoided the gallstone surgery. His sugar levels returned to normal and he looked 10 years younger. I don't know if that man checks this site still, but to him, and to the moderators and the admin of this website, thank you. Because of you all, my father is still alive 15 years later.

Replied by Cindy

To: Reese (Manila ) Please share the recipe for the cleanse. Thank you

Replied by Fran

Stone CLR was a miracle for me.

Replied by John

Hi Reese, could you please share what exactly did your father do and what brand of ACV did he use? Thank you

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Prioris (Fl) on 12/18/2016


I just want every one to know that it is the malic acid in Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) that softens gallstones.

One source says, it takes 1 apple to make 1 ounce of ACV or 2 tablespoons. One apple has 0.08875 grams or 88.75 mg of malic acid in it from what I understand.

Another source says there is 200 mg to 1000 mg per apple.

Another source says - The amount of malic acid in two apples is about 3 grams which is the recommended daily dose. If you are eating one apple then you will need to 2 and a half 600 mg tablets. Each pill needs to be taken with a cup a water.

So an apple may range from 88 mg to 1500 mg but this allows you to ball park therapy doses.

I see on the bottle of malic acid that I have that 1 tablet contains 600 mg. You'd also avoid that acid damaging your teeth.

Another piece of info - Apples have a combination effect because they also contain pectin which is an water-soluble fibre. This binds to bile and we pass in out in our stools. Therefore if we can consume more pectin then more bile will be passed and this forces the liver to produce more fresh bile which washes through the biliary system.

This means that it may be easier to take malic acid instead.

I can take malic acid without problem but I get side effect like migraines / neuralgia etc if I take ACV.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Chance (San Diego, Ca) on 08/31/2012
5 out of 5 stars

I'm a 27 year old woman scheduled for a sonogram to check for suspected gallstones based on symptoms I've had for years. I have other factors stacked against this too. All women on my mother's side (including her) have had their gallbladders removed due to stones. I'm also overweight; have lost a lot of weight; am an ex-smoker; ate poor diet for the first 80% of my life; have Native American genetics; have magnesium deficiency and slightly low running thyroid.

Since improving my health by exercise, choosing fresh and homemade foods, and taking magnesium supplement, my frequency of "attacks" (what I think are gallblader attacks) is very low to what it used to be. Ocassionally I'll still indulge. Unfortunately when I do, it still triggers an attack about 20% of the time. Usually after eating fast food, red meat, or something dairy-rich.

My definition of attacks is: a horrible pain in my upper stomach that can become so intense, I can barely manage to straighten my torso. I'm doubled over constantly, walking hunched if I can muster the will to walk around. The pain radiates up my sternum and into my upper back between the shoulder blades. It feels like a gigantic pair of fists are shoved into my chest and stomach, squeezing and twisting in opposite directions so that nothing can go further in or out. My upper stomach will feel a little hard or rigid too - like it's all tensed up.

Sometimes I get my boyfriend to pound his fist into my upper back, like he's punching back for me! I'll grind my fist into my back too and sometimes that pressure helps minimally but only while I'm doing it. I know, totally bizarre of me. But it's what makes sense at the time. In the past for attacks, I've taken carrot juice which I read helps digestion and/or a cup of my powdered magnesium supplement (called Natural Calm -it's amazing! ) which takes the edge off. Once, I chewed raw ginger I cut right off the root in pure desperaton. All these things have helped (although carrot juice stopped being as effective for some reason).

The attacks last an hour to several hours and can be mild or severe to where I'm panting and squirming all over the bed, moaning in helpless pain. Sometimes there's oh so ladylike belching involved but if it's bad, it doesn't matter how much my body tries to do this, it doesn't alleviate anything.

I had an attack that woke me up very early this morning. :( It's my fault. I even thought it might be coming last night. I was SO tired last night I didn't want to cook, even though that little voice inside my head said I should do it. I didn't listen and got a chicken burrito from a taco shop on the way home thinking chicken is a mild choice. It didn't even end up being that good - it was gross and had unexpected amount of greasiness like it was cooked on an uncleaned surface that had been used for red meats. I only ate half feeling how heavy it was getting in my stomach. Less than 2 hours later, I could FEEL like this attack was coming. In preperation I found this page with all the great reviews about apple cider and apple juice working. I was hopeful and meant to go get apple juice and the apple cider from the store but fell asleep with my phone still on my chest, this page still on the screen when the attack woke me up.

It was a milder attack so I took the magnesium, then drove to the grocery store for the apple cider vinegar and apple juice. It got worse at the store but it's so close to my house that I made it. Like described here, I took the suggested 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar (the Heinz brand) mixed with a glass of apple juice (Simply Apple brand). It took me 10-15 minutes to finish drinking it. I was a little taken aback a little at the burny feeling in my throat and through my stomach but I thought of that as working magic. The burn is nothing really unpleasant or harsh - nothing compared to the pain of the attack at least! :)

As I took the last few sips I had already started feeling the pain subside. My stomach softened to the touch and the little swell the rigidity creates sometime went away. About an hour later, the pain was pretty much all gone and just some minor discomfort and remnant soreness was all that was left! THIS is the best pain remedy for the attacks I've EVER tried. I've never had the pain go away as rapidly or as close to complete as this before. Now I DID start with the magnesium supplement but it's help was minimal (it's MUCH better for preventative than reactive purposes).

It's drained me though. These attacks take nearly everything out of me. I've mustered the energy to write this post because I want it to be read by people looking for experiences of other people who go through it and what has worked for them. I'm telling you it works! If you're having an attack, my say is try it.

Thank you to Earth Clinic and all who took the time to post their experiences too. I would not have turned to the apple cider/apple juice concoction and gotten my quick relief if not for you!!

Replied by Debbie
(Rsm, Ca)
5 out of 5 stars

Hi Chance, Your story is exactly the same as the attack I had today. I thought I could have some pasta with a creamy sauce, boy what a mistake that was! I had read your post earlier in the week and had my husband go to the store and get the apple cider vinegar and apple juice. It kind of burned going down my throat. But after 15 minutes or so the bloating in my tummy started to go down and the pain lessened enough to breathe easier! But my tummy is still sore hours later. I don't know if I used too much Apple Cider Vinegar but my tummy still hurts. But the pain is mostly gone thank goodness! I need to do a flush to get rid of the gallstones. I do not want surgery. The surgeon wanted me to schedule the surgery to remove the gallbladder but I told him that God gave me a gallbladder for a reason. :). So my husband and I are starting to eat healthy foods and cut out the processed foods! Thank you so much to sharing your post and to the other people who post their stories! I just need to find the flush now! Wish me luck!! Thank you EARTH CLINIC!!!!!!

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Kharma (La, Ca ) on 08/13/2012
5 out of 5 stars

Recently learned I have gallstones (ugh).

Performed a successful liver/stone flush. While I feel some better, I'm still experiencing gallstone related symptoms (i. E. Nausea, gas, acid reflux, gurgling sounds, asthma attacks, allergies, etc. ) Sought a way to deal w/the attacks, while preparing for next flush in a few weeks. With a google search, found this site and the Apple Cider Vinegar solution. Figured I had nothing to lose and everything to gain.

Thrilled to report, it worked...!

I obtained apple cider vinegar (w/out the mother) and combined with organic apple juice (both generic store brands at local health food store). Result was a tangy, delicious drink. Within minutes, I started to feel relief.

Thanks so much to those that shared this worked for their symptoms, and thanks to earthclinic. Com, for making this resource available on-line!

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Liz (Irving, Tx) on 04/05/2011
0 out of 5 stars

Hello, I have been having gallstone issues for the past month and a half without realizing it for the first month, then after the pain and nausea became so bad that it drove me to the hospital I found out that I either had gallstones or gastritis. I started doing some research and started taking Lecithin, Magnesium, Milk Thistle, Burdock Root, Cinnamon and Ginger.

And it all started to go away very quickly, and I could actually feel the stones moving through the ducts and out!

Then about a week ago I heard about Apple Juice, and I wanted to do as much as I could to disolve the gallstones as quickly as possible so I tried it - but it upset my stomach and gave me diarrhea so bad that I had to stop. (My mother told me it did the same thing when I was a baby, so she wasn't surprised. ) And the nausea started to go away immediately after stopping it.

Then I noticed a few days ago that I was having horrible Heat Intolerance in 80 degree weather and other symptoms of low electrolytes- dizziness, confusion, faitigue- and I was having symptoms of Malabsorbsion from the very beginning- so I started taking apple cider vinegar to replenish my electrolytes and liquide multi-vitamines to help my body absorb them better. But I think the apple cider vinegar has made my nausea come back just as strong as before!

When I stopped the apple juice, the nausea went away. Now that I'm taking the apple cider vinegar it's come back, and I can barely eat anything!

I feel much better when I take it, and I haven't had any painful or uncomfortable feelings in my gallbladder area for two days now. I feel almost completely normal except for the upset stomach, and there is now a burning/clawing sensation going on in my stomach along with it that I think is a symptom of high stomach acid caused by the apple cider vinegar.

I'm worried that if I stop the apple cider vinegar I will run low on electrolytes again, and since I'm still not digesting my food all the way so I know that is still a possiblity.

Is there anything I can take with the apple cider vinegar to stop the nausea? I've heard about taking baking soda with it. Does that work?

Replied by Liz
(Irving, Tx)
3 out of 5 stars

Better But With Side Effects

Hi, this is Liz, I'm responding to my own post to let you know what's happened to me since I made that first post.

About two days after I made that post I passed a huge gallstone that had been slowly working it's way out, and obviously making me feel nauseous and terrible while doing so. I was sitting on the couch feeling horrible, then, boom! Felt it pass, got a lot of gurgling sounds from up around my gallbladder area and instantly felt much better! Nausea gone! Yay!

A couple days after that I did my first Liver Flush with olive oil and lemon juice. I flushed out over a 1/4 cup of pee sized to almost marble sized stones. I have done three more since then, and durring the third I was amazed when I flushed out two huge stones that were between the size gumballs and golfballs. I couldn't believe it, especially since I hadn't felt any pain or discomfort while doing the flush. I was still passing around the same amount of stones, around a 1/4 or so each time. The last flush I did I didn't pass any at all, which is kinda suspicious considering that in all the ones I'd done before I had passed so many. But I do feel better, so I'm going wait and do another one and see what happens then.

I didn't realize that by doing these flushes you're also giving your body a really good detox. Your liver can hold a lot of toxins so if you do a flush it's likely going to release some of them. So if anyone out there is doing one of these flushes and it makes you feel worse or feel kinda sick afterwards, it might not be that it's made you worse, it could be detox. Remember to drink lots of water to help flush everything out and keep up on your electrolytes and it will pass faster and make you feel better.

Also I wanted to say that I've found that taking 4 Tablespoons of Epsom Salt was WAY too much for me. My mother and have had the same amount of success with only taking 2 teaspoons - 1 tablespoon once in the evening and then once again in the morning. But of course everybody's different, so that might not work for you.

I have had No Problems Whatsoever with taking ACV or Apple Juice since passing that first gallstone, and I take back everything I said about it making me feel sick and nauseous. It's actually very good and recommended for nausea and stomach problems becuase it settles the stomach and is good for your body.

Thank you. Good luck to all of you, and thank you so much to everyone who has posted their stories here, you've helped me so much! - Liz

Replied by Peteria

Liz, what's the recipe for the flush? Been experiencing pain from gallstones for years. ACV works, but I want to get rid of them once and for all. Thanks, P.

Greta Farina
(Kamloops, BC Canada)

Where can I find the recipe for the ACV flush?

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Jody (Westlake, Ohio) on 03/24/2008
5 out of 5 stars

I have been having attacks for a little over a year thinking that I had aniety problems. In the last week, I discovered that I have Gall stones and I have had an attack everyday for the last seven days. I tried taking a very hot shower and then a cold shower to shock my system, while the pain subsided nothing seemed to work. I found this site and I happened to have Apple Cider Vinegar handy along with Apple Juice. After I found this site and read the comments others posted, I tried the vinegar with Apple Juice. It has been twenty minutes and the pain is diminishing. I am very happy to land on a temporary relief for the pain. Thank you!

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Kathy (Baltimore, MD) on 06/22/2006
5 out of 5 stars


Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Grace (Cairns, Australia) on 01/22/2006
5 out of 5 stars

Yes I was suffering awful stabbing pains in the right side of my upper abdomen, I think it might have been a gallstone. However, after taking only one tablespoon of apple cider vineger in some warm water the pain has now gone.

Apple Cider Vinegar, Aloe Vera

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Elizabeth (Chicoutimi, Quebec) on 11/16/2014
5 out of 5 stars

Undiagnosed officially but when I had acute pain in area where gall bladder is supposed to reside, after eating too many greasy foods, on more than one occasion I have taken apple cider vinegar which helped quickly. Again, several times I had sudden great pain and pressure in lower back, again undiagnosed but which appeared to be the passing of a kidney stone, I drank Aloe Vera juice and got immediate relief. It can't be proved, but at any rate both products are harmless.

Apple Cider Vinegar, Lavender Oil

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Ladyblink (Chattanooga, Tn) on 05/01/2016
5 out of 5 stars


I have to say I was having the worst gallbladder/gallstone attack and came to for help. I read that ACV and also Lavender oil helped this. I was desperate and reached over to my lavender essential oil and put one drop on my forefinger and stuck it in my mouth. Within 5 minutes my pain had subsided greatly.

I then put 2 cap-fulls of ACV into a drink. Within 10 minutes I felt 95% better!!

I have looked into research about ACV helping dissolve gallstones, so far I'm only 1.5 days in after a month-long battle. I have had oily/fatty foods without a problem!! I can't believe it is working, but I am going to stick to two cap-fulls of ACV twice a day in my drink in hopes to get rid of these gallstones I have. I've taken 3 doses of 2 cap-fulls for the past two days and have no pain! It is a miracle!

I am also now administering it topically to my boyfriend's unknown rash. I just put the first treatment on him and will update in the appropriate thread.

Thank you so much earthclinic!

Apple Cider Vinegar, Olive Oil and Lemon Juice

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Amit Rajvanshi (India - Meerut(up)) on 03/23/2015
5 out of 5 stars

I am suffering from gallbladder stone. I had multiple stone in gallbladder. After lot of searching on internet I'm try a treatment using ACV, Olive oil and lemon juice. and guess what its flush out :):) in a 24 hours

NOTE:- first I m taking ACV around 2 weeks earlier before doing this process with olive oil & lemon juice.

Replied by Shenaaz
(South Africa)

What's the correct amount or dosage of this remedy and how many times a day should I have it?

Apple Cider Vinegar, Vitamin D

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Whisperingsage (Northeastern California) on 03/30/2014 47 posts
5 out of 5 stars

ACV blasts gallstones! I was doing a cholesterol cleanse with the Atkins protocol, and cleared out the smaller ones, but the bigger ones were very painful- so I took 1 quart of ACV over 3 days and they were gone, confiremd wiht ultrasound, the tech just knew he would find stones because "everyone " has stones. but they were gone!

However, I found I had to keep them away with high dose vitamin D. For me that is 25,000 IU a day.

Replied by Andrej

I have gallstones as well. Can you please give me detailed instructions on what and how much to drink at what time and for how long. Thank you

Replied by Joe


Can you please share the detailed instructions about how exactly you did this ACV protocol? Did you drink like 333ml (1/3rd of a quart) per day for 3 days? Did you dilute the ACV with anything? Did you divide in smaller doses? Did you eat/drink anything else beside the ACV during those 3 days?

Please could you please detail your protocol exactly, I really want to try it... What does vitamin D have to do with gallstone prevention? Thank you.

Apple Juice

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Liz (Hollywood, Ca.) on 02/21/2013
5 out of 5 stars

I was doing very well prior to slipping back into eating out. Little by little it seems to build and bam, attack!! The Stone has been released!

I noticed that table bread for me in any amount should be avoided at all cost. I also noticed that excessive fat content in one or two meals in a day will bring it on.

I am doing a flush now with Organic Apple Juice. I drink warm/hot water in the morning with Lemon Juice. I am sticking to mostly vegi's and rice during the Flush. I am doing this Flush with the help of a Dr and a Nutritionist. I am taking a bile thining supplement. I am tying to eat healthy fat and do not have an issue with Real Organic Butter or Salt in moderation with vegi's. I did this flush before and flushed many Stones. Yet, it dawned on me after eating a slightly escallating amount of trigger foods which I am probably also alergic to, I was passing a stone. The Apple Juice is a miracle disolvent for Stones. After an attack rest your body because there is so much going on with the Bile Duct. Drink Apple Juice and try to stay stress free. Eat carefully.

If I have to have surgery but with more disapline and time, MAYBE I can avoid it because I also contemplate the what if's. You know, what if it the start of hospital surgeries. I have read that if your healthy and your bloodwork shows high levels resulting from an attack then you may be able to heal by eating a better diet. Potatoes (Gold) seem to also be a miracle food for some reason. Good luck with your health.

I read last night that it takes years for stones to develope. If you have cleaned up your diet and you go back to eating something you are not use too you will trigger a potential stone release. You have to dissolve the stones and you have to eat healthy fat. The Gallbladder needs good fat.. That's it's job. I underworked mine. I didn't eat good or bad fat just refined breads and sugar over the years and minimal vegtables. I love carb's.