Sign In
  • ENG

Herbal remedies for gallstones

Written by Anusuya Suresh |Updated : July 21, 2016 11:43 AM IST

Read this in Hindi.

The liver produces bile which plays an important role in the digestive process. This bile is stored in the gall bladder and released as and when necessary. Bile is a complex mixture of different chemicals which tend to form a hard mass or lump over time these chemical deposits are called gallstones. People often have gallstones for several years without being aware of it; it is only when the stones block the duct that carries bile out of the gallbladder that one experiences pain and this problem gets diagnosed as gallstones. Here are a few herbal remedies that can help to prevent or deal with gallstones.


Also Read

More News

Apples contain malic acid that acts on the chemicals in the gallstones and by consuming apple juice, the stones tend to grow softer, passing more easily out through the duct. Apple cider vinegar is said to prevent the production of cholesterol which is one of the important components of gallstones. By drinking a mixture made up of 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in a glass of apple juice, it is possible to find relief from the pain associated with gallstones. Here are health benefits of apple.

Milk thistle

Milk thistle is a herb found primarily in the Mediterranean region and contains a chemical called silymarin. Silymarin is believed to play a role in reducing the cholesterol content in the bile; it also has the effect of making the bile more liquid, making its passage through the duct easier. However, milk thistle can cause an allergic reaction in persons who are allergic to ragweed; it is also not recommended for persons with hormone-sensitive cancers. Here are some health benefits of milk thistle.


According to Ayurveda, turmeric is a herb that stimulates the liver as well as the flow of bile; as the result, there is lesser likelihood of the solidification of the chemicals into gallstones. Consuming turmeric regularly can help to prevent gallstone formation; in persons with stones, turmeric can help to dissolve them. Half a teaspoon of turmeric powder can be consumed with a little honey on a daily basis to prevent gallstones formation. Read more about health benefits of turmeric.

Green tea

Coffee is believed to have a beneficial effect against gallstone formation. Due to its stimulant action, caffeine in coffee causes the contraction of the gall bladder walls and this action discourages the formation of gallstones. However, coffee has some significant disadvantages due to its high stimulant and addictive potential. To benefit from the beneficial effects of caffeine, it makes sense to drink green tea which contains caffeine in lesser proportion as compared to coffee. Read more about health benefits of green tea.


Globe artichokes are said to be useful for liver and gallbladder function. This is linked to their ability to increase the liquefaction of the bile, preventing the formation of hard chemical deposits. However, in persons who have some obstruction of the bile duct, consuming artichoke could result in a gallstone attack and therefore, this remedy is not recommended for such persons.

Read more about Gallstones causes, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment

Castor oil

A gallstone attack can be quite painful and castor oil can be a useful remedy to get rid of the pain. Castor oil can be applied to a clean cloth and placed on the affected area; a plastic wrap can be placed on this, followed by a heating pad or hot water bottle. Keeping this on for an hour and repeating for 3 successive days can help to reduce the inflammation and pain. Here are amazing health benefits of castor oil.


Gokhru or gokshura is a herb that is used in Ayurveda to treat gallbladder and urinary tract disorders. It is available in the form of a powder and can be used to detoxify the gallbladder. However, it must be used under supervision of a qualified Ayurveda practitioner.

An important point to note when it comes to gallstones is that the time of intervention is crucial. Herbal remedies are most effective during the initial stages before inflammation sets in. Once the gallbladder is inflamed and totally blocked with stones, herbal remedies are insufficient to cope with the problem; at this stage, the only remedy may be surgery.

Photo source: Getty images

For more articles on diseases & conditions, visit our diseases & conditions section. For daily free health tips, sign up for our newsletter.

Total Wellness is now just a click away.

Follow us on