Your gallbladder is a 3- to 4-inch-long organ that is shaped like a pear and resides on the right side of your abdomen. Your gallbladder performs several important tasks in your body, including the storage and excretion of bile and the removal of poisonous substances from your blood. Certain herbal medicines may help combat various gallbladder disorders, including inflammation, infection or obstruction.
There are many types of gallbladder disease, including gangrene, abscesses, gallstones, gallbladder polyps, congenital defects, gallbladder tumors and bile duct tumors. One of the most common gallbladder problems is gallstones. The Cedars-Sinai Medical Center states that if gallstones block your cystic duct, your gallbladder can become inflamed, which causes extreme abdominal pain. The pain of a gallstone attack usually lasts from 30 minutes to several hours.
Certain herbal medicines may help treat your gallbladder problems. According to Phyllis A. Balch, certified nutritional consultant and author of "Prescription for Nutritional Healing," peppermint oil is an effective herbal medicine for cleansing your gallbladder. Fumitory, an herbal medicine that has long been used in traditional medicine systems, may help encourage the flow of bile from your gallbladder. Turmeric is a helpful herb for reducing your risk of gallstones. Other gallbladder-specific herbs include ginger, parsley and dandelion.
Best Herbal Medicine
One of the best herbal medicines for gallbladder problems is catnip. Catnip, notes Balch, helps get rid of intestinal gas, aids digestion and improves the quality of your sleep. This herbal medicine also helps relieve stress, stimulates your appetite and has been used to treat gallbladder problems, anxiety, inflammation, pain, colds and flu. The University of Michigan Health System notes that catnip is often prescribed by doctors as a mild sedative for people suffering insomnia and nervous exhaustion.
Some gallbladder problems are serious and require medical assistance. If you have severe abdominal pain, meet with your doctor as soon as possible, as there are many possible causes of this symptom. Herbal medicines should not be used in place of treatment methods prescribed by your health care provider. In most cases, herbal medicines are a helpful addition to your gallbladder treatment plan. Discuss herb-related details with you doctor, including potential side effects, to help ensure your safety and well-being.
- "Prescription for Nutritional Healing"; Phyllis A. Balch, CNC; 2010
- University of Michigan Health System: Catnip