The infamous Gallbladder Cleanse.
I've preached about this for years and threatened to write about it for just as long, but I never quite get around to it. Mostly because afterwards, it’s the last thing I want to relive. But here I am, taking one for the team.
So, what's a gallbladder:
The gallbladder’s main function is to produce bile which helps you break down fats in the gut. Think of it like trying to clean a greasy plate without soap. The gallbladder creates the “soap” to help break down the “grease” and aid in digestion.
Unfortunately for the gallbladder, we have manufactured this nasty beast called vegetable oil, which seems to be in almost everything, from the obvious like fast food to oat milk and almost all processed goods. It's a real issue. Among other things, vegetable oil blocks up the gallbladder by creating cholesterol stones, overwhelming the poor wee thing and clogging it up.
This can lead to issues such as:
- Upper abdominal pain that increases rapidly
- Pain in the back between the shoulder blades
- Pain under the right shoulder
- Nausea & vomiting
- Abdominal bloating
- Intolerance of fatty foods
I'd say that even if you don't have symptoms, it's worth having a clearout.
Before I begin I should point out that this is NOT health advice, and you are doing this cleanse at your own risk (kind of like when you eat potato chips baked in vegetable oil).
There is no scientific evidence to suggest that this cleanse works but my personal experience and countless others would suggest otherwise. Try it for yourself and see.
What you need:
It's pretty basic, you need three things:
- Epsom salts (the ones without added scents etc)
- Good quality olive oil
- A large grapefruit or two small ones (NOT premix grapefruit juice). I've heard lemons work too, but I've never tried it.
It's pretty straightforward.
There are a lot of accounts online to suggest that for 5 days before the cleanse you should drink a glass of apple juice to assist in softening the stones. I haven't, but go nuts if you feel called.
On the morning of the cleanse have a light breakfast and light lunch, and then at 2 pm, stop eating and drinking altogether (not water either).
At 6 pm have a pint glass of water with 1 tablespoon of Epsom salts mixed in.
This may give you an upset stomach, that’s completely normal.
At 8 pm have a pint glass of water with 1 tablespoon of Epson salts mixed in.
Before 10 pm get yourself ready for bed.
At about 9:45 pm squeeze the grapefruit into a pint glass until it's half full. Then fill the remainder of the glass with olive oil and give it a good mix.
Then at exactly 10 pm (or as close as you can) mix the grapefruit and olive oil once more and drink it as fast as possible.
Ideally in your bedroom, because then you want to get straight into bed and lie still on your right-hand side for at least 20min. Ideally falling asleep that way, but not essential.
You may even feel the stones dropping out as the concoction overloads your gallbladder forcing a max exodus.
I usually have a horrible night's sleep, but it's worth it.
The next morning, have one last glass of the Epsom salt water mix, then at 10 am return to business as usual.
You may still have a little bit of an upset stomach. But (if your game enough) you'll see little green peas in your stool. This is all that caked-up vegetable oil junk that's been lodged in your system for decades.
I love this cleanse, it's super satisfying, and often a go-to after water fasting.
I wouldn't recommend doing it more often than once every few months, but once things clear up more you can cut back to 6 monthly.
If you have any questions, feel free to reach out! Also keen to hear about your experiences once you're done.