Medical Gall Bladder Flush or Fraud?

  1. What happens when you mix lemon juice with olive oil, and place both in a mild hydrochloric acid solution (such as gastric stomach acid). I have seen it claimed that this will cause the gall bladder to release STONES, which are then passed through a bowel movement. Or is this whole thing a fraud? Is there a chemical reaction between the lemon juice and the olive oil?
  2. jcsd
  3. Astronuc

    Staff: Mentor

    I doubt that lemon juice and olive oil in stomach acid will affect gallstones, but this is something to discuss with one's doctor. The following article discusses gallstones.

    From the National Institutes of Health
    Having gallstones can be serious if they are not treated properly. My maternal grandmother died from an abscessed gallbladder, but then she was misdiganosed, and once septicemia occurred, treatment was too late.
  4. alxm

    alxm 1,845
    Science Advisor

    I'm going to go out on a limb and dismiss it as bogus, for the reason that gallstones are a serious ailment, and that if they could be 'cured' so simply it would be routine to do so already.

    The second reason is that I can't immediately see how lemon juice would do anything significant here. Gall stones are fatty and should be oil-soluble, but on the other hand, the oil isn't going to stay around your duodenum for very long. Also, the very purpose of bile (IIRC) is to act as a detergent to break up fats and aid their digestion. So anything that isn't dissolved by the bile (gallstones), probably won't be dissolved by any common fats.

    Third reason is I'm not quite sure how anything in your digestive tract is supposed to get into your gall bladder. Although perhaps that's not what's intended here. But I think the problem with gall stones (as a medical condition) is that they're simply too big to fit into the bile channel and out into the colon.

    I'm guessing gallstones are probably soluble in bulk cholesterol. But drinking that would probably be a bad idea.
  5. Thank you for your answers so far. I posted this in a chemistry forum because I do not know enough about chemistry to answer the question as to what happens when citris (fresh lemon juice) is combined with olive oil in gastric stomach acid. This "gall bladder flush" does produce STONES of some kind. Genuine gall bladder stones ALWAYS sink in water. The "stones" that are passed when someone is doing this treatment FLOAT. They are not gall bladder stones. This flush has no effect what-so-ever on the gall bladder. But I'm having some trouble convincing my health-nut 24-year-old son that these are not gall bladder stones. He thinks he has gall bladder stones, even though he has never had any symptoms of anything wrong with his gall bladder. Seeing is believing, and he has passed green stones. I say they're not gall bladder stones. But what is chemically going on with the lemon juice and olive oil that is producing these stones?
  6. Evo

    Staff: Mentor

    The "flush" is bogus. Olive oil and lemon juice makes a nice salad dressing though.

    I've moved this to biology since you are asking about how the body would digest.

    Here is your answer.

    The Truth about Gallbladder and Liver "Flushes"
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2009
  7. That's very helpful. Thank you!!!!
  8. Monique

    Monique 4,445
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Evo is right, it is bogus and the results (the apparent 'stones' that are passed) are produced by saponification of the olive oil and lemon juice.
  9. Hi all, so let me start off by saying I'm not hard core for or against, more of a self experimenter seeking truth. Let me also say this was not done because I have symptoms of gallstones or any problems, I'm in my early 30's and in good shape. I've done a variant on this cleanse three times now. It goes, eat low fat for four days, drink plenty of apple juice, drink a cup of olive oil and go to bed. The first time I did this, I got the "stones" out. The second time I did this was about two years later, the exact same procedure. This time however, there were no stones at all. Nothing odd looking came out, it was business as usual. I didn't think too much of it, but about two months later I started getting nauseas when I would eat, didn't matter what I was eating. I also had a persistent cramp in my right hand side that wouldn't go away for about a week. I have a high pain tolerance so I don't know if I was in pain or just had a cramp. Either way, I wondered if maybe my cleanse of two months ago dislodged something that was blocking me up. I read that epsom salts can cause the bile ducts to help move stones through, so I tried drinking the proportionate amount. About an hour later I felt something moving in my right hand side then the pain and nausea went away. I decided to do another cleanse two days later since I had already been on the diet since I wasn't feeling good. This time, over the next two days I had the "stones" again.

    Again, I don't feel passionate one way or the other about this topic, but my question would be if the "stones" are just a reaction to what is being taken for the cleanse and not actual stones from somewhere in the body, why would I not have had consistent results all three times. I would expect if it were a reaction to what is being consumed at the time of the cleanse, then a person could do a cleanse every week and see consistently the hundred "stones" of various sizes that seem to come out when it is done say every year or so. That might be an interesting test, but I don't love the taste of olive oil that much to try it out.

    I wonder if anyone has ever taken gallstones removed from a gallbladder surgery and soaked them in a malic acid solution or just apple or lemon juice to see what happens, it can't be that hard to get your hands on some real gallstones with all the gallbladder surgery being done in this country.

    Just my experience with this questionable question.
  10. Evo

    Staff: Mentor

    It's a joke, and not a nice joke, see this old post. You would need some level of acid for the soap to form, it might be that you did not have enough acid the subsequent times to "make soap". If you are experiencing pain, go to a reputable doctor and avoid "internet myths".

    See my previous post.

    The Truth about Gallbladder and Liver "Flushes"
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2010
  11. I doubt something as simple as that would release gallstones. Then again I don't really know.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 9, 2014
  12. Monique

    Monique 4,445
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    It is a hoax, these flushes don't work and the "stones" that come out are caused by the saponification of the oil you've ingested. Get proper treatment from a medical doctor.
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