Gallstones don’t always cause symptoms. But when they do, they hurt indeed! Treatment calls for gallbladder removal, but sometimes, medicines may be used to dissolve gallstones and prevent future episodes. However, lemon juice might have the same effect.
It all starts with the digestive fluid called bile that contains cholesterol, bile salts, and bilirubin, which is made when red blood cells break down. If these substances are not in balance, gallstones can crop up. The risk further increases with high blood cholesterol, obesity, rapid weight loss and high-caloric diets. Females over 40, or those having a family history of gallstones are also more likely to have them. It can be one large gallstone or hundreds of little ones.
A gallbladder attack starts when gallstones block the bile duct. The pain, which is sharp and intense, hovers in the upper right abdomen. Other symptoms include nausea, vomiting, fever, and yellowish skin.1 For a natural remedy, try lemon juice. You might be surprised at its effectiveness!
Lemon Juice And Gallstones
Lemon juice, being a rich source of vitamin C, helps in reducing your cholesterol levels, which in turn decreases chances of gallbladder attacks. In fact, high vitamin C intake reduces asymptomatic gallstones by 22 percent.2 Vitamin C stops cholesterol from saturating the bile so that it doesn’t crystallize and form gallstones.3 Bid adieu to pain!
The juice of one lemon contains 18.6 milligrams of vitamin C, while one tablespoon of bottled juice has 2.1 milligrams in a tablespoon.4 5 Here’s how to use it.
How To Prevent Gallstones
1. Lemon Juice And Water
Just make some tasty and refreshing lemonade as it is known to be a top choice for daily gallstone prevention. For enhancing the flavor, you may add honey or fresh mint.
- Mix 4 tablespoons of lemon juice in 1 cup of hot or cold water.
- Stir well and enjoy.
2. Lemon Juice And Green Tea
Green tea is known to decrease total and “bad” LDL cholesterol.6 So why not add some lemon juice to it? Not only does it taste great, but the vitamin C enhances the protective effect of green tea as well.
- Brew 1 cup of green tea.
- Add 4 tablespoons of lemon juice and mix well.
- To make iced tea, make an extra-strong cup and add ice cubes.
3. Lemon Juice And Dandelion Tea
Dandelion might also keep gallstones at bay. In an animal study in Food and Chemical Toxicology, it significantly suppressed total cholesterol.7 Daily intake of lemon juice shall stop gallbladder attacks even before they start.
- Boil 1 cup of water.
- Add 1 teaspoon of dried dandelion root.
- Let it sit for 5 to 10 minutes.
- Once the water is infused, strain the tea.
- Add 4 tablespoons of lemon juice. Mix well and enjoy.
4. Lemon Juice And Psyllium Powder Husk
Psyllium husk is packed with fiber, a nutrient that lowers cholesterol, which works by trapping bile.8 For a lemon juice drink, psyllium powder is the best bet! You can avoid constipation by drinking lots of water throughout the day.9 Different brands have different doses, so do read the package carefully before consuming it.
- Mix up to 4 tablespoons of lemon juice in 1 cup water.
- Add psyllium powder, according to the directions.
- Stir quickly and drink immediately.
5. Lemon And Avocado Dressing
Why stop at beverages? Lemon juice works as a simple dressing too! It can even be mixed with avocado, a fruit that improves dyslipidemia.10 Give it a try if you are suffering from high cholesterol.
- In a blender, add a ripe avocado and 3 tablespoons of lemon juice.
- Add 3 tablespoons of olive, avocado, or safflower oil.
- Top off with spices of your choice.
- Blend until smooth. Eat with pasta, salads, or sandwiches.
Is lemon too sour for your taste buds? Start with less lemon juice or add a dash of honey to sweeten it up. Whenever possible, use the juice from fresh lemons.
|↑1||Gallstones. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.|
|↑2||Simon, Joel A., and Esther S. Hudes. “Serum ascorbic acid and gallbladder disease prevalence among US adults: the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III).” Archives of internal medicine 160, no. 7 (2000): 931-936.|
|↑3||del Pozo, Reginald, Mirna Munoz, Andres Dumas, Claudio Tapia, Katia Munoz, Felipe Fuentes, Mafalda Maldonado, and Dieter Juengst. “Effects of vitamin C administration on cholesterol gallstone formation.” Revista medica de Chile 142, no. 1 (2014): 20-26.|
|↑4||Basic Report: 09152, Lemon juice, raw. United States Department of Agriculture.|
|↑5||Basic Report: 09153, Lemon juice from concentrate, canned or bottled. United States Department of Agriculture.|
|↑6||Zheng, Xin-Xin, Yan-Lu Xu, Shao-Hua Li, Xu-Xia Liu, Rutai Hui, and Xiao-Hong Huang. “Green tea intake lowers fasting serum total and LDL cholesterol in adults: a meta-analysis of 14 randomized controlled trials.” The American journal of clinical nutrition 94, no. 2 (2011): 601-610.|
|↑7||Davaatseren, Munkhtugs, Haeng Jeon Hur, Hye Jeong Yang, Jin-Taek Hwang, Jae Ho Park, Hyun-Jin Kim, Min Jung Kim, Dae Young Kwon, and Mi Jeong Sung. “Taraxacum official (dandelion) leaf extract alleviates high-fat diet-induced nonalcoholic fatty liver.” Food and chemical toxicology 58 (2013): 30-36.|
|↑8||Psyllium. University of Maryland Medical Center.|
|↑9||Psyllium. MedlinePlus, U.S. National Library of Medicine.|
|↑10||Gamboa-Gómez, Claudia I., Nuria E. Rocha-Guzmán, J. Alberto Gallegos-Infante, Martha R. Moreno-Jiménez, Blanca D. Vázquez-Cabral, and Rubén F. González-Laredo. “Plants with potential use on obesity and its complications.” EXCLI journal 14 (2015): 809.|