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Ask the Herbalist--Gall Bladder

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QUESTION: Have had a chronic problem now for nine years. Went to an integrative med doctor who did blood work and said I had thyroid problem. But that's not my subject. Thought I had a urinary problem for the first several years because painful urine is the most obvious symptom. Tried about everything out there and finally have come to the conclusion that it is some sort of cholecystitis without the stones; have done several different kinds of flushes. Anyway, I noticed that only several things help my gallbladder function- lying down, plant sterol complex, pickle's, and glucosamine sulfate. But whenever the gallbladder works with whatever method, I have very bad smelling gas. I assume there is a septic situation in the bilary area. I now know the urinary pain is when the bile backs up in the liver, it then ends up in the urine which at one time caused acidosis which led to candidiasis and a host of other problems that thank God I'm not dealing with now. Have tried in the past Wormwood, Dandelion, Oregon grape, myrrh, cats claw etc, buying bulk but not getting very far.

ANSWER: This is a complicated picture and you have tried many approaches. If you have a gall bladder stone and/or infection, more flushing may not be the answer. Did the MD investigate the problems you have had with your gall bladder? It would help you find the right remedy if we know more clearly what your body's messages are saying.
             In the meantime, there are two simple ways to improve your health. Try the equivalent of 2 grams twice a day of Schizandra, best in this instance as a tincture, 1/2 tsp diluted in water three times a day. This is an herb that supports liver health, bile formation, and immunity. It works best taken consistently for four to six weeks. Schizandra combines well with Ashwagandha, an herb that may support thyroid function, though there is no evidence it can replace thyroid hormone therapy if that is required by your body. Second, try chlorella, either liquid or tablets, to change the flora in the gastrointestinal tract over a period of weeks at dosages indicated on the labels. I like Sun brand. 
           That should start you in the right direction. Let the integrative medicine doctor know what you are doing, and please let me know the results.

Part 2: QUESTION: Thanks for your input.
          Bought half pound of Schizandra a few years ago and tried it probably for a week with no results, but have not tried a tincture. Have also gone through a half of Ashwagandha and did get a little help from it. Have gone through two pounds of chlorella powder in a several month period. Had a severe detox reaction at first pound and eased off on second pound. Felt like my stomach was being ripped out with nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting.
        The integrative doctor wanted to refer me to an endocrinologist for hyper thyroid, which I'm not into being cut, drugged , or radiated. Did a little Lemon Balm and calmed it right down. Also found another therapy; "iodine" which when done in mega dose reverses auto-immune and it did work. Currently using kelp.
          Do you think that the Thyroid could be messing with the gallbladder? I've had allot of issues in the past nine years and this is the last ordeal "I believe" I am facing.
           Wanted to mention - ate a pickle and some iceberg lettuce prior to my meal and the gallbladder is working like a champ. But it gets old having to do this before every meal. But when the gallbladder works the urinary pain is gone every time without fail.

ANSWER: I am glad if you feel better, but it sounds like you could use lower doses of chlorella. It takes more than a week to get the hepatic and immune benefit of Schizandra, at about 4 grams a day. The thyroid affects everything but I do not know of a direct connection between hyperthyroid and gall bladder. If you are hyper rather than hypo (more common), and if Lemon Balm truly sorted that out, it's a good idea to get a second reading on your thyroid function since you're taking kelp and since ashwagandha appears to potentiate thyroid function. You seem to be sensitive. You can see an endocrinologist for information without having to be drugged or cut. If a pickle and some iceberg turns on gall bladder function and this is why the urinary pain clears up, I still think Schizandra may help but clear information about what is going on would be even more helpful.