A gallbladder cleanse involves committing to a diet of olive oil, herbs and fruit juice over the course of several days to a week, according to the Mayo Clinic. This diet works to break up gallstones and flush them out of the gallbladder to be excreted out of the body.
A thorough gallbladder cleanse devised by researcher and biochemist Dr. David Williams takes one week to complete, during which time the individual is encouraged to drink as much fruit juice, specifically apple juice, as possible. Taking occasional capsules of disodium phosphate dissolved in water can help the flushing process, explains Dr. Williams. The evening meal is replaced by more fruit juice as well as 1/2 cup of unrefined olive oil each night.
The olive oil acts as a laxative, such that any pieces of gallstones flushed from the gallbladder are removed entirely from the body through the stool, states the Mayo Clinic. While most agree that olive oil and fruit juice are essential to a cleanse, there is no standardized instruction on how to practice a gallbladder cleanse, so individuals may follow their own recipes. There may be side effects felt during a cleanse, such as nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. Depending on the situation, another method of gallstone treatment, such as surgery, may be necessary.