To treat gallbladder sludge naturally, increase bile production, liquefy and move the bile, shrink the stones and dump the bile. All four of these actions should be taken at the same time, according to naturopathic doctor Amy Neuzil.
To increase bile production, Neuzil recommends the use of foods and herbs, including artichokes, young beet greens, chamomile, chicory and blessed thistle. To stimulate the bile flow out of the liver and gallbladder and into the small intestines, add raw bitter greens, such as arugula, and bitter lettuces or dandelion greens to the diet. Next, shrink gallstones by adding acidity to leech calcium out of the gallstones; this can be accomplished by drinking apple cider vinegar mixed with water before meals. Finally, fiber is required a couple times per day to keep the bile from being reabsorbed in the small intestine.
Incorporating more gallbladder- and liver-friendly foods into the diet before sludge and stones have a chance to develop can benefit even healthy individuals. However, for those with a problem who are deciding between surgery and natural care, the main risk of the natural method is that a stone gets lodged in a duct. This causes excruciating pain and is a medical emergency, according to Neuzil. Surgery would then be the only option.