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H
erbal Medicine
 
Cholecystitis
(Gallbladder Inflammation)

© David L. Hoffmann BSc (Hons), MNIMH

Chronic: A pathologic term for a thick walled, fibrotic, contracted gallbladder clinically, it is used to describe chronic gallbladder disease characterized by symptoms that include recurrent biliary colic.

Acute: Acute inflammation of the gallbladder wall, usually as a response to cystic duct obstruction by a gallstone.

This condition is characterized by severe pain that becomes localized in the upper right quadrant, radiating to right lower scapula. Nausea &vomiting are common. Murphy's sign is found. Cholecystitis responds well to herbal treatment given time, which the patient may not allow it because of the extreme pain. Diet is pivotal as any fats will precipitate the pain.

Allopathic medicine tends to downplay the role of the gall bladder and of bile in digestion. That may be why the gall bladder is so often surgically removed when gallstones are present, and it is said that such people lead perfectly normal lives thereafter. Even though the absence of the gallbladder is tolerable, the presence of a healthy gallbladder helps ensure digestive effectiveness which directly decreases the chances of arteriosclerosis, irritable bowel syndrome, hypertension, heart disease, stroke, and so forth.


Actions indicated for the processes behind this disease

Hepatic tonics will support the work of the liver and so have a positive metabolic effect .
Anti-inflammatories may help in reducing the severity of swelling.
Anti-spasmodics may help ease the colic in the gallbladder or ducts.
"Eliminative support" must be given to help the body as a whole deal with the systemic problems that ensue from the digestive repercussions as well as the pain induced stress..
Alteratives/Tonics will support the body as a whole in its healing work.
Nervines help ease the strain from the pain and general worry.
Anti-microbials will be helpful as surface immune support even if there is no infection present.
Caution: Bitters and strong cholagogues are contraindicated because they increase the strength of muscle contraction.

Specific Remedies
The usual hepatic tonics and anti-lithics will be useful here but are not specifics as such.


One possible prescription

Wild Yam - 2 parts
Fringetree Bark - 2 parts
Valerian - 2 parts
Dandelion root - 1 part
Black Root - 1 part to 5 ml taken tree times a day.

An infusion of a carminative, anti-spasmodic, nervine should be taken regularly throughout the day. Chamomile is an excellent example.

This supplies anti-spasmodic, hepatic, nervine preventative anti-lithicactions. Many other herbs could be used. Consider Balmony, Vervain, Oregon Grape etc.. The eclectics would have suggested Golden Seal in small amounts as part of such a mixture, as well as Lobelia.


Broader Context of Treatment
Diet and stress management are crucial. Chemical pain relief may be indicated in the severe cases.

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About The Author
Whilst working in conservation and lecturing in ecology and the eco-crisis for the University of Wales, David Hoffman became convinced that to heal the world, to embrace planetary wholeness and responsibility for it with hope, he as an individual had to be whole within himself....more
 
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