Home Remedy May Help Prevent Surgery in Some Patients with Gallstones
(North American Primary Care Research Group) Results of a study examining the efficacy of a traditional home remedy for inducing gallstone expulsion using lemon juice, olive oil, cascara sagrada and garlic/castile enemas suggested that this protocol has the potential to safely eliminate the need for gallstone surgery in a substantial percentage of patients.
Six patients with symptomatic cholelithiasis proven by ultrasound were included in the study. The subjects completed a three-day treatment protocol and collected Gallstones recovered from the enema. All of the patients passed stones. No side effects were observed, except for mild nausea in one patient. Intermittent ultrasound monitoring was performed for three hours per day each day of the protocol.
A final ultrasound assessed the degree of clearing of cholelithiasis. Five of the patients were asymptomatic for follow-up periods ranging from two to 27 months; mild symptoms returned in one of these patients after three months. The patient who remained symptomatic underwent cholecystectomy about one month after the home-remedy protocol. One of the asymptomatic patients who passed all of her stones underwent cholecystectomy anyway under the advice of her surgeon. The investigators believe that, with modifications, this protocol could safely eliminate the need for surgery in many patients with cholelithiasis.—richard l. garrison, m.d., University of Texas Medical School, Houston.