“Fat in stools means that not enough bile is being released from the gallbladder to emulsify fats. The most common reason in GAPS patients is gallstones. A gallstone is a clump of infection or a fragment of a worm, coated by bile: this is a defence reaction the liver has, when pathogens get into the bile ducts,” Dr. Natasha says in FAQS.

Fat in the stool is often recognized with stools that float. For most people this is not a point of concern as it adjusts on time while on GAPS.

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McBride goes on to say, “(When) the liver does not get enough stimulation to empty the bile into the duodenum, the bile stones stay in the bile ducts too long and become calcified. As the stones accumulate calcium salts on their surface, they get larger and their surface becomes hard and rough, so they cannot be easily passed through the bile ducts.”

These stones build and grow in the liver and gallbladder. As they grow they block the bile ducts and bile is not passed through into the intestines. This leads to inadequate digestion of fats.

For many people on GAPS the protocol resolves the situation all on its own. For some more assistance is needed. For these cases Dr. Natasha recommends the Dr. Hulda Clark’s Liver Cleanse.


Preparing for the cleanse

Gallbladder cleansing is recommended during the full moon. Three to six days before the full moon, when you have your cleanse scheduled, drinking GAPS shakes will soften gallstones, massage the gallbladder and open up the bile ducts. Some do two GAPS shakes a day. Dr. Clark recommends apple juice alone. GAPS shakes will provide a similar effect without swinging blood sugars.

A GAPS shake is fresh pressed juice from a juicer with a large dollop or two of homebrewed sour cream and one or two yolks from pastured chicken eggs. The juice should be comprised of 50% organic green apple as the malic acid in the apple assists in softening gallstones. The remainder of the juice should be organic greens and 5% organic beet, according to Dr. Natasha’s recommendation. That said, when this author’s favorite juice is 50% organic kale, one organic lemon and two small organic green apples with one or two dollops of home brewed sour cream and one or two pastured yolks. 

If you can not do GAPS shakes due to the sour cream, coconut oil is recommended as a substitute. If GAPS shakes are not an option, juicing apples would be optimal. Clark recommends 32 ounces a day. If juicing apples is not possible drinking organic cold pressed juice like this one or this one is fine. 

IMAG0863Drink the juice within 30 minutes of juicing as it loses its nutritional value quickly. The sooner you drink after juicing, the more nutrition is retained.

The gallbladder cleanse

Six days prior to cleanse drink GAPS shakes, one to two each day.

The day of the gallbladder cleanse it is recommended to eat vegetables and fruits, not fats. The last meal should be before 2 pm. 

Some sources say if you eat fat this day of the cleanse you will vomit. This is not true. I, myself, as well as clients, report no difference from eating all fat the day of the cleanse vs all fruit and vegetables the day of the cleanse. For me, I stick with fat as I do better intellectually, emotionally and physically on fat. I have even done a gallbladder cleanse where I ate home made rutabaga fries, eggs and bacon only the day of the cleanse. The results were the same and I felt great.

2:00 p.m. – No more eating

Between 2-5 do one to two cleansing enemas to flush the colon of fecal matter. This will allow a clear path for gallstones to pass. 

ID-100341296:00 p.m. – In a quart sized mason jar add 24 ounces of filtered water and 4 tablespoons epsom salts. Be sure the epsom salts are marked USP (United States Pharmacopeia) meaning it can be ingested. This is a commonly available brand, however be sure it doesn’t have extra bath soaking beneficial aromas or additives that may not be food grade (like this one).  Shake this mixture up thoroughly. Drink 6 ounces now, at 6 p.m. You can add lemon juice for flavor.

8:00 p.m. – Drink 6 more ounces of the epsom salt mixture. 

9:45 p.m.- Juice two organic grapefruits yielding 3/4 cup fresh squeezed grapefruit juice. Add 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil like this one.  Do not drink just yet. First, do all your bedtime duties like using the restroom and brushing your teeth. 

10 p.m.- Standing at your bedside shake the mixture of grapefruit juice and olive oil thoroughly. Drink completely within 5 minutes and immediately lie down flat on your back with your head propped up with a pillow. Lie flat and still with no stimulation, no movement or energy used for at least 20 minutes. 

Andreas Moritz says some people can feel gallstones moving through the ducts at this stage.

In his book The Amazing Liver Cleanse Moritz says, “You may feel nauseous during the night and/or in the early morning hours. This is mostly due to the strong, sudden outpouring of gallstones and toxins from the liver and gallbladder, pushing the oil mixture back into the stomach. The nausea will pass as the morning progresses.” (page 103).

IMAG45726 am: Drink 6 more ounces of the epsom salt mixture.

8 am: Drink 6 more ounces of the epsom salt mixture. 

Ease into food gently. This day is generally filled with many trips to the bathroom. Stones float. Older stones have a pale yellow, light tan or white color. Some even sound like a stone if you hit it with a spoon. Others that are younger are green or orange in color. 

Dr. Clark recommends continuing the gallbladder cleanse until 2,000 stones have passed. Often times this takes 6 months of cleanses.

Moritz says headaches after the gallbladder cleanse or a few days after the cleanse could be due to stones or toxins in the intestinal tract. He says, “The toxins released by these stones can enter the circulatory system and cause discomfort. In such a case it may be necessary to drink 4 oz of apple juice for 7 consecutive days.” (page 112).

Doing a cleansing enema will assist in flushing more stones. A coffee enema will optimally further assist the flow of stones.  Click here to read why. Stones exist in the gallbladder and liver. 

*If you learned something from this post share it so others can do the same. To support the efforts of this blog shop the affiliate links IMAG4579above like this one. You pay the same shopping through Amazon while the author receives a small referral fee from Amazon. This offsets the costs of this site.

*Nourishing Plot is written by Becky Plotner, ND, traditional naturopath, CGP, D.PSc. who sees clients in Rossville, Georgia. She works as a Certified GAPS Practitioner who sees clients in her office, Skype and phone. She has been published in Wise Traditions, spoken at two Weston A. Price Conferences, Certified GAPS Practitioner Trainings, has been on many radio shows, television shows and writes for Nourishing Plot. Since her son was delivered from the effects of autism (Asperger’s syndrome), ADHD, bipolar disorder/manic depression, hypoglycemia and dyslexia, through food, she continued her education specializing in Leaky Gut and parasitology through Duke University, finishing with distinction. She is a Chapter Leader for The Weston A. Price Foundation. [email protected]

“GAPS™ and Gut and Psychology Syndrome™ are the trademark and copyright of Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride. The right of Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride to be identified as the author of this work has been asserted by her in accordance with the Copyright, Patent and Designs Act 1988.



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18 Responses to Gallbladder Cleansing While On GAPS

  1. This is great Becky! Thank you. If a person has their bed elevated due to GERD do they need to find a flatter surface to lie on for this to work properly?

  2. Priscilla says:

    Hey Becky, the article says 1/5 cup of olive oil but I used 1/2 cup. Should I still use 1/2 cup?

    • Becky Plotner says:

      Thanks Priscilla! You are correct, it is half a cup as we discussed. When I’m tired I tend to make the same mistakes – one of which is when writing 1/2 I make it 1/5 as I’m saying half in my mind I type the 5. Some day I’ll get it all right, today is just not that day.

      • Priscilla says:

        I totally get that. I’ve done similar things before 😉 Kinda getting excited/anxious for my next cleanse. Bring on the apples!

  3. Clark says:

    Does drinking apple juice (or any fermentable substrate) push someone’s progress back on the GAPS diet? I assume all the fructose will feed yeast

  4. Anthony Ocran says:

    This is such a severely underestimated problem. I dare to say that EVERYONE starting on the GAPS protocol has hundreds and THOUSANDS of intra hepathic cholesterol based gallstones clogging up all the bile ducts and blocking bile from flowing freely through the liver and out into the duodenum. I had been on GAPS strictly for 6months and not seeing any sign of improvement until I got into coffee enemas and ultimately liver flushing. I was absolutely mortified after my first liver flush that immediately yielded 2 thousand pea sized gallstones! I released thousands more over the course of 22flushes and I am still not done. Bile flow is still impaired.. I think this is one of the reasons so many people take years to get better on GAPS because impaired bile flow will significantly hinder gut healing as bile is the substance that digests most foods as well as regulates the PH of the intestinal tract which keeps pathogens in check. I think most GAPS patients could greatly benefit from doing a series of liver flushes combined with the protocol.

    • Becky Plotner says:

      I totally agree.

      Sounds like you’re in the right place doing a great job! I believe you’ve saved yourself from gallbladder surgery! Nice!

  5. Danita says:

    Hi Becky – is there a gentler/preferred way of tackling gallstones with children?

  6. Jacquelyn says:

    I am confused. In one place about gallbladder cleanses this blog says people should be on the GAPS protocol for a year before undertaking a cleanse. In this blog it sounds like anyone who is on intro stage 2 can do a gall bladder cleanse. Am I missing something? I would love to get started on these ASAP, but I appreciate the idea of being prepared with enough goodness in my tract first.

    • Becky Plotner says:

      The time frame really depends on the situation for the body, it’s very bio individual. The really important part is the GAPS Shakes prep six days prior to each flush.

      • Wendy says:

        Hi Becky! I’m excited to find your information. I am a small build, about 100 pounds. Would I follow the exact same protocol, same amounts? I had read somewhere about a lady about my weight that had some complications due to the high Epsom salt content.
        Also, if I can’t tolerate dairy, can I use coconut oil, coconut milk, and/or avocado for the shakes?

        • Becky Plotner says:

          It really depends on the person, I’ve seen folks three times your size have issue with the Epsom salts. Yes, coconut oil is a substitute.

  7. Maya says:

    Hello Becky,
    Can you do this on other day but the full moon?

  8. Hi Becky, thanks for your good work! I am breastfeeding my 20 month old baby. Could I make the gallbladder flush? Lately my baby has hives flare ups, maybe it’s because I’m detoxifying.

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