Posted to Subscribers on 14 January 2014


Dear Subscribers,

Could have named this Win 8 Blues or Stones! Take your pick but things are slowed to a nearly a standstill because of computer issues. Since many have these same challenges, let's talk about stones.

We have to start somewhere so let's differentiate between gall stones and kidney stones.

Gall Stones

Gall stones vary in size from tiny to huge, well, the size of a golf ball or even bigger. They are of different types and therefore also different colors. Cholesterol stones tend to be yellowish to brown and oval in shape, but many people have more pigmented stones. The color is due to bile pigments.

There are a number of theories as to how and why gall stones form. These involve the usual factors studied by researchers such as gender and ethnicity as well as diet. However, cholesterol stone formation often correlates to estrogen levels and my observation has been that women who opt for gall bladder removal often develop problems in the reproductive system after some years. I.e., the tendency towards formation of stones or poor metabolism of cholesterol persists and simply manifests elsewhere if the primary holding site is no longer available. This suggests to me the need to conquer the issue through diet and perfection of the metabolism of fatty foods. It goes without saying that even if the stones are flushed using the traditional olive oil and lemon juice protocol or dissolved with chemicals or herbs, the issue of recurrence is not addressed unless there are significant changes in the diet.

There are many herbs and spices that help with cholesterol metabolism. One of the most common is turmeric. To understand this better, we might consider the power an herb has to eat through its packaging. If one has high quality, fresh herbs that are aromatic and scintillating, they must be stored in ceramic or stainless steel containers because they will eat their way through plastic bags and eventually eat the paint on metal lids or dissolve plastic lids. When this happens, the paint on the metal lids is gooey and may even drip. The plastic lids look like they were exposed to heat. If this does not happen, the spices are poor quality or past their prime. of course, not all spices do this, but cloves, ginger, and turmeric definitely have this power as do some other like cinnamon and sometimes cardamom.

The savory aroma of spices is due to the presence of volatile oils. These dissipate when exposed to air. Since most spices are irradiated when imported, this also tends to lessen the quality of the spices and change the spice from a stimulant to appetite, digestion, and peristalsis to an irritant. Old spices also tend to lack aroma so when this is the case, the therapeutic benefits are questionable, probably almost non-existent. However, it is precisely these spices that make the cholesterol-rich Indian diet digestible. However, with the advent of microwave ovens and modern food processing methods, gall stones are now a concern in India as well as Western countries.

Another huge contributing factor to indigestion is rancid oils. All oils are subject to deterioration when exposed to heat, light, and air. Unfortunately, most oils are processed using too much heat. Then, chemicals are added to remove the cloudiness, and then they are put in glass bottles. These oils are not suitable for anyone but particularly not for people with gall bladder problems. All oils should be cold pressed and packaged in containers that do not allow any light to pass through. I have a selection of these types of oils on Kitchen Doctor.

In any event, the simplest approach for resolving gall stones is to take Stone Free for about two months. Eating lots of radishes and apples during this time will also help. Then, do a three-day fast on nothing but apple juice, pure juice, not filtered. Then, one can do the olive oil and lemon juice flush:

Kidney Stones

Interestingly, while gall stones are more common among women, about 80% of all kidney stones occur in men. These stones are formed from minerals in the urine. As we know, the kidneys are a filter where minerals are recycled but high intake of animal proteins causes acidification and excretion of dietary calcium. This is a complex syndrome with many researchers dissenting where others are certain. For instance, some studies suggest that the incidence of kidney stones is directly related to fluoridation of water whereas others say the jury is still out. Dehydration is another issue, and, this theory seems to have more consistent support. Part of the problem is saturation, i.e., a point comes when the liquid part of the urine is not capable of absorbing more minerals. Working outdoors and consuming foods that are acidifying can therefore aggravate the tendency towards kidney stones, but we have an herb that has a reputation for breaking stones.

Chanca Piedra It is found in many countries, and its Spanish name, chanca piedra, actually means "stone breaker"; traditionally, in South America, it has been used both for gall and kidney stones as well as numerous other conditions, everything from intestinal parasites to malaria, diabetes, and cancer.

The Ayurvedic name is bhumi amalaki or bhumyamalaki. It is considered to be a major liver rejuvenative herb. It is said to be both detoxifying and rejuvenating and to work like a deeply caring mother, meaning that while cleansing, it is also protective. There are two herbs, Phyllanthus niruri and Phyllanthus amarus, the latter is what we now have under the name of Stone Breaker. It should be used cautiously because what is detoxified from the liver has to be eliminated and this needs to be done gradually so as to avoid stressing the kidneys. As the name suggests, this plant is bitter. Unlike certain tastes, bitters are useful for both pitta and kapha conditions. The main action of alkaloids on pitta conditions is to neutralize acids; and the main benefit of alkaloids for excess kapha is that the bitter taste antidotes the sweet taste. This leaves the vata dosha. Bitters should be used sparingly by people with vata derangements because they are cooling and drying. These properties help us to understand the mechanism whereby this herb resolves kidney stones: by balancing acids and promoting urination, the stones are removed. In the case of gall stones, the action is a bit different. Like many bitters, this herb stimulates the flow of bile . . . which in turn lowers cholesterol.

Dr. Leslie Taylor states: "In 1990, Nicole Maxwell reported that Dr. Wolfram Wiemann (of Nuremburg, Germany) treated over 100 kidney stone patients with chanca piedra obtained in Peru and found it to be 94% successful in eliminating stones within a week or two."

We use this herb in the Mold Chikitsa formula also because it is one of the four tested as useful is resolving mycotoxins. These, too, are very toxic and have to be eliminated slowly rather than all at once. This herb is ideal for conditions characterized by itchiness, but once more, the removal of toxins should be done slowly and carefully.

There is quite a lot of research on this herb, including studies of the myelin sheath in multiple sclerosis, hepatitis B and C, and cancer. In the latter case, the liver protective properties help to prevent damage when exposed to carcinogens. The herb seems also to prevent mutations from occurring.

I will post this now and go on to other subjects later.

Many blessings,



Kitchen Doctor






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