How to Increase Bile Salts

Updated July 18, 2017

If you are having trouble digesting the fats in your food or you want to decrease cholesterol in your body, increasing the production and flow of bile salts can really help. Bile salts are acids produced by the liver--stored in the gall bladder--that help your system to excrete cholesterol, emulsify fats after a meal and make fat-soluble vitamins more available for absorption. You can increase bile salts to promote detoxification and elimination of cholesterol through a number of easy, natural strategies at home.

Drink sour citrus juices twenty minutes before a meal. Foods with a sour taste stimulate the liver to produce more bile salts and improve the digestion of fats. Citrus fruit with a strong sour flavour such as lemons, grapefruit and limes are perfect when added to a glass of room-temperature water before eating. In traditional Ayurvedic medicine foods with a sour taste improved digestion, elimination and maintained acidity in the body. Other sour foods include yoghurt, sour cream, wine, vinegar, soy, pickles and some cheeses.

Take herbal remedies to increase bile salts. According to Kerry Bones, author of "Principles and Practice of Phytotherapy," the use of folk remedies to increase bile production in order to treat acute illness is universal among different cultures. Herbs that will directly increase the production and flow of bile salts from the liver include dandelion root, globe artichoke leaves, milk thistle seeds, turmeric, chelidonium, barberry, Oregon grape and goldenseal. Kerry Bones states that bile-increasing herbs are most effective when used in the short term for periods of up to two weeks.

Eat red beet roots and beet leaves regularly. In addition to providing vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and dietary fibre, the whole beet plant reduces cholesterol and supports the production of bile salts in the body. When using the whole plant, the red beet can be added to salads, juices, roasted vegetables, soups and sandwiches.

Increase your daily intake of fibre. Bile salts and cholesterol attach to indigestible fibre in the intestinal tract in order to be eliminated from the body. Without enough fibre each day, you may suffer from headaches, constipation, increased cholesterol and decreased bile production. Healthy sources of fibre include whole wheat, rye, fresh vegetables and fruit such as apples, grapefruit and pears that are rich in pectin.


A few grams of lecithen each day helps to emulsify dietary fats and enhance the effect of bile in eliminating cholesterol from the body.


Consult with your health care professional before combining herbal remedies with prescribed medications. Herbal remedies may cause undesired interactions with medications and should be used under supervision. Eating red beet roots may cause a harmless red discolouration of the urine.

Things You'll Need

  • Sour citrus juice
  • Bile-inducing herbs
  • Beets
  • Fibrous foods
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About the Author

Joel Le Blanc is a professional writer for various websites. Le Blanc is currently a student at the University of Canterbury, where he studies English literature, folklore and creative writing. He holds a Diploma in Herbal Medicine and has studied massage, nutrition, bach flowers and reiki.