How This Helps

Guggul is the common name for its flowering Mukul myrrh tree (Commiphora Mukul). It's a small, thorny tree that's most frequently found in the Indian states of Rajasthan and Gujarat. Guggul also indicates the resin formed by the sap of the guggul tree, that has been used in Ayurvedic remedies for over two thousand years. There are many kinds of Guggul, each with various applications, determined in part by the color and age of the gum.  

In Ayurveda, Guggul is used to balance the doshas and clear the obstruction of stations. Guggul resin is obtained from the tree in a similar way as maple syrup. Harvesting may start as early as November and continue until late July. The accumulated resin is subsequently hand-picked to eliminate impurities and allowed to dry. Once it's been rated for purity, Guggul may be used for incense or to create medicinal extracts, powders, and topical salves. Guggul has a bitter taste and is rarely used to make tea.

What is Guggul?

Guggul is a resin made by secreted by the Mukul myrrh tree (Commiphora Mukul) located in India. Guggul has been used for centuries in Ayurveda, the traditional medicine of India, to deal with an assortment of health conditions from acne and arthritis to urinary tract infections and hemorrhoids. This tree was used for centuries in Ayurvedic medicine for treating atherosclerosis. Guggul is also promoted as a weight-loss stimulant.

Guggul comprises substances that lower triglycerides and cholesterol. One of those substances also decreases the swelling and redness, which occurs in some kinds of acne. Guggul plays a significant role in the Ayurvedic tradition as it considered a yogavahi, meaning it may carry other substances deep into the cells. Guggul is usually prescribed with other Ayurvedic treatments to help balance the three doshas that constitute your physical, mental, and psychological characteristics.

The Ayurvedic practitioner prescribes a guggul-based treatment based on a review of your medical history and a physical examination (including an evaluation of your six pulse points). When used for medication, Guggul may be taken internally, applied to the skin for a salve or glue, or gargled to promote oral health.



See: Acne, eczema, anxiety, and PMS with Bisoma and Tetrasoma acupuncture, and Sasang herbs.

Guggul health benefits

Health Benefits

Natural medicine  practitioners have ascribed Guggul with medicinal properties which are considered useful in treating and benefits specific conditions, such as:

- Supports the immune system

- Acne

- High cholesterol

- Joint pain

- Intestinal worms

- Engender vibrant, healthy skin

- Kindles Agni (digestive fire)

- detoxification and rejuvenation

- Purifies the blood

- weight control 

- movement of the joints

- natural source of antioxidants

- menstrual cycles

- Gingivitis

- Urinary tract infections

- Vitiligo

Guggul has quite subtle and penetrating qualities, and because of that is known as a yogavahi (it is often employed specifically to carry other materials deep into the cells).  Further, its combination with other herbs really lends direction to its potent detoxifying and rejuvenating qualities. Guggul pacifies Vata, pitta, and Kapha, even though it's especially renowned for relieving Vata aggravations. Guggul has an affinity for all the cells in the body, in addition to the circulatory, nervous, digestive, and respiratory systems.  Guggul is quite scratching, which enables it to clean toxins from the cells and stations while rejuvenating them.  This scratching quality that provides Guggul a range of its beneficial attributes.

Cholesterol

Guggul has a remarkable capability to encourage balanced cholesterol levels. In Ayurveda, different parts of plants are observed to operate on various tissues within the body. As we've seen, Guggul is made of the sap of the Mukul myrrh tree, and the sap has a strong link with rakta dhatu (the blood). Guggul is praised for its ability to enhance blood circulation and improve the quality of the blood.  Guggul works quite efficiently to purify blood, promoting healthy cholesterol levels and scratching toxins in the circulatory system.  Additionally, Guggul supports supple arteries and tonifies the center. High 

Although Guggul is popular in India to combat high cholesterol, the present evidence is mixed whether it really works.

A 2009 research study of 43 adults with moderately high cholesterol found that those who took 2,160 mg of Guggul in capsule form daily had a larger fall in total cholesterol than those who obtained a placebo. On the downside, those who used Guggul revealed no decrease in their levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol or increases in their high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol.

Weight Loss

In Ayurveda, extra weight is caused by a Kapha imbalance. Guggul can help to clear excess Kapha in the machine with its pungent, bitter, and astringent tastes, and its sharp post-digestive effect. Guggul also supports healthy thyroid function and enhances meda dhatu Agni (the metabolic principle in adipose tissue). Guggul concurrently kindles Agni (the digestive fire) and promotes proper elimination. It's an appetizer, a liver stimulant, and it helps with the digestion of fats and oils, thereby supporting weight control in a lot of ways. 

Joints health

The accumulation of ama (poisonous residues) within the cells is often at the root of joints issues. Guggul's scratching and detoxifying qualities act to clean these toxins in the joints. Its simultaneous ability to lubricate and rejuvenate the cells within and around the joints helps to promote strength and appropriate movement inside these delicate spaces.

There are not many studies to substantiate all of the benefits. However, Guggul does have properties that warrant further investigation. The majority of the current research is centered on a chemical in Guggul called steroid guggulsterone, which is proven to suppress an enzyme central to the metabolism of cholesterol.

See: Joint Pain Cure With Ayurveda Treatments

Precautions & side effects

Guggul is likely safe for most people when taken by mouth appropriately. It's been used safely in clinical trials for up to 24 weeks. Some evidence also indicates that long-term usage of up to 75 weeks could be safe.

It can result in side effects like gut upset, headaches, nausea, nausea, loose stools, nausea, belching, and hiccups. Guggul can cause allergic reactions like itching and rash. Guggul may also cause skin rash and itching, which isn't associated with allergy. Guggul can increase pitta, particularly in conjunction with a pitta-aggravating lifestyle. It's recommended to prevent sour foods, alcohol, and prolonged exposure to sunlight. Loose stools and diarrhea are the primary adverse effects reported. Guggul is a potent herb and should be used judiciously. Excessive dose or abuse may result in dryness of mouth, weight loss, impotency, skin disturbances, vertigo, and pathological changes in the liver or lungs; in these instances, saffron is reported to be the antidote.

Hormone-sensitive conditions like breast cancer, uterine cancer, ovarian cancer, endometriosis, or uterine fibroids: Guggul might behave like estrogen within the body. For those who have some condition that may be made worse by exposure to estrogen, then don't use Guggul.

Hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism: Guggul may interfere with treatment for these conditions. For those who have a thyroid condition, do not use Guggul with no healthcare provider's supervision.

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Guggul is not recommended through pregnancy. It appears to promote menstrual flow and stimulates the uterus, so some researchers fear that it could endanger the pregnancy. Don't use Guggul if you're pregnant or breast-feeding. Bleeding disorders: Guggul can impede blood clotting and may lead to bruising or bleeding in people with bleeding disorders.

Surgery: Guggul might increase the chance of bleeding during and after an operation. Quit using Guggul at least two weeks before a scheduled procedure.

Contraindications: Guggul should be avoided when attempting to get pregnant, during pregnancy, while breast-feeding, and in cases of excessive uterine bleeding, thyrotoxicosis, or severe kidney disease.  Prevent if there are known allergies to Commiphora Mukul or other members of the Burseraceae family.  Quite a few interactions involving guggul and prescription medications are observed; use caution when taking Guggul in conjunction with hypoglycemic drugs, lipid-lowering brokers, anti-coagulants, anti-platelets, anti-hypertensives, anti-diabetics, or estrogens. If you're taking prescription medication of any sort, it's always best to consult with your physician prior to introducing an herbal regimen.

See: How to lower cholesterol naturally

Scientific studies for Guggul

There was a significant scientific study evaluating the advantages of Guggul, both on its own, as well as an ingredient in other herbal substances.  Among other things, studies have looked at Guggul's ability to support healthy cholesterol levels and weight control, in addition to the wellbeing and comfortable movement of the joints. They are listed in the references section.

See: Ayurveda for boosting immunity

References

1. Nohr LA, Rasmussen LB, Straand J. Resin from the Mukul myrrh tree, guggul, can it be used for treating hypercholesterolemia? A randomized, controlled study. Complement Ther Med. 2009;17(1):16-22. DOI:10.1016/j.ctim.2008.07.001

2. Szapary PO, Wolfe ML, Bloedon LT, et al. Guggulipid for the treatment of hypercholesterolemia: a randomized controlled trial. JAMA. 2003;290(6):765-72. DOI:10.1001/jama.290.6.765

3. Yang JY, Della-fera MA, Baile CA. Guggulsterone inhibits adipocyte differentiation and induces apoptosis in 3T3-L1 cells. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2008;16(1):16-22. DOI:10.1038/oby.2007.24

4. Saikumar I, Rasalkar AA, Shivakumar BM, Reddy DN, Malempati R. Effect of Guggulsterone on the Expression of Adiponectin in 3T3-L1 cells. Natural Product Communications. 2018;13(3). DOI:10.1177/1934578x1801300314.

5. Clinical Trials With Gugulipid. A New Hypolipidaemic Agent. PubMed Abstract. May 1989. 

6. Effects of a Standardized Guggulsterone Phosphate Supplement on Body Composition in Overweight Adults: A Pilot Study. Online. Elsevier Linking Hub Abstract. 1999. 

7. The Effectiveness of Commiphora Mukul for Osteoarthritis of the Knee: An Outcomes Study. PubMed Abstract. Jun 2003. 

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