Botanical Name(s): Commiphora Mukul
Family Name: Burseraceae
Species: C. wightii
Popular Name(s): Commiphora, Mukul, Balsamodendrom Mukul, Indian Bedellium Tree, Moql, Moqle-arzagi.
Parts Used: Whole Plant
Habitat: Rocky tracks of Western India and Eastern Himalayas.
Guggul is a yellowish resin, which is secreted by a small, thorny mukul myrrh tree called commiphora mukul. The shrub reaches a maximum height of 4 to 6 feet and bears thorns on its branches. The leaves are small similar to those of neem. The flowers are red and the fruit is oval in shape and pulpy in nature. The gum resin excreted by the bark of the plant is called guggul. The plant is grown throughout the north India. The herb has been playing a major role in the traditional medicine of India. It is also known as guggul gum, guggal, gugglesterone, gugulu and gum gugal.
(+)- resin, essential oil, guggulsterones, E stereoisomers, Z stereoisomers, gugulipid, myrrhanol, alpha-camphorene.
Uses & Benefits of Guggul
• Guggul possesses strong disinfecting properties and is a weight loss and fat burning agent.
• It lowers elevated serum cholesterol and triglycerides, while maintaining or improving the HDL to LDL ratio.
• The herb increases white blood cells count and reduces the risk of coronary artery disease.
• Guggul was historically used for a condition called medoroga, a disease similar to the modern atherosclerosis.
• Studies report that it increases the production of thyroid hormone. Since this hormone breaks down cells of protein, fat and carbohydrates, this herb is believed to be promoting weight loss.
• The herb is used as an anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving herb by many Indian herbal doctors.
• Guggul is useful in arthritic pains and helps in reversing the degenerative changes that occur in joints and bones.
• The herb is widely used in diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, gout, osteoarthritis, sciatica, paralysis, hemiplegia, lymphadenopathy, etc.
• Since it acts as a blood purifier, it is widely used in skin diseases.
• Guggul helps in promoting the production of red blood corpuscles (RBC) and improving the action of white blood corpuscles (WBC).
• It helps in strengthening the digestive system, easy secretion of digestive juices, works as an appetizer and avoids indigestion and constipation.
• The herb is beneficial in hemorrhoids and colitis and relieves from hyperacidity and belching.
• Regular use of guggul helps in improving sexual ability, sperm count and sperm quality.
• Guggul helps in treating leprosy and eczema. Its extract also helps in fighting tumors.
• The herb is useful in menstrual disturbances and painful menses.
• Guggul extract can generate side effects like headache, nausea, diarrhea, anorexia, abdominal pain and skin irritation in some individuals.
• Thyroid patients should consult a doctor before using guggul extract.
It is oleo-gum-resin from tree called Commiphora mukul. It is used individually in the form of Guggulu capsule and tablet. It is also used as binding agent and ingredient in many other tablets like Triphala guggulu, Yogaraja guggulu etc.
Guggulu alone is used in treating high cholesterol levels, rheumatoid arthritis, osteo arthritis gout etc. It has very potent anti-inflammatory activity.
However, constipation and gastritis are quite common side effects when this herb is used alone.
It is a combination of five ingredients – Triphala+ Long pepper + guggulu.
It is mainly used in treating fistula, tumors, inflammatory conditions, and hemorrhoids.
Triphala guggulu Vs Guggulu –
When the patient has gastritis and constipation, it makes more sense to use Triphala guggulu in stead of Guggulu alone.
In a patient, if you need Triphala and Guggulu both, rather than administering these two as different capsules, it makes sense to use Triphala guggulu.
When there is ‘Ama’ (impaired digestion and metabolism), or when there is low digestion strength, it is better to choose Triphala guggulu than Guggulu alone.
Triphala guggulu Vs Triphala alone –
When you require more anti inflammatory action, when you need pain reduction, it makes more sense to use Triphala guggulu.
Triphala Vs Guggulu –
Even Triphala has cholesterol lowering and anti obesity effect. But the effect of Guggulu in lowering cholesterol is slightly higher than Triphala. I do not think there is any explanation required here. Both are two different medicines, used in different set of diseases.
Effect on Tridosha –
Triphala balances all the three Doshas. But it has special significance in balancing Kapha and Pitta Dosha.
Guggulu – balances Vata and Kapha.
Triphala Guggulu has Tridosha balancing effect.
This is just a general guideline to look into these three products and its comparative usage in different conditions. Of course, the decision finally depends on the experience and wisdom of your Ayurvedic doctor