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Guggul (Commiphora mukul) - Uses, Health Benefits, Dosage, Medicinal Properties

comifora mukul natural herb

English : Indian bdellium tree
Hindi : Guggul
Sanskrit : Guggulu

The gum exudate of Commiphora mukul, known as myrrh, has been considered an important medicament in the Middle East, India and China since biblical times for use in infected wounds, bronchial and digestive complaints. It is especially associated with women's health and purification rituals. The resin (myrrh) was one of the three gifts presented by the Magi to the infant Jesus and was used to embalm Christ's body after the crucifixion. Hindus use the resin as offering to gods and prayers.


It grows in the arid rocky tracts of Rajasthan, Gujrat, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Assam and Bangladesh.

Botanical description

It is a small tree or shrub with spiny branches. The bark is ash-co loured and flaky, the underbark also peels off like paper. The gum resin is obtained by making incisions in the bark and is collected during the winter season.The resin is pale yellow, brown or dull green in colour. It has a bitter, aromatic taste and balsamic odour. The leaves are alternate, simple, smooth and shiny. The flowers are unisexual or bisexual, present as solitaries or in clusters. The drupe is round and fleshy.

Parts used

Gum resin, stem and leaves.

Traditional and modern use

Guggul is well known as an Ayurvedic drug and has been widely used in the treatment of various types of arthritis. Traditional usageof ( the gum resin has been described in the i, treatment of rheumatism, neurological disorders, obesity and related disorders, scrofula, syphilis, skin and urinary disorders. The gum is also used as an astringent, antiseptic, aperitif, carminative, diaphoretic, diuretic, emmenagogue, expectorant, stomachic, alterative, uterotonic and sedativt It is also used in the treatment of bronchitis. catarrh, gingivitis, inflammation, pyorrhoea, sores, tonsillitis, hysteria and mania. Fumes from burning guggul have also been recommended for hay fever, nasal catarrh, laryngitis, bronchitis and phthisis.

Ethnoveterinary usage

The gum resin is used in rheumatism, cold and cough.

Major chemical constituents

Guggullignan-I and guggullignan-IP


Long chain aliphatic tetrols: octadecan-1,2,3,4-tetrol, eicosan-l ,2,3,4-tetrol and nonadecan-l,2,3,4-tetrol.

Terpenes and phenylpropanoids

Cembrene-A and mukulol4 were isolated from gum resin. An essential oil, prepared by the steam distillation of the gum resin, contains myrcene and eugenol.


Z-guggulsterone, E-guggulsterone, guggulsterol I, II and III and ?-Sitosterol.

Medicinal and pharmacological activities

Antiatherosclerotic activity: Significant prevention of experimental atherosclerosis in albino rats was observed by the ethyl acetate extract. The extract increased plasma fibrinolytic activity. Deteriorative changes were seen in serum cholesterol, triglycerides and in fibrinogen level.

Antiinflammatory activity: The petroleum ether extract of the gum resin at a dose of 200 and 500 mg/kg significantly inhibited carrageenan-induced rat paw oedema.

Antiobesity activity: In a clinical trial 22 patients with hypercholesterolaemia associated with obesity, ischaemic heart disease, hypertension and diabetes were administered oral Commiphora mukul at 6.12 g, in three divided doses for 15 days to one month. Decrease in the levels of serum cholesterol and serum lipid phosphorus was noted. The body weight was also significantly reduced.

Hypolipidaemic activity: The effect of guggulsterone (mixture of Z- and E- guggulsterone isomers) on biogenic monoamine levels and dopamine ?-hydroxylase activity ofthe rat brain and heart was studied. Guggulsterone administration to rats led to an inhibition of brain dopamine ?-hydroxylase activity with marked stimulation of heart both in vitro and in vivo. Catecholamine levels were also similarly inhibited by guggulsterone whilst serotonin and histamine contents were enhanced in the brain but decreased in the heart. The results confirmed that alterations in biogenic amines and dopamine ?-hydroxylase activity may be one of the possible mechanisms of the antilipaemic effect of guggulsterone. The incorporation of the gum resin of Commiphora mukul (2 %) in the adulterated (1 % cholesterol) diet of Wistar rats lowered the serum cholesterol, liver cholesterol, serum triglycerides and serum phospholipids by 36%,60%, 49%and 8%. The study compared the effects with those of shilajit, which lowered the above parameters in 39%, 55%, 47% and 25% respectively." The petroleum ether-soluble portion and alcoholic extracts of the gum resins lowered the serum cholesterol in hypercholesterolaemic chicks, rabbits and domestic pigs. The alcoholic extract and a pure steroid of guggul also lowered serum cholesterol in Triton-treated rats. The steroid fraction of guggul also lowered LDL cholesterol by 65%, triglycerides by 39.4%, phospholipids and non-esterified fatty acids by 42.9% as compared to clofibrate (which lowered the same parameters by 47.6%, 51.0%,41.7% and 31.0% respectively). This also lowered LDL cholesterol (76.1 %) and VLDL cholesterol (40.6%) significantly. The ratio of HDL cholesterol to total cholesterol in the steroid-treated monkeys was significantly higher at all intervals, as compared with the initial values.
A clinical trial with purified guggul was carried out on 35 patients in order to assess its efficacy, dose development, resistance development and side effects. The results revealed that the gum resin has digestive and analgesic action. Purified gum resin at a dose of 4.5 g daily, in two divided doses, were administered for 16 weeks. Serum triglyceride and serum cholesterol levels were lowered at the end of the eighth and fourth week, respectively. Significant lowering ofVDL and LDL was observed. However, a gradual increase in HDL cholesterol was seen.

Fibrinolytic activity: In a study 21 patients with ischaemic heart disease were compared with 27 controls. Guggul gum (1.2 g) increased the fibrinolytic activity in the patients with heart disease, without any effect on platelet aggregation,16 and a significant prolongation in clotting time, with changes in plasma fibrinogen level, was also observed.

Safety profile

Guggulipid does not appear to have any adverse effects when administered at a dose of 400 mg three times daily. It is contraindicated during pregnancy and internal inflammatory conditions and it may cause gastrointestinal discomfort. In clinical studies, the crude resin revealed mild side effects such as skin rashes, diarrhoea, menorrhagia and irregular menstruation.


  • Powdered gum resin: 0.4-1.5 g

Ayurvedic properties

  • Rasa: Katu (pungent), tikta (bitter)
  • Guna: Laghu (light), ruksha (dry), tikshna (sharp), vishad (conspicuous), sukshma (minute), sugandhi (aromatic), snigdha-pichchhil (unctuous-sticky)
  • Veerya: Ushna (hot)
  • Vipaka: Katu (pungent)
  • Dosha: Pacifies tridosha

Guggul Supplements - Guggul Capsules - Guggul Products

Guggul Capsules

Guggul is a tree which grows wildly in deserts of western India, pakistan and other parts of the world. The resin of this tree is taken and the extract is very useful for 'Vata' pains. It is useful for cleaning up the arteries. It is also useful in natural weigth loss and that too naturally without causing any side effects.

We are using Guggul extract, which is conentrated form of the raw herb. Instead of using 10 kilogram of raw herb powder, we have to use only 1 kilogram of extract and that makes it very very effective.This is why products made with herbal extracts are effective than made by herbal powders. Read more

Guggul Capsules: Vegetable Capsules

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