Guggul Benefits

Guggul
Latin Name

Commiphora wightii

Also Known As

Commiphora mukul, Gugglu, Gum Guggulu, Guggal

Origin

India, Bangladesh and Pakistan

Parts Used

Resin

Traditional Use and Health Benefits

With ancient medical scriptures mentioning Guggul as far back as 1700 BCE, this potent resin is one of the oldest Ayurvedic herbs. In Sanskrit, Guggul means “protects against diseases” and has been taken for thousands of years to not only protect the body, but also to treat a wide variety of conditions.

In Ayurveda, Guggul is considered “tridoshic”, (balancing to all three doshas in the body). When the three doshas – pitta, kapha and vata – are in balance, the result is good health and well-being. Guggul is said to stimulate pitta, thus enhancing warmth, digestion, circulatory and reproductive processes. It also regulates vata (movement in the mind and body) and kapha (strength, immunity and growth).

Guggul Benefits

Heart Health / Cholesterol

The cardioprotective effects of Guggul have long been known in Ayurveda. It helps to stop blood clots from forming due to its ability to counter platelet aggregation – a benefit seen in both healthy subjects and those suffering from coronary heart disease.

Also a powerful anti-inflammatory, Guggul has been studied for its effects on patients with hypercholesterolemia (high cholesterol). It was found that subjects who took 2000mg of Guggul extract daily experienced a decline in levels of C-reactive proteins – an indicator of inflammation that is specifically linked to atherosclerosis and is involved in every stage of plaque build up.

Furthermore, Guggul has been found to reduce levels of LDL (low density lipoprotein) and the dangerous VLDL (very low density lipoprotein), whilst increasing HDL (high density lipoprotein), helping to optimise cholesterol ratio to a healthy level. The active compounds found in Guggul include gugulipid and guggulsterone. The mechanism for gugulipid’s cholesterol lowering action appears to be its ability to increase the liver’s metabolism of LDL cholesterol. Guggulsterone increases the uptake of LDL cholesterol from the blood by the liver.

Finally, the powerful antioxidant properties of Guggul protect the heart and blood vessels from oxidative stress, reducing damage to the cells and protecting against heart disease.

Thyroid Health / Weight Loss

The health of the thyroid is directly linked to a healthy metabolism, which in turn will determine one’s ability to lose weight alongside a healthy diet and moderate exercise regime. Numerous studies have shown Guggul to support optimal thyroid health, helping to stimulate the body’s natural ability to regulate metabolism. A study published in “Science Direct” found that Guggul significantly reduced fat mass and improved the mood when taken in conjunction with regular exercise.

Guggul has also been shown to stimulate iodine uptake by the thyroid. Without iodine, the thyroid is unable to make the hormones T3 and T4 – every cell in the body depends upon these thyroid hormones for the regulation of metabolism. By increasing the uptake of iodine and the activity of thyroid hormones, Guggul can help to speed up metabolism and enhance the overall digestive process.

Furthermore, in relation to weight loss, it prevents the conversion of undigested carbohydrates to fat cells and fights the oxidative stress associated with obesity.

Arthritis

The powerful anti-inflammatory action of Guggul is attributed to the active compound guggulsterone. Studies have found it to be comparable to NSAIDS (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), and have shown that it can suppress the protein complexes known as NF-kappaB that are involved in inflammatory responses of the body.

This is particularly beneficial to sufferers of rheumatoid and osteoarthritis, with one study showing that just 500mg of Guggul extract daily improved pain, stiffness, mobility and function in osteoarthritis patients. Other research has found that it also reduces the thickness of joint swelling which can lead to less pain and discomfort.

Kidney Health

The anti-inflammatory action of Guggul also works to protect the kidneys from damage by infections or drug overuse by inhibiting inflammatory responses. It suppresses inflammatory molecules such as nitric oxide, IL-6, and TNF-alpha, further protecting the kidneys from damage.

Liver Health

Classed as a hepatoprotective herb, Guggul stimulates bile production in the liver which improves the breakdown of fats, boosts the excretion of cholesterol and helps the liver to do its job of detoxification.

Typical Use

Organic Guggul Tincture

Add to water or fruit juice. 

Traditionally Taken: Take 2-3 ml 2-3 times per day, or as directed by a Herbal Practitioner.

Folklore and History

Guggul has a long history of traditional use, dating back to at least 1000 BCE when it makes an appearance in all of the classical Ayurvedic texts, including the "Sushruta Samhita". It was used at that time for "clearing the coating and obstruction of channels" and was especially recommended for the treatment of rheumatic pains and obesity

Part of a botanical family that includes myrrh, the unusual resin of this shrub reduces both "vata", the element that governs the body's moving parts and functions, and "kapha", which governs structure. 

Guggul was also traditionally used as an incense during the worship of the gods, with the belief that its smoke would ward off evil spirits. 

Guggul
Constituents

Guggul is a mixture of phytoconstituents like volatile oil which contains terpenoidal constituents such as monoterpenoids, sesquiterpenoids, diterpenoids, and triterpenoids; steroids; flavonoids; guggultetrols; lignans; sugars; and amino acids.

Precautions

Pregnant or breastfeeding women must not use Guggul.

Guggul might increase the risk of bleeding during and after surgery. Stop using Guggul at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.

Please consult your healthcare professional if you are taking any prescription medications.