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Guggul Benefits

(Commiphora mukul) / (Commiphora wightii)

What is Guggul?

Guggul is a resin extracted from the mukul myrrh (Commiphora Mukul) tree. This is a tree or small shrub generally found in Northern India. The guggul tree produces a gum from its bark which is harvested by tapping. Guggul gum smells like myrrh or frankincense and is used to make incense and perfumes. This resin known as Shuddha Guggulu in Sanskrit has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for rejuvenation, cleansing blood vessels, treating arthritis, obesity, easing joint pain, speeding recovery, treating sore throats and digestive disorders. Ancient ayurvedic texts refer to guggul as the treatment for medroga - a set of ailments related to obesity and high cholesterol.

How is Guggul useful in controlling cholesterol?

Guggul contains guggulsterones, alpha-camphorene and essential oils. The Z-guggulsterone and E guggulsterone are the active components of guggul which , appear to be responsible for lowering blood lipids. While the exact mechanism is unknown, guggul acts on the synthesis of cholesterol in the liver. Guggul increases the metabolism of LDL cholesterol by the liver, thereby reducing the amount of LDL cholesterol released from the liver. Some suggested mechanisms are that guggulsterones increase the binding sites of LDL cholesterol in the liver and that it may decrease steroid production in the liver increasing the catabolism of plasma LDL cholesterol. Guggul also has an antioxidant effect on lipoproteins. In mice, it has been shown the guggul controls cholesterol by inhibiting a nuclear hormone receptor that is activated by bile acids. Studies have also shown that guggulsterone activates nuclear receptors such as estrogen receptor a, pregnane X receptor, and progesterone receptor.

A recent study demonstrates that guggulsterone upregulates the bile salt export pump (BSEP), an efflux transporter responsible for removal of cholesterol metabolites, bile acids from the liver. Such upregulation of BSEP expression by guggulsterone favors cholesterol metabolism into bile acids, and thus represents another possible mechanism for its hypolipidemic activity

How is Guggul useful in reducing weight and controlling obesity?

58 adult obese patients were put on a diet and administered guggul for 30 days. They showed increased weight loss in patients who weighed more than 90 kg. Guggul activated the thyroid increasing metabolism.

How is Guggul useful for health of joints?

Guggul helps to relieve swelling associated with joint disorders, arthritis and rheumatism. Guggulsterone has been found to potently inhibit the activation of nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-kappaB), a critical regulator of inflammatory responses. This inhibition of NF-kappaB activation is a probable cause of the antiinflammatory effect of guggulsterone. A new triterpene, myrrhanol A, in Guggul has been discovered to have potent anti-inflammatory effects.

30 patients were administered 500 mg guggul 3 times per day. After 1 month. they showed significant improvement ( P < 0.0001) in osteoarthritis symptoms.

How does Guggul provide cardiovascular benefits?

Studies have shown that Guggul inhibits blood platelet adhesiveness and normalizes blood clotting. This may prevent the development of a stroke or embolism.

Guggul prevents the formation of cholesterol in blood vessels by blocking the oxidation of LDL cholesterol. LDL cholesterol when oxidized causes plaque in arterties. Guggul helps to control atherosclerosis by lowering blood cholesterol and inhibiting oxidation of LDL cholesterol.

In fact the scientist who re-discovered guggul during a study of ayurvedic texts found reference to a condition described as "coating and obstruction of channels". Her study on rabbits and a later study in 1997 showed that guggul prevents plaque formation.

In addition guggul is also said to be beneficial for the heart muscles. Myocardial ischemia occurs when heart muscles are depleted of oxygen. An enzyme called SOD produced by the body to neutralize free radicals gets depleted during myocardial ischemia. Guggul has been shown to counteract this depletion of the enzyme by more than two-fold.

Guggul in combination with puskaramula (another ayurvedic herb) was administered to 200 patients with ischemic heart disease. Patients' ECG readings improved and episodes of dyspnea and chest pain decreased.

What is the chemical composition of guggul?

Guggul contains resin, essential oils and guggulsterones. E and Z stereoisomers and gugulipid are found in the ethyl acetate extract of the plant. Guggulsterones are antagonist ligands for the bile acid receptor (BAR) farnesoid X receptor (FXR), which is activated by bile salts, thus reducing cholesterol. Myrrhanol A, a new triterpene, has also been discovered.

Who can take Guggul?

Guggul is a herbal plant extract and as such can be taken as a daily health supplement. Guggul helps in managing weight, lowers cholesterol, improves blood circulation, relieves arthritic pain and inflammation. Guggul is a rejuvenative and anti-oxidant.

What dosage of Guggul should be taken?

Guggul is available in capsules. One capsule of 250 mg taken twice daily with meals is recommended. It is important that a standardized extract be taken.

Ayurvedic practitioners recommend that guggul be taken in conjunction with another herb such as triphala or gymnema for maximum benefit.

Pure Guggul from Himalaya Herbals

Himalaya Guggul is from the renowned Himalaya Herbals brand endorsed by over 250,000 doctors worldwide and used by customers in over 60 countries. Himalaya Herbals products have been researched clinically and standardized to guarantee bioequivalence. Bioequivalence refers to ensuring that the product on the market is equivalent to the one on which clinical trials were successfully conducted. Himalaya Herbal Healthcare uses chromatographic fingerprinting, one of the most sophisticated standardization techniques, to ensure consistent quality and performance

More Information on Guggul and Cholesterol

  • Guggul Facts, Benefits, Research

  • Statin Drug Side Effects

  • Cholesterol and how to control cholesterol naturally


    Ref:Cardiovasc Drug Rev. 2007 Winter;25(4):375-90


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