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Herb Information
Name: Guggul
Biological Name: Commiphora mukul
Other Names: Gugulipid, Mukul myrrh tree, Gugul Lipid, guggal, guggul
Description:

Guglipid is derived from the mukul myrrh tree, a small thorny tree 4 to 6 feet tall, that is native to Arabia and India. The tree remains without any foliage for most of the year. It has ash colored bark, and comes off in rough flakes, exposing the underbark, which also peels off. The tree exudes a yellowish resin called gum guggul or guggulu, that has a balsamic odor. This resin is used for medicinal purposes.

Parts Used: gum resin
Active Compounds:  

Ketone fraction that is extracted from the resin contains the most potent cholesterol lowering components. This is composed of C21 or C27 steroids, with the major components being Z- and E-guggulsterone.

Guggul contains resin, volatile oils, and gum. The extract isolates ketonic steroid compounds known as guggulsterones. These compounds have been shown to provide the lipid-lowering actions noted for guggul. Guggul significantly lowers serum triglycerides and cholesterol as well as LDL and VLDL cholesterols (the "bad" cholesterols). At the same time, it raises levels of HDL cholesterol (the "good" cholesterol). Guggul has also been shown to reduce the stickiness of platelets-another effect that lowers the risk of coronary artery disease.

History:

Guggul is a highly valued botanical medicine used in Ayurveda, Indian system of medicine. It is used for rheumatoid arthritis, and lipid disorders. The classic Ayurveda medical text, the Sushruta samhita, described in detail the usefulness of this herb for treatment of obesity and other disorders of fat, including "coating and obstruction of channels".

Encouraged by the Ayurvedic description of this herb for lowering cholesterol, scientists have conducted clinical trials to test the effectiveness of this herb in disorders of lipid metabolism and for lowering weight. The research resulted in the development of a natural cholesterol lowering substance that is safer and more effective than many cholesterol-lowering drugs. Gugulipid was granted approval in India for marketing as a lipid lowering drug in 1986.

Remedies For

Key uses:

High cholesterol levels
High triglyceride levels

Guglipid offers considerable benefit in preventing and treating atherosclerotic vascular disease (Heart disease). It is most effective in lowering LDL cholesterol and triglycerides.It also raises the level of good cholesterol (HDL).

Guggul exhibits a cholesterol lowering ability unlike any other natural substance. In human trials, using gugulipid, the cholesterol levels dropped 14 to 27 percent in a 4 to 12 week period while the triglyceride levels dropped from 22 to 30 percent. This guggul has great effect in preventing heart atherosclerosis, or narrowing of the arteries.

Dosage:

Daily recommendations for guggul are typically based on the amount of guggulsterones in the extract. A common intake of guggulsterones is 25 mg three times per day. Most extracts contain 5-10% guggulsterones. For a 5 percent guggulsterone extract, this translates to an effective dose of 500 milligrams three times per day. Many people take the extracts daily for twelve to twenty-four weeks.

Safety:

Part of the resin from which the medicinal extract is made is toxic and, hence, the raw resin should not be used for any treatment.

Early studies with the crude oleoresin reported numerous side effects, including diarrhea, anorexia, abdominal pain, and skin rash. Modern extracts are more purified, and far fewer side effects (e.g., mild abdominal discomfort) have been reported with long-term use. Gugglipid, the standardized extract has better chemical efficacy and is better tolerated by patients. Animal studies indicate that this material is not toxic. It is also believed safe to use during pregnancy. (With your physician's supervision). The extract has not shown any adverse side effects, nor it has affected the liver function, blood sugar control, kidney function, or hematological parameters.

Guggul should be used with caution by persons with liver disease and in cases of inflammatory bowel disease and diarrhea. A physician should be consulted for any case of elevated cholesterol and/or triglycerides.

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