Guggul is one of the most used Ayurvedic herb. Its oleo-gum resin is used as binding agent in many tablets. Guggulu’s unique properties of decreasing cholesterol level and relieving joint inflammation find it as an essential ingredient of numerous Ayurvedic medicines.
Its botanical name is Commiphora mukul, Burseraceae family.
English name: Indian bedellium
Synonyms: Devadhupa, Jatayu, kaushika, Pura, Kumbha, Ulukhala, Mahishaksha, Palankasha, Mahaneela.
Charaka – Sanjna Sthapana – group of herbs that are used to restore consciousness.
Sushruta and Vagbhata – Eladi group of herbs
Its references are available since Vedic period. It is used for fumigation purpose. So the name Devadhupa.
Varieties: A textbook called as Bhavaprakasha mentions about 5 varieties of Guggulu as
Mahishaksha, Mahaneela, Padma, Kumuda and Hiranyaksha.
Apart from Commiphora mukul, some Ayurvedic pharma companies do use Commiphora myrrha in the name of Guggulu.
Rasa – Tikta (Bitter), katu (Pungent)
Guna (qualities) – Laghu (light to digest), Rooksha (dryness), Vishada (Brings clarity, clears channel), Sookshma (Minute), Sara – brings about movement.
The newly collected resin is oily and sticky.
Vipaka – taste conversion after digestion – Katu – pungent
Veerya – ushna – hot potency
Sugandhi – good aroma
Sulaghu – easy to digest
Sookshma – Minute
Ushna – hot
Katu rasa – pungent taste
Katupaka – turns pungent after digestion
Sara – initiates movement of fluids.
Hrudya – good for heart. It helps to lower cholesterol levels, it is a good rejuvenative, hence it is good for heart.
Nava Guggulu –
Fresh Guggulu (before one year) is
Snigdha (unctuous, oilyness)
Picchila – Sticky
Bruhmana – nutritious, improves body strength
Vrushya – aphrodisiac
Purana Guggulu – Gulgulu older than a year – is
Lekhana – blood thinning, scraping and clearing the channels.
It balances Tridosha.
Relieves bad odour, skin diseases, and increases digestive diseases.
New Guggulu is aphrodisiac. But old Guggulu, has scraping properties.
Guggulu for weight loss –
गुग्गुलु: मेदो अनिलहराणाम् । – चरक सम्हिता, २५
guggulu: medo anilaharāṇām | – caraka samhitā, 25
Of all the herbs that are for obesity and to balance Vata, Guggulu is the best.
Bhagnasandhaanakrut – Useful in quick bone healing during fracture and dislocation. Guggulu has enormous effect on muscolo skeletal system.
It is a potent anti inflammatory herb, so it is helpful to relieve pain in muscles, joints, ligaments and bones
It strengthens bones and joints, so useful in fractures and dislocations. This is the reason, it is used in many medicines such as Lakshadi Guggul, which are quite commonly used in the treatment of fractures and dislocations.
Svarya – improves voice quality and strength
Guggulu’s anti-aging property
Rasayana – rejuvenative. This is another interesting fact about guggulu. It is anti ageing in nature. Hence most of the Guggulu tablets can be taken for quite a long period of time, ranging from few weeks to months.
Deepana – improves digestion
Balya – improves strength, tonic
Guggulu’s wound healing property –
Vrana, apachi – heals wounds quickly.
Guggulu, being a very good anti inflammatory herb, helps to heal wounds, and ulcers pretty quickly. This is the reason, it is one of the essential ingredients in many of the Ayurvedic medicines used in abscess and wound healing such as Panchatikta Guggulu Ghrita and Guggulutiktakam Kashayam
Medahara – lowers cholesterol.
Meha – useful in diseases of urinary system and diabetes.
Kushta – useful in skin diseases. This is the reason it is an important ingredient in medicines like Amrutadi Guggulu, used to treat carbuncles, obesity and fistula.
Amavata – relieves rheumatoid arthritis.
Granthihara – relieves tumors, growths, wart
shopha – relieves inflammation
Arsha, – useful in piles. Hence it is the binding agent in Triphala Guggulu. Hemorrhoids patients often suffer from constipation. Triphala helps to relieve constipation, soothens the mucous layer and Guggulu helps in shrinking the size of the pile mass and to relieve inflammation.
Gandamala – useful in goiter . Hence it is an ingredient of – Kanchnar Guggulu, an Ayurvedic medicine used in treating goitre, nodules and thyroid problems.
Krumeen jayet – relieves intestinal worms and infested wounds.
Effect of Gulgulu on Tridosha –
Due to sweetness, it balances Vata.
Due to astringent properties, it balances Pitta
Due to bitter properties, it balances kapha. Hence Guggulu – Indian bedelium (gum resin) – Commiphora mukul brings about Tridosha balance.
Guggulu side effects:
In people with sensitive stomach, Guggulu or Guggulu tablets may cause worsening of gastritis.
In pregnant ladies, any Ayurvedic medicine, including Guggulu tablets is best avoided.
During lactation and for children, it is best to take Guggulu tablets only under strict medical supervision.
Do’s and Don’ts while taking Guggulu – While taking Guggulu, it is best to avoid sour tasting food, (because, it may cause indigestion), Sex, strong physical activity, Excessive sun exposure, alcohol consumption and anger.
Guggulu dosage: The dose depends basically on age. The dose varies from 125 mg to 1 gram.
Guggulu is used as base to prepare fumigation. For this, 100 grams of Guggulu is added with 10 grams of each of turmeric powder and neem powder, Cedarwood powder / oil (if available) – The mix is pounded together to make a stick. It is burnt and the fumes are inhaled. Or the entire home is fumigated as a method of disinfection.
It is especially done during pregnancy, delivery period and during lactation, to keep the room disinfected and clean.
Its fumes, inhaled moderately, is useful in relieving allergy, cold and cough.