Guggul Benefits, Usage, Dose, Side Effects, Research

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.
Botanical name is
Commiphora mukul, Burseraceae family.
Other botanical names – Commiphora wightii, Commiphora roxburghii, Balsamodendron Mukul

English name: Indian bedellium, Indian bdellium
Synonyms: Devadhupa, Jatayu, kaushika, Pura, Kumbha, Ulukhala, Mahishaksha, Palankasha, Mahaneela.

Classical categorization:
– Sanjna Sthapana – group of herbs that are used to restore consciousness.
Sushruta and Vagbhata –
Eladi group of herbs
commiphora mukul - Indian bdellium

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.

Medicinal properties:
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 – Katupungent
Veerya – ushna – hot potency

Sugandhi – good aroma
Sulaghu – easy to digest
Sookshma – Minute
Teekshna (piercing)
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 – 

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guggulu: medo anilahar???m | – caraka samhit?, 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
guggulGuggulu’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 fumigation:
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.

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  1. Can you clarify if ‘Guggulu’ by itself is recommended by the texts for any conditions? It seems that most of the preparations involving Guggulu are combined with some other ingredients, hence the question.

    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu) says:

      Yes, guggulu itself is recommended in Vata disorders and high cholesterol, as per the Charaka Sahmita verse – Guggulu Medo Anilaharaanaam. Although, its poly-herbal combinations are more commonly used in clinical practice.

  2. Lalitha says:

    Can i use guggulu for my teen daughtert for overweight?

  3. sir, iam taking baidyanath medohar guggulu which is a 700mg tab containing 249.30 mg guggulu, two tabs two times a day on my doc advice, i am suffering from acidity, belching and acid reflux some times and a pointing pain near left chest, some body adviced to take amla churna also to reduce its hot potency, please guide

    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu) says:

      Yes, Amla powder – half a teaspoon two times a day, can be taken along with Medohar guggulu to reduce acidity symptoms.

  4. thanks sir for your quick response, it means half a teaspoon of amla powder along with 2 tabs of medhohar guggulu will two times a day will be ok, sir i want to know does medohar guggulu harms liver or it is good for fatty liver infiltration.

  5. Shubham says:

    Should guggulu be taken after food or on empty stomach?

    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu) says:

      After food. Because it can cause gastritis in some people. The problem is usually not seen if taken after food.

  6. I just want to say thank you for all your articles, they are very good and rich of information. I’m very interested in Ayurvedic Medicine, so I’m grateful to have found your website. :*)

  7. Dr padmawansa says:

    Usefull information on some Ayurvedic medicine

  8. Dr sahab, My age is 58 yrs , male, my bp ok with alopathic medicine. In my test 15 days back, my total cholesterol 227, my ldl 166 and hdl 55 and triglycerides 134. Since then I am taking 2 tab of Abana twice daily. Shud I take shudda guggul tabs also for some time. Please advise. Best regards

    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu) says:

      Hi, you can take 1 Abana tablet in the morning along with 1 Guggulu tablet after food for 2 months. After 2 months, undergo blood lipid test again.
      Please continue allopathic medicine for BP.

      For personal health advice, please consult an Ayurveda doctor directly.
      If you want my help in finding a good Ayurveda doctor for you, then let me know your place.

      For email advice (not a reliable option, we do not promise any cure), please write to our health experts here (paid service) –

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