Guggulu Medicinal uses and Health benefits in Ayurveda

Guggulu is indicated in lowering cholesterol, reducing inflammation, healing of bone fractures, arthritis, gout, rheumatism, atherosclerosis, obesity and hyperlipidaemia.

Guggul or Guggulu is used for medicinal purpose from time immemorial. Atharva Veda describes guggulu in detail, about its actions, uses and indications as well as the varieties. The other treatises of Ayurveda, including Charaka Samhita (1000 BC), Sushruta Samhita (600 BC) and Vagbhata (7th century AD) describes about it.

There are numerous Ayurvedic medicine that contains this substance viz. Yograj Guggul, Pachamrit loh guggulu, Kaishore guggulu, Triphla gugglu, Simhanad Guggulu etc.


What is Guggulu

Guggulu is obtained from Indian Bdellium or Gum Guggul tree. It is an oleo gum resin exuded by plant during harsh summer. To obtain resin, circular incisions are made on the main stem. Through these incisions, aromatic fluid exudes that quickly solidifies to form a golden brown or reddish brown agglomerate. The dried resin has a bitter aromatic taste and a balsamic odour. This is guggulu which is used for medicinal purpose.

Botanical name: Balsamodendron mukul Hook. ex Stocks;Synonym Commiphora mukul (Hook. ex Stocks) Engl. Commiphora wightii (Arn.) Bhandari.

Family: Burseraceae

English: Indian Bdellium, Gum Guggul

Sanskrit: Guggul, Devadhoop, Kaushik, Pur, Mahishaksha, Palankash, Kumbha, Ulukhala

Assamese: Guggul, Bengali: Guggula

English: Gum-gugul, Indian Bdellium, guggulipid, Gujrati: Gugal, Guggal, Gugar

Hindi: Guggul, Kannada: Kanthagana, Guggala, Mahishaksha guggulu, Guggulugida, Guggulu, Guggal

Kashmiri: Guggul Dhoop, Kanth Gan, Malayalam: Gulgulu, Guggulu

Marathi: Guggul, Mahishaksh, Oriya: Guggulu

Punjabi: Guggal, Siddha/Tamil: Erumaikan Kungiliyam, Telugu: Makishakshi guggulu, Guggipannu

Unani: Muqallal yahood, Muql, Bu-e-Jahudaan,

Part Used: Resin

Habitat: Eastern Bengal, Mysore, Rajputana, Sindh, Assam, Berars, Khandesh

Energetics: Decreases Kapha and Vata but Increases Pitta

Properties of gum resin

bitter, acrid, astringent, thermo genic, aromatic, expectorant, digestive, anthelmintic, anti-inflammatory, anodyne, antiseptic, demulcent, carminative, emmenagogue, haematinic, diuretic, lithontriptic, rejuvenating and general tonic.

Constituents of guggulu

Essential oil, gum, resin, steroids

Ayurvedic action and properties

Rasa: Katu (pungent), Tikta, Kashaya

Guna: Laghu, Sara, Vasada

Virya: Ushna (hot)

Vipaka: Katu

Karma: Balya, Rasayana, Varnya, Vatabalasajit, Medohara

Balances: Vata, Pitta and Kapha

Ayurvedic uses of Guggul

Guggulu is anti-inflammatory, anti-rheumatic, anti-cholestrolaemic and anti-obesity. It is one of the best natural substance for treating arthritis, hyper-cholesterol, bronchitis, cystitis, debility, diabetes. It is also useful in reducing obesity.

In Ayurveda, guggulu is used to prepare large number of medicine that are indicated in treatment of Amavata (Arthritis), Kustha, Prameha, Vatavyadhi, Granthi, shotha (swelling), Gandmala, and Medo roga. It is considered Diyva Oushadi.

Guggul is one of the favourite Ayurvedic medicine indicated in treatment of rheumatism, gout, rheumatic arthritis, swollen and painful joints. Yograj guggulu or Mahayograj guggulu is used to treat rheumatic fever, rheumatic arthritis, and frozen shoulder. Simhanad guggulu is used to treat gout, sciatica and spondylitis. Chandraprabha vati is indicated in treatment of arthritis.

Guggulu is useful for treating diseases due to its following medicinal properties

  • It improves iodine assimilation and activates thyroid function. Due to this property it is indicated in Gandmala treatment.
  • It is useful drug to treat high cholesterol. It improve good cholesterol and lowers bad cholesterol in body.
  • It breaks down clot and prevents platelet aggregation.
  • It fights obesity and stimulates weight loss. Due to this property it is used in preparation of many weight loss medicines such as Himalaya Ayur slim capsules.
  • It is a rasayana that stimulates regeneration of nerve tissues, bones and joints.
  • It is an antiseptic and astringent. It is applied externally on wounds and ulcers for quick healing. It is applied as plaster after mixing with lime juice or cocunut oil in indolent ulcer. Its gargle is useful in spongy gums, tooth cavity, chronic tonsilitis and pharyngitis.
  • It improves digestion and appetite. It is warming in nature and produces sensation of warmth in the stomach on oral intake.
  • It increases leucocytes and stimulates phagocytosis.
  • It uterine stimulant and helps in regulating menstruation.

Medicinal uses of Guggulu

Guggul is used as single drug and also as combination drug. You can use it to treat many ailment such as skin diseases, anaemia, liver disease, respiratory illness, digestive problems, ulcers, wounds and obesity.

Here is given how to use guggul as home remedy to treat some common ailments.

High cholesterol and triglyceride levels, Skin disease, Liver problems

Guggul has blood purifying and rejuvenating properties. It detoxifies body and helps in curing skin diseases which occurs due to accumulation of toxins. Guggul improves body immunity and regulates lipid level. It is a natural product to reduce cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

For treating these ailments you will need guggul, honey and lime juice. Take one gram or one fourth teaspoon of guggul powder with honey and lime juice once a day, in morning empty stomach.

Anorexia, loss of appetite, indigestion

Guggul is hot in potency and stimulates bile production. It is very helpful in improving metabolism and digestion. For treating digestive troubles, one gram or one fourth teaspoon of guggul powder should be taken with fifty ml water, half an hour before having meal.


Guggul is used in Ayurveda for weight-loss. It does so by increasing the body’s metabolic activity (by improving thyroid function);increasing the body’s fat-burning activity;and augmenting thermogenesis (heat production). It increases levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol and lowers serum low-density lipoprotein and very low-density lipoprotein (LDL and VDRL). Clinical studies have shown decrease in total cholesterol up to 30% in 12 weeks and a reduction of LDL by 35% and increase in HDL by 20% in 3 months.

For weight loss, one gram of guggul should be taken with hot water 3-4 times a day.

Ulcers, wound

Guggulu is used topically to treat ulcers and wounds. It is mixed in coconut oil and applied on the affected skin area.

Weak and spongy gums, pyorrhoea, ulcerated throat, teeth cavity

Guggulu has antiseptic and astringent properties. You can use it to treat oral problems such as gum weakness, sponginess, pyorrhoea etc. For this purpose dissolve two grams of guggulu in a glass of warm water and use this as mouth wash and gargle.

Guggul is natural product and can be taken safely for long time without side-effects. It has been used safely in clinical trials for up to 6 months. Some evidence also suggests it can be used safely up to one-two years. Since guggul stimulates blood flow in menstruation, decreases size of uterus, ovary (in lab test on rats, ) so its use should be avoided during pregnancy. Guggul affects thyroid function so use cautiously in underactive or overactive thyroid.

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