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Commiphora mukul

Common name: Guggul

Family: Berseraceae

Part used: Resin

Constituents: Guggul sterones, non-aromatic acids, diterpenes, lignans, fatty acid alcohols, sterols, and esters

Medicinal actions: 

  • Antioxidant
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Anti-hyperlipidemic
  • Thyrotrophic

Medicinal uses: 

  • Used extensively by Ayurvedic physicians to treat a variety of conditions, including arthritis, inflammation, bone fractures, obesity, and disorders of lipid metabolism, Guggul is indicated in any case of acute and/or chronic inflammation.
  • As an endocrine agent, will have a stimulating effect upon the thyroid in cases of hypothyroidism.
  • In hyperlipidemic states (particularly cases of high LDL, VDL & TG) is indicated in the prevention and treatment of arteriosclerosis as formation and regression of atherosclerotic plaques.
  • Will prevent free radical damage of the cardiovascular system as a whole. Has been shown to improve heart metabolism and may help prevent the development of a stroke or embolism.


  • Ketonic steroid compounds known as guggul sterones have been shown to provide lipid-lowering effects, significantly lowering serum triglycerides and cholesterol as well as LDL and VLDL cholesterol, which at the same time, raising levels of HDL cholesterol. Possible mechanisms for this effect on cholesterol include; stimulation of the thyroid gland (thyroid stimulation reduces cholesterol), and stimulation of the LDL receptor causing enhanced uptake of LDL and decreased cholesterol synthesis.
  • As antioxidants, guggul sterones keep LDL cholesterol from oxidizing.
  • Has also been shown to reduce the “stickiness” of platelets, increase the breakdown of fibrin, decrease platelet aggregation, and delay coagulation time


  • Capsules: 625 mg QD (standardized to 2.5% guggulsterone)

Toxicity: Crude gum guggul, alcoholic and ether extracts are associated with skin rashes, diarrhea and other unpleasant effects due to the insoluble fraction. Otherwise, purified guggul has not displayed any toxic effects when evaluated by testing liver function, blood sugar control, kidney function or hematological parameters. It does not possess embryotoxic or fetotoxic effects and is therefore considered safe to use in pregnancy

Contraindications: Hyperthyroid conditions due to thyroid stimulating effects.

Interactions: None known. 

About Marisa Marciano

Naturopathic Herbalist


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