Botanical Name : Balsamodendron mukul
Family Name: Burseraceae
Species: C. wightii
vernacular Name: Sans Guggulu,Hind –Guggul ,Eng –Indian Bdellium tree
Common Name :Commiphora wightii,Guggal, Guggul or Mukul myrrh tree
Habitat:The guggul plant may be found from northern Africa to central Asia, but is most common in northern India. It prefers arid and semi-arid climates and is tolerant of poor soil.
Description:It is a shrub or small tree, reaching a maximum height of 4 m, with thin papery bark. The branches are thorny. The leaves are simple or trifoliate, the leaflets ovate, 1–5 cm long, 0.5–2.5 cm broad, irregularly toothed. It is gynodioecious, with some plants bearing bisexual and male flowers, and others with female flowers. The individual flowers are red to pink, with four small petals.
Cultivation and uses
Guggul is sought for its gummy resin, which is harvested from the plant’s bark through the process of tapping. In India and Pakistan, guggul is cultivated commercially. The resin of the guggul plant, known as gum guggulu, has a fragrance similar to myrrh and is commonly used in incense and perfumes. It is the same product that was known in Hebrew, ancient Greek and Latin sources as bdellium.
Guggal has been a key component in ancient Indian Ayurvedic system of medicine, and now is widely used in modern medicine for treatment of heart ailments. But Guggal (Commiphora weghtii), as it is locally known, has become so scarce because of its overuse in its two habitats in India where its is found — Gujarat and Rajasthan that the World Conservation Union (IUCN) has enlisted it in its Red Data List of endangered species.
The extract, called gugulipid, guggulipid or guglipid, comes from the guggal or guggul tree and has been used in Ayurvedic medicine, a traditional Hindu medicine, for nearly 3,000 years in India
Guggulipid, gugulipid or guglipid is the extract extracted from the sap or resin of Guggal tree also known as mukul myrrh tree (Commiphora mukul) it secretes a resinous material called gum guggul.
Guggul can be purchased in a loosely packed form called Dhoop, an incense from India, which is then burned over hot coals. This produces a fragrant dense smoke. The burning coals which produces the smoke is carried around in different rooms and held in all the corners of the room for a few seconds. This is said to drive away evil spirits as well as remove the evil eye from the home and its family members.
Guggul and gum guggulu are the names given to a yellowish resin produced by the stem of the plant. This resin has been used historically and is also the source of modern extracts of guggul.The greenish resin is harvested in the winter.
This resin has long been used in Ayurvedic medicine, which combined it with other plant products to cleanse and rejuvenate the body, especially the blood vessels and the joints. It was also used for sore throats and digestive complaints.
In Chinese medicine, guggul is known as mo yao and is used to activate blood flow, relieve pain, and speed recovery.
A resin from a related tree, C. myrrha, is the myrrh mentioned in the Bible as one of the gifts the wise men from the East brought to the infant Jesus.
Guggul (also spelled gugul, gugulu, or guggal) is now coming to attention in the United States because of its reputation for lowering cholesterol.
Ayurvedic practitioners probably didn’t even know what cholesterol was, much less care about lowering it. But it appears that the resin they used to cleanse blood vessels may indeed have benefit for Westerners with elevated blood lipids.
Guggul contains essential oils, myrcene, Z and E guggulsterones, alpha-camphorene, various other guggulsterones, and makulol.
The Z and E guggulsterones, extracted with ethyl acetate, are the constituents that appear to be responsible for lowering blood lipids.
1.High triglycerides. 2.Acne vulgaris. 3.Atherosclerosis.4.High cholesterol.5.Osteroarthrities.6.Obesity.
Animal studies suggest that guggulsterones can increase the liver’s ability to bind “bad” LDL cholesterol, thus taking it out of circulation. Animals given guggul extract and a high-fat, plaque-producing diet had lower blood fats and developed less atherosclerosis than animals given the diet alone.
In some of this research, a combination of guggul and garlic worked better than guggul by itself.
In humans, three months of guggul treatment resulted in lower levels of total cholesterol (average 24 percent) and serum triglycerides (average 23 percent reduction) in the majority of patients.
A double-blind trial comparing guggul to the cholesterol-lowering drug clofibrate found that the two treatments were very similar in their ability to lower total cholesterol (11 percent by gugulipid, 10 percent by clofibrate) and triglycerides (17 percent by gugulipid, 22 percent by clofibrate).
HDL (“good”) cholesterol was also altered by gugulipid, increasing in 60 percent of patients, while clofibrate did not have any effect on HDL. Raising HDL and lowering total cholesterol improves the ratio of these blood fats.
Two other placebo-controlled trials in India confirm that guggul can lower total cholesterol and raise HDL.
Guggulsterones are reported to stimulate the thyroid, which might tend to have a beneficial effect on cholesterol for people with underactive thyroid glands.
Guggul also protects the heart: In animals challenged with drugs that damage heart tissue, cardiac enzymes did not change significantly when the experimental animals were pretreated with guggul.
Guggul has also demonstrated anti-inflammatory activity in rats.
Some reports suggest that it helps keep platelets from clumping together to start a blood clot, that it can help break up blood clots (fibrinolytic activity), and that it is an antioxidant.
The normal dose is one 500-mg tablet, standardized to 25 mg guggulsterones, three times daily.
Measurable changes should be apparent within four weeks for people who will benefit.
The biggest difficulty in using guggul is said to be finding a reliable standardized product. Quality is quite variable.
Because guggul is reported to stimulate the thyroid, it makes sense to monitor thyroid hormones in people using guggul for long-term treatment.
People with liver problems should use guggul only under the supervision of a physician willing to monitor liver enzymes.
Guggul may not be appropriate for people with chronic diarrhea.
As per Ayurveda:It is vishada, tikta and ushnaveerya; aggravates pitta; sara, kashaya, katu, katu-vipaka, ruksha and (highly) laghu; useful in the union of fracture; aphrodisiac, sukshma; corrects hoarseness; rejuvinating; gastric stimulant, picchila, invigorating; pacifies vitiated kapha and vata; beneficial in the treatment of ulcer, adenitis, obesity, polyuria, urinary calculii, gout, fatigue, rheumatoid arthritis, septic ulcer, oedema, piles, scrofula and worms.
Part Used: Gum
Gum: alterative, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic. antispasmodic, anti suppurative, aperient, aphrodisiac, appetizing, astringent. carminative, diaphoretic, diuretic, ecbolic, emmenagogue, expectorant; useful in amenorrhoea, anaemia, endometritis, .’ leucorrhoea,. manorrhagia, nervous diseases, rheumatism, scrofulous affections and skin diseases,
Particularly applied in indolent ulcer and bad wounds; specially recommended in the treatment of lipid and urinary disorders, obesity, in marasmus of children and in rheumatoid arthritis;
Inhalation of the fumes of burnt guggul beneficial in chronic bronchitis, acute and chronic nasal catarrh, laryngitis and tuberculosis.
Guggulipid, the ethylacetate extract of the gum, has recently been established, as an effective hypolipidaemic as well as an anti-inflammatory agent in certain types of hypercholesterolaemia.
Some people in the clinical trials reported mild digestive upset.
There are no other reports of side effects, although increased thyroid gland activity could presumably lead to complications such as nervousness, weakness, palpitations, or eye problems.
No drug interactions have been reported.
In theory, guggul might counteract thyroid-suppressing drugs or increase the effect of thyroid hormones such as Synthroid or Levoxyl. Monitoring of thyroid function is prudent.
No interactions with cholesterol-lowering drugs have been observed, but they might be possible. People who use guggul together with cholesterol medications should be monitored carefully by their physician.
Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.
Related articles by Zemanta
- Natural Cure for High Cholesterol and Triglycerides
- Cheese for breakfast keeps cholesterol down says French doctor
- Heart Disease Treatments