Guggul, botanically known as commiphora mukui or commiphora wightii, is a small shrub found in India and one of the oldest and most famous herbs in Ayurveda (traditional Indian medicine). It is recognized for its strong purifying properties and used for almost every kind of illness.
Also known for its common names guggal, gum guggulu and gugulipid, the gugul shrub has small leaves and red flowers. It has thorny branches and bears soft fruits that are elliptical in shape.
Who Would Benefit from It
Widely used to combat obesity, guggul is a fat burning agent and a weight loss stimulant known all over the world. Guggulipid, a compound that comes from guggul, also contains plant sterols capable of lowering bad cholesterol. In 1986, it was permitted for marketing in India as a cholesterol-lowering agent.
To traditionally process guggul, the resin from the plant stems is placed into a bag of thick, coarse cloth and then boiled in pure water. When soft, it is then spread out on a wooden board where it is incorporated with clarified butter and allowed to air dry. The dried gum is again cooked in butter then finely powdered to form the medicine.
Ayurvedic medicine practitioners often blend guggul extract with other natural substances to cure health complications such as urinary tract infections, joint pains, and hemorrhoids. It is also said to be a form of remedy for acne.
Other benefits of guggul include:
- eases menstrual pain
- relieves tonsillitis and mouth ulcers
- lessens swelling
- lowers blood pressure levels
- acts as blood purifier
- strengthens the heart and digestive system
- improves immune system
Traditionally, guggul is a uterine stimulant, making it helpful in regulating menstruation. As with other resins, it is excreted through the mucus membranes, skin, and kidneys. Since it is an antiseptic, it is particularly useful for the urinary tract and for a wide number of skin diseases.
Guggul also serves as an antipyretic. It is also used to cure bronchitis, whooping cough, and other respiratory ailments. Fumes from the burning gum can be inhaled to alleviate chronic nasal congestion and hay fever.
The warming circulatory properties of this herbal medicine also serve as a potent aphrodisiac. It can also provide relief from bloating and gas.
Guggul may be taken by anyone suffering from pain, including arthritis, headaches, back discomfort and body stiffness. People with tendency towards obesity, skin diseases, and those with low immune system may also benefit from it.