Guggul, Commiphora mukul, whole resin 1:3 extract in ethanol and water.
Guggul, more popularly known as Bdellium, is derived from the gummy resinous exudate of a plant closely related to myrrh that is found in arid to semi-arid areas of Northern India, Bangladesh and Pakistan. The Sanskrit definition of the term "guggul" is "one that protects against diseases." This attests to the wide respect and therapeutic Ayurvedic applications for this botanical, considered the most important for the removal of "ama," toxic substances which accumulate as a result of sluggish digestion and circulation associated with a slowing of metabolism. The following are the main benefits of guggul, based on traditional Ayurveda:
- Guggul may lower serum triglycerides and cholesterol.
- Guggul is warming and stimulates metabolism and the thyroid gland, a benefit in hypothyroid disease.
Trials in animals have shown encouraging results for the potential use of the alcoholic extract as a natural anti-inflammatory and cholesterol lowering alternative. However, the general view is that more evidence based research is needed to confirm this beneficial effects in humans.
Caution: Guggul gum is generally regarded as safe by the FDA, however those who have Irritable Bowel Syndrome or liver conditions should avoid using guggul gum. Recent studies suggest that guggul gum should be used cautiously by those taking other prescription drugs, particularly statins used to lower cholesterol, and should not be taken with St. John's wort or paracetamol. Do not take in pregnancy.
2. Guggul for hyperlipidemia: a review by the Natural Standard Research Collaboration. Complement Ther Med. 2005 Dec;13(4):279-90. Epub 2005 Sep 23