Guggul Benefits, Usage, Dose, Side Effects, Research

Guggul is one of the most used Ayurvedic herb. Its oleo-gum resin is used as a binding agent in many tablets. Guggulu’s  unique properties of decreasing cholesterol level and relieving joint inflammation find it as an essential ingredient of numerous Ayurvedic medicines. Botanical name – Commiphora mukul,
Burseraceae family.
Other botanical names – Commiphora wightii, Commiphora roxburghii, Balsamodendron Mukul


English name: Indian bedellium, Indian bdellium
Synonyms: Devadhupa, Jatayu, kaushika, Pura, Kumbha, Ulukhala, Mahishaksha, Palankasha, Mahaneela.

commiphora mukul - Indian bdellium

Fracture healing property

Bhagnasandhaanakrut – Useful in quick bone healing during fracture and dislocation. Guggulu has enormous effect on musculo skeletal system.
It is a potent anti inflammatory herb, so it is helpful to relieve pain in muscles, joints, ligaments and bones
It strengthens bones and joints, so useful in fractures and dislocations. This is the reason, it is used in many medicines such as Lakshadi Guggul, which are quite commonly used in the treatment of fractures and dislocations.

Svarya – improves voice quality and strength

Anti-aging property

Rasayana – rejuvenative. This is another interesting fact about guggulu. It is anti ageing in nature. Hence most of the Guggulu tablets can be taken for quite a long period of time, ranging from few weeks to months.
Deepana – improves digestion
Balya – improves strength, tonic

Wound healing property

Vrana, apachi – heals wounds quickly.
Guggulu, being a very good anti inflammatory herb, helps to heal wounds, and ulcers pretty quickly. This is the reason, it is one of the essential ingredients in many of the Ayurvedic medicines used in abscess and wound healing such as Panchatikta Guggulu Ghrita and Guggulutiktakam Kashayam

Medicinal properties

Rasa – Tikta (Bitter), katu (Pungent)
Guna (qualities) – Laghu (light to digest), Rooksha (dryness), Vishada (Brings clarity, clears channels), Sookshma (Minute), Sara – brings about movement.
The newly collected resin is oily and sticky.
Vipaka – taste conversion after digestion – Katupungent
Veerya – ushna – hot potency

Sugandhi – good aroma
Sulaghu – easy to digest
Sookshma – Minute
Teekshna (piercing)
Ushna – hot
Katu rasa – pungent taste
Katupaka – turns pungent after digestion
Sara – initiates movement of fluids.
Hrudya – good for heart. It helps to lower cholesterol levels, it is a good rejuvenative, hence it is considered good for the heart.

Nava Guggulu

Fresh Guggulu  (before one year) is
Snigdha (unctuous, oiliness)
Picchila – Sticky
Bruhmana – nutritious, improves body strength
Vrushya – aphrodisiac

Purana Guggulu

Gulgulu older than a year – is
Lekhana – blood thinning, scraping and clearing the channels.
It balances Tridosha.
Relieves bad odour, skin diseases and increases digestive diseases.

New Guggulu is aphrodisiac. But old Guggulu has scraping properties.


Identification characteristics of new and old Guggulu (Bhavaprakasha):
New guggulu is
Snigdha – unctuous, oily
Kanchana Sankasha – has golden yellow shine
Pakva Jambuphalopama – resembles ripe jamun fruit
Sugandhi – has good aroma
Picchila – Sticky, Slimy

Old guggulu is –
Shushka – dry
Durgandha – foul smelling
Tyaktaprakruti varna – will not have its original colour and nature

Weight loss property

guggulu: medo anilaharanm | – caraka samhita, 25
Of all the herbs that are for obesity and to balance Vata, Guggulu is the best.


Other uses

Medahara – lowers cholesterol.
Meha – useful in diseases of urinary system and diabetes.
Kushta – useful in skin diseases. This is the reason it is an important ingredient in medicines like Amrutadi Guggulu, used to treat carbuncles, obesity and fistula.
Amavata – relieves rheumatoid arthritis.
Granthihara – relieves tumours, growths, warts
shopha – relieves inflammation
Arsha, – useful in piles. Hence it is the binding agent in Triphala Guggulu. Haemorrhoids patients often suffer from constipation. Triphala helps to relieve constipation, soothes the mucous layer and Guggulu helps in shrinking the size of the pile mass and to relieve inflammation.
Gandamala – useful in goitre . Hence it is an ingredient of – Kanchnar Guggulu, an Ayurvedic medicine used in treating goitre, nodules and thyroid problems.
Krumeen jayet – relieves intestinal worms and infested wounds.

Guggulu for hypothyroidism

Guggulu alone or many guggulu preparations such as Kanchanara guggulu, Triphala guggulu, Punarnavadi guggulu are extensively used for the treatment of hypothyroidism.

Effect of Gulgulu on Tridosha

Due to sweetness, it balances Vata.
Due to astringent properties, it balances Pitta
Due to bitter properties, it balances kapha. Hence Guggulu – Indian bedellium (gum resin) – Commiphora mukul  brings about Tridosha balance.

Side effects

In people with sensitive stomach, Guggulu or Guggulu tablets may cause worsening of gastritis.
In pregnant ladies, any Ayurvedic medicines, including Guggulu as an ingredient is best avoided.
During lactation and for children, it is best to take Guggulu tablets only under strict medical supervision.

Interaction with medicines, supplements

Can this be used while taking Homeopathic medicine?
Yes. This product does not react with homeopathic medicine.

Can this medicine be continued while taking supplements like multivitamin tablets, Omega 3 fatty acids etc?
Yes. Generally, this product goes well with most of the dietary supplements. However, if you are taking more than one product per day, please consult your doctor for an opinion.

With western medicines
Seek your doctor’s advice if you are taking this product along with other western (allopathic / modern) medicines. Some Ayurvedic herbs can interact with modern medicine.
If both Ayurvedic and allopathic medicines are advised together, then it is best to take Allopathic medicine first, wait for 30 minutes and then take the Ayurvedic medicine.

Do’s and Don’ts while taking Guggulu

While taking Guggulu, it is best to avoid sour tasting food, (because, it may cause indigestion), Sex, strong physical activity, excessive sun exposure, alcohol consumption and anger.


The dose depends basically on age. The dose varies from 125 mg to 1 gram.

Guggulu fumigation

Guggulu is used as base to prepare fumigation. For this, 100 grams of Guggulu is added with 10 grams of each of turmeric powder and neem powder, Cedarwood powder / oil (if available) – The mix is pounded together to make a stick. It is burnt and the fumes are inhaled. Or the entire home is fumigated as a method of disinfection.
It is especially done during pregnancy, delivery period and during lactation, to keep the room disinfected and clean.
Its fumes, inhaled moderately, is useful in relieving allergy, cold and cough.

Classical categorisation, Varieties

Charaka – Sanjna Sthapana – group of herbs that are used to restore consciousness.
Sushruta and Vagbhata –
Eladi group of herbs

Its references are available since Vedic period. It is used for fumigation purpose. So the name Devadhupa.

Varieties: A textbook called as Bhavaprakasha mentions about 5 varieties of Guggulu as
Mahishaksha, Mahaneela, Padma, Kumuda and Hiranyaksha.

Apart from Commiphora mukul, some Ayurvedic pharma companies do use Commiphora myrrha in the name of Guggulu.

35 thoughts on “Guggul Benefits, Usage, Dose, Side Effects, Research”

  1. Can you clarify if ‘Guggulu’ by itself is recommended by the texts for any conditions? It seems that most of the preparations involving Guggulu are combined with some other ingredients, hence the question.

  2. thanks sir for your quick response, it means half a teaspoon of amla powder along with 2 tabs of medhohar guggulu will two times a day will be ok, sir i want to know does medohar guggulu harms liver or it is good for fatty liver infiltration.

    • After food. Because it can cause gastritis in some people. The problem is usually not seen if taken after food.

  3. I just want to say thank you for all your articles, they are very good and rich of information. I’m very interested in Ayurvedic Medicine, so I’m grateful to have found your website. :*)

  4. Hallo Dr.,
    As per the advice of an Ayurveda Dr. I have taken ( 15 ml diluted with warm water) Gulguluthikthakam Kashayam for a small (about 1 sq cm) rektavatha black mark top of my left leg.
    I took this for 7 days morning and evening. On 8 th day It seems to be burned my whole body with red big marks and itching these marks. I called the doctor and he advised to stop the Kashayam and advised to apply coconut milk over the body. Tried two days with this, nothing happed and I have to scratch the whole body day and night. Then I went to the same doctor, and he has given an oil named Thiswallathi oil with gingily oil base to apply on the skin and an Aristtam name Khadhiraristtam.
    I have applied the oil two days and the Khadhiraristam took inside two days two times each. Then the new problem, since then I cannot sleep day or night and also I am not at all tired in the morning. After that I stop the medicine. Now it is almost one week and still I am not sleeping well as before, and the red mark over my skin is yet there, and going back to normal position very slowly. I am 63 years and no allergic problem till now.
    Can you give me an answer?

  5. I am having high RA over the last several years. I started taking GULGULU Thiktham Kashayam – morning and night and joint pains have reduced. But now I am having foot pain in the morning and find difficult to walk. can you suggest some good ayurvedic medicine for this

  6. I usually take all of my food supplements with my meals. Would it be okay to take Guggul at the same time?

  7. Just to make sure… New guggul is tonic, good for body strength and nourishment. After about 1 year, it becomes scraping, balancing for all doshas (when used correctly). Then, if it gets very old or is stored poorly, it loses some color and aroma and eventually its benefits. Is that right?

    So we should purchase either new or drier guggul, but not very old. We should look for characteristic good color, and refreshing woody / resinous aroma. As long as it hasn’t gotten old enough to lose color and good smell, then it will have the qualities of either new or 1-year-old guggul.

    Does that sound correct? I have had my guggul stored in a bag. It still smells very nice, with a good color. It has been longer than a year. So this is still good, and will scrape and balance tridosha.

    Please let me know your opinion Dr. H and thank you for your time and help! 🙂


  9. What? Old guggul ‘increases digestive diseases’. I find that hard to believe. Do you mean ‘decreases’?


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