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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. (Guggulu kula)
Other botanical names – Commiphora wightii, Commiphora roxburghii, Balsamodendron Mukul


English name: Indian bedellium, Indian bdellium
Devadhupa – Guggulu is also used in incense sticks to worship
kaushika – Exudes gum resin from its cavities
Pura – Guggulu is considered as best among niryasa
Mahishaksha – Gum resin of guggulu has reddish black colour like that of buffalo’s eye
Palankasha – Guggulu reduces obesity
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

Guggulu for obesity

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

How to use guggulu for weight loss? 
Dr JV Hebbar: 
Guggulu has the below benefits, as per Bhavaprakasha Nighantu textbook, Karpooradi Varga section, verse – 37 
मेदोमेहाश्मवातांश्च क्लेदकुष्ठाममारुतान् |
medomehāśmavātāṃśca kledakuṣṭhāmamārutān |

medo – guggulu decreases excess fat tissue in the body 
meha – useful in urinary tract infections, diabetes 
aśma  – useful in kidney and bladder stones 
vātāṃśca – Balances Vata Dosha 
kleda – decreases excess body fluids and moisture 
kuṣṭha – useful in deep seated skin diseases, 
āmamārutān – useful in rheumatoid arthritis. 

So, guggulu, being hot and piercing, burns the fat and is useful in obesity. 
It is also useful in diabetes, so it is very useful in obese people who are also diabetic. 
Obese people often have joint pain as the weight bearing joints of lower back and knee have to bear the extra weight. Guggulu balances Vata and is also useful to relieve joint pain. 
Obese people are more prone to stroke, high cholesterol and blockage of arteries. Guggulu is also useful in reducing cholesterol. 
Read: Guggul Benefits, Usage, Dose, Side Effects, Research

Standalone guggulu use: 
Guggulu, when used alone, can cause an increase of heat. This increase of heat is useful in weight loss, as it burns the fat. But Guggulu, when used alone, can also cause heartburn or increased acidity in the stomach. In some people, it can cause constipation. 
If the person does not have above complications, then a guggulu tablet – 300 – 500 mg, once or twice a day can be advised after food. 
Read: Effective Obesity Treatment, Remedies, Ayurveda Tips

Guggulu – Herbal combinations 

But if someone has constipation or heartburn, then A combination of Triphala with guggulu, called Triphala guggulutablet is available. This tablet – 2 – 6 tablets a day, in divided doses, after food is advised. Another option is Navaka Guggulu, which again contains Triphala, but it can be slightly hotter because it contains ginger, black pepper and long pepper.  

If there is water retention along with obesity, as in case of hypothyroidism, then Punarnavadi gugguluis advised 
If the obese patient has deep skin tissue disorders such as abscess, sinuses, etc., then Panchatikta ghrita gugguluis advised where Guggulu along with bitter herbs are administered in herbal ghee form. If the ghee form is not desired, then Saptavinshatika guggulucan be the alternative. 
If the obese patient has low bone density, then Lakshadi gugguluis advised. 
If the obese patient has varicose veins, gout etc. then Kaishor gugguluis advised.  
If anemia, Panchamrit Loha Guggulu
If depleted immunity, ojas and weakness, then Swarna Mahayogaraj Guggulu
These are the different ways in which Guggulu or polyherbal combinations of Guggulu are selected. 

Keep in mind that these tablets are often made into a combination with other medicines to enhance the anti obesity effect (For example, Varanadi kashayam, Triphala Churna) or to reduce the side effects – Such as administering with haritaki churna or low dose castor oil to relieve constipation. For the administration of the right form of guggulu, please consult an Ayurveda doctor. 
Read: Obesity: Pathology, Signs And Symptoms As Per Ayurveda


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 (black), Mahaneela(blue), Padma(Red), Kumuda(Kapisa) and kanaka(Yellow).

Commercial varieties

Grade 1 – Consists of translucent guggulu free from bark and sand
Grade 2 – Dull coloured variety mixed with guggulu
Grade 3 – Most inferior quality

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


Shrub, 4- 6 feet height, branches knotty, crooked, ending in a sharp spine.
Leaves – 1 – 2 foliate, leaflet – sub sessile
Flowers – Seen in fasciles of 2 – 3 with very shorp pedicels
Fruits – Drupe
Seeds – Small, nuts, ovoid, Splitting in to two

Sthanika Karma (Systemic Action)

External – External application of its paste relieve pain, edema, helps to cleanse and heal wounds, It has Anti microbial property. Indicated in Joint disorders, Amavata (Rheumatic heart disease), Goiter, Inflammation in Lymph nodes, Various skin diseases. Used for fumigation of wounds

Nervous System – It has Vatahara property so relive pain, act as nervine tonic. Indicated in Vatarakta (Gouty Arthritis), Amavata, Sciatica and all types of diseases of vata origin

Digestive System – Pungent in taste, carminative, eliminate pitta dosha, Stimulate liver, Indicated in hemorrhoid’s, Anti helminthic action.

Circulatory System – Good for heart, Stimulate the production of RBC and WBC. Purify blood, Reduce edema, indicated in lymphadenitis, Elephantiasis, Anemia, Coronary artery disease etc.

Respiratory System – Indicated in Chronic Cough, Breathing disorders, Tuberculosis as it has antimicrobial kaphahara (Pacify kaphadosha) action.

Excretory System – Indicated in Renal calculi (Ashmari bhedana) induce urine formation. Indicated in puyameha (Pus in urine, Calculi, and in dysuria

Reproductive system – Induce menstruation, Aphrodisiac. But old Guggulu reduce semen quantity. Indicated in reduced semen quality, Dysmenorrhea, Impotency and other gynecological disorders

Skin – Indicated in Skin disorders, promote complexion

Satmikarana –Has rejuvenative action, Promote strength, New guggulu is strength promoting, but old guggulu has scraping action so that indicated in Obesity, diabetes.

Tapakrama – Being hot in nature it reduce coldness. indicated in sitajvara.

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