Herb Library: Natural Herbs and Herbal Supplements Directory: Guggul





This fact sheet provides basic information about Guggul. The guggul plant is widely distributed throughout India and adjacent regions. It is in the same genus as C. myrrha, the myrrh mentioned in the Bible. Guggul and gum guggulu are the names given to a yellowish resin produced by the stem of the plant.

The plant has been used in traditional Ayurvedic medicine for centuries in the treatment of a variety of disorders, most notably arthritis, and as a weight-reducing agent in obesity. More recently, extracts of the plant have been investigated for their ability to reduce serum lipid levels. A commercial product ( Guggulow ) has been introduced in the US claiming the cholesterol-lowering properties of the plant. This has raised interest in the activity of the plant.

Common Names

Guggul, Gum Guggulu, Gugulipid

Latin Names

Commiphora mukul

What It Is Used For

  • Traditionally used to treat arthritis, obesity, and other disorders, guggul has been shown to lower cholesterol and triglycerides and to stimulate thyroid activity in a few small studies.

How It Is Used

Dosage recommendations for guggul are usually based on guggulsterones concentration in the extract. A typical dosage of guggulsterones is 25 mg three times per day. Most extracts can be taken daily for 12 to 24 weeks for lowering high cholesterol and/or triglycerides.

What the Science Says

  • Commiphora mukul in combination with Inula racemosa (another Ayurvedic botanical) was studied in 200 patients with ischemic heart disease. It was found to improve patients' ECG readings and decrease episodes of dyspnea and chest pain. Gum guggul fraction increased fibrinolytic activity and decreased platelet adhesiveness.
  • One study of healthy subjects conducted in the United States demonstrated a reduction in total serum cholesterol.

Side Effects and Cautions

  • Do not use in patients who are on propranolol or diltiazem.
  • Use with caution by patients taking thyroid medication.


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