Guggulu (Commiphora mukul) is a powerful and potent herb derived from the flowering mukul myrrh tree found in arid climates in India. According to Ayurveda, guggulu, which means “protects from disease” in Sanskrit, is one of the most important purifying herbs and has been used for thousands of years to:
- Clear sinuses
- Treat obesity
- Soothe inflamed joints
- Relieve chronic skin disorders
According to ancient texts, guggulu was recommended as a treatment for the condition “coating and obstruction of channels” believed to be a result of overeating fatty foods and lacking exercise. The herb cleanses unhealthy tissues, increases the white blood cell count and rejuvenates the skin. It has traditionally been considered the consummate blood detoxifier useful in any condition characterized by congestion or stagnation.
The Potential Health Benefits of Guggulu
While some studies have found inconclusive evidence regarding the health benefits of guggulu, other modern research is validating many of the traditional uses of the herb—including its anti-inflammatory and cholesterol-lowering properties.
Guggulu helps detoxify unhealthy tissues and has been used to treat a wide variety of conditions, including:
- High cholesterol
- Joint pain
- Internal tumors
- Liver disorders
- Malignant sores and ulcers
- Urinary complaints
- Intestinal worms
- Leucoderma (vitiligo)
- Sudden paralytic seizures
Guggulu and the Doshas
Guggulu is a complex herb that contains the bitter, pungent, astringent, and sweet tastes. If you’re looking to stabilize Vata and Kapha imbalances without aggravating Pitta, consider trying a Guggulu supplement.
Caution: Anyone taking blood-thinning medications should not take guggulu because it reduces platelet stickiness.
How to Use Guggulu
Guggulu can be a beneficial supplement for people who have accumulated toxins from major life stresses such as serious illness or a prolonged antibiotic treatment. In addition, guggulu’s purifying properties are extremely helpful for those who are recovering from drug or alcohol addiction.
As a mouthwash, guggulu is a helpful treatment for canker sores and gingivitis. Simply crush a tablet in one-half cup of warm water and use three times daily. You can also use this same mixture on superficial skin wounds to aide in healing.
Guggulu can also be taken in a powder or tablet form. While it can be consumed alone, it is usually taken along with other herbs. Like with any supplement, consult your medical practitioner before taking guggulu.
*Editor’s Note: The information in this article is intended for your educational use only; does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Chopra Center's Mind-Body Medical Group; and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition and before undertaking any diet, supplement, fitness, or other health program.