(Commiphora mukul)

Part Used: Exudate


Guggulipid has a long history of use in Ayurveda. The Sanskrit definition of the term “guggul” is “one that protects against disease.” The therapeutic Ayurvedic applications for this herb, 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. Guggul is a resin, the major ingredient in joint care and immune care that has been regarded as a remedy in Ayurvedic medicine, known to increase white blood cell count and to possess strong immune-modulating properties.

Jour. of Ayurveda & Holistic Medicine, Volume-II, Issue-IX

Mechanism of Action: The active component of guggul, guggulsterone may increase hepatic binding sites for LDL cholesterol, therefore increasing LDL clearance. It mediates the conversion of cholesterol to bile acids and stimulates the cholesterol catabolism.
Am J Health-Syst Pharm—Vol 62 May 15, 2005

Pharmacological Actions:

Hypolipidemic Effect- Guggul inhibits the cholesterol biosynthesis and enhances the cholesterol degradation and/or excretion. It inhibits liver cholesterol biosynthesis.
Jain A, Gupta V B. Chemistry and ppharmacological profile of guggul – A review. In J Trad Know. 2006 oct; vol. 5(4) : 478-483.

Antioxidant Effect - Antioxidant properties of guggul also play a part in its lipid lowering activity and reduce lipid peroxides, xanthine oxidase and increases superoxide dismutase. This inhibits the generation of oxygen free radical and helps stop the oxidation of cholesterol and subsequent hardening of the arteries.
Jain A, Gupta V B. Chemistry and ppharmacological profile of guggul – A review. In J Trad Know. 2006 oct; vol. 5(4) : 478-483.

Anti-inflammatory Effect – Guggulsterone has been found to be a potent inhibitor of the nuclear factor-kB (NF-kB), a key regulator for inflammatory responses.

Jour. of Ayurveda & Holistic Medicine, Volume-II, Issue-IX

Clinical Studies:
Antioxidant & Anti-inflammatory Effects –

In a clinical study published in the Journal of Alternative Therapy & Health Medicine, 2003, the anti-inflammatory activity of guggul was evaluated in 30 patients with arthirits in at least one knee. Gum guggul showed the beneficial improvement after 2 months of treatment.

Singh BB, Mishra LC, Vinjayamury SP, Aquilina N, Singh VJ, Shepard N (2003). The effectiveness of Commiphora mukul for osteoarthritis of the knee: an outcomes study. Altern Ther Health Med 9:74-79.

Hypolipidemic Effect –

A large clinical trial was performed with 205 hypercholesterolemic or hypertriglyceridemic patients in 1989. This was published in the journal of Physicians Association of India.

Nityanand S, Srivastava JS, Asthana OP (1989) Clinical trials with guggulipid. A new hypolipidemic agent. J Asoc Physicians India 37:323-328.


Guggulsterone is the active constituent in guggul which is responsible for its medicinal effects. Ayurvedic texts and clinical trials have explained its benefits in arthritis and heart diseases due to its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and hypolipidemic effects.