Guggul – Gum resin of the Indian bdellium tree

Guggul (Commiphora Mukul) refers to the gum resin or sap of the Bdellium Tree or Mukul myrrh tree that is found in the semi-arid regions of western India. The plant stem and bark of the tree secretes a yellowish-brown sap that is rich in oleo-gum-resin.

This extracted resin is called guggul (or Guggulu in Ayurveda). It has been used for centuries in Ayurveda as a rasayana and a daily supplement. Guggul is said to have many benefits, and supports skin, muscle, joint, and bone health. It is either used individually as an Ayurvedic herb or may be used in other tablets as a binding agent.

Scientific name:  Commiphora Mukul

Family:  Burseraceae

Rasa (taste):  Bitter, Pungent

Virya (effect):  Heating

Guna (quality):  Light, Dry

Part Used:  Gum resin

Classification:  Rasayana (Rejuvenating)

Impact:  Musculoskeletal system, Digestion, Skin, Cardiovascular system

Dosha:  TridoshicBalances Vata, Pitta, Kaph

Guggul – Gum resin of the Indian bdellium tree

Guggul is traditionally classified as two types: Nava and Purana. Nava means new, it refers to the resin that is less than one year old. This fresh resin is relatively sticky/oily and is used as an aphrodisiac. As the guggul ages past one year, it is called Purana (old) and its guna (characteristics) change to become light, dry, and easy to digest. Guggul changes color and qualities as it ages and it retains its therapeutic potency for up to 20 years.

Purana guggul (old) – more than one year in age – is the most commonly used variety. This article will be written based on its health benefits and uses.

Guggul is an Ayurvedic rasayana (rejuvenating tonic) that is best known for its support for muscle, joint, and bone health. This resin is a vital part of Ayurvedic medicine and is used as a yogavahi – a vehicle for transporting other herbs to deep tissues. There is a whole sub-class of Ayurvedic herbal formulations based around it known as guggulus.

While it is commonly used as a base for combining other herbs, guggul powder is noted for supporting the body’s healthy inflammatory response. It also promotes detoxification and rejuvenation. Traditionally, this gum resin has been used to support comfortable joint movement.

Ayurveda associates guggul with svarya – that which improves the texture and quality of our voice, which makes it a herb of choice for singers in India.

Ayurvedic benefits

Healthy Inflammatory Response: While guggul is considered tridoshic, it is very useful for pacifying vata. High vata may lead to inflammation.

Cardiovascular Health: Ayurveda recommends the regular use of guggul to maintain healthy cardiovascular health, eliminate toxins, and boost metabolism. It can help to maintain cholesterol levels already in the healthy range.¹

Digestion: The long-term use of guggul is said to support digestive health and endurance. It is a deepam – that which rekindles the digestive fire. In doing so, it promote healthy appetite and weight. In Ayurveda, it is associated with sara (movement), therefore it removes waste and eliminates toxins from the body.

Joint Health: Guggul is well regarded for its support of muscular and bone health. Joint health is closely connected to excess vata in the body and guggul is reputed to be the best Ayurvedic herb to balance vata dosha. It can also be mixed with warm water and applied topically to inflamed joints to relieve excess vata.


Frequently Asked Questions

Please consult with your health care practitioner prior to the use of this product if you are pregnant or nursing, taking medications, or have a medical condition. Keep out of the reach of children.

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