Guggulu (Commiphora mukul) is about mt heighted plant of Burceraceae family. The plant grows wild in the arid, rocky tracts, also in low rainy and hot. Guggulu is an oleo-gum resin which exudes out as a result of injury from the bark of Commiphora wightii (Arnott) Bhandari [syn. Commiphora mukul (Hook. Also listed as: Commiphora mukul, Commifora mukul, Guggulipid Guggul is the common name for the mukul myrrh tree, Commiphora mukul (also known as.

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Guggulu is an oleo-gum resin which exudes out as a result of injury from the bark of Commiphora wightii Arnott Bhandari [syn.

Ex Stocks Engl; Balsamodendron mukul Hook.

Ex Stocks ; Family, Burseraceae]. It has been used in the Ayurveda since time immemorial for the treatment of variety of disorders such as inflammation, gout, rheumatism, obesity, and disorders of lipids metabolism. It is a mixture of phytoconstituents like volatile oil which contains terpenoidal constituents such as monoterpenoids, sesquiterpenoids, diterpenoids, and triterpenoids; steroids; flavonoids; guggultetrols; lignans; sugars; and amino acids. This review is an effort to compile all the information available on all of its chemical constituents which are responsible for its therapeutic potential.

The wild occurrence of this species is restricted mainly to the dry regions of Rajasthan and Gujarat States of India, and the bordering regions of Pakistan.

Oleo-gum resin, guggulu, tapped from the stems of this species, is consumed in high volumes by the Indian herbal industries. There has been a decline in its wild population over the last several decades, as a result of habitat loss and degradation, coupled with unregulated harvesting and tapping of oleo-gum resin. This species is consequently assessed as Critically Endangered and enlisted in the IUCN red list of threatened species. Guggulu consists of oleo-gum resin obtained as an exudate from the tapping of stem and branches of Commiphora wightii Arnott Bhandari [syn.

The plant is commonly known as guggul tree and is found in arid areas of India, Bangladesh, and Pakistan. It is a small, bushy tree with thorny branches and produces a yellowish gum resin guggulu in small ducts located throughout its bark. The trees are tapped by making an incision on the bark. The resin, which flows out, is allowed to harden before it is collected. The tree is tapped from November to January and the resin is collected through May to June.

In Indian traditional system of medicine, guggulu has been used for thousands of years in the treatment of arthritis, inflammation, gout, rheumatism, obesity, and disorders of lipids metabolism [ 3 ].

It is known by different names like guggula, guggul, guggal, gugar, and Indian bdellium [ 4 ]. Guggulu occurs in vermicular pieces of pale yellow or brown coloured mass with aromatic odour and bitter astringent taste; when fresh it is viscid and golden coloured.

It should produce not more than 5 percent of total ash and 1 percent of acid-insoluble ash. It yields not less than 27 percent of alcohol-soluble matter and not less than 53 percent of water-soluble matter.

The genuine samples of guggulu contain 1 percent of volatile oil [ 2 ] and between 1. Guggulu Shodhana shodhan vidhi. It has been mentioned in Ayurvedic texts that administration of raw guggulu may lead to skin rashes, irregular menstruation, diarrhoea, headache, mild nausea, and, with very high doses, liver toxicity [ 5 ].

In order to overcome unwanted effects of raw guggulu, Ayurveda describes a number of purification processes shodhan vidhi using different fluids dravyaswhich not only take care of the adverse effects but also enhance the therapeutic activity.

According to Ayurvedic texts, guggulu must be purified before incorporating into formulations [ 1 ]. During a process of shodhan, guggulu is treated with specific materials of biological origin, for example, herbal juices, cow urine, and cow milk.

Guggul (Commiphora mukul) – Nature’s Food Patch

It is possible that some of the properties chemical and biological of shodhan materials are added to guggulu during the purification process. It is also possible that some of the toxic or harmful constituents of mukuo guggulu are neutralized, detoxified, or removed during this process. There are a large number of commercial polyherbal anti-inflammatory formulations which are using guggulu as the chief ingredient [ 6 ].


However, no study has been done to investigate the process of Ayurvedic purification and its probable effect on therapeutic efficacy except for one report which states that gastric irritancy of guggulu is reduced with purification [ 7 ]. During the process of purification, foreign matter is commmiphora from raw guggulu manually and is then broken into small pieces. The broken mass is commiphoar in a piece of cloth called potli and hanged into an inert container called dola yantra containing one of the recommended media which are gomutra cow urinetriphala kasaya decoction of triphalavasapatra kasaya decoction of Adhatoda vasica leavesvasapatra savrasa aqueous extract of Adhatoda vasica leavesdugdha milkand water.

The guggulu is kept immersed, while fluid is boiled till all the soluble matter of guggulu is dissolved in the purifying vehicle. The insoluble part of guggulu is taken out and discarded.

Further boiling is continued till guggulu solution forms a soft mass. It is then commipjora out muiul a smooth wooden board smeared with cow ghee muku, castor oil and dried in the sun.

The dried mass is called purified guggulu suddh guggulu [ 1 ]. Guggulu contains diterpenoids, triterpenoids, steroids, long-chain aliphatic tetrols, aliphatic esters, ferulates, lignans, commipgora, and a variety of inorganic ions besides minor amounts of sesamin and other unidentified constituents. The gum resin of C. Cembrene-A is one of the most elementary tetraenes derived from geranylgeranyl pyrophosphate by C-1 to C cyclization.

Mukulol allylcembrol commkphora Figure 2 is a new cembrane alcohol which was isolated from the aerial parts and also from the resin of guggulu [ 1112 ].

The allylcembrol structure was established by spectral analysis and mild dehydration which yielded cembrene. Other isolated cembrane mkul diterpenes include isocembrol 5 Figure 3 and 4-epiisocembrol 6 Figure 3. Polypodane-type triperpenes, myrrhanol A 10 Figure 5 commiphlra, B 11 Figure 5and C 12 Figure 5myrrhanone A 13 Figure 6myrrhanone B 14 Figure 6 [ 1415 ], myrrhanone A acetate 15 Figure 6commipherol 16 Figure 7commipherin 17 Figure 7and octanordammarane commipohra, epimansumbinol, 18 Figure 8have been isolated from the gum resin [ 16 ].

The isolation of two more triterpenoidal components has been reported, which are identified as mansumbinone 19 Figure 9 and mansumbinoic acid 20 Figure 9 [ 17 ]. Myrrhanone A and B are 3-keto analogue of myrrhanol A and B, respectively [ 15 ]. A myrrhanone derivative, 13 E17 E21 E hydroxypolypoda,17,trienone 21 Figure 10and a myrrhanol derivative, 13 Muklu17 E21 E -polypoda,17,trien-3,diol 22 Figure 10have also been isolated [ 13 ].

Isolation of several steroidal constituents has been reported from the gum resin. Cholesterol has also been reported. Three new and recently isolated steroids are guggulsterone-M, dihydro commkphora 36 Figure 14and guggulsterol-Y 37 Figure 14 [ 17 ].

The steroidal constituents have been related with hypolipidemic and anti-inflammatory activities of the drug [ 13 ].

An ethanolic extract of trunk of C. Muscanone was found to be active against Candida albicans in microbial sensitive assay [ 21 ]. The major flavonoid components of the flowers of C. A crystalline material was isolated from the saponified gum resin which was characterized as a mixture of octadecan-1,2,3,4-tetrol 45 Figure 18nonadecan-1,2,3,4-tetrol 46 Figure 18and eicosan-1,2,3,4-tetrol 47 Figure 18 with minor amount of other components, possibly lower C and C and higher C and C homologous tetrols.

These compounds constitute a new class of naturally occurring lipids, guggultetrols.

Commiphora Mukul Herb Uses, Benefits, Cures, Side Effects, Nutrients

They are long-chain linear aliphatic tetrols with hydroxyl functions at C-1, C-2, C-3, and C-4 positions. Through derivatization and preparative GLC, guggultetrol 48 Figure 18 and guggultetrol 49 Figure 18 were obtained in pure form [ 23 ].

They have been isolated from mukkl fraction of ethyl acetate extract of guggulu. It was identified as a mixture of esters based on homologous long-chain tetrols and acid [ 24 ].

Two lignans, sesamin [ 18 muukl and diayangambin 51 Figure 20 [ 25 ], have been reported from guggulu. Complete hydrolysis of gum part of resin yielded L-arabinose, D-galactose, L-fructose tracesand 4- O -methyl-D-glucuronic acid. Hydrolysis of methylated gum furnished 2,3,4,6-tetra- O -methyl-D-galactose, 2,3-di- O -methyl-L-arabinose, 2,3,4-tri- O -methyl-D-galactose, 2,4-di- O -methyl-D-galactose, and 2,3,4-tri- O -methyl-D-glucuronic acid in the ratio of 1: The provisional structure showed the gum to be a highly branched polysaccharide containing 1—6, 1—3, and 1—5 type of linkage [ 27 ].

Commiphora wightii – Wikipedia

The aqueous fraction was chromatographed and it showed the presence of various amino acids. The amino acids detected were cystine, histidine, lysine, arginine, aspartic acid, serine, glutamic acid, threonine, alanine, proline, ocmmiphora, tryptophan, valine, leucine, and isoleucine [ 28 ]. Guggulu has a long history of use in Ayurveda.


The Atharvaveda is the earliest reference containing its medicinal and therapeutic properties [ 29 ]. Detailed description regarding its actions, uses, and indications and the varieties of guggul have been described in numerous Ayurvedic treatises including Charaka Samhita B. In addition, various medical lesions were written between the 12th and 14th centuries A.

Guggulu has been used to treat obesity, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, facial paralysis, sciatica, constipation, haemorrhoids, liver disorders, inflammation, cyst, cervical lymphadenitis, coronary thrombosis, anaemia, diabetes, urinary calculus, increased frequency and turbidity of urine, and skin diseases [ 31commmiphora ].

It has a wide range of jukul in indigenous medicine. It is astringent and antiseptic and acts as a bitter, stomachic, and carminative when taken internally.

Like all oleo resins, it causes increase in number of leucocytes and stimulates phagocytosis. It acts as a diaphoretic, expectorant, diuretic, uterine stimulant, and emmenagogue. The resin is used in the form of lotion for indolent ulcers and as a gargle in caries, spongy gums, pyorrhea, chronic tonsillitis, and ulcerated throat.

Inhalation of the fumes from burnt guggulu is recommended in hay fever, acute and chronic nasal catarrh, chronic laryngitis, chronic bronchitis, and phthisis. It is an ingredient of ointment for ulcers [ 2 ]. The lipid lowering effect of guggulu with special reference to atherosclerosis and obesity medoraga was first reported in a doctorate thesis submitted to the Banaras Hindu University BHU in January Earlier to this work, guggulu was well known as an Ayurvedic drug for the treatment of various types of arthritis.

This work was inspired by a rather obscure shloka in Sanskrit in the well-known Ayurvedic treatise Sushruta Samhita. The shloka deals in an extraordinarily lucid and scientific manner, with the etiology, pathogenesis, and treatment of obesity and associated lipid disorders and their complications.

The hypolipidemic activity was shown in animals as well as in patients of obesity and hypercholesterolemia [ 33 ]. In carefully planned studies carried out over a period of two years on rabbits, in which hyperlipidemia was induced by feeding cholesterol in hydrogenated vegetable oilit was demonstrated for the very first time that crude guggulu could not only lower significantly the serum cholesterol in hypercholesterolemic rabbits but also protected these animals against cholesterol-induced atherosclerosis at the fatty streak stage.

It also reduced the body weight of the animals. A similar trend to reduce significantly the serum cholesterol levels in patients with obesity and hypercholesterolemia was found in clinical studies with crude guggulu. Gugulipid, an ethyl acetate extract of the oleoresin, standardized at CDRI, has been marketed in India since as a hypolipidemic agent.

It contains Z -guggulsterones and E -guggulsterones which are purported to be the compounds responsible for the hypolipidemic activity of the guggulu [ 3435 ]. Gugulipid contains not less than 4 percent and not more than 6 percent of guggulsterones Z and E.

The decision to use the ethyl acetate extract rather than two guggulsterones was primarily for commercial reasons and was also because of the fact that other components of the ethyl acetate extract showed synergistic hypolipidemic effect [ 33 ]. A number of clinical studies were carried out to confirm hypolipidemic activity of guggulu and gugulipid [ 3637 ].

The findings of multicentric clinical trials carried out with gugulipid at seven different centres in India coordinated in collaboration with CDRI confirmed the role of gugulipid as a hypolipidemic agent [ 36 ]. The hypolipidemic activity of guggulu and its various fractions has been studied in several animal models and clinical studies [ 1 ]. Initial studies reported that crude guggulu has encouraging hypolipidemic activity in rabbits [ 38 ]. This activity was also confirmed in other animals including white leghorn chicks, domestic pig, Presbytis monkey, and albino rat [ 1 ].

Studies were also conducted on the petroleum ether fraction Aalkali washed neutral portion Band petrol-insoluble fraction C in healthy 8-week-old male white leghorn chicks in which hypercholesterolemia was induced by atherogenic diet fed for weeks.

All the fractions were found to lower the serum cholesterol, with fraction A being the most potent and fraction B being the least potent. None of the three fractions, however, was found to prevent the induction hypercholesterolemia in the chicks [ 38 ].