Devadhupa, Balsamodendrum wightii, Balsamodendrum mukul, Commiphora mukul, Commiphora wightii, Gomme Guggul, Gomme-Résine de Guggul, Guggal, Guggul Gum Resin, Guggul Lipids, Guggulipid, Guggulipide, Guggulu, Guggulu Suddha, Guggulsterone, Guggulstérone, Guggulsterones, Guggulstérones, Guglipid, Gugulipid, Gum Guggal, Gum Guggulu, Indian Bdellium, Indian Bdellium-Tree, Koushika, Mukul Myrrh Tree, Palankasha, Yogaraj Guggul Gum Resin.<br/><br/>
Overview InformationGuggul is made from the oily sap (gum resin) of the guggul tree, which is native to India, Bangladesh, and Pakistan. This tree has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for centuries. Ayurvedic texts dating back to 600 BC recommend it for treating atherosclerosis.
Today guggul gum resin is commonly used by mouth for high cholesterol, "hardening of the arteries" (atherosclerosis), and weight loss in people who are obese or overweight. But there is limited scientific research to support these uses.
How does it work?Guggul contains plant steroids that lower cholesterol and triglycerides. One of these substances also decreases the redness and swelling that occurs in some types of acne.
Uses & Effectiveness
Possibly Effective for
- Treating some types of acne. Taking guggul by mouth seems to work about as well as the antibiotic tetracycline in the treatment of a type of severe acne that affects the face, chest, and back (nodulocystic acne). Both treatments decrease pain, swelling (inflammation), and the number of acne outbreaks.
Possibly Ineffective for
- Weight loss. Some research suggests that taking a combination of guggul, phosphate, hydroxycitric acid, and L-tyrosine, along with exercise and a reduced-calorie diet, might slightly reduce weight. However, most other research suggests that taking guggul by itself does not affect body weight in overweight or obese people.
Insufficient Evidence for
- High cholesterol. There is conflicting evidence about the effects of guggul on cholesterol. Taking 3000 or 6000 mg of guggul daily does not seem to lower total cholesterol or blood fats called triglycerides, or raise high-density lipoprotein (HDL or “good’) cholesterol in people with high cholesterol who eat a Western diet. However, guggul does seem to reduce cholesterol levels when taken by people from India who have high cholesterol levels.
- Osteoarthritis. Early research suggests that taking 500 mg of guggul (containing 3.5% guggulsterones) three times daily might improve pain in people with osteoarthritis.
- Rheumatoid arthritis. Early research suggests that taking guggul 3000 mg daily for 4 months can improve symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.
Side Effects & SafetyGuggul is POSSIBLY SAFE for most people when taken by mouth appropriately. It has been used safely in clinical trials for up to 24 weeks. Some evidence also suggests that long-term use up to 75 weeks may be safe.
When taken by mouth, guggul can cause side effects such as stomach upset, headaches, nausea, vomiting, loose stools, diarrhea, belching, and hiccups. Guggul can also cause allergic reactions such as rash and itching. Guggul can also cause skin rash and itching that is not related to allergy. These adverse reactions are more common with higher doses, such as 6000 mg per day. Less commonly, guggul can cause restlessness, apprehension, and breakdown of muscle tissue.
Special Precautions & Warnings:Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Guggul is LIKELY UNSAFE during pregnancy. It seems to encourage menstrual flow and stimulates the uterus, so some researchers worry that it might endanger the pregnancy. Not enough is known about the safety of using guggul during breast-feeding. Do not use guggul if you are pregnant or breast-feeding.
Bleeding disorders: Guggul can slow blood clotting and might cause bleeding or bruising in people with bleeding disorders.
High cholesterol: Guggul might increase levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL or “bad”) cholesterol in some people with high cholesterol levels.
Hormone-sensitive condition such as breast cancer, uterine cancer, ovarian cancer, endometriosis, or uterine fibroids: Guggul might act like estrogen in the body. If you have any condition that might be made worse by exposure to estrogen, do not use guggul.
Surgery: Guggul might increase the risk of bleeding during and after surgery. Stop using guggul at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.
Underactive or overactive thyroid (hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism): Guggul might interfere with treatment for these conditions. If you have a thyroid condition, don’t use guggul without your healthcare provider’s supervision.
Do not take this combination
Estrogens interacts with GUGGUL
Large amounts of guggul might theoretically increase the side effects of estrogen.<br/><br/> Some estrogen pills include conjugated equine estrogens (Premarin), ethinyl estradiol, estradiol, and others.
Be cautious with this combination
Birth control pills (Contraceptive drugs) interacts with GUGGUL
Some birth control pills contain estrogen. Guggul might theoretically increase the side effects of birth control pills.<br/><br/> Some birth control pills include ethinyl estradiol and levonorgestrel (Triphasil), ethinyl estradiol and norethindrone (Ortho-Novum 1/35, Ortho-Novum 7/7/7), and others.
Diltiazem (Cardizem, Dilacor, Tiazac) interacts with GUGGUL
Taking guggul can decrease how much diltiazem (Cardizem) that the body absorbs. Taking guggul along with diltiazem (Cardizem) might decrease the effectiveness of diltiazem (Cardizem).
Medications changed by the liver (Cytochrome P450 3A4 (CYP3A4) substrates) interacts with GUGGUL
Some medications are changed and broken down by the liver.<br/><br/> Guggul might increase how quickly the liver breaks down some medications. Taking guggul along with some medications that are broken down by the liver can decrease the effectiveness of some medications. Before taking guggul talk to your healthcare provider if you are taking any medications that are changed by the liver.<br/><br/> Some medications changed by the liver include lovastatin (Mevacor), atorvastatin (Lipitor), ketoconazole (Nizoral), itraconazole (Sporanox), fexofenadine (Allegra), triazolam (Halcion), and many others.
Medications that slow blood clotting (Anticoagulant / Antiplatelet drugs) interacts with GUGGUL
Guggul might slow blood clotting. Taking guggul along with medications that also slow clotting might increase the chances of bruising and bleeding.<br/><br/> Some medications that slow blood clotting include aspirin, clopidogrel (Plavix), diclofenac (Voltaren, Cataflam, others), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others), naproxen (Anaprox, Naprosyn, others), dalteparin (Fragmin), enoxaparin (Lovenox), heparin, warfarin (Coumadin), and others.
Propranolol (Inderal) interacts with GUGGUL
Guggul might decrease how much propranolol (Inderal) the body absorbs. Taking guggul along with propranolol (Inderal) might decrease the effectiveness of propranolol (Inderal).
Tamoxifen (Nolvadex) interacts with GUGGUL
Some types of cancer are affected by hormones in the body. Estrogen-sensitive cancers are cancers that are affected by estrogen levels in the body. Tamoxifen (Nolvadex) is used to help treat and prevent these types of cancer. Guggul could theoretically affect estrogen levels in the body. By affecting estrogen in the body, guggul might decrease the effectiveness of tamoxifen (Nolvadex). Do not take guggul if you are taking tamoxifen (Nolvadex).
Thyroid hormone interacts with GUGGUL
Guggul might increase thyroid hormone in the body. Taking guggul along with thyroid hormone pills might increase the effects and side effects of thyroid hormones.
The following doses have been studied in scientific research:
- Severe (nodulocystic) acne: Taking guggul, which contains up to 25 mg of the active ingredients called guggulsterones, twice daily has been used.
- Duwiejua, M., Zeitlin, I. J., Waterman, P. G., Chapman, J., Mhango, G. J., and Provan, G. J. Anti-inflammatory activity of resins from some species of the plant family Burseraceae. Planta Med 1993;59(1):12-16. View abstract.
- Francis, J. A., Raja, S. N., and Nair, M. G. Bioactive terpenoids and guggulusteroids from Commiphora mukul gum resin of potential anti-inflammatory interest. Chem.Biodivers. 2004;1(11):1842-1853. View abstract.
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- Shishodia, S., Sethi, G., Ahn, K. S., and Aggarwal, B. B. Guggulsterone inhibits tumor cell proliferation, induces S-phase arrest, and promotes apoptosis through activation of c-Jun N-terminal kinase, suppression of Akt pathway, and downregulation of antiapoptotic gene products. Biochem.Pharmacol. 6-30-2007;74(1):118-130. View abstract.
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- Singh, S. V., Choi, S., Zeng, Y., Hahm, E. R., and Xiao, D. Guggulsterone-induced apoptosis in human prostate cancer cells is caused by reactive oxygen intermediate dependent activation of c-Jun NH2-terminal kinase. Cancer Res. 8-1-2007;67(15):7439-7449. View abstract.
- Singh, S. V., Zeng, Y., Xiao, D., Vogel, V. G., Nelson, J. B., Dhir, R., and Tripathi, Y. B. Caspase-dependent apoptosis induction by guggulsterone, a constituent of Ayurvedic medicinal plant Commiphora mukul, in PC-3 human prostate cancer cells is mediated by Bax and Bak. Mol.Cancer Ther 2005;4(11):1747-1754. View abstract.
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- Cornick, C. L., Strongitharm, B. H., Sassano, G., Rawlins, C., Mayes, A. E., Joseph, A. N., O'Dowd, J., Stocker, C., Wargent, E., Cawthorne, M. A., Brown, A. L., and Arch, J. R. Identification of a novel agonist of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors alpha and gamma that may contribute to the anti-diabetic activity of guggulipid in Lep(ob)/Lep(ob) mice. J.Nutr.Biochem. 2009;20(10):806-815. View abstract.
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