Guggul is used for acne, hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis), weight loss, and other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support most of these uses.
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19): Some experts warn that guggul may interfere with the body's response against COVID-19. There is no strong data to support this warning. But there is also no good data to support using guggul for COVID-19.
How does it work ?
Uses & Effectiveness ?
Possibly Effective for
Possibly Ineffective for
Insufficient Evidence for
- High cholesterol. Some research shows that taking guggul daily doesn't seem to lower cholesterol or blood fats called triglycerides. It also doesn't seem to raise high-density lipoprotein (HDL or "good") cholesterol in people with high cholesterol who eat a Western diet. But guggul does seem to reduce cholesterol levels when taken by people from India who have high cholesterol levels.
- Osteoarthritis. Early research shows that taking 1.5 grams of guggul daily might improve pain in people with osteoarthritis.
- Rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Early research shows that taking 3 grams of guggul daily for 4 months may improve symptoms of RA.
- Hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis).
- High levels of fats called triglycerides in the blood (hypertriglyceridemia).
- Other conditions.
When taken by mouth, guggul may cause stomach upset, headaches, nausea, vomiting, loose stools, diarrhea, belching, and hiccups. Guggul may 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 6 grams per day.
Special Precautions and Warnings
Breast-feeding: There isn't enough reliable information to know if guggul is safe to use when breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.
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.
Estrogens interacts with GUGGUL
Large amounts of guggul might theoretically increase the side effects of estrogen.
Some estrogen pills include conjugated equine estrogens (Premarin), ethinyl estradiol, estradiol, and others.
Do not take 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Be cautious with this combination
- Acne: Taking guggul, which contains up to 25 mg of the active ingredients called guggulsterones, twice daily has been used.
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