Guggul: Your Guide To This Traditional Ayaruvadic Medicine

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Guggul supplements come from the resin of the guggul tree and have a long history in traditional medicine. Today, many people take these supplements to support their health in various ways. This article dives into the science-backed benefits of guggul supplements, from improving cholesterol levels to promoting joint health. Stick around to learn more about what this natural remedy can do for you.

What Is Guggul?

Guggul is a gum resin that comes from the bark of the guggul tree, native to India, Bangladesh, and Pakistan. For centuries, this resin has played a key role in Ayurvedic medicine, a traditional Indian healing system. Today, guggul is available in supplement form and is commonly used for its various health-promoting properties. The active compounds in guggul, called guggulsterones, are the main source of its benefits. From lowering cholesterol to supporting thyroid function, guggul offers a range of health advantages that are backed by scientific research.

What Are the Benefits of Guggul?

  • Promotes Joint Health: Thanks to its anti-inflammatory effects, guggul can alleviate pain and stiffness in the joints, offering relief especially for those with arthritis. [PMC5607387]
  • Enhances Digestive Health: Ayurvedic traditions use guggul with digestive discomforts like constipation or indigestion. It has been studied in IBD. [PMC2945480]
  • Mixed Results on Lowering Cholesterol: Guggul has been shown to reduce LDL cholesterol levels while boosting beneficial HDL cholesterol, [PMID: 18078436] but a recent controlled study did not show results. [PMID: 33242870]

In Ayurvedic tradition, guggul resin is known for a multitude of health benefits. It is seen as a supporter of the immune system, packed with antioxidants that help fight damaging free radicals. Ayurvedic practitioners suggest that guggul can assist in weight management by possibly boosting the metabolic rate. It’s also traditionally thought to help regulate blood sugar levels, which is particularly important for those managing diabetes, though more studies are needed to confirm this benefit.

Guggul is also credited with anti-inflammatory properties that may extend beyond improving joint health, potentially offering relief for various inflammatory conditions. There are claims that it may support cardiovascular health, including blood pressure and heart rate management. Some early scientific research hints at its potential to inhibit cancer cell growth; however, these anticancer properties are based on preliminary data.

There’s also a growing interest in guggul’s neuroprotective effects, suggesting it could aid cognitive function and maybe even lower the risk of neurodegenerative diseases. Its antimicrobial qualities are said to combat a range of bacterial and fungal infections.

For women with painful menstrual cycles, guggul has traditionally been used to ease menstrual discomfort. Additionally, its antioxidant capacity is believed to reduce oxidative stress, a factor in many chronic diseases. Finally, Ayurvedic medicine recommends guggul for various skin conditions due to its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial effects, which are reported to help improve skin health and clarity.

Is Guggul Safe?

While guggul has been used for centuries in traditional Ayurvedic medicine, it’s important to know that it’s generally considered safe when used appropriately. Most studies show that guggul supplements have minimal side effects, and these are typically mild, such as gastrointestinal discomfort. Details on toxicology have been reviewed. [*]

Medication Interactions with Guggul

  • Blood Thinners: Such as warfarin or aspirin, as guggul can affect blood clotting.
  • Thyroid Medications: Like levothyroxine, since guggul can impact thyroid function.
  • Estrogen Pills: Guggul may interfere with how the body processes estrogen.
  • Statins: Used for lowering cholesterol, as guggul also has cholesterol-lowering effects.
  • Anti-Diabetic Medications: Such as metformin or insulin, as guggul may alter blood sugar levels.
  • Calcium Channel Blockers: Like amlodipine, used for treating high blood pressure and heart conditions.
  • Liver Medications: Guggul may interact with drugs that are metabolized by the liver.

Supplement Interactions with Guggul

  • Fish Oil: Both are known to affect blood clotting, so taking them together may increase bleeding risks.
  • Vitamin K: Since it plays a role in blood clotting, it may counteract some of the blood-thinning properties of guggul.
  • Garlic: Known for its blood-thinning effects, it may amplify the anti-clotting properties of guggul.
  • St. John’s Wort: This supplement can affect how your body processes medications and may interact with guggul’s metabolic effects.
  • Ginger: Like guggul, ginger also has blood-thinning properties, so using both could increase bleeding risks.
  • Coenzyme Q10: Both CoQ10 and guggul can affect blood pressure, so combining them may lead to blood pressure issues.
  • Licorice Root: It affects cortisol levels and may interact with guggul’s effects on thyroid hormones.

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Guggul by Himalaya Wellness

Not only is Guggul famous throughout history for toning digestion and supporting liver and immune system, it also supports your cholesterol levels.

Suggested Use: Adults take 2 capsules twice daily with food.

Amount per Two capsule serving
Guggul extract
 (oleo-gum-resin) … 390 mg
Guggul powder (stem) … 210 mg*
Guggul supercritical CO2 extract … 120 mg
  (oleo-gum-resin) (Commiphora mukul)      
  (6% Guggulsterone, 7.2 mg)

“To Sum It Up”

Guggul supplements offer a range of health benefits that have stood the test of both time and scientific scrutiny. From lowering bad cholesterol and supporting thyroid function to promoting joint health and boosting the immune system, this natural remedy can be a valuable addition to your wellness routine. With its rich history in traditional medicine and growing body of research, guggul continues to show promise as a multi-benefit supplement.

This Article is Not a Substitute for Medical Advice

Dietary supplements are not designed to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The Supplement Sciences website seeks to provide comprehensive access to the most relevant supplement information along with convenient online ordering. We do not provide medical advice and cannot guarantee that every product suggested is completely without risk. Since each person is unique in their health history and medication use, it is important to discuss supplements with your personal physician. Specifically, pregnant women and individuals being treated for cancer or liver or kidney problems must consult their physician about every nutritional supplement they plan to take. People taking medications for the treatment of HIV or with a history of organ transplant must not take supplements without consulting with their physician.

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