Guggul is a flowering plant primarily from India, but also found in Africa and central Asia.  It has always been a key part of Indian Ayurvedic medicine since at least 600 BC.  It’s resin has shown to have incredible healing properties.

Problems It Can Help With

Guggul has been found to help reduce acne and lower cholesterol for those who have adapted a Western diet.  There is some clinical evidence that guggul in combination with phosphate, hydroxycitric acid, and L-tyrosine plus exercise and a low-calorie diet might result in modest weight loss.  As antioxidants, Guggul keeps LDL cholesterol from oxidizing and this action protects us against Atherosclerosis.  Guggul is also found to reduce the stickiness of platelets and this action also asserts lowering of risk of cardiovascular diseases. This is also helpful in fibrinolytic action.

Osteoarthritis Study

Preliminary clinical evidence suggests that taking 500 mg of guggul (containing 3.5% guggulsterones) three times daily might improve arthritis pain.  Degenerative joint disorders like osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid arthritis respond well to this therapy. Guggul acts as anti-inflammatory agent that has the potential to reduce joint pain, swelling, morning stiffness and other related symptoms.  Guggul’s anti-inflammatory activity is beneficial in Osteoarthritis.  In South Carolina University Of Health Sciences, USA, 2003, the use of Commiphora mukul showed significant improvement in Osteoarthritis in both clinical and preclinical studies. The data indicate reduction of pain and stiffness, improved mobility and suggested it to be relatively well tolerable.

Possible Side Effects

Although it’s generally considered safe, guggul extract may trigger side effects like headache, nausea, and skin irritation (usually in the form of a rash) in some individuals. Since guggul has also been found to stimulate the thyroid, anyone with a thyroid condition should consult a physician before using guggul extract.

If you are looking to try guggul to help with arthritis, it is best to buy via an ayuvedic medicine practitioner.  They prescribe herbs in combinations to balance these and minimise or eliminate side effects.

Sources:

http://www.holistic-herbalist.com/guggul.html

Image courtesy of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Commiphora-wightii-resin.jpg