Shuddha Guggulu (Purified Guggul)
Shuddha guggulu is a purified guggul used in various ayurvedic formulations. The gum derived from Commiphora wightii (also kwon as mukul myrrh tree or Commiphora mukul) is processed in herbal decoction for its purification and removing impurities.
The purification process does not only remove the impurities, but it also makes it suitable for using in various ayurvedic compounds.
About Commiphora wightii
The plant family of Commiphora wightii is Burseraceae. The oleo-gum-resin extract that is guggul is secreted from the bark of mukul plant. This resin is further processed with triphala decoction to make it usable in the treatment of various diseases.
In literature, Vedas have well described the guggul and its religious and medicinal uses. It has significant religious value in Hindu religion. Its fumes were also used for purifying the surroundings and air.
Bhava Mishra has described medicinal properties of guggul in his book bhavaprakasha Nighantu. According to Bhava Mishra, guggul has anti-inflammatory and anti-obesity characteristics Guggul can help losing weight and reducing joint inflammation and arthritic pain. According to him, it is most efficient herb used for joint disorders and VATA disorders (neurological diseases).
How to make Shuddha guggulu
- Raw guggul resin
- Decoction of Three myrobalans (triphala)
- Giloy (Tinospora Cordifolia)
What are three myrobalans?
The following three fruits of plants are collectively known as three myrobalans or triphala. They are mixed together in equal quantity.
- Chebulic Myrobalan (Harar) – Terminalia chebula
- Emblic Myrobalan (Amla) – Phyllanthus emblica
- Beleric Myrobalan (Behara) – Terminalia bellerica
Procedure for making Shuddha guggulu
- Take 250 grams triphala and 125 grams giloy.
- Grind them to make a coarse powder and mix them.
- Soak the coarse powder of herbs in 4 kg water overnight.
- Heat the water with herbal mixture to make decoction. Simmer the mixture until water remains half.
- Now take 250 grams raw guggul resin and cotton bag.
- Put guggul in cotton bag and bind it with a cotton ribbon.
- Now put this cotton bag into decoction several times, so that guggul melts and extracts into hot decoction. Impurities will remain in the cotton bag.
- Now again simmer the herbal decoction with guggul until it converts into a thick mixture.
- Now, Shuddha guggulu is ready to use. You can dry the mixture under sunlight or directly use this thick mixture in ayurvedic medicines.
Why do we need to purify guggul?
Guggul is extracted and collected from the plant bark. It may be contaminated with germs, bacteria or dust particle, which have no therapeutic use and might cause side effects. Therefore, ayurvedic science has adopted a process of guggul purification before using it therapeutically.
The second reason is to enhance the quality and efficacy of guggul for its anti-obesity and anti-inflammatory properties.
Side effects with purified guggul are reduced after the purification process and it becomes well tolerable in most of people.
The purification process also helps to boost the bioavailability of guggul extract in the human body.
Impure or raw guggul is an irritant in nature and has a very hot potency. Due to which, it produces excess heat in the body and might cause following side effects:
Ras guggul has following side effects
- Stomach upset
- Loose stool
However, these side effects are only reported if guggul is taken in higher dosage, especially above 6 grams per day.
Ayurveda works in more safe way, so to reduce or eliminate above side effects with guggul, it is purified and processed with triphala and giloy decoction.
Shuddha guggulu or purified guggul extract is more suitable for losing weight. It does not cause above side effects in even larger doses as compared to raw guggul gum. It helps in correcting metabolism and removes excess fat from the body.
Medicinal Properties of Shuddha Guggulu
Shuddha guggulu has following important medicinal and healing properties.
- Anti-obesity (burns fat)
- Hypolipidemic (reduces serum lipid levels and cholesterol)
- Anti-inflammatory (guggul reduces inflammation, swelling, redness and tenderness)
- Antioxidants (scavenge free radicals and delay aging)
- Anti-fungal (fights off with yeast infections)
- Antimicrobial (helps with infections due to various microbes)
- Anti-tumor (it aids in tumor necrosis)
- Cardioprotective (guggul prevents coronary artery disease and other heart diseases by preventing deposition of cholesterol plaque in blood vessels)
Benefits & Uses of Shuddha guggulu
Shuddha guggulu is safer for human consumption and free from harmful effects. It is also free from natural impurities and microbes.
Shuddha guggulu can be used in the treatment of obesity because it is purified with triphala decoction. Some triphala extract is also present in the purified guggul, which increases its potency that helps in losing weight fast.
Shuddha guggulu is the main ingredients in various ayurvedic medicines used for weight loss. It helps burning fat and reduces complications of obesity. It further prevents heart diseases in obese people by lowering cholesterol and other lipids. (1, 2, 3, 4)
Cardiovascular benefits of guggul
Shuddha guggulu is a natural cardio protective remedy, which helps reducing cholesterol and triglycerides levels in the blood. Guggulsterone is a chemical constituents found in guggul, which acts as antagonist at FXR (Farnesoid X receptors). It is required for homeostasis between bile acids and cholesterol. Guggulsterone has hypolipidemic effect, which occurs due to FXR antagonism. Guggulsterone helps reducing cholesterol by converting cholesterol into bile salts and effusing cholesterol metabolites from the liver. (5, 6, 7, 8)
Shuddha guggulu or purified guggul prevents narrowing of blood vessels and reduces plaque deposition in the arteries. Its action is due to the hypolipidemic effects of guggul in the body. It works well with Allium sativum or Allium cepa. (9)
High blood pressure
Sometimes, atherosclerosis or high lipid levels in the blood are cause of high blood pressure. (10)
In such cases, guggul acts as cholesterol lowering agent. It also helps in atherosclerosis as explained above. Thus, it can help in patients with high blood pressure and high lipid levels.
Shuddha guggulu herbal combinations such as Simhanada Guggulu, Shiva Guggulu, Vatari Guggulu, yograj guggulu and maha yograj guggulu are used in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. All these herbal formulas contain 50% Shuddha guggulu. Simhanada Guggulu and yograj guggulu have better results in the management of rheumatoid arthritis. (11, 12)
In Rheumatoid arthritis, dried ginger powder, giloy (tinospora cordifolia) powder and trikatu powder are used for correcting metabolism. If joint tenderness is main concern, then it can be taken with Giloy Satva. Then patients are advised for MATRA VASTI with Brihat Saindhavadi Taila. Vatari guggulu is used internally. This combination of treatment helps to manage pain and inflammation due to Rheumatoid arthritis. (13, 14)
Shuddha guggulu gives relief in pain, stiffness and inflammation in osteoarthritis. Various studies have indicated its efficacy in osteoarthritis and knee pain. (15)
Lakshadi guggul, a combination of shuddha guggulu, helps a lot in knee pain and osteoarthritis of other joints. It improves joint movement, reduces pain and joint stiffness. Crepitation sound present in knee joints can be also reduced by using laksha guggulu. (16)
Suddha Guggulu Formulations
- Amritadi Guggulu
- Gokshuradi Guggulu
- Kaishore Guggulu
- Kanchanar Guggulu or Kanchnar Guggul
- Lakshadi guggul
- Mahayograj Guggul
- Medohar Guggulu
- Navaka Guggulu (Vyoshadi Guggulu or Dashang Guggul)
- Panchatikta Ghrita Guggulu
- Punarnava Guggulu
- Punarnavadi Guggulu
- Saptavinshati Guggulu
- Shatavari Guggulu
- Singhnad Guggulu (Simhanada Guggul)
- Trayodashang Guggulu
- Triphala Guggulu (Guggul)
- Yograj Guggulu
In above ayurvedic classical formulations, shuddha guggulu is a main ingredient. Each formulation contains approx. 50% suddha guggulu.
Side effects of shuddha guggulu
Shuddha guggulu is safe when taken in therapeutic dosages and if dosage does not exceed from 6 grams per day. Long-term use of shuddha guggulu is also POSSIBLY SAFE.