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If you have been following Ayurvedic herbal remedies, then you surely would have come across a gum resin called guggulu. In Ayurvedic terms, it is administered as "yog" and combined with other remedial herbs.
What Is Guggulu?
This is a pale brown-coloured gum resin obtained from the mukul myrrh tree. With a scientific name "Commiphora mukul", guggulu finds its application in the treatment of several ailments - from obesity to heart-related disorders.
The most popular formulations of guggulu are yograj guggulavati, kaishore guggulavayi, sinha guggulavati, panchamrith loha guggulu and triphala guggulu.
Read on to know the major health benefits of guggulu.
Health Benefits Of Guggulu
• Protects The Heart And Fights Cholesterol
In Ayurveda, guggulu is widely used to treat hypercholesterolemia. The body's synthesis of cholesterol is inhibited and degradation and excretion of it is promoted.
Guggulu in turn also protects the heart health as people with high cholesterol are at a higher risk of strokes and coronary heart diseases. This gum resin is also known to lower inflammation, reduce cell damage, balance lipid profiles and prevent blood clots.
• Fights Inflammatory Diseases
The component guggulsterone gives guggulu its anti-inflammatory effects. Studies have shown that guggulu can suppress NF-kappaB, which are protein complexes involved in inflammatory responses. Guggulu is known to ease symptoms of inflamed joints, bones or muscles.
This herbal remedy is prescribed to people with osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Guggulu also aids in treating colon inflammation. People with inflammatory bowel diseases are advised the consumption of guggulu.
• Detoxifies Body And Protects Kidneys And Liver
Guggulu's hepatoprotective effect is well known. It is capable of protecting the liver from any form of damage. Ayurvedic books recommend the consumption of this herbal remedy to treat liver dysfunctionalities.
Guggulu works by reducing the levels of free fatty acids and aids the proper breakdown of fats. Presence of guggulsterone also boosts the excretion of cholesterol in the form of bile acids, which ultimately detoxifies your system.
• Immunity Booster And Fights Bacterial Infections
Guggulu serves to be an immunity booster and helps calibrate the functionality of the immune system at its optimum. Hence, your body's defense against pathogens is improved drastically.
Guggulu has the capability of improving the white blood cell count. Guggulu also works as an anti-helminthic, which helps your body fight infections caused by intestinal worms.
• Treats Skin Problems Such As Wrinkles And Acne
Exposure to direct sunlight and pollution can cause havoc on your skin. Guggulu is recommended to treat skin issues, especially problems associated with skin ageing, such as wrinkles. Studies have shown that guggulu extracts can boost the production of type 1 collagen.
This not only strengthens skin cells but also reduces the production of enzymes that cause skin damage. Depth of small and large wrinkles is reduced making your skin look supple and smooth. Being herbal, this remedy shows anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that makes it usable for treating acne.
This is also recommended for people with oily skin who are prone to acne. This remedy is said to be more effective than the antibiotic containing tetracycline.
• Treats Canker Sores And Gingivitis
Thanks to guggulu's anti-inflammatory and antibacterial features, this remedy works great in treating canker sores in your mouth and also gingivitis. Guggulu is also helpful in treating gum diseases of various kinds. You can prepare a mouth wash by using a crushed tablet of guggulu along with about half a cup of warm water.
You can use this mouth wash to cleanse your mouth at least thrice a day. All mouth problems and gum diseases would be sorted once you start using this guggulu-based mouth wash.
• Reduces Obesity And Boosts The Metabolism Of The Body
Guggulu is effective in boosting one's metabolism effectively. Hence, it is used in remedies serving the treatment of obesity. Guggulu also improves digestion and thyroid functionality.
It also lowers blood cholesterol by preventing undigested carbs from getting converted into triglycerides. Inflammation associated with obesity and oxidative stress is also countered by guggulu consumption.
• Fights Alzheimer's Disease And Protects The Brain
Studies conducted on animals show that guggulu possesses a bioactive component called guggulsterone that can improve one's cognitive ability. People with learning impairment or those suffering from memory deficits would benefit from guggulu consumption due to its neuroprotective feature.
This herbal remedy now seems to be a great solution for dementia. One of the risk factors associated with Alzheimer's is the accumulation of beta-amyloid in the brain.
This is an abnormal protein that is obtained from amyloid precursor protein (APP). APP processing is enabled when the body is high in cholesterol levels. However, this issue is sorted with the consumption of guggulu which has cholesterol-lowering properties.
• Blood Glucose Control In Diabetics
Guggulu has found use in controlling blood sugar levels due to its role in both lipid and glucose metabolism. Pancreas produces insulin that regulates blood glucose. Guggulu is known to protect the pancreas as well.
Guggulu has been found to be used as a remedy for diabetics who wish to attain glycemic control. The presence of gugglusterones in guggulu makes it an important ingredient that is known for improving insulin production.
• Thyroid Functionality Improvement
Studies conducted on animals have shown that guggulu is capable of treating autoimmune-linked thyroid issues. This is done by increasing the concentration of T3. Conversion of thyroid hormone T4 to T3 (active variant) is also stimulated by guggulu.
Animal studies have also shown that guggulu contains a compound known as ketosteroid that shows thyroid stimulatory behaviour. This aids the thyroid's iodine uptake. It also boosts the enzyme activities associated with the activity of the thyroid gland.
Guggulu is available in the form of tablets and powder. It is considered safe to be consumed by all. However, ensure that you consult a medical practitioner and take guggulu only in prescribed amounts.
Guggulu increases the risk of bleeding, so in case you are already taking some form of antiplatelet or anticoagulant, then you might want to check with your doctor whether it still would be safe to consume guggulu.