Guggulu (Commiphora wightii) Herb Ayurvedic Overview

Guggulu (Commiphora wightii)

Guggulu (Commiphora wightii) is a small perennial tree or shrub having up to 1.2-1.8 m high; mainly occurring in Central Asia, North Africa, and India is available in Gujarat, Rajasthan, Assam, Eastern Bengal, etc. The exudates are collected during the winter season by making incisions in the bark. In the Ayurvedic field, Guggulu has been used for thousands of years to manages various medical conditions. Guggulu is obtained from Indian Bdellium or Gum Guggul tree. It is an oleo gum resin exuded in harsh summer by a plant. The dried resin has a bitter, aromatic taste and a balsamic odor.

Commiphora wightii is mainly indicated in lowering cholesterol, healing of bone fractures, gout, rheumatism, arthritis, reducing inflammation, liver diseases, sinus infection, bronchitis, cystitis, urinary tract infection, skin ulcers, vitiligo, intestinal worms, gingivitis, diabetes, skin diseases, obesity, respiratory illness, atherosclerosis, hyperlipidemia, etc. The usage and indications of Guggulu are described by Acharya Charka, Acharya Sushruta, and Vaghbata Ji in the classical texts of Ayurveda. It is rich in digestive, anti-inflammatory, expectorant, thermogenic, astringent, aromatic, expectorant, antiseptic, carminative, diuretic, haematinic, and rejuvenating properties.

Scientific Classification of Guggulu (Commiphora wightii):

  • Kingdom: Plantae
  • Subkingdom: Tracheobionta
  • Division: Magnoliophyta
  • Class: Spermatopsida
  • Sub Class: Maqnoliidae
  • Order: Sapindales
  • Family: Burseraceae
  • Genus: Commiphora
  • Species: Wightii

Guggulu (Commiphora wightii) Synonyms:

  • · Sanskrit: Guggul, Devadhoop, Kaushik, Pur, Mahishaksha, Palankash, Kumbha, Ulukhala
  • · Assamese: Guggul
  • · Bengali: Guggula
  • · English: Gum-gugul, Indian Bdellium, guggulipid
  • · Gujrati: Gugal, Guggal, Gugar
  • · Hindi: Guggul
  • · Kannada: Kanthagana, Guggala, Mahishaksha guggulu, Guggulugida, Guggulu, Guggal
  • · Kashmiri: Guggul Dhoop, Kanth Gan
  • · Malayalam: Gulgulu, Guggulu
  • · Marathi: Guggul, Mahishaksh
  • · Oriya: Guggulu
  • · Punjabi: Guggal, Siddha
  • · Tamil: Erumaikan Kungiliyam
  • · Telugu: Makishakshi guggulu, Guggipannu
  • · Unani: Muqallal yahood, Muql, Bu-e-Jahudaan

Guggulu (Commiphora wightii) Description:

Guggulu (Commiphora wightii)a) Macroscopic: Guggulu occurs in vermicular or stalactite pieces of pale yellow or brown colored mass; it readily burns and makes milky emulsion in hot water. Fresh Guggulu is viscid and golden colored, odor, aromatic, taste, bitter and astringent.

 b) Microscopic: The leaves of Guggulu are 1-3 foliate, sessile to subsessile, terminal ones are the largest, and is rhomboid to ovate. The flowers are small, unisexual, brownish pink, polygamous in fascicles. The calyx has glandular hairs forming a cylindrical cap. The petals are four to five times as long as sepal, and the number of stigmas is eight to ten, inconspicuously bi-lobed. The stamens of guggulu are eight to ten and are alternately long and short. Fruit is red ovate, acuminate in shape with 2-celled store, and is rarely having four-valve.

 Identity, Purity, and Strength of Guggulu (Commiphora wightii):

  • Foreign matter                         Not more than 4 percent,                      Appendix                                        2.2.2.
  • Total Ash                                  Not more than 5 percent,                      Appendix                                        2.2.3.
  • Acid-insoluble ash                   Not more than 1 percent,                      Appendix                                         2.2.4.
  • Alcohol-soluble extractive        Not less than 27 percent,                     Appendix                                         2.2.6.
  • Water-soluble extractive          Not less than 53 percent,                     Appendix                                         2.2.7.
  • Volatile oil                                 Not less than 1 percent,                       Appendix                                         2.2.10

Chemical Constituents of Guggulu (Commiphora wightii):

Guggulu (Commiphora wightii) is a complex mixture of steroids, amino acids, carbohydrates, aliphatic esters, diterpenoids, E Guggulsterone, Z-Guggulsterone, Guggulsterol I, Guggulsterol II, Guggulsterol. Other than this, it is rich in essential oil, resin, and gum. Quinic acid and myo-inostol were found in high concentrations in fruits and leaves. 

Ayurvedic Properties and Action of Guggulu (Commiphora wightii):

  • Rasa: Katu, Tikta, Kashaya
  • Guna: Laghu, Sara
  • Virya: Ushna
  • Vipaka: Katu
  • Karma: Balaya, Rasayana, Varnya, Medohara, Bhagansandhankrit, Deepan, Sara, Sukshma, Hrudya, 

Ayurvedic Formulation made by Guggulu (Commiphora wightii):

The formulation of Guggulu is Yograj guggulu, Singhnaad guggulu, Kaishore guggulu, Mahayograj guggulu, Chandraprabha vati, Medohara guggulu, Gokshuradi guggulu. 

Therapeutic Uses of Guggulu (Commiphora wightii):

It is mainly indicated in Aamvata, Kushtha, Prameha, Granthihara, Shothhara, Gandmala, Medoroga, Vatavyadi.

Dose of Guggulu (Commiphora wightii):

2-4 gm of the drug.


Ayurvedic Pharmacopeia of India. 

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