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Guggul is one of the versatile ayurvedic herb that is beneficial in several conditions itself and it can be fortified with other herbs to promote some specific actions. But the scope of those formulation are within the realm of Ayurvedic Medicine.
Find what modern research has found about Commiphora mukul gum and how it is helpful in various conditions.
Clinical trial studies of Guggulipid now offer some conflicting results. Earlier studies that were conducted mostly in India, offer a great evidence of its relative safety and efficacy for lowering Cholesterol and Triglyceride and increasing HDL cholesterol.
More than one dozen studies have affirmed its benefits while some of the later studies in US didn't get same results. However it is widely believed that it could be due to inappropriate dietary restrictions in those studies.
Commiphora mukul gum is greatly helpful in lowering cholesterol levels. It should be coupled with dietary restrictions of fat intake.
This botanical gum acts on all the three components of lipid profile - HDL, LDL and Triglycerides. There is significant lowering of cholesterol and triglyceride levels. The ratio of HDL/LDL is also found to be favorable. This ratio is considered as an indicator of risk of cardiovascular diseases.
As antioxidants, Guggulsterones keep LDL cholesterol from oxidizing and this action protects us against Atherosclerosis.
Another double blind clinical trial reported it to be similar to Clofibrate drug for lipid lowering action. (11 percent by gug., 10 percent by clofibrate), (17 percent by gug., 22 percent by clofibrate).
LDL cholesterol's oxidation is associated with Atherogenesis or development of plaques in blood vessels. Antioxidants help by in slowing down or preventing Atherogenesis. One study from Atherosclerosis 2004, Feb. concluded that Gug. effectively inhibited LDL oxidation. This antioxidant action added with lipid lowering properties make Commiphora mukul as beneficial Anti-Atherogenesis agent.
This famous study and often quoted one against Commiphora mukul's efficacy is published in JAMA, 2003, Aug. This study concluded that Guggulsterones in the dose of 1000 mg and 2000 mg thrice a day, didn't appear to exert hypcholesterolemic effects in adult patients. It could in fact raise the levels of LDL in some patients.
After the reanalysis, it was found that this herb lowered blood pressure, insulin levels and fasting blood sugar. It was found to exert anti-inflammatory action and reduced the levels of C-Reactive Protein.
Inula racemosa, also known as Pushkarmoola, is another traditional Ayurvedic botanical that has potential cardio-protective benefit. In human trials, a combination of Inula racemosa and Commiphora mukul was shown to be superior to nitroglycerin in reducing the chest pain and dyspnea associated with angina.
Gug. 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.
Ayurveda suggests to use Gug. in the treatment of 'Santarpana' born disorders. This term is used for the lifestyle where in one eats a lot, particularly high calorie diet rich in fats and carbohydrate and leads an physically lazy life and sedentary daily routine.
Obesity as well as other "Civilization born disorders" like diabetes, hypertension are now proved to be facilitated by this life style.
One of the Guggul's main action is to help in weight loss. It acts best when it is coupled with dietary and exercise regimen. Remember, it is foolishness to take herbs or other holistic treatment simply to get rid of some disease while adopting the lifestyle that promotes that kind of disorders.
Ayurveda's first guideline for ayurvedic physicians is to remove the factors promoting the disease from your life - food, exercise, lifestyle. Simple, practical and effective.
Gug. helps to reduce the fat from the body so after some time your skin folds won't look that much flabby. If its use is coupled with proper exercise, you can dream of having a good figure.
In one double blind clinical study, Gug. was given with phosphate, hydroxycitrate and tyrosine. This regimen was followed along with exercise. The results showed improvement in mood and slight weight reduction in overweight individuals.
Many small studies suggested its beneficial nature in treatment of acne. In India, ayurveda practitioners use it along with other herbs in the form like Kaishora guggul.
In one small clinical trial mentioned in Journal Of Dermatology, this ayurvedic herb is found to be equally effective as Tetracycline in the treatment of Cystic Nodular Acne. In this trial, 500 mg of extract was given twice a day.
Degenerative joint disorders like osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid arthritis respond well to this therapy. Commiphora mukul acts as anti-inflammatory agent that has the potential to reduce joint pain, swelling, morning stiffness and other related symptoms.
As in other diseases, it is not used alone in Ayurveda. Other ayurvedic herbs are compounded with it to reach at an synergistic herbal formulation. Trayodasanga Gug., Simhanada Gug., Yogaraja gug., Mahayogaraj gug., are some of the commonly used formulations.
Guggul's anti-inflammatory activity is beneficial in Osteoarthritis. It was due to Myrrhanol A which is a new triterpene found in Commiphora mukul.
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.
Guggul treated group showed the parallel increased activity of anti-oxidative enzymes - SOD (Superoxide dismutase) and CAT (Catalase). These findings for safe and anti-peroxidative nature of this herb indicate its possible use in the treatment of Hypothyroidism.