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Ayurvedic Herbs A-Z

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Ayurvedic Medicine




Latin Name: Commiphora mukul, Balsamodendron mukul
Sanskrit Name: Guggulu
Hindi Name: Gugal
English Name: Indian Bedellium

Parts Used

Resin. Every plant has a different therapeutic value and must be prepared in its own way for maximum benefits. This plant grows in Bengal, Mysore, Rajputana, Sind, Assam, Berars and Khandesh districts of the Indian continent.

Constituents: Steroids-guggulsterones that are lipid soluble, oleoresins

Traditional Ayurvedic Uses:

Enhances all 13 of the metabolic processes (Agnis) that create all 7 categories of bodily tissues (Dhatus).

CHOLESTEROL: It reduces cholesterol (LDL) and prevents accumulation2. It has a lekhana property that 'scrapes' deposits from the channels, joints and tissues3. Guggulu is a specific herb for obesity and excessive weight- this works via its ability to enhance thyroid function.

ARTHRITIS: Anti-inflammatory activity and detoxifying action. Very good in kapha/vata types of arthritis.

HEART: Ischemic heart disease, Angina: It increase blood flow, reduces blood clots, clears atherosclerosis.4

GYNAECOLOGY: Used to clear endometriosis, PCOS, clots. All accumulations and ama in the apanakshetra of the lower abdomen. It regulates the cycle.

SKIN: Used for skin inflammations. Clinical trials have proven efficacy in acne as opposed to antibiotic treatment5. Also benefits general inflammations of the mucus membranes throughout the body- mouth ulcers, lung infections. It helps to regenerate tissue granulation and enhance healing-clears tumors, dead tissue and reduces lipids and lipomas.

INFECTIONS: Its ability to increase white blood cell count helps clear infections

BONES: As a resin Guggul relates with raktadhatu- the blood system- and this is responsible for healing deep seated wounds it is traditionally used for healing fractures6.

CANCER: Traditionally valued in all growths, accumulations, cancers (granthi)7.

Contraindications: Acute kidney infections, excessive uterine bleeding. Not in pregnancy or during breast-feeding.

Combinations are Best

The experts at Ayurveda do not recommend the use of single herbs for self-care due to several important reasons:

  1. Single herbs often have unwanted effects over time, which can be canceled by herbs in proper combination.
  2. Herbs in combination are much more powerful.
  3. Good formulas address all co-factors to a health goal for much greater effectiveness.
  4. Expert combinations include herbs that increase assimilation and effective potency of the other ingredients.
  5. Herbs have different effects according to dose, and when mixed with other herbs.

Ayurvedic Energetics
Rasa (taste): Bitter, Pungent, Astringent, Sweet
Virya (action): Heating
Vipaka (post-digestive effect): Pungent
Guna (quality): Light, Penetrating, Dry
Dosha effect: VPK-, can aggravate P in excess
Dhatu (tissue): All
Srota (channel): Circulatory, Digestive, Nervous,

Ayurvedic Action
Sarvadoshahara- alleviates all dosha, Medhogna-clears fat tissue, Prameha- anti-diabetic, Raktashodaka- blood purifier, Deepaniya- kindles the digestive fire, Rasayana- Rejuvenative (Bhavaprakasha, Sarngadhara Samhita, Astanga Hridaya)

1 K. Bone
2 K. Bone
3 Bhavaprakasha
4 Miller cited in Tillotson
5 Thappa. J Dermatology 1994
6 Bhavaprakasha
7 Bhavaprakasha6 Bhavaprakasha

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