Guggulu: An Ayurvedic Resin for Weight Loss, Detoxification and Inflammation

guggulu picGuggulu is a widely used resin in Ayurvedic medicine.  Although the health benefits of guggulu are quite varied, some of its main uses include weight-loss, detoxification, removing obstructions such as tumors and stones, relieving arthritic symptoms, reducing pain and inflammation, stimulating circulation, lowering cholesterol and balancing the thyroid.  Guggulu is mainly used for Kapha and Vata disorders, as it has a strong affinity for stimulating the lipid metabolism (Kapha), while also healing and strengthening the nervous system (Vata).  Its ability to increase the potency of other herbs makes guggulu a top choice for multiple Ayurvedic herbal formulas.

Before application, guggulu must go through a purification process known as Guggulu Shodhana.  This cleansing process removes dust, dirt and impurities from the outer layer of the resin before it is dried and powdered for medicinal use.  Although there are several methods of this Guggulu Shodhana, the most widely used is by using Triphala Kwatha.  This procedure is done by boiling the guggulu resin in a decoction of Triphala Churna for 15 minutes, allowing the impurities to remove and the purification to manifest.

Guggulu is considered tri-doshic meaning it helps to pacify all three doshas; although due to its heating property it can aggravate Pitta with excessive or long-term use.  Guggulu is known as a Yoga Vahi, which means it helps to increase the potency of other herbs that it is taken with.  Therefore, purified guggulu is used in many formulas such as Yogaraj Guggulu, Punarnavadi Guggulu, Triphala Guggulu, Kaishora Guggulu, Gokshuradi Guggulu and many more. **See below for a more detailed description on the various guggulu formulations.

Plain guggulu (sometimes called Suddha Guggulu) can be taken in a custom blended herbal formula, or it can be taken as one of the pre-made formulas mentioned above.  Ideally it is taken in a powdered form, as this allows the greatest absorption and therefore the best potency of this herb to come through. 

Guggulu Chart

Health Benefits of Guggulu:

  • Aids in weight loss
  • Increases lipid (fat) metabolism
  • Removes toxins from the deep tissues
  • Cleanses and strengthens blood
  • Increases digestive fire 
  • Increases healthy elimination; relieves constipation
  • Stimulates circulation
  • Reduces cholesterol
  • Stimulates thyroid hormone production
  • Removes tumors, cysts, fibroids and other obstructions
  • Reduces pain and inflammation
  • Treats Rheumatoid Arthritis, gout and other joint issues
  • Beneficial in sciatica
  • Heals broken bones and wounds
  • Treats hemorrhoids
  • Cardiac tonic
  • Beautifies the complexion
  • Beneficial in epilepsy and other nervous system disorders
  • Removes bad body odor
  • Reduces dyspepsia (indigestion)
  • Removes kidney and urinary stones
  • Treats impotency; increases sexual potency and libido
  • Heals ulcers
  • Beneficial in diabetes
  • Emmenagogue; treats amenorrhea and dysmenorrhea
  • Treats many Vata and Kapha disorders
  • Expectorant; removes congestion 
  • Treats chronic cough and bronchitis
  • Treats dysuria (painful urination) and cystitis (UTI)
  • Reduces leucorrhea

As mentioned above, guggulu is the main ingredient for many traditional formulations in Ayurvedic medicine.  Here is a chart that provides the most common guggulu formulas available, along with their main uses.

Guggulu Forumulation2
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