Energetics: bitter, spicy, neutral    Meridians/organs affected: heart, liver, spleen      Properties: emmenagogue, expectorant, antispasmodic, disinfectant, stimulant, carminative

Guggul is the common name for the flowering mukul myrrh tree (Commiphora mukul). It is a small, thorny tree that is most commonly found in India,   Guggul is also refers to the resin formed from the sap of the myrrh tree, which has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for over two thousand years. Sanskrit name “Guggulu or Guggul, means “protects from disease” .

Its uses are similar to those of frankincense, with which it is often combined in liniments and incense. Myrrh is more blood-moving, while frankincense tends to move the chi more, and is better for arthritic conditions. Myrrh is one of the most effective of all known disinfectants and is wisely used medically for this purpose. It increases circulation, heart rate and power. It is useful for amenorrhea, dysmenorrhea, menopause and uterine tumors, as it: purges stagnant blood out of the uterus.

Myrrh is good for many chronic diseases, including obesity and diabetes. It helps toothache pain applied externally. For inner ear infections, combine equal parts of Echinacea and Mullein with one-quarter part myrrh to make a tea.

An excellent liniment for bruises, aches and sprains is made from a combination of myrrh, golden seal and cayenne, macerated in rubbing alcohol for about two weeks.

It have tonic and rejuvenative properties.

Myrrh has been used to relieve pain and alleviate sinusitis, gingivitis, periodontal disease and sore throat, and has long been used to help bolster the body’s natural immune defenses. But the benefits of Myrrh continue to astound us in modern times. It is a powerful antioxidant and like Frankincense, it is now considered by modern medicine to help fight certain cancers and tumors. Myrrh extracts contain sesquiterpenes compounds that stimulate the part of the brain that controls emotions. It may also be helpful for the hypothalamus, pituitary and pineal glands, that produce many of the important hormones in the body. Myrrh is also a natural deodorizer and can help to sweeten the breath.

Many of the chronic and life-threatening health problems that may develop as we age are due to chronic inflammation, free radical damage, and oxidative stress. Natural anti-inflammatories, most of which are antioxidants, are very beneficial for reducing the risk of disease, and free radical damage. Cancer and heart disease are two of the of our biggest killers, and inflammation can play a role in both, as well as oxidation. One of the many benefits of the extract of Myrrh is to prevent the oxidation of fats or cholesterol. The active component of Myrrh, guggul, is known to help with inflammation. Chinese researchers revealed that Myrrh may be effective against human gynecologic cancer cells (Journal of Plants Research), and it is being studied as a possible aid in the fight against breast cancer and prostate cancer.

Myrrh is a powerful antiseptic and expectorant, reducing phlegm and congestion in the lungs, and the many volatile oils in Myrrh soothe irritated bronchial passages and promote free breathing during congestive colds by clearing mucus-clogged passages. It stimulates and tones mucous tissue, increasing mucous secretions and promoting their drainage. The herb is believed to be effective in relieving tuberculosis and asthma, among other respiratory ailments; and chronic sinus problems, including sinusitis.

With regard to women’s health, Myrrh is said to protect female organs by stimulating blood circulation and stagnant blood, and is considered to be a “blood mover.” When you are feeling heavy in the pelvis and suffering from menstrual cramps, Myrrh may be able to get you through it. It is also considered to be one of the finest antibacterial and antiviral agents, fighting against uterine and vaginal infections, and a good remedy for thrush, herpes simplex, Candida and other yeast infections. Because of the properties of the herbal tincture, pregnant women should not use it. Though, it has been used traditionally in childbirth, to ease labor pains and encourage uterine contractions.

Myrrh cleanses the colon and brings order to the gastrointestinal and digestive system. It is said to tone and stimulate mucous tissue and promote gastric secretions to help digestion and excite the appetite The herb stimulates the immune system by promoting the production of infection-fighting white blood cells, as well as having a direct antimicrobial effect of its own.

Myrrh will help to fight bad breath when taken internally. It is a powerful antiseptic that is used by modern herbalists to treat many infections but has a particularly long history of efficacy in treating mouth ailments such as mouth sores, weak and spongy gums, sore and loose teeth, gingivitis, periodontal disease, pyorrhea, laryngitis and sore throats. It is included in many European kinds of toothpaste to fight bacteria that cause tooth decay.

Myrrh has many benefits for the skin and has demonstrated immune modulation effects and accelerated wound healing without scar formation. It has also been shown to quench singlet oxygen species, the main damaging energy from sun exposure and different types of free radicals. It has been used for a variety of skin diseases and other skin afflictions such eczema, skin ulcers, sores, bed sores, chapped skin, athlete’s foot and ringworm. Modern research suggests that it could be very beneficial for the treatment of acne, because of its ability to inhibit sebum production and bacterial growth in the pores.

In Ayurveda:

  • Promotes detoxification and rejuvenation
  • Purifies the blood
  • Helps maintain healthy cholesterol levels already within the normal range
  • Kindles agni (digestive fire)
  • Promotes healthy weight management
  • Supports comfortable movement of the joints
  • Is a natural source of antioxidants
  • Supports the immune system
  • Helps engender vibrant, healthy skin
  • Supports a regular menstrual cycle*

Guggul has very subtle and penetrating qualities and because of this is considered a yogavahi, meaning that it is often employed specifically to carry other substances deep into the tissues.Further, its combination with other herbs actually lends direction to its powerful detoxifying and rejuvenating qualities. It pacifies vata, pitta, and kapha, though it is especially renowned for alleviating vata aggravations.1In general, Itl has an affinity for all of the tissues in the body as well as the circulatory, digestive, nervous, and respiratory systems. Guggul is very scraping, which enables it to clear toxins from the tissues and channels while rejuvenating them. In fact, it is this scraping quality that gives guggul a number of its beneficial attributes.

Guggul has a remarkable ability to support balanced cholesterol levels.  In Ayurveda, different parts of plants are seen to work on different tissues in the body. As we have seen, guggul is made from the sap of the mukul myrrh tree and sap has a strong connection with rakta dhatu (the blood). It is therefore not surprising that guggul is praised for its ability to improve blood flow and enhance the quality of the blood.1Guggul works very effectively to purify blood, promoting healthy cholesterol levels and scraping toxins from the circulatory system. In addition, guggul promotes supple arteries and tonifies the heart.

In Ayurveda, excess weight is the result of a kapha imbalance. Guggul helps to clear excess kapha from the system with its pungent, bitter, and astringent tastes, its heating energy, and its pungent post-digestive effect. Guggul also supports healthy thyroid function, ‘scrapes’ fat, and improves meda dhatu agni (the metabolic principle within adipose tissue) Guggul simultaneously kindles agni (the digestive fire) and promotes proper elimination  It is an appetizer, a liver stimulant, and it assists with the digestion of oils and fats, thereby supporting weight management in a number of ways.

When it comes to ailments of the joints, the accumulation of ama (toxic residues) within the tissues is often at the root of the problem. Guggul’s scraping and detoxifying qualities act to clear these toxins from the joints. Its simultaneous ability to lubricate and rejuvenate the tissues within and around the joints helps to promote strength and proper movement within these delicate spaces.

There has been significant scientific research evaluating the benefits of guggul, both on its own, and as an ingredient in other herbal compounds.3Among other things, studies have looked at guggul’s ability to support healthy cholesterol levels and weight management, as well as the health and comfortable movement of the joints. Below are examples of a few articles that illustrate some of these research findings:

Ingredients: Myrrh, Distilled Water, 40% Alcohol (tripled extracted)

Instructions: Use 6-8 drops in juice, water, under the tongue or as desired. May be taken 3 times daily. Shake well. Store in cool dark place. Keep out of reach of children.

Contraindications: Since Myrrh is a uterine stimulant, pregnant women should avoid it, and people who suffer from kidney disease should not take it without first consulting a physician. Myrrh should not be used for an extended period of time, and it should not be taken in large doses (many times the recommended amounts). High doses may affect heart rate. Topical preparations have been known to cause contact dermatitis. Interaction with anti-diabetic therapy is possible, because of its hypoglycemic properties.  Guggul should be avoided when trying to become pregnant, during pregnancy, while breast-feeding, and in cases of excessive uterine bleeding, thyrotoxicosis, or acute kidney infection. Avoid if there are known allergies to Commiphora mukul or other members of the Burseraceae family.  A number of interactions between guggul and prescription medications have been observed; use caution when taking guggul in combination with hypo-glycemic medications, lipid-lowering agents, anti-coagulants, anti-platelets, anti-hypertensives, anti-diabetics, or estrogens.


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