Guggul is an ancient remedy that has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years to remedy issues such as arthritis, thyroid imbalance, and urinary tract infections. It is a type of fragrant gum resin obtained from the stem of the Guggul tree native to India, Central Asia, and North Africa. The name Guggulu in Sanskrit means “protects against diseases,” and with good reason. This remedy has withstood the test of time and proven itself a valuable addition to any health regimen. Check out our list of reasons to eat Guggul today.
Guggul is most widely researched for its ability to lower bad cholesterol levels, which can help improve heart health and fight off issues such as type 2 diabetes. It works by reducing the absorption of fat and cholesterol in the intestine and increasing the rate of bile excretion from the body. Plus, it can help reduce the hardening of blood vessels that can lead to strokes and heart disease.
A small, 2009 study of 43 adults with moderately high cholesterol showed a more significant cholesterol drop in the group that received daily capsule doses of guggul compared to the control group that received a placebo.
Prevents blood clots
One study saw a significant increase in fibrinolytic activity and a decrease in platelet adhesion, even in the test subjects with coronary heart disease. These two processes work together to reduce the forming of dangerous blood clots in the body that can lead to stroke or pulmonary issues.
Help treat acne
Tetracycline is a common antibiotic that is prescribed to treat severe body and face acne. Guggul, taken as an oral supplement, is just as effective as this strong drug due to its potent anti-inflammatory, antioxidant properties. This makes it an ideal choice for those seeking a natural alternative to reduce the appearance of acne and prevent scarring.
Boosts metabolism and fights obesity
Guggul has long been recognized as a weight loss aid as well as a natural remedy for obesity-related conditions including heart disease. There is evidence to suggest that it can boost metabolism, digestion, and thyroid function, all of which contribute to maintaining a healthy weight. Plus, it has been shown to counter oxidative stress and obesity-driven inflammation.
Research results have been promising to support guggul as a weight loss tool; however, more extensive, in-depth studies are needed to confirm its effectiveness.
Improves skin health
Aside from treating acne, guggul is also an effective anti-aging remedy. It helps protect the skin at a cellular level by increasing collagen production, which is essential in firming and tightening skin and reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Though tests haven’t been performed on humans, animals studies suggest this ancient herb could help reduce cancerous tumor growth. Guggul extracts were able to reduce the tumor size in mice with medically induced esophageal, pancreatic, or prostate cancer. One of the main subjects of study is a substance in guggul known as steroid guggulsterone that can suppress tumor promoting enzymes and stimulate the apoptosis of tumors on a cellular level.
Possible side effects:
Keep in mind that though guggul is natural, it is also potent and could cause adverse reactions if taken in large quantities. It is generally considered safe, but should be avoided by pregnant or breastfeeding women and children. It may cause stomach upsets, vomiting, nausea, belching, hiccups, skin rashes, and headaches in some.
Guggulsterone is a phytosteroid and could exacerbate hormone-related conditions such as breast cancer, endometriosis, uterine cancer, prostate cancer, and ovarian cancer.
Always consult your doctor before starting any herbal supplementation. It is especially important if you are taking any of the following medications:
- Antifungals like Nizoral (ketoconazole) and Sporanox (itraconazole)
- Antihistamines like Allegra (fexofenadine)
- Cardizem (diltiazem)
- Estrogen-based contraceptives
- Sedatives like Halcion (triazolam) and Xanax (alprazolam)
- Statin drugs like Lipitor (atorvastatin) and Mevacor (lovastatin)
- Anticoagulants like warfarin
Be sure that you are buying your supplements from a reputable source by sticking to well-known brands that are lauded for their quality products. Guggul can be found in most health stores or online in many forms, including, supplements, extracts, powders, and salve ointments.
Have you ever taken guggul? Let us know in the comments below.
-The Alternative Daily