Guggulu is one of the main Rasayanas mentioned in Ayurveda.
Guggulu is a Sanskrit word which means “to protect against disease”. It protects against diseases in two ways :
- by removing toxins from the body due to its “scraping” (cleansing/eradicating) effect and
- by increasing the quantity of the “dhatus” (tissues which sustain our body structure and maintain our health), namely, plasma, blood, muscles, fat, bones, bone marrow and the reproductive tissue; and by enhancing the quality of these “dhatus” (tissues).
It is a kind of sap from a tree called “guggulu”. In English, it is called Indian Bdellium and its botanical name is Commiphora Wightii.
Broadly speaking there are 5 types of Guggulu, categorised according to its colour, i.e. golden, blue, red, etc.
Generally, new/young Guggulu which is less than a year old, is recommended to be used as medicine, but even the ones older than a year can still be used due to its “scraping” properties. Guggulu loses its potency when it is stored for more than 10 years.
Guggulu is particularly useful and beneficial in treating obesity, kidney stone, cough, piles, blisters/ulcers in the mouth, spleen disorders, tonsillitis, worms, acne (pimples), knots (clots), opthalmia (swelling/inflammation of the eyes), seminal disorders, etc.
The new/fresh Guguulu is moist, slimy, lubricating, subtle, good for the vocal cord, an energy booster, semen and sperm count enhancer, and can heal fractures (it can even correct a dislocated bone). It is also good for the thyroid gland, for regulating cholesterol, controlling weight and correcting metabolism.
With regard to its taste, Guggulu is bitter, astringent and a bit pungent. It is dry in nature, light to digest and it generates heat in the body. Due to its tastes, quality and potency, it is very useful in eliminating excess mucus from the body, therefore Guggulu is useful in reducing inflammation, swelling of joints, rheumatoid arthritis, etc.
In Ayurveda it is mentioned that Guggulu is useful in “asthisandhi rog”, “asthi” means bones, “sandhi” means joints and “rog” means disease or disorder. Therefore, it is highly recommended in muscular pain, joint pain and any pain and stiffness caused due to damaged ligaments and bones.
Broadly speaking, Guggulu is beneficial in treating skin disorders, because it can purify the blood tissue. It helps to correct cholesterol related issues and can normalise and maintain healthy cholesterol levels. It can speed up digestion, improve absorption and facilitate evacuation. It can be helpful in regulating the menstrual cycle by correcting the functioning of the uterus and ovaries and by normalising hormone production.
Guggulu can also be beneficial in correcting UTI, kidney stones, heart related issues, liver and spleen problems, bone fracture, skin disorders, etc.
Due to its “scraping” effect, Guggulu is useful in removing Ama (toxins) from the body, and hence has a purifying effect on all the seven dhatus (tissues, i.e. plasma, blood, muscles, fat, bones, bone marrow and the reproductive tissue) in the body.
When all these seven dhatus are of good quality, they have an anti- aging effect, helping to increase the span of life whilst also improving the quality of life. This is the reason for which Guggulu is considered to be a powerful Rasayana.
In addition to usage in its pure form, Guggulu is also used by combining it with specific herbs to treat particular ailments, because of its “Yogavahi” quality. “Yogavahi” means “carrier”. Guggulu, due to its piercing and penetrating effects caused by its bitter, astringent and pungent tastes, can carry the medicinal properties of the herbs it is mixed with, to the different parts, organs and systems, and even to the most minute unhealthy tissues of the body, where any correction, rectification, repairing and healing is needed.
This means, Guggulu enhances the effectiveness of other herbs with which it is taken, and thus helps with speedy recovery from several types of illnesses.
Here are some Ayurvedic formulas/combinations that are used to treat specific health issues caused due to a particular Dosha (element) disorder:
For strong Vata disorder, which can cause joint pain (due to weak muscles, weak bones, fractures, dislocation of joints, etc.), and to prevent anxiety, sleeping disorders, etc. the nervous system needs to be strengthened. This can be done by:
- 2 gram pure Guggulu powder should be mixed with ¼ teaspoon cinnamon powder and ½ teaspoon pure cow’s ghee (clarified butter), and consumed.
- This should be followed by a cup of hot herbal (cinnamon) tea or a little hot/warm water. This can be taken twice a day, after breakfast and after dinner.
- If possible, one can take Ayurvedic herbal prepartions called Yograj Guggulu & Mahayogaraj Guggulu and Abha Guggulu, which can be easily purchased from any Ayurvedic store in your area, or you can order it through the internet.
For Pitta disorder, which can cause acidity, heartburns, skin disorders, high blood pressure, haemorrhoids, etc.:
- Pure Guggulu powder is recommended to be taken in the following manner – 2 to 2.5 gram pure Guggulu powder, mixed with ¼ teaspoon Guduchi powder (please refer to our blog on Guduchi), 1 pod green cardamom seed powder and ½ teaspoon pure cow’s ghee (clarified butter), or ½ teaspoon virgin coconut oil and ½ teaspoon ground rock sugar (optional) can be taken.
- This should be followed by a cup of hot herbal (fennel) tea or a little hot/warm water.
- Take this twice a day – after lunch and after dinner.
- If possible, get a specific Ayurvedic preparation called Kaishore Guggulu from any Ayurvedic/health store in your area or through the internet.
For Kapha related issues like swelling, inflammation, cysts/tumors, kidney stone, joint and muscular pain, PMS, depression, feelings of insecurity, etc.:
- Mix 2 – 3 gram pure Guggulu powder, power of 1 clove or 1 pinch nutmeg powder, with 1 teaspoon pure raw honey and lick it.
- This should be followed by a cup of hot herbal (green/thyme) tea or a little hot/warm water.
- Take this after breakfast and after dinner.
- If possible, get any of the following Ayurvedic herbal remedies with Guggulu as the main ingredient like Triphala Guggulu, Kanchnar Guggulu and Gokshuradi Guggulu – from any Ayurvedic store in your vicinity or through the internet.
Due to its multi-fold health benefits, in Ayurveda, Guggulu is considered to be one of the best Rasayanas. It has a strong anti-aging effect on the body, thus helping to increase the span of life whilst also improving the quality of life, by strengthening the immune system and the nervous system.
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DISCLAIMER : This information is intended for educational purposes only & does not constitute expert medical advice, nor is it meant to replace medical recommendations by a medical practitioner. Always consult a qualified Ayurveda Doctor/Health Professional/Yoga Guru for your specific medical needs before taking any herbal health supplements, and/or practicing Ayurveda & Yoga.