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Guggul

Supplement Forms/Alternate Names:

Commiphora mukul, oleo-gum resin, guggulu

Introduction

Guggul is a small tree that grows in Southern Asia. The roots make a yellow resin called guggulu that has been used to lower cholesterol and body mass. It can be taken as a pill, powder, or extract.

Dosages

There are no advised doses for guggul.

What Research Shows

May Be Effective

  • Metabolic syndrome —may reduce weight, body mass, waist size, blood glucose, and cholesterol B1

May Not Be Effective

  • High cholesterol —may raise LDL “bad” cholesterol A1, A2

Editorial process and description of evidence categories can be found at EBSCO NAT Editorial Process.

Safety Notes

It may be safe for most adults to take guggul for a short time. Some people taking guggul have allergic reactions, skin rash, and itching.C1, C2 Not enough studies have been done to say whether it is safe to take for a long period or during pregnancy or breastfeeding.

Interactions

Talk to your doctor about any supplements or therapy you would like to use. Some can interfere with treatment or make conditions worse, such as:C3, C4

  • People taking medicine to treat or prevent blood clots should talk to their doctors before taking guggul. It may increase the risk of bleeding.
  • People with high blood pressure should talk to their doctors before taking guggul. It may interact with their medicines.
 

References

A. High Cholesterol

A1. Szapary PO, Wolfe ML, et al. Guggulipid for the treatment of hypercholesterolemia: a randomized controlled trial. JAMA. 2003 Aug 13;290(6):765-772.

A2. Nohr LA, Rasmussen LB, et al. Resin from the mukul myrrh tree, guggul, can it be used for treating hypercholesterolemia? A randomized, controlled study. Complement Ther Med. 2009 Jan;17(1):16-22.

B. Metabolic Syndrome

B1. Patti AM, Al-Rasadi K, et al. Effect of a Natural Supplement Containing Curcuma Longa, Guggul, and Chlorogenic Acid in Patients With Metabolic Syndrome. Angiology. 2015 Oct;66(9):856-861.

C. Safety

C1. Kölönte A, Guillot B, et al. Allergic contact dermatitis to guggul extract contained in an anticellulite gel-cream. Contact Dermatitis. 2006 Apr;54(4):226-227.

C2. Salavert M, Amarger S, et al. Allergic contact dermatitis to guggul in a slimming cream. Contact Dermatitis. 2007 May;56(5):286-287.

C3. Hasani-Ranjbar S, Nayebi N, et al. The efficacy and safety of herbal medicines used in the treatment of hyperlipidemia; a systematic review. Curr Pharm Des. 2010;16(26):2935-2947.

C4. Yellapu RK, Mittal V, et al. Acute liver failure caused by 'fat burners' and dietary supplements: a case report and literature review. Can J Gastroenterol. 2011 Mar;25(3):157-160.

Last reviewed February 2020 by EBSCO NAT Review Board Eric Hurwitz, DC  Last Updated: 6/22/2020