Commiphora Mukul

Botanical Name: Commiphora Mukul

Sanskrit Name: Gugguluu

Family Name: Burseraceaea


Vernacular names :

  1. Hindi – Gugguluu
  2. Engish –Indian Bedellium
  3. Malayalam –Gulgulu
  4. Kannada –Kanthagana

Synonyms –Kousika, Devadhupa, Palamkasa, Pura

Ganas in classical texts:

Charaka: Sanjasthapana

Susruta: Eladi



Commiphora Mukul  is described as Agni sthana and used for Dhupa. In atharvaveda it is mentioned that Yakshma and other diseases wil not spread to the areas fumigated by Gulggulu. Sayana also introduced it as well known Dhupanadravya. It was used for the treatment of diseases cattle.

It is observed that the internal usage of gugguluu increased during samhita period only. Susruta documented that new gugguluu is Vrisya while old one is Apakarsana. Charaka and vaghbatta have dileneatedgugguluu as medohara and vatahar. Saranagadhara quoted it among the drugs to be used when they are older. Vridhavagbhata described that about 1 tula of gugguluu may be consumed for arasayana purpose. If administered in excessive quantities side effects like timira, murcha, klaibya, southilya, rouksya may develop.

Traditionally it is purified in triphalakvatha for 3 hours and then fried with ghee before administration.

Bhavamisra contradicted sour substances, corrosives, items which may lead to indigestion, sex/coitus, exertion, alcohol etc.

Varieties :

Bhavamisra’s varieties

  1. Mahisaka
  2. Mahanila
  3. Padma
  4. Kumuda
  5. Hiranyaka

Among these varieties mahisaka and mahanila are used for elephants, kumuda and Padma are used for horses and hiranyaksa is used for human beings. If hiranyaksha variety is not available mahisaka variety may be used.

Botanical details

Commiphora Mukul is a small tree or shrub with unifoliate , alternate leaves and short branches, acute, deeply serrate, smooth and shining. Flowers are small, subsessile 2-3 together. Fruits are red drupes, ovate, acuminate. Nuts are ovoid, acute, splitting into two, each 1 celled.


Arid and rocky regions of south west and north western regions of India.


Rasa –Tikta, Katu

Guna –Laghu, Rooksha, Visada, Suksma, Sara, Snigdha, Pichchila

Virya – Usna

Vipaka –Katu

Karma –Tridoshahara, Rasayana, Vrisya, Lekhana

Chemical constituents

Oleoresin –z-gugguluusterone, E- gugguluusterone

Gum- gugguluuligans 1 and 2; gugguluutetrols; mukulol; allycembrol; c-27 gugguluusterols 1, 2, 3; Z and E gugguluusterols etc.


Sthoulya, Amavata, Vatavyadhi, Prameha, Apachi, Gandamala, Sotha, Pitaka, Asamari, Arsas, Kustha

Part used– Gum

Therapeutic uses

Udara- gugguluu and silajatu shall be used

Krostukasirsavata – gugguluu may be used with triphala decoction

Urusthambha- gugguluu to be taken with cow’s urine

Amavata- haritaki, gugguluu, and silajatu may be given with urine

Dosage – 2-4g


Satdharana yoga, Yogarajagugguluu, PanchaTiktaGugguluugritham, Simahanadagugguluu, Chandraprabhavati, Arogyavardhini Rasa, NavakaGugguluu, Amritadigugguluu, GugguluuTiktaKasaya, Kancanaragugguluu, Goksuradigugguluu.

Research works

Anti- inflammatory and anti- arthritic activity

  1. Oleoresin was found to be highly potent anti inflammatory agent, as compared to others (Gujral et al., 1960)
  2. The anti inflammatory properties of gugguluu are reviewed (Sharma J.M.1961 G.A.U., Jamnagar)
  3. Sudhagugguluu is found to be effective in katisoola proving the analgesic and anti inflammatory effect ( pandey D.H. 1993. GAU.Jamnagar)
  4. Clinical study on the effect of suddhagugguluu in amavata is reported to be encouraging (VYas S.N. GAU Jamnagar, 1983); Jhope A.B. 1978 and Majumadar 1979)

Antifertility activity

  1. Oleoresin of gum gugguluu is found to cause also a reduced in the weight of the uterus, ovaries and cervix with a concomitant increase in their glycogen and sialic acid levels, thereby showing that it might be useful as an antifertility agent ( Amma MKP et al., 1978)

Anti obesity activity

  1. Crude gugguluu was found to reduce the body weight of hydrogenated ground nut oil treated rabbits (Satyavati et al., 1969)
  2. In another study 75 patients having varied etiology and clinical manifestations of obesity and lipid disorders were treated with crude gugguluu and PE extract. On an average there is 2 kg reduction in one month in both the groups(Pandeyey al., 1989)

Hypolipidemic/ hypocholesterolaemic activity

  1. Crude gugguluu was reported to possess highly encouraging hypo;ipaemic activity in rabbits (Satyavati, 1966)
  2. Anion exchange property detected by means of chloride retention and bile acid sequestrating activity in the oleoresin fraction hypocholesterolemic activity (Satyavati et al; 1969)
  3. The alcohol extract reduced effectively the serum beta lipoprotein fraction and significantly altered the lipo protein ratio (Khama et al., 1969)
  4. Fraction A of PE extract effectively lowered serum lipids, cholesterol, phospholipids and triglycerides in monkeys fed with cholesterol diet (Das et al; 1973)
  5. Other studies include ( nityanand et al; 1973; Dwaraknath&satyvathi, 1970; malhotra and ahuja 1971; malhotra 1973; kotiyal et al; 1979) etc.

Side effects

Gugguluu is safe for most people when taken by mouthappropriately. It has been used safely in clinical trials for up to 24 weeks. Some evidence also suggests that long-term use up to 75 weeks may be safe. It can cause side effects such as stomach upset, headaches, nausea, vomiting, loose stools, diarrhea, belching, and hiccups. Gugguluu can also cause allergic reactions such as rash and itching. Gugguluu can also cause skin rash and itching that is not related to allergy. These adverse reactions are more common with higher doses, such as 6000 mg per day.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Guggulu is LIKELY UNSAFE during pregnancy. It seems to encourage menstrual flow and stimulates the uterus, so some researchers worry that it might endanger the pregnancy. Not enough is known about the safety of using guggulu during breast-feeding. Do not use guggulu if you are pregnant or breast-feeding.

Bleeding disorders: Guggulu can slow blood clotting and might cause bleeding or bruising in people with bleeding disorders.

Hormone-sensitive condition such as breast cancer, uterine cancer, ovarian cancer, endometriosis, or uterine fibroids: Guggulu might act like estrogen in the body. If you have any condition that might be made worse by exposure to estrogen, do not use guggulu.

Underactive or overactive thyroid (hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism): Guggulu might interfere with treatment for these conditions. If you have a thyroid condition, don’t use guggulu without your healthcare provider’s supervision.

Surgery:Guggulu might increase the risk of bleeding during and after surgery. Stop using guggulu at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.