Family: Burseraceae
Genus: Commiphora
Botanical name: Commiphora mukul
Sanskrit: Guggulu, Mahishaksha, Palankasha, Devadhupa
Hindi: Gugal, Guggul
English: Indian bdellium tree, Mukul myrrh tree
Malayalam: Gulgulu, Guggal, Guggul
Indian bdellium tree is a shrub or small tree, reaching a maximum height of 4 m, with thin papery bark. The branches are thorny. The leaves are simple or trifoliate, the leaflets ovate, 1–5 cm long, 0.5–2.5 cm broad, irregularly toothed. It is gynodioecious, with some plants bearing bisexual and male flowers, and others with female flowers. The individual flowers are red to pink, with four small petals.
Guggul has been a key component in ancient Indian Ayurvedic system of medicine. But has become so scarce because of its overuse in its two habitats in India where it is found — Gujarat and Rajasthan that the World Conservation Union (IUCN) has enlisted it in its Red Data List of endangered species.
Indian bdellium tree produces a resinous sap known as gum guggul. The extract of this gum, called gugulipid, guggulipid or guglipid, has been used in UNANI & Ayurvedic medicine, a traditional UNANI medicine, for nearly 3,000 years in India. The active ingredient in the extract is the steroidguggulsterone, which acts as an antagonist of the farnesoid X receptor, once believed to result in decreased cholesterol synthesis in the liver. However, several studies have been published that indicate no overall reduction in total cholesterol occurs using various dosages of guggulsterone, and levels of low-density lipoprotein ("bad cholesterol") increased in many people.
Commiphora mukul
Ayurvedic Medicinal Plants
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