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Commiphora wightii (Synonym: Commiphora mukul) is a flowering plant in the family Burseraceae. The guggul plant may be found from northern Africa to central Asia, but is most common in northern India. It 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.

Listing Details

Botanical Names
Commiphora wightii
Indian Names
Sanskrit : Guggal, Devadhoopa Bengali : Guggul Gujarati : Guggal, Gugguru Hindi : Guggulu, Guggal Malayalam : Guggulu, Gulgulu Marathi : Guggala Kannada : Guggulu Tamil : Maishakshi gukkal Telugu : Guggal
Chemical Constituents
Major constituents include Guggulsterones Z & E, resin, gum, and volatile oil. Other constituents like Oleogumresin, a complex mixture of various classes of chemical compounds such as lignans, lipids, diterpenes, steroids etc. Guggulusterols I, II, II, IV and VI and mukulol have also been isolated. Myricyl alcohol, -sitosterol, quercetin, linoleic acid, oleic acid, steareic acid, palmitic acid, -campharene, cembrene and stigmasterol. And volatile oil contains myrcene, dimyrcene, polymyrcene, caryophyllene etc. are also present.
Pesticide Limits
A limit for pesticide is one of the major issues in standardization of medicinal plants and products in view of the worldwide widespread use of pesticides in cultivated plants. The presence of pesticides in extracts increase the health risk by many folds. The pesticides can be extremely irritant on skin as well as in the internal organs, it is essential to monitor its concentration as a part of GMP. Various analytical methods for the quantitative determination of pesticides by gas chromatography coupled with mass-spectrophotometer are in use. Konark Research Foundation (KRF), a NABL certified lab is well equipped with the latest technology and instruments and monitors the pesticide limit as part of its GMP.
Chromatographic Profile
From the pharmacopoeial perspective, a better quality control of raw material can be achieved by specifying a quantitative test procedure for the determination of the range or a minimum content by specifying a quantitative test procedure for the determination of the range or a minimum content of the marker substances or the ‘active’ ingredient. A chromatographic finger profile represents qualitative/ quantitative determination of various components present in a complex plant extract irrespective whether or not their exact identity is known. Thin layer chromatographic technique is the simplest and least expensive method that provides plenty of information on the composition of raw herbs and its preparation. For quantitative analysis of active ingredients or marker substances with simultaneous separation and detection High Pressure liquid chromatography is the best technique. We use the latest model of HPLC for all its analysis.
Limits of Impurities
A test requirement for foreign organic matter would ensure the extent of contamination of extraneous matters such as filth and other parts of botanicals not covered by the definition of the herbal drug. Since sand and soil are predictable contaminants of botanicals, test requirements for ‘total ash’, water soluble ash’, ‘acid soluble ash’, residue on ignition and sulphated ash would be expected to limit such contaminants. Test requirement for heavy metals in botanical raw material are probably more relevant for parts of plants growing under ground than for the aerial parts of the plant. The presence of high levels of minerals interacts with the final product there by affecting its keeping quality.
Microbial Limits
If the raw herb is to be used directly without boiling in water prior to consumption, restrictive limits on microbial contaminants are required for pathogens such as Salmonella sp. Enterobacter and E.coli which are causative agent for various gastro-intestinal diseases. A lower level of yeasts and molds and a limit on total aerobes are considered appropriate in plant material for topical use. The presence of aflatoxins detected by chemical means is generally independent of the number of viable molds that are detected using microbiological methods. Aflatoxins in microgram quantity are capable of giving serious hypersentivity reactions which can be extremely harmful to human health.
Guggul is astringent, anti inflammatory and antiseptic in nature. It is bitter, stomachic and carminative, stimulating the appetite and improving digestion. It acts as a diaphoretic, expectorant and diuretic and is said to be uterine stimulant and emmenagogue. The resin is used in the form of lotion for indolent ulcers and as a gargle in chronic tonsillitis, pharyngitis and ulcerated throat. Guggulsterone important component of Guggul cause a significant decrease in the serum level of lipids in triton induced hyperlipaemic rats and can be used successfully used for the evaluation of lipid lowering activity of natural products in rats
Health Benefits
Various pre-clinical and clinical studies suggest that Guggulu extract lowers total lipids, serum cholesterol and triglyceride levels. It has also been reported to reduce the serum b-lipoprotein fraction effectively and to alter the lipoprotein ration significantly. The oleoresin portion of Guggulu gum also exhibits anti arthritic and anti-inflammatory activities. One of the ingredients most commonly found in Ayurvedic arthritis formulas is Guggul, an oleoresin of the herb Commiphora mukul. Preclinical and clinical investigations of Guggul can also be used for reduction of pain, stiffness, and improved function.
Research References
1. Studies on somatic cell variability on Commiphora wightii (Arnot) Bhandari for guggulsterone production. 2. Assessment of Commiphora wightii (Arnot) Bhandari (Guggul) as potential source for antibacterial agent. 3. Commiphora wightii callus cultures: A new source of Anthocyanin. 4. • Effects of guggulsterone isolated from Commiphora mukul in high fat diet induced diabetic rats.(Sharma B, Salunke R, Srivastava S, Majumder C, Roy P.Food Chem Toxicol. 2009 Oct;47(10):2631-9. Epub 2009 Jul 25.PMID: 19635521). • The guggul for chronic diseases: ancient medicine, modern targets.(Shishodia S, Harikumar KB, Dass S, Ramawat KG, Aggarwal BB.Anticancer Res. 2008 Nov-Dec;28(6A):3647-64. Review.PMID: 19189646). • Effect of guggulsterone and cembranoids of Commiphora mukul on pancreatic phospholipase A(2): role in hypocholesterolemia.(Yu BZ, Kaimal R, Bai S, El Sayed KA, Tatulian SA, Apitz RJ, Jain MK, Deng R, Berg OG.J Nat Prod. 2009 Jan;72(1):24-8.PMID: 19102680). • Effect of Commiphora mukul extract on cardiac dysfunction and ventricular function in isoproterenol-induced myocardial infarction.(Ojha SK, Nandave M, Arora S, Mehra RD, Joshi S, Narang R, Arya DS.Indian J Exp Biol. 2008 Sep;46(9):646-52.PMID: 18949894). • Growth inhibition of struvite crystals in the presence of herbal extract Commiphora wightii.(Chauhan CK, Joshi MJ, Vaidya AD.J Mater Sci Mater Med. 2009 Dec;20 Suppl 1:S85-92. Epub 2008 Jun 21.PMID: 18568390). • Therapeutic effects of guggul and its constituent guggulsterone: cardiovascular benefits.(Deng R.Cardiovasc Drug Rev. 2007 Winter;25(4):375-90. Review.PMID: 18078436). • Gugulipid, an extract of Commiphora whighitii with lipid-lowering properties, has protective effects against streptozotocin-induced memory deficits in mice.(Saxena G, Singh SP, Pal R, Singh S, Pratap R, Nath C.Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2007 Apr;86(4):797-805. Epub 2007 Apr 3.PMID: 17477963). • Guggulsterone inhibits tumor cell proliferation, induces S-phase arrest, and promotes apoptosis through activation of c-Jun N-terminal kinase, suppression of Akt pathway, and downregulation of antiapoptotic gene products.(Shishodia S, Sethi G, Ahn KS, Aggarwal BB.Biochem Pharmacol. 2007 Jun 30; 74(1):118-30. Epub 2007 Mar 30.PMID: 17475222). 1. Indian Herbal Pharmacopoeia (Revised New Edition 2002). 2. Standardization of Botanicals, Volume 2- By Dr. V. Rajpal. 3.