Found your cholesterol levels too high?

Sworn to switch onto a diet rich in soy proteins, fiber, almonds and other cholesterol lowering foods? Well, along with the above steps here comes another rescue medicine from Ayurveda that you must know.

A yellowish gummy resin is produced from the Mukul Myrhh tree called Guggulu (Guggul) that has a remarkable cholesterol controlling action. Guggulu is an extensively used Ayurvedic herb.

Guggulu is an amazing herb used in Ayurveda to scrape off toxic deposits from the joints and tissues.

What are Triglycerides?

Fatty compounds that circulate in the bloodstream and get stored in the fat tissue are called as Triglycerides (TG). Individuals with a condition called hypertriglyceridemia (who have elevated blood levels of TG) appear to be at an increased risk of developing heart disease. Standardized guggul extracts are available for lowering elevated serum cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

How Guggulu works

Guggulu in Sanskrit means “one that protects against diseases” and it has been considered a very important herb for many disease conditions. It contains resin, volatile oils and gum. It has ketonic steroid compounds which are known as guggulsterones. The compounds E- and Z-guggulsterones are responsible for lowering LDL and VLDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels, by approx 25%. It also simultaneously works to raise the HDL levels. Through both these activities it helps prevent atherosclerosis (clogging and hardening of blood vessels). An additional benefit of Guggul is that it reduces the stickiness of the blood platelets. This benefits by lowering the risk of Coronay Artery Disease.

The Use of Guggulu

Traditionally, guggulu is used in a combination with different herbs to enhance its effects. It detoxifies the body while removing excess Kapha from the body. It is hot in nature and is excellent for vata conditions. It is contradicted or unsuitable in pitta conditions. Therefore, people with high pitta must use guggul mixed with some other herbs and not take it alone as a medicine.

How to Take Guggulu Safely

Daily recommended dosage of guggulu is based on the amount of guggulsterones present in the extract. Common intake of guggulsterones is 25 mg three times per day. Most extracts contain 2.5–5% guggulsterones. It can be taken for 12-24 weeks daily in order to reduce high cholesterol and/or triglycerides.

Purified guggulu can be taken for a long time without any ill effect. Guggulu if not purified has side effects like diarrhea, upset digestion, burning sensation in the stomach and skin irritation.

There are possible drug interactions and side effects with the use of guggulu. Hence it is advised to speak to your doctor before starting to take this supplement. If you plan to take guggulu anew, mention it to the doctor specially if you are on a prescription medication for high cholesterol.