Commiphora mukul for cholesterol reduction by Ray Sahelian, M.D.
April 17 2015

Commiphora mukul is the botanical name for an herb also known as guggul. Its popularity for this use is increasing in the US and Western Europe.

Commiphora mukul, a resin from the guggul tree, has been used for more than 2,000 years in India to treat a range of disorders. In the 1980s, an extract of the resin -- dubbed gugulipid -- began to be marketed as a cholesterol-lowering agent. The plant compound's mode of action is quite different from that of cholesterol-lowering statin drugs. Some of Commiphora mukul active components, guggulsterones, work by blocking a substance that stops the body from getting rid of cholesterol. Statins, on the other hand, block the body from making more cholesterol.

Cholesterol reduction
Resin from the mukul myrrh tree, guggul, can it be used for treating hypercholesterolemia? A randomized, controlled study.
Complement Ther Med. 2009. Faculty of Medicine, University of Oslo, Norway.
Guggulsterones, the presumed bioactive compounds of Commiphora mukul, may antagonise two nuclear hormone receptors involved in cholesterol metabolism, which is a possible explanation for hypolipidemic effects of these extracts. However, publications of efficacy data on the use of extracts in Western populations are scarce. To study the efficacy of a Commiphora mukul based formulation on blood lipids in healthy adults with moderately increased cholesterol. Placebo controlled trial in Norwegian general practice. 43 women and men, age 27-70, with moderately increased cholesterol, randomised to use 2160 mg guggul (4 capsules) daily, or placebo for 12 weeks. After 12 weeks, mean levels of total cholesterol and HDL-C in the active group were significantly reduced compared with the placebo group. However, the mean levels of LDL-C, triglycerides, and total cholesterol/HDL-C ratio between the two groups did not change significantly. Ten users (vs. four in the placebo group) reported side effects: mild gastrointestinal discomfort, possible thyroid problems, and generalized skin rash. The latter resulted in withdrawal from trial. Even if total cholesterol and HDL-C were significantly reduced, the clinical magnitude of this remains obscure. More and larger studies are needed to establish effects and safety of Commiphora mukul based formulations in the treatment for high cholesterol levels.

Pharmacogn Mag. 2013. Clinical Evaluation of Commiphora Mukul, a Botanical resin, in the Management of Hemorrhoids: A randomized controlled trial.