Guggul for Weight Control
Common names: Gugulipid, Gum guggulu
Botanical name: Commiphora mukul
Why do dieters use it?*
Some dieters say that guggul
- helps promote weight loss.
What do the advocates say?*
One study conducted in India showed that guggul increased the production of the thyroid
hormone. Since this hormone is involved in the cells‘ breakdown of protein, fat, and
carbohydrates, theoretically this herb should promote weight loss. More research is needed to
prove whether or not this is the case.
Most of the research conducted on guggul has been in relation to its ability to lower
How much is usually taken by dieters?
Coupled with exercise in a double-blind trial, a combination of guggul, phosphate salts,
hydroxycitrate, and tyrosine has been shown to improve mood with a slight tendency to improve
weight loss in overweight adults.1 Daily recommendations for guggul are typically
based on the amount of guggulsterones in the extract. A common intake of guggulsterones is 25
mg three times per day. Most guggul extracts contain 5 to 10% guggulsterones and can be taken
daily for 12 to 24 weeks.
Are there any side effects or interactions?
Early studies with the crude oleoresin reported numerous side effects, including diarrhea,
anorexia, abdominal pain, and skin rash. Modern extracts are more purified, and fewer side
effects (e.g., mild abdominal discomfort) have been reported with long-term use. Rash was
reported, however, as a fairly common side effect in one recent study.2 Guggul
should be used with caution by people with liver disease and in cases of inflammatory bowel disease and diarrhea. A physician should be consulted before
treating elevated cholesterol and triglycerides.
At the time of writing, there were no well-known drug interactions
Parts used and where grown
The mukul myrrh (Commiphora mukul) tree is a small, thorny plant distributed
throughout India. Guggul and gum guggulu are the names given to a yellowish resin produced by
the stem of the plant. This resin has been used historically and is also the source of modern
extracts of guggul.
*Dieters and weight-management advocates may claim benefits for
guggul based on their personal or professional experience. These are individual opinions and
testimonials that may or may not be supported by controlled clinical studies or published
scientific articles on guggul. For more complete and detailed information, including
references and safety information, see Guggul as
an herbal remedy.
1. Antonio J, Colker CM, Torina GC, et al. Effects of a standardized
guggulsterone phosphate supplement on body composition in overweight adults: A pilot study.
Curr Ther Res 1999;60:220–7.
2. Szapary PO, Wolfe ML, Bloedon LT, et al. Guggulipid for the treatment
of hypercholesterolemia: an randomized controlled trial. JAMA