From the resin of the mukul myrrh tree (Commiphora mukul) comes a remedy--gugulipid--that holds promise for lowering cholesterol and triglyceride levels as effectively as certain prescription medications. Native to India, this tree is closely related to the plant that provides the fragrant myrrh described in the Bible.
The trees resin is called gum guggul, or guggulu. Traditional Ayurvedic healers in India have relied on this resin for centuries to treat arthritis and obesity. Interestingly, as early as 600 B.C. they were giving it to people who suffered from a condition associated with regular overindulgence in rich foods and a sedate lifestyle--what we now know as atherosclerosis.
Research has subsequently revealed that the refined resin (gugulipid) inhibits the formation of artery-hardening plaque. In addition, it has been found that active ingredients called guggulsterones encourage levels of cholesterol and fat to drop. This in turn lowers the risk for heart disease. Guggulsterones may also help to control arthritis-related inflammation and may aid in weight loss.
There are no known drug or nutrient interactions associated with gugulipid.
Be sure to consult your doctor before trying gugulipid if you suffer from liver disease,
When selecting a product, look for one clearly marked as a gugulipid supplement and not guggul or guggulu--crude and unrefined forms of the resin that could easily contain toxic compounds. A dangerous loss of appetite, stomach pain, diarrhea, and rashes could develop from guggul or guggulu. Gugulipid, on the other hand, has been refined to contain only the active ingredients without the toxins. In rare cases, however, even gugulipid may cause side effects such as mild nausea, gas, diarrhea, hiccups, restlessness, anxiety, or headaches.
Dont stop seeing your doctor for a cholesterol problem, or substitute gugulipid for a cholesterol-lowering medication without your doctor's approval.
Other useful herb information: Clematis | Schizandra | Yarrow | Yerba | Red Raspberry | Fo-Ti | Ma huang
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