Paulina Staniewska, Marta Wojciechowska, Izabela Grzegorczyk-Karolak
Guggul – a herbal panacea from India
Guggul is an oleo-gum resin obtained from plants belonging to the genera Commiphora and Boswellia, within the Burseraceae family. Its source are mainly two species: Commiphora wightii (Arn.) Bhand. (syn. Commiphora mukul (Hook. ex Stocks) Engl. and Boswellia serrata (Roxb. ex Colebr.), which are native to India. In this area, they have been known from centuries and used in the traditional Indian medicine – Ayurveda for the treatment of variety of disorders such as: rheumatism, inflammation, liver dysfunction, gout, obesity, diabetes and disorders of lipids metabolism. The oleo-gum occurs in the resin canals located in the larger veins of the leaf and in the soft base of the stem. It is obtained through incision of the tree bark and outflow of the viscous, golden substance with characteristic myrrh-like fragrance. Guggul derived from C. wightii is a mixture of various chemical compounds, namely: an essential oil consisting of monoterpenes and sesquiterpenes; as well as diterpenes, triterpenes, steroids, phenolic acids, lignans, guggultetrols, carbohydrates and amino acids. Whereas, the raw material obtained from B. serrata consists of resin, which is mostly made up of tetraand pentacyclic triterpene acids, and moreover a hydrophilic fraction and an essential oil being a mixture of terpenes. It has been proven that guggul exerts various biological activities and influences life functions through effects on lipids and glucose metabolism, endogenous nuclear receptors, inflammatory mediators or thyroid hormone homeostasis. It also has valuable antineoplastic, antimicrobial, hepato-, neuro- and cardioprotective properties. Nowadays, when the majority of the society takes notice to the healthy lifestyle and condition of natural environment, guggul and its components are increasingly used as dietary supplements. The following review summarizes the knowledge on the sources, phytochemistry, traditional and modern use, pharmacological properties and toxicological data of the raw material derived from C. wightii and B. serrata.
Keywords: guggul, Commiphora wightii, Boswellia serrata, guggultetrols, triterpenic acids.
© Farm Pol, 2019, 75 (12): 664–675