Guggul, or the scientific name of Commiphora mukul tree, is the sap excreted by the tree when cut open. This tree originates in India and has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for centuries, and has been written in Ayurvedic texts dating back to 600 BC. Today guggul gum resin is used for arthritis, lowering high cholesterol, acne and other skin diseases, and weight loss.
How does Guggul Treat Acne?
Guggul extracts appear to have anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties that may benefit acne patients. Research suggests guggulipid reduces sebum secretion and blocks bacterial metabolism of triglycerides that promote the development of acne.
One study, published in the Journal of Dermatology in 1994 found that patients taking guggul had slightly better results than patients taking tetracycline. The patients saw a reduction in acne of 65% with tetracycline and 68% with guggul. Tetracycline is an antibiotic used to treat a variety of bacterial infections. It is most commonly used to treat pneumonia, typhus, cholera, strep throat, and persistent acne. Researchers also noted that patients with oily skin responded remarkably better to the guggul treatment.
How to Use Guggul
Take about 500 milligrams of 2x per day, which equals about 25 milligrams guggulsterones, the herb’s active ingredient. You would only need do this for up to three months. Like tetracycline long-term use for acne was once frequent, but recent studies suggest that such use may cause antibiotic resistant bacteria to form on the skin. Continued use could cause even more resistant acne, which as you probably guessed would be very hard to treat.
Possible Side Effects of Guggul
Reported side effects are gastrointestinal reactions, including abdominal pain, diarrhea, and nausea. Also reported in a very small percentage of patients is headache, hiccups, and rash. It can interfere with prescription drugs, including blood thinners and thyroid drugs. Ask your doctor before taking guggul. Also be aware like most antibiotics if you are taking birth control use back up protection as it may cause it to less effective then the 99%.
Where to get Guggul?
You can find Guggul at your local health food stores. It is more of a specialty items so it is unlikely you will find it at your local pharmacy.