Compilation of herbal plants (description, geographical distribution, taxonomy, line drawings), biodiversity and herbarium.

Read More
Research & Publication

Description of herbal and T&CM research, searchable publication and process from medicinal plant discovery to clinical trial in producing a high-quality registered herbal drug.

Read More
Traditional & Complementary Medicine (T&CM)


Definition and description of therapies, policy, training and education, research in the practise of (T&CM) and integrated medicine system.           

Read More


News Update

Announcement & Advertisement

Forthcoming Events

Annual Congress on Traditional Medicine

From Wed, 12. May 2021 Until Thu, 13. May 2021

5th International Conference on Medical and Health Informatics (ICMHI 2021

From Fri, 14. May 2021 Until Sun, 16. May 2021

International Conference on Traditional Medicine and Phytochemistry 2021

From Mon, 12. July 2021 Until Wed, 14. July 2021

Asian Symposium on Medicinal Plants and Spices XVII (2020)

From Tue, 17. August 2021 Until Thu, 19. August 2021

Commiphora mukul

Commiphora mukul


Commiphora wightii; Balsomodendron mukul

Vernacular Name

Kou-shikaha, Myrrhe, Goggula, Gugal, Gum gugal, Muku, Gungu, Muquil, Muquila-raque, Bajahundana, Gu-gu-la. [1]


C. mukul (Kou-shikaha) is a thorned tree approximately four to six feet tall found growing natively in India and Pakistan. Its yellow-green bark and branches produce a yellow gum from which most of the medicinal value comes. This oleo-gum-resin has a low melting temperature and forms a milky white substance when combined with hot water. First mentioned in the Atharva veda, and subsequently in the Caraka and Sushrata Samhitas, C. mukul is an ancient medicinal plant cultivated almost exclusively for this gum resin. [2] 

Origin / Habitat

Kou-shikaha is a valuable plant that is found from Asia to northern Africa. It is thought to have its origins in northern India. It can tolerate dry climates and even poor soil.

Chemical Constituents

Much of the medicinal efficacy comes from guggulsterone, a sterol found in the resin of the plant. [4] Additional chemical constituents include dimyrecene, myrecene, E and Z-guggulsterones, guggulsterols 1-4, and some steroids. [3] 

Plant Part Used

Oleo gum resin. [2]

Traditional Use

Kou-shikaha has been used traditionally in Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years and its uses are many. Often combined with Triphala in order to reduce any side effects [3] , it is commonly used in treatment of obesity, high cholesterol, ulcers and numerous liver disorders. It can also be used as an intestinal anthlemintic. C. mukul also has effective use in skin treatment, as it is useful in edema, malignant sores, and leukoderma. Additionally, Kou-shikaha is efficacious in treatment of internal tumors, paralytic seizures, and sinus and urinary disorders. [1][5] C. mukul has a rasa (taste) described as katu (pungent) and tikta (bitter) and has a warming effect on the body. It pacifies all three doshas, specifically the vata dosha. [3] Additional traditional Ayurvedic use includes tikta kashaya, rasam, katu vipaka, vata kapha haram, pitta karam, lagu, saram, ruksham, balyram, rasayanam. [3] 


In traditional use, the herb is applied topically as a paste or ointment. When taken internally the dosage is to be less than 5 grams crude herb per day. [3]

Standardization Dosage

500-1000mg (standardized extract), 3 times a day. The most current available medical and scientific literature indicates that this dietary supplement should be standardized to 2.5-10% guggulsterones Z and E per dose.



Kou-shikaha has also been reported to be a potent anti-inflammatory agent and has been compared to pharmaceutical agents, such as ibuprofen. Kou-shikaha was claimed to be comparable to NSAIDs, decreasing the thickness of the joint swelling during the course of drug treatment. [6]


Kou-shikaha oleoresin has been the subject of clinical studies in the management of lipid disorders. Studies report that Kou-shikaha lowers both cholesterol and triglyceride levels and also alters lipoproteins by lowering LDL and VLDL levels while increasing HDL.(10) Kou-shikaha preparations are reported to be most useful in Type IIb (increased LDL, VLDL, and triglycerides) and Type IV (increased VLDL and triglycerides) hyperlipidemias. [7][8][9] 

In one clinical study of 205 patients using Kou-shikaha for hypercholesterolemia, serum lipid levels were lowered an average of 23.6 percent in a 12 week period, while triglyceride levels were lowered around 22.6 percent. [8] 

Another double-blind study compared the use of Kou-shikaha to clofibrate (Lopid) in 125 patients. The average fall in serum cholesterol and triglycerides in patients treated with Kou-shikaha was 11 and 16.8 percent, respectively and with clofibrate, 10 and 21.6 percent respectively. HDL cholesterol was increased in 60 percent of cases responding to Kou-shikahaipid therapy. [8] 

The lipid lowering effects of Kou-shikaha may be explained by four proposed mechanisms of action. First, Kou-shikaha reportedly inhibits the biosynthesis of cholesterol in the liver, interfering with the formation of lipoproteins (LDL, VLDL). Secondly, it may increase the fecal excretion of bile acids and cholesterol, resulting in a low rate of absorption of fat and cholesterol in the intestines. Thirdly, it is claimed to stimulate the LDL receptor binding activity in the liver cellular membranes, reducing serum LDL levels. Lastly, Kou-shikaha reportedly stimulates thyroid function, which may lead to blood lipid lowering and weight loss. In addition to its lipid lowering effects, Kou-shikaha has been reported to prevent the formation of atherosclerosis and aid in the regression of pre-existing atherosclerotic plaques in animals. Kou-shikaha has also been reported to inhibit platelet aggregation and have fibrinolytic activity, as well as being an excellent antioxidant, preventing the heart from being damaged by free radicals. [10][11][12][13] 

Interaction and Depletions

Interaction with other Herbs

No documentation.

Interaction with Drugs

No documentation.

Precautions and Contraindications

Side effects

No documentation.


Not to be used in pregnant or nursing women.

Age limitation

Not to be used by children.

Adverse reaction

No documentation.

Read More

  1) Medicinal Herbs


  1. Kapoor, LD. CRC Handbook of Ayurvedic Medicinal Plants. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press; 1990.131-132
  2. Premila, M.S. Ayurvedic Herbs: A Clinical Guide to the Healing Plants of Traditional Indian Medicine. Binghamton, NY: The Haworth Press; 2006.
  3. Nadkarni AK, Indian Materia Medica, Volume 1. 3rd Edition. Bombay; Popular Prakashan Pvt. Ltd;1982.
  4. Deng R. Therapeutic effects of Guggul and its constituent Guggulsterone: cardiovascular benefits. Cardiovasc Drug Rv. Winter2007; 25 (4): 375-390.
  5. Shishodia S, Harikumar KB, Dass S, Ramawat KG, Aggarwal BB. The Guggul for chronic diseases: ancient medicine, modern targets. Anticancer Res. Nov-Dec2008; 28 (6A): 3647-3664.
  6. Sharma JN, et al. Comparison of the Anti-inflammatory Activity of Commiphora Mukul (An Indigenous Drug) with Those of Phenylbutazone and Ibuprofen in Experimental Arthritis Induced by Mycobacterial Adjuvant. Arzneim-Forsch/Drug Res. Jul1977;27(7):1455-1457.
  7. Singh RB, et al. Hypolipidemic and Antioxidant Effects of Commiphora Mukul as an Adjunct to Dietary Therapy in Patients with Hypercholesterolemia. Cardiovasc Drugs Ther. 1994;8(4):659-664.
  8. Nityanand S, et al. Clinical Trials with Gugulipid. A New Hypolipidaemic Agent. J Assoc Physicians India. 1989;37(5):323-328.
  9. Agarwal RC, et al. Clinical Trial of Gugulipid--a New Hypolipidemic Agent of Plant Origin in Primary Hyperlipidemia. Indian J Med Res. 1986;84:626-634.
  10. Verma SK, et al. Effect of Commiphora Mukul (Gum Guggulu) in Patients of Hyperlipidemia with Special Reference to HDL-Cholesterol. Indian J Med Res. Apr1988;87:356-360.
  11. Tripathi YB, et al. Thyroid Stimulatory Action of (Z)-Guggulsterone: Mechanism of Action. Planta Med. 1988;54(4):271-277.
  12. Baldwa VS, et al. Effects of Commiphora Mukul (Guggul) in Experimentally Induced Hyperlipidemia and Atherosclerosis. J Assoc Physicians India. 1981;29(1):13-17.
  13. Satyavati GV, et al. Guggulipid: A Promising Hypolipidemic Agent from Gum Guggul (Commiphora wightii). Econ Med Plant Res. 1991;5:48-82.

Explore Further

Consumer Data

Consumer data including medicinal herbs, dietary supplement monographs, health condition monographs and interactions and depletions.                                    

Read More
Professional Data

Professional data organized into medicinal herbs, dietary supplement monographs, health condition monographs, T&CM herbs, formulas, health conditions, interactions and depletions.

Read More
International Data

We offer International linkages to provide extensive content pertaining to many facets of T&CM as well as Integrated Medicine. Please register for access.    

Read More