Origin & Types
The generic name is taken from Greek word kommis and phora meaning gum bearer. It belongs to the genus Commiphora and there are no commercial varieties available, but germplasm and marusudha are high yielding plants grown in Rajasthan.
|Scientific Name||Commiphora Wightii|
|Country of Origin||Central Asia|
|Plant Height||Maximum height 4m(13 ft)|
|Length of Leaves||1.5 cm in length and 0.5 to 2.5 cm in breadth|
|Years Nurtured before Harvesting||1 year|
|Years of Mature||5 to 6 years|
|Parts of the Plant Used||Leaves and gums|
|Color||Red fruits and yellowish-white flowers|
|Best Time to Grow||Onset of monsoon|
It is grown in Pakistan, Nepal, Madagascar, Australia, Central Asia, Northern Africa, Pacific Islands and the islands in the Indian Ocean. In India, it grows in Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, and Rajasthan have the highest use of this plant.
It is a small tree having several knotty and crooked branches ending in sharp pines. The stem has a bright white layer and papery bark that comes out as flakes when the stem grows older. The young branches are glandular and pubescent.
The plant has trifoliate leaves and rhomboid leaflets having an ovate shape at the base. From October to March the plant becomes leafless and new leaves are visible in April. The brownish-red flowers are small and unisexual having an oblong-ovoid ovary. They can present in singular or groups. The red fruits are ovoid and measure up to six to eight mm in diameter. Black and yellowish-white seeds are produced and the seeds have an underdeveloped embryo.
Medicinal Uses & Health Benefits
The plant reduces low-density lipoprotein and triglycerides. It also reduces cholesterol and fats in the intestine and removes bile acids. Further. it suppresses the enzyme formation that causes changes in low-density lipoproteins
It contains the activation of inflammatory cytokine NF-KB and reduces inflammation in multiple inflammatory diseases. It also reduces the activation of interleukins and prostaglandins
Guggul reduces stiffness and pain while increasing tolerance for treating osteoarthritis. It helps to eliminate joint swelling and even rheumatism.
It acts as traditional antibiotics for treating acne in patients having oily skin. It also helps to reduce the inflammatory damage of the skin and reduces swelling as well as redness due to acne.
It stimulates the thyroid glands by increasing the uptake of iodine and the activity of thyroid enzymes.
Protects the liver
Guggul extract decreases transaminase and alkaline phosphatase enzymes while increasing the sulfhydryls levels in the liver that helps in reducing any liver damage.
Other Health Benefits
- Guggul is an excellent remedy to cure painful menstruation, leucorrhoea, reduces breast cancer and increase the metabolic rate.
- The twig of Guggula is used as a toothbrush due to its medicinal properties and is also beneficial to cure oral problems of children.
- It is beneficial in curing various heart diseases and lowers high blood pressure.
- The gum of this plant is helpful in curing pyorrhoea, hair growth and treatment of leprosy, nervous disease and muscle spasms.
- Indian bedellium lowers the blood sugar levels and cures constipation.
- The antibacterial property helps in cleaning the soars.
- It is instrumental in maintaining the body weight.
- The plant is beneficial in treating tumors in the abdomen and typhoid.
Possible Side Effects
- It increases pitta if taken in high doses
- While consuming Guggul avoid sour foods and alcohol
- Excessive dosage leads to weight loss, vertigo, impotence, and dryness of mouth
Cultivation & Propagation
- Prepare the land by digging the pits measuring 45 cm by 45 cm by 45 cm with a spacing of 2m by 2m. Fill the soil with farmyard manure and sand in the ratio of 1:1:1. The plantlets and rooted twigs obtained from seeds and cuttings should be transplanted in the pits taken from polybags during July and August. Further, obtain a crop stand of 2500 plants per hectare with a spacing of 2 m by 2 m.
- We can use Guggul as an intercrop with cluster bean and pearl millet. The spinous branches make the field impenetrable. For best growth irrigate each plant with 8 liters of water at an interval of 2 weeks.
- For propagation, use black seeds and collect them in February and March. From a single seed, one to four seedlings sprout due to polyembryony. Propagate the plants through leafless stem cuttings in May or air layering of 5 to 8-year-old mother plants during July and August.
- Germination takes place within 7 to 10 days after sowing during monsoon and one requires 100 g of black seeds to raise the plantation in 1 hectare with a spacing of 2m by 2m.
The plant grows in rocky, arid and sandy tracts of tropical India. Sandy loam soils are best suited for cultivation.
Health & Security
One can observe collar rot during the rainy season. Control the rot by avoiding water stagnation around the plant base and spray Diathane M-45 fungicide at the rate of 2g per liter of water on the crop. One can find termites in the desert and mix chloropyrophos at 4 ml per liter of water in the soil to get rid of termites.
For the better survival of the crops, apply basal medium of farmyard manure with hexameal of 100 gram per plant for every 30 days and NPK of 75:130:30 grams per plant in the pits after every 90 days for a year. After a year, mix a quarterly dose of hexameal or compost at the rate of 100 grams per plant for better growth. Keep the pits always free from weeds. Weeding and hoeing are done manually at an interval of 2 weeks during monsoons.
Harvesting & Storage
The Guggul plant takes minimum five to six years to mature and after that, we can extract the oleo-gum-resin from the thick branches. Collect the gum resin between November to February by making a 7 to 10 cm long incision in the main stem near the lower portion. Collect the exuded gum every week for 30 days and after collection store the oleo-gum-resin in airtight plastic containers. One gets 120-130 kg of oleo-gum-resin from 1 hectare of land after eight years from the crop.
Marketing of Guggul Plant
The herb is registered as a hypolipidemic drug for marketing in India. The powder and the gum have high medicinal value in the global market as it helps to cure many complex diseases through a natural process.