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Satish Lele
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Guggul (Commiphora mukul)

Introduction: Guggul is the mixture of ketonic steroids from the gummy yellowish oleoresin of the plant extract from India. Mainly resin, volatile oils, and gum E & Z Guggulusterones 2 to 5%, Guggul sterols, Diterpenoids, Terpene, Cambrene, Myrcene, Dimyrcene, and Polymyrcene. It has a superior hypolipidaemic activity. Guggul effectively lowers high triglycerides by 30%. It is used to treat obesity and other weight related problems. It is reported to be the most powerful cholesterol-lowering herb known. It is an Endangered plant. Guggul is the traditional plant in India which has been known to treat various ailments such as Cholesterol, inflammation and others. Guggul is almost an entirely Indian product, with tremendous export potential. If adequate efforts are made in developing the market for the product in India and abroad, Guggul would be an exciting investment prospect.

Applications / Uses: Cholesterol Reduction: Guggul significantly lowers serum triglycerides and cholesterol as well as LDL and VLDL cholesterols (the bad cholesterols). At the same time, it raises levels of HDL (the good cholesterol). It does this by increasing the liverís metabolism of LDL-cholesterol, thus limiting its accumulation in the blood stream. As antioxidants, Guggul sterones keep LDL cholesterol from oxidising, an action which protects against atherosclerosis. Guggul has also been shown to reduce the stickiness of platelets, as it clears cholesterol from arteries and veins, lowers triglycerides and breaks up hardening and stagnation. Another effect is that it lowers the risk of coronary artery disease. Guggul extract is similar to the drug Clofibrate for lowering cholesterol levels.
Anti-inflammatory: A direct anti-inflammatory effect has been observed for Guggul sterones. It thus improves inflamed joints in rhumatism (arthritis). It is used to remove deposits of waste or toxic material in the body, including mucus and mineral deposits in the joints, thus reducing a possible cause of sluggishness, inflamed joints, and many other conditions. It compares favourably to tetracycline in the treatment of cystic acne. It has Carminative, Antispasmodic and Diaphoretic effect.
Weight Loss: It may also increase thermogenesis through stimulation of the thyroid, potentially resulting in weight loss. A combination of Guggul, phosphate salts, hydroxycitrate and tyrosine coupled with exercise is prescribed for weight loss.

The Demand : Guggul sterones are the active substances in the Ayurvedic formulations. Its claim to cardio health fame is its ability to lower elevated LDL Cholesterol levels. Indian demand is around 90 tonnes per annum of Guggul extract powder. Growth rate in demand is 10 to 11% per annum.

Cultivation Process : It is like any other plantation having a gestation period. (See Jatropha).

Plantation: The short shrub prefers arid regions. It is a Perennial crop, and a desert plant. It is propagated by Stem cuttings. It is grown in Gujarat, Rajastan and Karnataka.

Irrigation And Intercropping: It i same as in case of Jatropha.

Harvesting and Yield: Harvesting can be done when the plant attain 5 to 8 years of age. Harvesting Period is from December to March. Gum is dried in shade and stored. 700 to 900 Kg of Guggul gum is produced per hectare.

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