A delicately balanced herbal formulation which combines 28 herbs – that’s yograj guggulu for you. This popular and potent ayurvedic remedy can tackle a variety of health problems we grapple with every day. Guggulu, the resin from the guggul plant (Commiphora mukul), is the single largest ingredient in this formulation, accounting for 50% of it – the combined quantities of the remaining 27 herbs make up the other 50%. The other 27 other herbal ingredients combined in yograj guggulu include pippali (Piper longum), citraka (Plumbago zeylanica), yavani (Trachyspermum ammi), ajmoda (Apium graveolens), chavya (Piper chaba), kustha (Saussurea lappa), musta (Cyperus rotandus), usheera (Vetiveria zizaniodis), haritaki (Terminalia chebula), amalaki (Emblica officinalis), shunthi (Zinziber officinale), maricha (Piper nigrum) etc.1 Ghee or clarified butter also goes into this remedy.
Vata, which is associated with movement and air, is one of the three basic elements present in all things in nature, the others being kapha and pitta.2 Ayurveda uses yograj guggulu predominantly to fight diseases resulting from a vata imbalance. While studies on the action and benefits of yograj guggulu are very limited, the synergistic benefits from its various components may help:
- Fight inflammation
- Boost production of serotonin
- Work as a painkiller
- Expel toxins
- Strengthen the musculoskeletal system
Here’s a closer look at how these translate into benefits for you.
1. Fights Arthritis
Yograj guggulu is widely used to treat arthritis in traditional medicine. Animal studies confirm that this medicinal formulation can inhibit inflammation and pain associated with rheumatoid arthritis and even gout.3 It has been found to significantly ease arthritis within a couple of weeks in other animal studies, working by preventing the breakdown of connective tissue and improving immune function. Also, inflammation seen in arthritis can cause the blood vessels to become porous and lead to leakage of fluids. Yograj guggulu was also able to counter this, decreasing capillary permeability.4 It is also worth noting that studies on guggulu, the main component of yograj guggulu, show that it was able to significantly improve the condition of people with osteoarthritis of the knee in a month’s time.5
2. Helps With Sciatica
Over 40% of people suffer from sciatica during their lifetime. It occurs when the sciatic nerve gets irritated or pinched and can lead to pain in your lower back, leg, buttocks, foot, or calf.6 Ayurveda uses a comprehensive treatment plan that involves herbal medicines, massage with medicinal oils, and steam fomentation for tackling sciatica. And yograj guggulu has been effectively used as part of an ayurvedic regimen for treating this condition. Its anti-inflammatory effect comes in handy here.7 Animal studies show that this formulation also works as a painkiller – another reason yograj guggulu is beneficial for sciatica.8
3. Eases Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a painful condition that results from a squeezed or pressed nerve in the wrist. This can lead to numbness, tingling, and pain in your fingers and hand.9 According to ayurveda, carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by the vitiation of vata dosha. Ayurveda uses yograj guggulu as part of a comprehensive treatment plan including lifestyle changes, diet, and yoga to treat it. Yograj guggulu helps counter the pain and inflammation that are hallmarks of this condition.10
4. Helps With Fibromyalgia
Yograj guggulu’s analgesic properties, helping ease pain from many chronic conditions like arthritis or even fibromyalgia, may also be linked to its ability to boost serotonin production. Serotonin plays an important role in processing and modulating pain.
Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition characterized by tenderness and pain through the body. Though the cause of this syndrome is not yet definitively clear, abnormalities in the levels of some brain chemicals or a problem with the way pain messages are processed by the central nervous system could lie at its root.11 In ayurveda, this condition is categorized as a disease caused by excess vata in the tendons and muscles (mamsavrut vāta). Yograj guggulu is used as part of the treatment plan for this condition which can also include other aspects like panchakarma treatment, a vata pacifying diet, and lifestyle changes.12
5. Tackles Premenstrual Syndrome
Ayurveda classifies premenstrual syndrome into 3 kinds – vata, kapha, and pitta dosha related. Vata type premenstrual syndrome is characterized by lower abdominal pain, backache, distension, insomnia, anxiety, and mood swings. Yograj guggulu is used in ayurveda to tackle this condition.13 Its analgesic properties may help ease symptoms like pain and cramping. The remedy also has a soothing effect if PMS causes anxiety.
6. Eases Stomach Problems
Ayurveda uses yograj guggulu to boost digestive health and tackle problems as varied as constipation, flatulence, loss of appetite, and indigestion. It may also help with gastrointestinal problems such as heartburn and peptic ulcers. Though the mechanism through which it works is not entirely clear, yograj guggulu may help with the formation of the neurotransmitter serotonin. Serotonin plays a crucial role in the enteric nervous system and may help boost gastrointestinal health.14
Yograj guggulu may be a good addition to a treatment plan for depression because of its potential to boost serotonin production.15
However, there is some conflicting information to take on board here, with some experts suggesting that the remedy may not be advisable for people with irritable bowel syndrome or Crohn’s disease.16 Your safest bet would be to seek guidance from an ayurvedic practitioner who’ll be able to decide if the remedy is recommended for your symptoms.
7. Tackles Hearing Loss And Tinnitus
According to ayurveda, hearing is regulated by prana vata. And this aspect of vata typically gets debilitated in older people, leading to hearing loss. Hearing loss is essentially also linked to the weakening of the nerves involved in the auditory function. Yograj guggulu may help tackle and arrest hearing loss by strengthening weak nerves and pacifying vata.17 It is also used in ayurveda to treat tinnitus (karnanada).18
Do not confuse yograj guggulu with mahayograj guggulu. While they have many ingredients in common, mahayograj gugglu also has other components like heavy metals and is prescribed for other medical conditions as well.
Use and dosage of yograj guggulu will depend on the severity of your health problems and your medical history. So be sure to use yograj guggulu only under the supervision of an experienced ayurvedic practitioner. According to some experts, yograj guggulu is contraindicated for those with hyperthyroidism. It may also need to be used cautiously if you have irritable bowel syndrome or Crohn’s disease. Yograj guggulu may interact with medicines used for high blood pressure so speak to your doctor before taking it.19
|↑1||Simha, Gopala KR, V Lakshminarayana, SVLP Prasad, and Shajahan Khanum. “Standardization of Yogaraga Guggulu – An Ayurvedic polyherbal formulation”. Indian Journal of Traditional Knowledge.|
|↑2, ↑13||Lad, Vasant. “PMS Relief”. Yoga Journal, Jun 1998.|
|↑3, ↑8||Pawar, S. D., S. N. Gaidhani, T. Anandan, G. S. Lavekar, Suman Kumari, M. M. Padhi, Ramesh Babu, and B. S. Sharma. “Evaluation of anti-inflammatory, analgesic and anti-arthritic activity of yograja guggulu in laboratory animals.” International Journal of Pharmacology and Biological Sciences 5, no. 2 (2011): 17.|
|↑4||Kaneria M, Sharma G, Wadkar R, Pereira M, Naik SR. “Evaluation of Anti Arthritic activity of yograj guggulu formulation in freund’s adjuvant induced poly arthritic rat model.” Indian Drugs 2014;51:2;41-53.|
|↑5||Singh, Betsy B., Lakshmi C. Mishra, Sivarama Prasad Vinjamury, Nanette Aquilina, V. J. Singh, and N. Shepard. “The effectiveness of Commiphora mukul for osteoarthritis of the knee: an outcomes study.” Alternative therapies in health and medicine 9, no. 3 (2003): 74-81.|
|↑6||Sciatica: Of all the nerve. Harvard Health Publishing.|
|↑7||Mishra, Lakshmi C., ed. Scientific basis for Ayurvedic therapies. CRC press, 2003.|
|↑9||Carpal tunnel syndrome. National Health Service.|
|↑10||Shekhar, Somvanshi Jaydeep, and A. K. Rai. “Carpal tunnel syndrome–the painful tunnel.” National Journal of Research in Ayurved Science, vol. 3(2015)|
|↑11||Fibromyalgia. National Health Service.|
|↑12||The Ayurvedic Approach to Fibromyalgia. The Gerson Institute of Ayurvedic Medicine.|
|↑14||Camilleri, Michael. “Serotonin in the gastrointestinal tract.” Current opinion in endocrinology, diabetes, and obesity 16, no. 1 (2009): 53.|
|↑15, ↑16, ↑19||Balch, Phyllis A. Prescription for herbal healing. Penguin, 2002.|
|↑17||Lad, Vasant. The Complete Book of Ayurvedic Home Remedies: Based on the Timeless Wisdom of India’s 5,000-Year-Old Medical System. Harmony, 2012.|
|↑18||Tinnitus. Sai Ayurvedic College.|