Safety Precautions with Guggul

In Ayurvedic practice the resin from Commiphora mukul is considered toxic unless purified and rendered into its medicinal extract form (guggul). According to Ayurveda, when using guggul you should avoid sour food, alcohol, and excessive sunlight or sexual activity since these can aggravate the pitta dosha.12

Experts also caution against using guggul without speaking to your medical doctor if you take certain medications (e.g., blood thinners or diabetes drugs).12,55 Other contradictions against taking guggul include pregnancy, breast-feeding, hyperthyroidism, kidney infections, and excessive uterine bleeding.12,55 Studies show that guggul is similar to the sex hormone estrogen, and some experts suggest that in the body it may worsen hormone-sensitive conditions (e.g., breast or prostate cancer).39

Based on animal studies using oral doses of guggul, women trying to get pregnant may not want to use the herb. Rats given either 20 or 200 mg/day (per kilogram of body weight) of guggul for seven consecutive days showed reduced uterine, ovary, and cervix weights and other changes that are indicative of an anti-fertility effect in women.66 Interestingly, 24-hour (0.5-3 g/kg of body weight dosages) and 90-day studies (100 mg/day dosage) on mice with guggul to assess toxicity noted significant increase in the weight of testes and seminal vesicles.10

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