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Commiphora wightii
Commiphora wightii resin (guggul)
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Sapindales
Family: Burseraceae
Genus: Commiphora
Species: C. wightii
Binomial name
Commiphora wightii
(Arn.) Bhandari
Synonyms

Commiphora mukul (Stocks) Hook.

Commiphora wightii (Guggal, Guggul or Mukul myrrh tree) is a flowering plant in the family Burseraceae. The guggul plant may be found from northern Africa to central Asia, but is most common in northern India. It prefers arid and semi-arid climates and is tolerant of poor soil.

It is a shrub or small tree, reaching a maximum height of 4 m, with thin papery bark. The branches are thorny. The leaves are simple or trifoliate, the leaflets ovate, 1–5 cm long, 0.5–2.5 cm broad, irregularly toothed. It is gynodioecious, with some plants bearing bisexual and male flowers, and others with female flowers. The individual flowers are red to pink, with four small petals.

Guggal has been a key component in ancient Indian Ayurvedic system of medicine, and now is widely used in modern medicine for treatment of heart ailments. But Guggal (Commiphora weghtii), as it is locally known, has become so scarce because of its overuse in its two habitats in India where its is found — Gujarat and Rajasthan that the World Conservation Union (IUCN) has enlisted it in its Red Data List of endangered species.

The extract, called gugulipid, guggulipid or guglipid, comes from the guggal or guggul tree and has been used in Ayurvedic medicine, a traditional Hindu medicine, for nearly 3,000 years in India.

Contents

Cultivation and uses

Guggul is sought for its gummy resin, which is harvested from the plant's bark through the process of tapping. In India and Pakistan, guggul is cultivated commercially. The resin of the guggul plant, known as gum guggulu, has a fragrance similar to myrrh and is commonly used in incense and perfumes. It is the same product that was known in Hebrew, ancient Greek and Latin sources as bdellium.

Guggulipid

Guggulipid, gugulipid or guglipid is the extract extracted from the sap or resin of Guggal tree also known as mukul myrrh tree (Commiphora mukul) it secretes a resinous material called gum guggul.

Guggul Dhoop

Guggul can be purchased in a loosely packed form called Dhoop, an incense from India, which is then burned over hot coals. This produces a fragrant dense smoke. The burning coals which produces the smoke is carried around in different rooms and held in all the corners of the room for a few seconds. This is said to drive away evil spirits as well as remove the evil eye from the home and its family members.

References

External links

Bibliography

  • Dalby, Andrew (2003), written at London, New York, Food in the ancient world from A to Z, Routledge, ISBN 0415232597, pp. 226–227

See also








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