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Guggul or guggulu (commiphora mukul, also commiphora wightii), more popularly known as Bdellium, is derived from the gummy resinous exudate of a plant closely related to myrrh that is found in arid to semi-arid areas of Northern India, Bangladesh and Pakistan. When used for medicinal purposes, the resin, harvested from the stems in the winter, is traditionally processed to purify and render it bioassimilable by placing the gum into a bag of thick, coarse cloth and then boiling it in an aqueous medium such as pure water or a decoction of Triphala until it is soft. This is then spread out and on a wooden board where it is smeared with ghee (clarified butter) and allowed to air dry. The dried gum is again fried in ghee and finely powdered for medicinal use.
Similar to another important Ayurvedic preparation called triphala, guggul is considered tridoshic, or balancing to all three doshas in the body. The three doshas or bodily humours of the body represent the foundation of traditional Ayurveda. These are: kapha or the anabolic humour, watery humour; pitta or the catabolic, fiery humour; and vata, the air or nervous system humour. When all three humours are in balance, the result is health and wellness. When one or more are excess or deficient this represents imbalance or disease. Guggul stimulates pitta and thus enhances warmth, digestion, circulatory and reproductive processes. It also regulates vata (nerve force) and kapha (fluidic aspects).