Herbal Meds

Lowering cholesterol levels the natural way with Gugulipid

For thousands of years, the gum resin of the mukul myrrh tree has been part of the traditional Indian medicine, Ayurveda, to treat obesity and arthritis.  Today, a modern purified extract called gugulipid has been found to be even more effective than some prescription medicines for lowering cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the blood.

Gugulipid comes from the gummy resin of the small and thorny mukul myrrh tree that is native to India.  The resin itself was used in ancient traditional medicine and was called gum guggul or "guggulu".  Guggulu, however contains many toxic compounds, but fortunately, Indian pharmacologists devised a way to extract the active, beneficial compounds in the resin.  The result is the herbal extract called gugulipid.

The active ingredients in this herbal medicine are called guggulsterones and appear to affect the way your body metabolizes cholesterol and fat.  These ingredients also have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

High cholesterol has no obvious symptoms but it is a risk factor for disorders that do have symptoms such as angina and when you have high blood cholesterol levels, you have an increased chance of developing coronary heart disease. When blood cholesterol levels are very high, it may appear as yellow nodules under the skin of the elbows and knees or under the eyes.  Cholesterol is a fatlike substance that circulates through your blood and on its own it isn't harmful.  When doctors test for high blood cholesterol levels, they usually focus on two types of cholesterol:  LDL, which is the bad cholesterol and can block arteries and cause heart attacks and HDL, which is the good cholesterol that helps to clear away cholesterol before it can build up in arteries.  A high level of LDL and a low level of HDL suggests that you are at a risk of a heart attack and your medical practitioner will put you on a strict diet along with cholesterol medication.

Genetic factors do play a role in affecting cholesterol levels, but in many people high levels are linked to a diet that is rich in saturated fat and cholesterol.  Both saturated fat and cholesterol are found in beef, butter and whole-milk dairy products.  The risks are increased when you are overweight, smoking and do not get enough exercise.

In a study of 61 patients with high cholesterol levels, 31 were given gugulipid and 30 were given a placebo.  After 24 weeks, the patients who were taking the placebo showed no decrease in their LDL cholesterol levels and the 31 patients who were taking gugulipid, showed a 13 percent drop in the LDL levels and a 12 percent drop in triglycerides.

In particular, it is the guggulsterones in guglipid that stimulates the liver to break down harmful LDL cholesterol and increases the levels of the protective cholesterol HDL.  A 24 percent drop in total cholesterol levels was found in a study done in India in which 205 people participated. They all took gugulipid herbal supplements and followed a low-fat diet. Another study was done comparing the efficacy of gugulipid with that of a prescription cholesterol-lowering medication.  Total cholesterol levels dropped by 11 percent in patients who were using gugulipd and a drop of 10 percent was seen in the group taking the prescription medicine.  In addition, the levels of HDL were increased in the group who took the gugulipid supplements.

Gugulipid has been shown to prevent the formation of artery-clogging plaque and can even help to reverse existing plaque build-up.  This herbal medicine also inhibits blood platelets from banding together and thereby protects against blood clots, which can often trigger heart attacks as well.

Guggulsterones (the active compounds in gugulipid) have the same anti-inflammatory action as that of ibuprofen and is useful in treating arthritis and its painful symptoms.  

More research is needed, but recently guglipid has shown promise as a weight-loss supplement by increasing the way your body burns kilojoules.  Gugulipid stimulates the production of thyroid hormones and assists with the reduction of fat around the abdomen, which is generally associated with a risk of heart disease and diabetes.

What are the side effects of Gugulipid?

Please consult your medical practitioner prior to using any herbal medications should you be under their care.

Never take the crude gum gugul or guggulu, which can cause skin rashes, diarrea, stomach pain and a loss of appetite.

Side effects are very rare with this herbal medicine, however mild nausea, flatulence and hiccups have been reported.  As gugulipid inhibits blood platelets from binding together, care should be taken by people who are using blood-thinning medication such as Warfarin.

Pregnant women should not use gugulipd.  Consult your medical practitioner before taking gugulipid herbal supplements if you suffer from liver disease, diarrea or inflammatory bowel disease.

How do I use Gugulipid?

To lower your cholesterol, take a supplement which supplies 25 mg of guggulsterones per dose, three times a day.

You can take guglipid herbal supplements with or without meals.

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