Guggulu preparations are one of the types of Ayurvedic medicine in tablets or pills form. Generally, Guggulu word is used for niryasa (exudate) obtained from the plant. Its botanical name is Commiphora mukul. Hence, the preparations having this exudate as the main effective ingredient are known as Guggulu Kalpa.
In this article, we are going to explain about –
- Purification of raw Guggulu
- Guggulu preparations – How to prepare ?
- Characteristics of Guggulu & its preparations
- Preservation & expiry date (shelf-life)
There are 5 varieties of Guggulu mentioned in Ayurvedic texts. Out of 5, 2 varieties namely Mahishaksha Guggulu and Kanaka Guggulu are usually preferred for medicinal preparations. Mahishaksha Guggulu is dark greenish brown. Mahishaksha is Sanskrit synonym used for buffalo’s eye. Kanaka Guggulu is yellowish brown in colour hence named Kanaka (Sanskrit synonym of gold).
Purification of raw Guggulu
As we said, Guggulu is an exudate of a plant. It is vegetative by nature. Before its oral intake, purification is necessary to make it more potent and consumable. Following steps are followed during its purification –
Following steps are followed during its purification –
- External impurities like sand, stone, glass, grass etc. are first removed manually.
- Guggulu is then broken into small pieces manually or semi-automated machine.
- Small pieced Guggulu is then bundled in a piece of cotton cloth to make its Pottali (linen bundle or bag).
- It is boiled in Dola Yantra filled with any one of the fluids like Gomutra (cow’s urine), Triphala kashaya (decoction), Vasa patra Kashaya (decoction of Adhtoda vasica leaves), Vasa patra Swarasa (leaves juice), Nirgundi patra Swarasa (leaf juice of Vitex negundo) with Haridra Churna and Dugdha (milk).
- The boiling of the pottali along with suitable fluid is continued till the Guggulu becomes a soft mass.
- The soft Guggulu is then taken out from the pottali and spread over a smooth wooden board or stainless steel tray which is smeared with ghee or oil.
- It is spread by pressing with fingers. By this, the sand and other remaining foreign impurities are easily removed.
- After removal of foreign impurities, it is again fried with ghee and ground in a Khalva Yantra (stone mortar) for a specified time.
- The final product is called Shodhita Guggulu (purified Guggulu).
There is a description of another method of boiling the bundle in Dola Yantra. In this, the boiling of Guggulu is carried on till all the Guggulu passes into the fluid through the cloth. The residual material inside the bundle is discarded.
The fluid is filtered through a fine sieve or cloth and again boiled directly. After a time span, the fluid starts thick and then becomes mass like. This mass is then dried in sunlight. The dried mass is pounded with Khalva Yantra (stone mortar pestle), adding ghee in small quantities till it becomes waxy. The final product is then collected and preserved.
In some practices, the Pottali containing impure Guggulu is not immersed into the fluid inside Dola Yantra. It is steamed instead of boiling in this case.
Guggulu Preparations – How to Prepare?
- According to the formula mentioned in any reference Ayurvedic text or Ayurvedic formulary of India, all the ingredients are collected separately.
- They are cleaned, dried and made into the fine powder separately.
- The powdered ingredients are then mixed one by one into the prescribed quantity of liquefied Shuddha Guggulu (purified Guggulu) and grounded with the help of Khalva Yantra.
- They are grounded till it the time when easy to make pills from them.
The colour of Shuddha Guggulu (purified Guggulu) is brown. It is soft and waxy in consistency.
The characteristics of Guggulu preparations may vary depending on the other ingredients added to them.
Preservation and Expiration
Purified Guggulu should be kept in glass vessels or porcelain jars free from moisture. It should be stored in a cool and dry place.
Its preparations may be kept in plastic pet bottles or HDPE containers.
Expiry date or shelf-life of purified Guggulu or its preparations is 2 years. The potency is maintained for an indefinite time when it is prepared with Rasa dravya (metals and minerals).
Hope you learnt the basics about Guggulu preparations. Your queries and comments are highly appreciated.
Read: Bhasma – Preparation, Characteristics & Preservation