Guggul, the sap of a tree native to India, has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for millennia – with texts going back to the year 600 B.C. recommending it for treating hardening of the arteries. Harvested by collecting the hardened sap that flows out of small cuts made in the tree’s papery bark, guggul is something of wonder drug from the ancient world. In Latin, Hebrew and ancient Greek it was known as bdellium.
Guggul is one of Ayurveda’s most powerful purifiers. The long list of conditions it has been used to treat includes: Weight loss, arthritis, acne, atherosclerosis, gingivitis, high cholesterol, inflammation, and thyroid problems.
Guggul is sometimes recommended as a way to remove long-accumulated toxins naturally from the body. The Chopra Center recommends guggul for those who have spent a lot of time on antibiotics or for those quitting the use of drugs or alcohol. You can read more about Ayurveda and guggul from the Chopra Center website here: http://www.chopra.com/community/online-library/ayurvedic-herbs-foods/guggulu
Be sure to consult with a health professional before taking guggul as it can have a number of interactions with medications. If you want to know more about the pharmacological aspects of guggul – and don’t mind a bit of a technical read – check out this excellent page: http://www.toddcaldecott.com/index.php/herbs/learning-herbs/363-guggulu
With a fragrance similar to myrrh, guggul is also used for incense and perfume. Many people are worried about sustainable and ethical management of the Commiphora mukul tree. While the tree is native to India, it can be found growing in arid regions from northern Africa to central Asia. Loss of habitat due to human encroachment and over harvesting has focused attention on the plight of this fragile gift of nature.
If you would like to read more about one herb company’s effort to rally around sustainable harvesting and protection of the plant’s habitat, you can read more at Pukka’s blog: http://www.pukkaherbs.com/blog/the-organic-guggul-cultivation-project/
Makes four servings
- 20 to 30 ice cubes (depending on how thick you want your smoothie to be)
- 2 cups plain, unsweetened soymilk
- 1 cup carrot juice
- 2 tablespoons raw honey
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Directions: Place the ice cubes in the blender first, then add the rest of the ingredients. Blend until smooth. Pour into glasses and serve.