External Treatment Of Minor Inflammatory Conditions And Wounds

Myrrh is incorporated into salves and topical preparations for the treatment of bed sores, minor wounds and haemorrhoids. Although no clinical trials are available, the antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, astringent and local anaesthetic activities of myrrh provide a theoretical basis for efficacy.


Szapary et al (2005) conducted a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomised trial with 103 subjects with LDL-cholesterol levels of 3.37-5.19 mmol/L. A standardised dose of 1000 mg of guggulipid (containing 2.5% guggulsterones) was given to one treatment group, while a higher standardised dose of 2000 mg was given to the other, three times daily for 8 weeks. Results showed a decrease of LDL-cholesterol in the placebo group of 5%, an increase of 4% in the 1000 mg group and an increase of 5% in the 2000 mg group. Overall this constituted a 9% and 10% increase in LDL-cholesterol with guggulipid treatment. In comparison, several randomised clinical trials and in vivo tests using various extracts of guggul have reported significant lowering of total cholesterol, triglycerides and LDL-cholesterol levels and increases in HDL-cholesterol (Gopal etal 1986, Malhotra etal 1977, Nityanand etal 1989, Singh et al 1990). In two reports, the duration of the lipid-lowering effect continued for 6-20 weeks after discontinuation of therapy (Gopal et al 1986, Nityanand et al 1989). One clinical study showed the lipid-lowering effects of a preparation of guggul fraction A (1.5 g/day) was similar to clofibrate (2 g/day) (Malhotra et al 1977). © 2007 Elsevier Australia

A larger study of 235 volunteers conducted under double-blind randomised conditions showed that patients with hypercholesterolemia responded better to guggulipid (1.5 g/day) than to clofibrate (1.5 g/day). However, those with hypertriglyceridaemia responded better to clofibrate (Nityanand et al 1989). Many of these trials have been criticised for being small and methodologically flawed or poorly reported (Ulbricht et al 2005). Again, more large-scale clinical trials need to be done to assess the efficacy of guggulipid in hypercholesterolaemia.

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