With Cathy Schram

What is Guggul? And Natural Remedies for Stress

Q: What do you know about an herb called Guggul?
A: Guggul or Guggul Lipid, is an Indian Herb that has been shown to significantly help lower cholesterol. Gum resin is taken from the guggul tree, a small thorny tree native to certain semi-arid regions of India. The extract of the resin blocks the action of a cell receptor called Farnesoid X Receptor (FXR). When FXR is too active, the body fails to convert cholesterol into bile – the main way to excrete fatty substances from the body. Guggulsterone, the active agent in the extract, successfully blocks the activity of FXR.
Guggul has been clinically documented by the Indian Journal of Medical Research to reduce total cholesterol by 15%, and “bad” cholesterol (LDL) by 17%. It can also increase “good” cholesterol (HDL) by 12%.

Look for a guggul supplement that is standardized for guaranteed guggulsterone content. Taking guggul along with plenty of natural fiber and the proper diet will get you on track for a healthy cholesterol level.

Q: I am under a lot of stress. I’m not sleeping well and I am starting to feel run down. Any suggestions?
A: Stress can cause so many problems; physically and mentally. When we are stressed, our brains release adrenaline and cortisol. This could cause us to become depressed and tired. Stress hormones cause the liver to produce more blood sugar which could increase blood pressure, cholesterol and could affect our heart. When we are stressed, we deplete our vitamin B and C levels, which could affect our immune system.

Here are a few things that may help:

  • Exercise, rest and a healthy diet are extremely important.
  • Magnesium can assist with sleep, anxiety and muscle aches.
  • L-Theanine is an amino acid that causes the sense of relaxation. It helps shut down your brain’s “worry mode”.
  • Pantothenic Acid (B5) helps your adrenal glands decrease the production of cortisol.
  • 5-HTP increases serotonin levels to support a good mood and enhance sleep.
  • Rhodiola Rosea fights fatigue and enhances mood, concentration and energy.

Don’t forget to take deep breaths and breathe.

This herb information is for health education purposes only. It is not intended to replace the services of licensed health practitioners. Consult with a physician for any condition that requires professional care.

Do you have questions about herbs or vitamins? Send them to Cathy Schram, CNHP and Certified Herbalist. Write to: Herbs & More, 16021 Manchester Rd., Ellisville, MO 63011.