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Useful Tropical Plants

Commiphora wightii

(Arn.) Bhandari.

Burseraceae

+ Synonyms

Balsamodendron roxburghii Stocks

Balsamodendron wightii Arn.

Balsamodendrum mukul Hook. ex Stocks.

Commiphora mukul (Hook. ex Stocks) Engl.

Commiphora roxburghii (Stocks) Engl.

Common Name: Guggul

Commiphora wightii
Fruiting branch
Photograph by: Vinayaraj
Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0
Commiphora wightii Commiphora wightii Commiphora wightii Commiphora wightii

General Information

Guggul is a much-branched, spiny, deciduous shrub growing up to 6 metres tall[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
].
A gum-resin obtained from the stems is widely used medicinally, as an incense, in perfumery etc. The tree is sometimes cultivated for its gum.
The tree is so heavily exploited in the wild that populations, especially in the south of its range, are being reduced. The Government of India has banned export of the gum in order to try and conserve stocks. The plant was at one time classified 'Vulnerable', but the current classification is 'Data Deficient' in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species(2011)[
338
Title
IUCN Red List of Threatened Species
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.iucnredlist.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A list of plants under threat and facing possible extinction, usually with brief details of the threats and information on habitat.
].

Known Hazards

None known

Botanical References

287
Title
Flora of Pakistan
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.efloras.org
Publisher
 
Year
 
ISBN
 
Description
As of 2006, there is not much information on habitats available, but it is being developed and promises to be an excellent resource.

Range

E. Asia - Pakistan, central and northern India.

Habitat

Rocky and open hilly areas or rough terrain and sandy tracts in warm and semiarid to arid areas at elevations from 250 - 1,800 metres[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
].

Properties

Conservation StatusData Deficient
Edibility Rating *  *
Medicinal Rating *  *  *  *
Other Uses Rating *  *  *  *
HabitDeciduous Shrub
Height4.00 m
Growth RateSlow
Self-fertileNo
Cultivation StatusCultivated, Wild

Cultivation Details

A plant of arid and semi-arid areas in the tropics where it can be found at elevations from 250 - 1,800 metres. It is found in areas where the mean annual rainfall is within the range 225 - 500mm and the temperature ranges from 20 - 35°c[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
].
Requires a sunny position[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
]. Found in the wild in sandy and rocky soils[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
].
A slow growing plant, it takes 8 to 10 years to reach a height of 3 - 3.5 metres. Pruning or the removal of branches in the early stages of the plant's growth helps to achieve better growth, increases the girth of growing branches and thereby leads to better gum yield[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
].
The plant generally takes ten years to reach tapping maturity under the dry climatic conditions of its native environment[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
]. The yields are in the order of 200 - 500 gm of dry guggul per tree per season[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
].
Plants are dimorphic, one form having bisexual and male flowers, whilst the other has female flowers with staminodes[
287
Title
Flora of Pakistan
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.efloras.org
Publisher
 
Year
 
ISBN
 
Description
As of 2006, there is not much information on habitats available, but it is being developed and promises to be an excellent resource.
]. It is inferred that pollen grains from bisexual or male flowers, present on the first form of plants are needed for the production of normal fruits on plants with only female flowers[
287
Title
Flora of Pakistan
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.efloras.org
Publisher
 
Year
 
ISBN
 
Description
As of 2006, there is not much information on habitats available, but it is being developed and promises to be an excellent resource.
].

Edible Uses

A bitter, pungent gum is obtained from the bark[
301
Title
Cornucopia II
Publication
 
Author
Facciola. S.
Publisher
Kampong Publications, California.
Year
1998
ISBN
0-9628087-2-5
Description
The second edition of an excellent guide to the edible uses of plants, though it does not give any details of cultivation etc.
].

Medicinal

The resin is alterative, antiseptic, antispasmodic, aphrodisiac, astringent, carminative, demulcent, emmenagogue, expectorant and stomachic[
46
Title
Dictionary of Economic Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Uphof. J. C. Th.
Publisher
Weinheim
Year
1959
ISBN
-
Description
An excellent and very comprehensive guide but it only gives very short descriptions of the uses without any details of how to utilize the plants. Not for the casual reader.
,
240
Title
Glossary of Indian Medicinal Plants (Including the Supplement).
Publication
 
Author
Chopra. R. N., Nayar. S. L. and Chopra. I. C.
Publisher
Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, New Delhi.
Year
1986
ISBN
-
Description
Very terse details of medicinal uses of plants with a wide range of references and details of research into the plants chemistry. Not for the casual reader.
]. It is used in the treatment of muscular rheumatism[
46
Title
Dictionary of Economic Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Uphof. J. C. Th.
Publisher
Weinheim
Year
1959
ISBN
-
Description
An excellent and very comprehensive guide but it only gives very short descriptions of the uses without any details of how to utilize the plants. Not for the casual reader.
]. The gum resin has been used extensively by Ayurvedic physicians for centuries to treat a wide variety of disorders[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
]. It is a natural health product, used primarily to reduce elevated blood cholesterol levels[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
]. It has been used for many years as a hypocholesterolemic agent in India, where it is has received prescription drug status, due to its high level of efficacy as determined by clinical trials[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
].

Agroforestry Uses:

The plant is sometimes grown as a barrier hedge[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
].

Other Uses

The tree is the source of Guggul or Indian Bdellium, a gum-resin that exudes from the branches. It is largely used as an incense and in perfumery[
287
Title
Flora of Pakistan
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.efloras.org
Publisher
 
Year
 
ISBN
 
Description
As of 2006, there is not much information on habitats available, but it is being developed and promises to be an excellent resource.
].
The thick branches are selected in winter and their bark incised to extract the oleo resin gum[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
]. The commercial product of the oleo-gum resin contains 58% resin along with mineral matter, 32.3% gum, 4.65% foreign organic matter and 1.45% aromatic essential oil[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
].

Young branches are used as a toothbrush to clean the teeth and maintain dental hygiene[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
].

Propagation

Seed -
Cite as: Tropical Plants Database, Ken Fern. tropical.theferns.info. 2019-04-18. <tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php?id=Commiphora+wightii>

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