Bioactive terpenoids and guggulusteroids from Commiphora mukul gum resin of potential anti-inflammatory interest

Chem Biodivers. 2004 Nov;1(11):1842-53. doi: 10.1002/cbdv.200490138.


Guggulu, the gum resin from Commiphora mukul, is one of the components of various formulations of traditional Ayurvedic medicine to treat inflammation, obesity, and lipid disorders. In most preparations of Ayurvedic medicine in India, guggulu is boiled prior to its use. Therefore, guggulu was boiled with H2O prior to extractions in our study. Bioassay-guided isolation of compounds from the hexane-soluble portion of the MeOH extract of guggulu yielded cembrenoids, 1-6, a bicyclic diterpene, 7, guggulusterone derivatives, 8-11, myrrhanone derivatives, 12, myrrhanol derivative, 13, and a lignan, 14. The structures of these compounds were confirmed by spectroscopic methods. Compounds 5, 6, 7, 10, and 12-14 are novel. These compounds were assayed for lipid peroxidation and cyclooxygenase (COX) enzyme inhibitory activities. At 100 ppm, compounds 3, 6, and 14 inhibited the lipid peroxidation by 79, 57, and 58%, respectively, and the rest of isolated compounds showed 20-40% inhibitory activity with respect to the controls. In COX-1 and COX-2 enzyme inhibitory assays, compound 3 showed 79 and 83%, and compound 8 gave 67 and 54% of inhibition, respectively, at 100 ppm. All fourteen compounds inhibited COX-1 enzyme at 100 ppm. The lipid peroxidation and COX enzyme inhibitory activities exhibited by compounds isolated from C. mukul may substantiate its use in traditional medicine.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / chemistry
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / isolation & purification*
  • Commiphora*
  • Humans
  • Insecta
  • Male
  • Plant Extracts / chemistry
  • Plant Extracts / isolation & purification
  • Resins, Plant / chemistry
  • Resins, Plant / isolation & purification*
  • Terpenes / chemistry
  • Terpenes / isolation & purification*


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal
  • Plant Extracts
  • Resins, Plant
  • Terpenes