Magic shrub Guggul
12 Aug 2007:It's a wonder shrub that is giving India's Rs 5,000 crore-worth ayurveda industry sleepless nights. Guggul, a four-metre shrub, known for its powers of reducing high cholesterol levels besides bringing relief to patients suffering from rheumatic arthritis and thyroid, has started to disappear from India.
National Research Centre for Medical and Aromatic Plants (Gandhinagar), Central Arid Zone Research Institute (Jodhpur), Agricultural Research Institute (Gujarat) and Central Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (Lucknow), have been asked to start research on this plant. Scientists will look at how to make this plant grow across India (at present it only grows in arid zones), how to make it produce the resin at regular intervals (at present, it exudes gum every 10-12 years), how to extend its lifespan (it dies after the gum is extracted) and how to improve its germination.