The tree is a small shrub with thorny branches. The gum called guggulu is tapped from the stem of the plant. The plant has been used in ayurvedic medicine for centuries in the treatment of many disorders like arthritis, obesity, skin diseases, high cholesterol. Guggulu contains substances that lower cholesterol and triglycerides. One of these substances also decreases the redness and swelling that occurs in some types of acne.