Shilajit - An Ancient Remedy

Millions of years ago, Indian plate collided with Eurasian plate leading to formation of the great Himalayan mountain range. During the impact, Tropical forests got crushed and compacted. These forests transformed into highly nutritious mineral-rich biomass over millions of years. Popularly known as Shilajit (Asphaltum or Mineral wax), this resinous biomass comes out of high Himalayan fissures every summer.

True to its name “Yoga Vahi”, Shilajit enhances effects of anything consumed with it as it has property to assimilate nutrients into solution and transport it into cells. Ayurveda considers Shilajit the most efficient energy and nutrient carrier into body. In a study on Coenzyme Q10 effects, it was found that when Coenzyme Q10 was taken with Shilajit, its energy boosting effects on heart, kidney and liver improved by twenty nine percent.

Shilajit contains more than 85 minerals in ionic form, phyto-nutrients, vitamins, Fulvic acid, and Humic acid. Traditionally accepted as an important remedy for several ailments, Shilajit has only recently been accepted in modern science due to recent finding that Fulvic acid and Humic acid are main substances responsible for production of energy within cells. Fulvic acid is essential for dilating walls of cells and transporting nutrients deep inside these cells. Mineral absorption also gets impacted in absence of Fulvic acid as mineral supplements can provide health benefits only when they are transported into cells. Further, mineral deficiency leads to vitamin deficiency as well since minerals are catalysts to vitamin assimilation process. Since Shilajit is rich source of Fulvic acid and contains 85+ minerals and vitamins; it can quickly provide nutrition to cells. Thus, Shilajit is truly a superfood which is often compared to Amrut (a potion of life)

Commonly known as destroyer of weakness in India, Shilajit also contains DBPs (dibenzo alpha pyrones) which has energizing properties. Shilajit provides rejuvenation and energy production through this component. In a study, Shilajit was given to a group of mice undergoing strenuous exercise. It was noted that energy levels reduced twice as fast in the group which did not consume Shilajit.  In another study, 200mg of Shilajit was consumed for 15 days by each member of a group undergoing strenuous exercise. It was observed that available energy level in blood before and after strenuous exercise remained equivalent.

Shilajit has a bitter and salty taste. It has been used for thousands of years as Energy booster, for enhancing memory, as an aid for nutrient absorption, enhancing potency of other nutrients, balancing sugar levels, and for detoxification. It has therapeutic effects on reproductive organs, nerves, bladder, kidney and Endocrine glands.

Shilajit Uses and Health Benefits

Shilajit for stress disorders and anxiety: Fulvic acid of Shilajit makes it an antidepressant and anxiolytic.  Shilajit is beneficial for all types of stress disorders and anxiety.

Shilajit for Alzheimer’s disease: Nervine herbs comsumed alongwith Shilajit is known to be beneficial in condition of Alzheimer’s. Shilajit is effective when taken in right combination with other herbs.

Shilajit for losing weight: Shilajit needs to be processed in order to make it suitable for human consumption. This involves Triphala Decoction, which improves anti-obesity characteristics of Shilajit. As per a Clinical trial published in 1990 in journal of Ethno-pharmacology, a three month long Shilajit therapy significantly lowered thickness and outer measurements of waist and hips. Shilajit also had positive effects on total cholesterol and triglyceride levels. The clinical trial did not find any side effects in the three month long study. Shilajit supports in weight loss by (1) providing nutritional support during the weight loss program (2) Improving metabolism and helping in conversion of cholesterol into bile which also lowers risk of heart ailments (3) Preventing regain of body weight which is lost during weight loss program.

Shilajit for Heart Health: Shilajit is known to improve good cholesterol (HDL) levels in the body. It is also known to reduce total cholesterol, trigycerides, LDL and VDL levels. In a study, it was found that daily consumption of two grams of Shilajit  for 45 days lowered LDL cholesterol (by 22.6 percent), triglycerides (by 21.7 percent), and VLDL cholesterol (by 20.6 percent), and improved good cholesterol (HDL) by 5.8 percent. In Ayurveda, Shilajit is used in combination with Arjuna, Trikatu, Guggul, Pushkarmool and Tulsi for lowering cholesterol.

Shilajit for Atherosclerosis: According to research findings, Shilajit is useful in condition of Atherosclerosis. Studies indicate that primary cause of Atherosclerosis is low level inflammation in blood vessels (and not high lipid content of blood). Plaque accumulation happens due to presence of inflammatory lesion in the arteries. Studies indicated that consumption of Shilajit was likend to reduction of inflammation. Shilajit also reduced cholesterol and lipid level. Shilajit benefits were visible only after three to six months of therapy.

Shilajit for reduction of symptoms associated with Diabetes: Several ancient texts claim that Shilajit consumption is useful in curing diabetes; however, there is less evidence to suggest that Shilajit of present era has same effects. Shilajit is known to be very effective in reducing symptoms associated with diabetes. It plays important role in boosting pancreas function and insulin sensitivity of cells. It helps in reducing frequent urination associated with diabetes and curtails albumin and sugar leakage through urine.

Shilajit for High Blood Pressure caused by alcoholism: Shilajit is known to be very effecting in controlling high blood pressure caused by excessive alcohol consumption.

Shilajit for chronic constipation: In condition of chronic constipation, intestines become weak and peristaltic movement decreases. Continuous use of laxatives in such a condition further affects adversely and may result in chronic constipation. In order to cure chronic constipation, strengthening of intestines, restoration of natural peristaltic movement and improvement in bile secretion is required. Shilajit helps in strengthening intestines and in restoration of natural peristaltic movements which helps in passing stool. Shilajit is also useful in abdomen pain and intestinal gas.

Shilajit for health of reproductive system: Shilajit is an aphrodisiac. It is effective in curing infertility caused by oligospermia as it improves sperm count. It is commonly used in several health supplements for men.  It helps in maintaining health of reproductive system for both men and women. In women, Shilajit strengthens uterus and pelvic floor. It helps in prevention of uterine diseases such as dysmenorrheal/ pelvic pain.

Shilajit for Osteoarthiritis and Gout: In Osteoarthritis, Shilajit provides nutrition to joints and helps in strengthening them. Anti-inflammatory action of Shilajit helps in reliving join pain. Shilajit consumed with Guggulu, Serrata and Boswellia Serrata is more effective in Osteoarthritis. In Gout, Shilajit reduces levels of uric acid as it has diuretic properties.

Shilajit for breathing problems due to weakness: Shilajit helps in strengthening respiratory muscles and reduces weakness. Its long term (2 to 3 months) consumption is known to be associated with improved stamina and reduction of breathing problems related to weakness. Shilajit does not provide immediate relief from breathing problems as it does not dilate respiratory track. It only helps in curing breathing problems due to weakness.

Shilajit Dosage and administration

The prescribed dosage of Shilajit varies according to health conditions, age and weight of a patient. The minimum dosage recommended by health specialists is 125 mg per day and maximum that most specialists recommend is 1g per day. Most specialists recommend that Shilajit be consumed with milk and it be taken on an empty stomach in morning and before sleep at night.

Shilajit Side Effects

There have been no side effects reported when Shilajit was consumed in moderation. Consuming more than 1g of Shilajit every day may result in warming effect in body and burning sensation in feet. These effects can be lowered when Shilajit is consumed with Milk.