Shilajit is a rare herbal substance popular throughout the Himalayas. It has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for centuries, but has only recently become popular in the west.
Today, health-conscious people around the world are using Shilajit to improve their vitality. It’s used to cleanse the kidney, enhance “Qi”, and neutralize free radicals throughout the body
So what exactly is shilajit? Where does it come from? Should you start using it to enjoy a wide range of powerful health benefits? Today, I’m going to explain the pros, cons, and unique history of shilajit.
What is Shilajit?
Shilajit is a type of brownish plant material that oozes out of rocks and cliffs in the Himalayas. Composed of organic plant matter, shilajit is thought to have been compressed by the rock for hundreds of years before being exposed to the surface.
Tibetans and Nepalese collect shilajit from dangerous rocky cliffs. After collecting the material, it’s purified, concentrated, and processed to form an extract. That shilajit extract is what you’ll find on store shelves in western health food shops.
Scientifically speaking, shilajit is an “exudate”, which simply refers to any substance that is exuded or secreted. It’s also considered to be a “humic substance”: humus is the natural material created when soil microorganisms decompose organic material before it’s absorbed by plants.
Scientists have examined shilajit and found that it contains between 70 to 85 minerals and trace elements. It’s rich with antioxidants, phytochemicals, amino acids, and essential nutrients.
The active ingredients in shilajit are actually the fulvic acids. Fulvic acids are macromolecules which have a profound impact on DNA and natural biology. In fact, some people claim fulvic acids are one of the most important life-giving compounds on the planet, second only to DNA in terms of impact on life.
Today, some shilajit supplements are comprised of approximately 40% fulvic acids. Typically, the higher fulvic acid content, the more powerful the supplement will be.
History of Shilajit
Shilajit grows naturally in the Himalaya Mountains of Central Asia. It’s also found in the nearby Altai Mountains and further west, in the Caucasus Mountains.
Understandably, shilajit has played an important role in virtually every civilization that lived in or around these mountain ranges.
Ancient Ayurvedic texts from over 4,000 years ago describe the use of this special mineral supplement, for example, and explain its powerful health benefits for treating a wide range of ailments and illnesses.
In ancient times, shilajit was often used to treat general illness. It had powerful anti-inflammation properties which must have seemed magical to ancient civilizations. The antioxidants within shilajit were also excellent anti-aging compounds, and people were known to use shilajit to reduce the physical and cognitive effects of aging.
Over the years, shilajit has been known by a number of different names, including everything from Mineral Pitch to Jew’s Pitch to Salajeet.
Today, shilajit continues to be harvested in the high altitude mountains of the Himalayas. As you’ll see below, it’s currently used to treat a wide range of conditions: from sexual dysfunction to chronic fatigue syndrome.
Health Benefits of Shilajit
Shilajit is thought to be responsible for a number of different health benefits.
Here are a few of its rumored effects:
— Improves Sexual Energy And Stamina (traditionally Used As An Aphrodisiac)
— Detoxifies The Blood, Tissues, And Brain By Targeting Dangerous Free Radicals
— Supports Healthy Immune System Functionality
— Regulates Metabolism And Promotes Healthy Fat Metabolic Action
— Supports Lung Functionality
— Supports Urinary Functionality And Enhances Healthy Microcirculation
— Complements The Effects Of Other Natural Supplements By Enhancing Bioavailability
Many people describe the effects listed above as enhancing overall human vitality. The Chinese refer to this vitality as “Qi”, which is why you’ll often see shilajit supplements sold as Qi tonics
But the Qi-enhancing effects of shilajit aren’t magical: they have everything to do with fulvic acids.
Fulvic acids are massive molecules with a typical chemical formula that looks like this: C135H182O95N5S2. These molecules are some of the most powerful natural electrolytes in the world today. They are the active ingredient in shilajit and have a critical role on all the health benefits listed above.
Scientific Studies on Shilajit
Over the years, a number of research teams have tried to identify the mechanisms behind shilajit’s formidable power. Here are the most notable shilajit studies ever performed:
2007 Study Links Shilajit With Anti-anxiety And Anti-aging Effects
A 2007 study performed by Sabinsa found a connection between shilajit, anti-stress, and anti-aging. That study concluded by saying, “Shilajit can be used in antioxidant and anti-aging formulations and to act as a delivery system for other therapeutic agents in mixed formulations.” That study tested the effects of shilajit on rats and found that the natural tonic “showed significant efficacy in diminishing anxiety symptoms.” (Source: Sabinsa.com)
1990 Report Describes How Chemical Structure Of Shilajit Could Have Powerful Health Effects
One 1990 report out of the UK gave an overview of the use of shilajit in traditional medicine. That report said that clinical applications of shilajit are “well documented” in Ayurveda. It also explained that the effects of shilajit may influence the endocrine, autonomic, and cognitive systems in the body. The report suggest more modern scientific research needs to be performed, although “the results obtained till now are sufficiently impressive to warrant expectation that more extensive and comprehensive studies on shilajit and its constituents would validate the Ayurvedic rasayan.”(Source: Chemistry of Shilajit)
International Pharmacy Journal Calls Shilajit A “Miraculous Gift Of God”
One of the most supportive studies ever performed on shilajit was published in 2010 in the International Journal of Current Pharmaceutical Review and Research. That study called shilajit a “miraculous gift of God” due to its ability to be used “as an integral component of health care preparation and in general tonic.” (Source: International Journal of Current Pharmaceutical Review and Research).
2012 Study Suggests Shilajit Could Treat Cancer.
Amazingly, one recent study suggested shilajit could be used to treat cancer. That study explained how shilajit’s antioxidant, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, anti-ulcerative, antimutagenic, and heavy metal chelating properties could help target cancerous cells. All of these benefits come from the humic compounds within shilajit. The study concluded by stating that shilajit “would possibly be a useful cancer chemopreventive agent and may be beneficial in cancer therapy.” (Source: International Journal of Toxicological and Pharmacological Research)
From treating cancer to promoting overall wellbeing, shilajit has repeatedly demonstrated its powerful effects during peer-reviewed scientific testing and clinical studies.
Who Can Use Shilajit?
In all scientific studies performed thus far, shilajit has been very well-tolerated. When you follow the recommended dosage instructions on your shilajit supplement (typically between 500mg and 2000mg per day), the product appears to be extremely safe.
Specialists will sometimes recommend the use of shilajit for anyone who wants to increase their vitality, strength, and immune system functionality. It can also be used to complement a cleanse and detoxify the body.
How to Use Shilajit
Always follow the recommended dosage instructions on your shilajit supplement. Dosage instructions can vary. However, a typical shilajit dose would look something like this:
— Take 2 capsules of shilajit (500mg each) once or twice per day to maintain overall health
— Take 2 capsules of shilajit at bedtime to detoxify the body while you sleep
Since shilajit enhances bioavailability, it’s common to take shilajit as part of a stack. To take full advantage of the absorption effects of shilajit, take other tonic herbal products while taking shilajit. If you take 2 shilajit capsules in the morning, for example, take your other herbal tonics at the same time.
Beware of Fake Shilajit
Shilajit is a rare herb that is difficult to collect and complex to manufacture. Shilajit collectors need to literally climb cliffs and scramble across rocks in the high altitudes of the Himalayas to collect small amounts of shilajit.
Due to this time-consuming, dangerous, and difficult collection process, there have been numerous reports of fake shilajit on the market. Fake shilajit is particularly common in India, although it has also been exported to the United States. Fake shilajit has a powerful smell and has no demonstrable effects on the human body.
Make sure you’re getting authentic shilajit by ordering from legitimate, well-known manufacturers which utilize thorough laboratory testing and authentication processes.
Buying Shilajit Online
The best place to buy shilajit is the internet. In fact, it may be the only place you can buy it. Shilajit is becoming more and more popular and well-known, but it can still be tough to find at brick-and-mortar retail stores.
I recommend shopping around your local area before checking the internet. Typically, online shilajit stores have better prices and a greater selection. You might also be able to bundle shilajit with other natural supplements to save a lot of money.