Shilajit is an organic substance that is found rarely oozing from the rocks primarily in very high altitude regions of the Himalaya mountain range. It is comprised of a concentrated complex of minerals, trace elements, humic and fulvic acids and numerous traces of organic vitamins and amino acids. Clinical studies indicate that shilajit is organic plant matter and the most current theories state that it could have been produced from plants that were trapped in the rocks when the Himalayas were being formed 55 million years ago. Traditional theories about Shilajit’s origin range from it being the blood of the Himalayas and even a gift from the Gods!
A similar substance called Mumijo has been found in parts of Siberia, Russia, Norway and even Antarctica but it is considered by Ayurvedic doctors to be of inferior quality and lacking in many of the health benefits found in Shilajit from the Himalayas.
Shilajit has been used extensively in the Ayurvedic medical tradition as a treatment for a wide variety of ailments including infertility, arthritis, diabetes, cancer, depression and even schizophrenia and insanity. One of the most famous uses in India is to balance the libido and indeed many companies marketing shilajit refer to it as such!
Shilajit is also believed to be the best anti-aging remedy.
Shilajit has been written about in ancient Indian medical texts thought to be more than 3000 years old and has been in use by humans for at least that long. One of these texts, the Caraka Samhita, even states that there is no disease at all, which cannot effectively be cured by shilajit when it is applied at the right time, in combination with other suitable remedies and by sticking to the prescribed doses. When a healthy person takes shilajit, which shows similar conditions it produces an abundance of energy. In another text, the Sushruta Samhita, it is stated that there is no physical indisposition, which does not respond positively to shilajit’s highly beneficial qualities. When continuously taken, in adequate doses, it improves the strength and skin tone and is therefore generally known to be one of the best anti-aging remedies.
Those are some incredible claims but what does modern clinical research say about Shilajit?
To date the only clinical trials have been done in mice but the results indicate that Shilajit has many genuine health benefits. The mineral particles in Shilajit are numerous, ionically charged and of very small size. This means that the body can easily absorb them. Shilajit also contains very high percentages of Fulvic Acid, a byproduct of micro-organisms found in humus, which speeds up the absorption of nutrients, balances the hydration and supports the excretory organs to pass toxic wastes from the body.
Indeed modern clinical research substantiates many of the traditional uses of Shilajit such as its analgesic activity, anti-inflammatory properties, anti ulcer activity, as a cognitive enhancer, anti anxiety treatment and as a general nutritive tonic. Shilajit research reports that a dose up to 3 g to 1 kg can be considered safe. Note that this tested in mice only. Thousands of years serving as a natural remedy in practical life a small pea size dose of shilajit, consumed 3 times a day, is showing best and safe results.
Well, the only question many would ask next is where can I buy some?
There are a multitude of companies selling supplements they claim to be shilajit but the reality is that genuine, pure and authentic shilajit is very rare, expensive and difficult to obtain. Most of the shilajit available on the market is solvent extracted minerals and fulvic acid from soil that are branded and marketed as shilajit extract or standardized shilajit. Many of these products are contaminated with heavy metals and have very little if any healing value. Also, many companies offer the Russian version, mumijo, and market it as shilajit.
When purchasing shilajit ensure that the company offering it is obtaining it from a genuine high altitude Himalayan source and that it is purified but not standardized or in powder or capsule form. Pure shilajit is a black gooey substance that hardens when chilled and becomes soft when warm.
When it comes to purchasing shilajit or any other natural health supplement the rule of thumb is buyer beware.