Vitamin B, C, D and minerals like magnesium, calcium remain the most popular supplements around the world. While these popular supplements are household names, the humble origins of Shilajit resin may be unheard of. This unsung hero found in the Himalayas boasts an enviable list of benefits that rivals that of the crowd-favourite supplements.
A staple of Ayurvedic Medicine, Shilajit is a sticky-tar like substance found in the layers of rocks of mountain ranges around the world including the Himalayas, Tibetan and Altai mountains. It forms primarily because of the decomposition of plant matter over centuries. Known as mineral pitch, mumie, and moomiyo among others, this resin has a variety of useful advantages which we will discuss further.
Why Use It?
Global Warming and worldwide pollution along with poor agricultural practices has stripped the soil of natural minerals and nutrients. Shilajit, found in the heart of the mountains, is natural and untouched and enriched with fulvic & humic acid, trace minerals as well as 50+bioactive elements. These promote nutrient absorption thus boosting metabolism leading to a healthier body.
If you are planning on buying, invest in an authentic source. As the FDA (US Food and Drug Administrations) does not monitor natural supplements, it is important that you do your research and spend your money on the authentic supplement instead of the knockoffs. Low quality Shilajit may be contaminated with heavy metals like arsenic. Make sure that your source of Shilajit are as follows: –
Cold Treated– avoidance of excessive heat and dry processing to preserve the original molecular structure of Shilajit.
Organic- being plant-derived and vegan friendly, Shilajit is readily absorbed into the body and available for use.
Ethically Produced– Shilajit is invigorating for the body but that shouldn’t be at the cost of the planet. Ensure your source is environment-friendly as well as ethical.
If possible, check for approval from the ConsumerLabs, The U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention, or NSF International before buying as they guarantee quality testing.
Optimal Performance, Boosts Brain Function and Post Workout Recovery
Shilajit contains compounds that help improve brain function. Furthermore, it has been scientifically proven with promising results in the treatment and prevention of progressive neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s, a type of dementia.
The International Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease in 2012 has stated that the fulvic acid in Shilajit prevents the build up of tau, the protein causing neurofibrillary tangles and that helps prevent damaging brain cells, the key pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases.
On the other hand, its arginine content stimulates nitric acid synthesis which causes vasodilatation, thus increasing blood supply and improving muscle building.Furthermore, it helps improve oxygen transport and lactic acid & CO2 removal thanks to its iron and copper content. As a result muscle strength and stamina is improved. This is why Shilajit is a favourite among many sports teams and military personnel.
Anti-Aging and Longevity
Fulvic acid is a potent antioxidant that fights free radicals and also has anti-inflammatory function. This reduces cellular damage due to reduction of free radicals – which is the principal factor behind aging.
The minerals in Shilajit has been credited with enhanced immunity against a number of viruses such as Herpes.
In addition, Shilajit is said to have cleansing property. It has been historically and scientifically proven that Shilajit has enhanced effect in the clearance of alcohol and other toxins in the bloodstream naturally. Furthermore, it also restores the levels of minerals like zinc, magnesium, selenium which removes toxins and improves liver health.
Recover From Trauma or Stress
The anti-inflammatory effect of Shilajit has been well-documented. This, coupled with the minerals and fulvic acid in this herb has been linked to quicker recovery from trauma.
Shilajit has also been shown to promote dopamine secretion due to its tyrosine content, a dopamine precursor. An increased dopamine has been tied to improved concentration, mood, cognition as well as relief from depression and pain.
The role of Shilajit in digestive ailments has been historically documented. The bioactive elements and fulvic acid improves gut health by increasing stomach acid, bile and intestinal mucous, all of which increase digestion and peristalsis.
Traditionally used to battle issues like constipation, ulcers and other gastric diseases, Shilajit is slowly gaining more recognition because of increasingly favourable clinical findings are coming out.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), an often underdiagnosed condition is characterised by chronic and intense levels of tiredness and fatigue making it difficult to perform day to day activities. This has been linked to mitochondrial dysfunction which reduces net energy output from cells.
Following evidence-based trials on rats, Shilajit has shown improvement on the symptoms of CFS thus proving its beneficial effect on the condition.
Improves Blood Chemistry
According to a 2003 study, blood chemistry levels showed a drastic improvement on test subjects who took 2 grams of Shilajit for 45 days as opposed to the test group. A marked decrease in serum cholesterol, triglycerides and better antioxidant status. Other reports demonstrate positive effect of Shilajit on the following conditions:
- Digestive disorders like Ulcerative Colitis among others
High Altitude Sickness
Many traditional practitioners boast the effects of Shilajit to alleviate the symptoms of altitude sickness. Symptoms ranging from fatigue, body pain to low oxygen levels can seriously cripple a person with altitude sickness. The complex structure of Shilajit contains minerals and humic acid – elements thought to be the reason which reduces altitude sickness symptoms.
As mentioned previously, Shilajit aids in the reduction of cholesterol and triglycerides.. This protects against atherosclerosis and in turn decreases risk of obesity as well as heart disease . Moreover, clinical trials on animals show less damage to the heart in the event of a cardiac injury after the animals were administered Shilajit.
The variety of constituents of Shilajit also seems to have a potent effect on reproduction in both males and females. In a study conducted on 60 infertile men over 90 days, Shilajit resulted in increase in sperm motility and sperm count, both of which play an important role in fertilization i.e the fusion of sperm and egg to form a zygote. Shilajit was also shown to stimulate testosterone levels, which is responsible for libido, after regular use.
Shilajit has shown promising results against certain types of cancer cells preventing their replication. This includes liver cancer cells, however, more studies are needed before conclusive evidence.
Dosage and Preparation
Shilajit is available in powder, liquid, resin, solid and as drops. There is no evidence suggesting that any form is of higher potency. If you prefer the powder form, you can dissolve the designated amount on the packaging with water or milk and drink up to three times a day.
Most producers recommend a maximum of 300-500 mg per day. However, dosage can vary depending on your age, sex and any comorbidities. It is always recommended to consult your doctor before starting on any supplement.
Shilajit is reported to be safe as a long-term dietary supplement. However, shilajit has been linked to a reduction in blood pressure so it may be contraindicated in people taking antihypertensive medications or with existing heart disease.
Despite all the praises of the goodness of Shilajit, remember that it is a dietary supplement, to be taken in order to improve quality of life not as a cure for disease or substitute for medications. As with any supplements, consult your doctor to find out if you can benefit from Shilajit and whether you are eligible to use it.