What is Shilajit?
Shilajit is a sticky black natural substance found mainly in the Himalayas, formed for centuries by the gradual decomposition of certain plants by the action of microorganisms. It is a potent and very safe dietary supplement, restoring the energetic balance and potentially able to prevent several diseases. Recent investigations point to an interesting medical application toward the control of cognitive disorders associated with aging, and cognitive stimulation.
Considering its unique composition as a phytocomplex, very rich in fulvic acid, researchers hypothesize that Shilajit is produced by the decomposition of plant material. This decomposition seems to occur through centuries, and on this basis, shilajitis considered a millenary product of nature
Benefits of Shilajit
1. Improves Stamina And Battles Fatigue
Fulvic acid, a major component of shilajit, can ease fatigue and weakness and give you the boost you need to overcome problems like chronic fatigue and lethargy. The remedy helps with energy production and improves immunity as well.
2. Boosts Hemoglobin Levels And Iron Absorption
Shilajit may be just what you need if iron deficiency or malabsorption is a problem you face. An animal study found that shilajit given at the dosage of 500 mg/kg had anti-anemic activity, improving hemoglobin levels and red blood cell count and fighting iron-deficiency anemia.
If you have low hemoglobin levels in the blood, taking shilajit along with amla (Indian gooseberry) and iron could also help.
3. Improves Testosterone Levels And Fertility In Men
Shilajit may offer respite to men looking to raise their testosterone levels to boost fertility. As one study revealed, taking a 250 mg dose of the ayurvedic remedy twice a day for 90 days helped significantly increase levels of total testosterone as well as free testosterone and dehydroepiandrosterone, a hormone that’s a precursor to testosterone, in healthy volunteers. In another study on infertile male patients with total sperm count of under 20 million/ml of semen (oligospermia), taking 100 mg capsules of processed shilajit twice a day helped raise the total sperm count and testosterone levels.
4. Protects Bones And Joints
Shilajit is also good for your bones and can be used to help fight conditions like osteoporosis. Animal studies confirm that it can improve the mechanical strength of bone tissue and bone weight. Its anti-inflammatory properties also make it beneficial for those with rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis.
5. Offers Relief From Pain
Shilajit also works as an analgesic, easing pain and other discomfort associated with inflammatory or chronic illnesses. In an animal study, the remedy showed potential in chronic pain management, helping reduce the intensity of pain in the subjects.
6. Helps Cope With Stress
Herbal formulations which combine shilajit with ashwagandha, holy basil, shatavari, and bindii have especially been seen to improve the ability of your body to manage and cope with stress. The adaptogenic properties of these herbs help restore normal physiological functioning which may have been impacted by the stress.
7. Boosts Function Of The Urinary System
Shilajit is a diuretic and has applications for urinary problems in ayurveda – an effect noted in animal tests as well. When taken along with lots of fluids like water, shilajit as a diuretic can help flush out stones in the urinary tract.1
8. Fights Microbial Infections
Thanks to its anti-inflammatory action and ability to counter oxidative damage, shilajit hastens wound healing and can help heal gastric ulcers quicker. Animal studies show that it may work by reducing gastric acid secretion and pepsin levels.
9. Helps Protect The Heart
Shilajit may work as a cardiotonic thanks to its antioxidant benefits. Animal studies confirm its ability to improve heart function and protect it from myocardial injuries.
10. Helps Manage Diabetes
Another area shilajit has garnered attention is in its potential to help those with type 2 diabetes. In one animal study, shilajit helped significantly reduce blood glucose levels and improved the lipid profile of the diabetic test animals. In addition, when shilajit was administered with typical medication for diabetes like metformin, it helped enhance the glucose-lowering ability of the drugs.
11. Fights Addiction-Related Withdrawal
If you are fighting an addiction, shilajit could help ease the symptoms of withdrawal. This has especially been seen in the case of opioid withdrawal symptoms. Shilajit also had a positive impact on tolerance and countered dependence on opioids. Other animal studies show that it helps reduce alcohol withdrawal anxiety, both on its own as well as with ashwagandha.
12. May Help Ward Off Alzheimer’s
Fulvic acid in shilajit may be responsible for its potential to protect against dementia. The fulvic acid in this herbal cure may help by blocking tau protein aggregation. A buildup of tau protein is thought to impair brain cells involved in learning and memory and has been noticed in people with neurodegenerative conditions like Alzheimer’s disease or with cognitive impairment.
13. Works As A Remedy For Altitude Sickness
Travel to high altitudes can sometimes affect the body adversely, causing headaches and lethargy. Shilajit helps combat precisely these problems, thanks to the ability to supply energy and nutrients to your tissues. It also stimulates your immune system and helps you better cope with the stress of high altitudes both mentally and physically.
14. Has Anti-Cancer Benefits
Shilajit may be able to fight tumor growth and can be toxic to cancer cells. This is possibly linked to its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and immune-modulating properties. It may also offer protection against radiation-induced damage during treatment for cancer. In one animal study, it helped counter the oxidative stress and cell damage associated with radiation and protected the ovaries.
What to Look For
Shilajit is sold in several forms, including capsules, powder, and liquid. There is no scientific evidence to suggest which form is best. Additionally, there are safety concerns when taking this or any supplement.
Dietary supplements are largely unregulated by the Food and Drug Administration (scary I know), and the agency does not require dietary supplements to be tested for safety. Some products may be contaminated with dangerous substances such as heavy metals. Even substances that are labeled "purified" may contain contaminants.
When choosing a supplement, try to find products that have been certified by one of the following organizations:
- U.S. Pharmacopeia
- NSF International
These organizations don't guarantee that a product is safe or effective, but they do test that the product was properly manufactured, contains the ingredients listed on the label, and does not contain harmful levels of contaminants.
The Best Way to Take Shilajit: In Water
Most shilajit companies recommend taking your daily dosage of shilajit dissolved in hot water. Simply measure out your dosage of shilajit (learn more about correct dosage here) into about 6 ounces of hot water, stirring to break it up and dissolve it. Drinking it on an empty stomach in the morning will ensure it gets into your bloodstream to bring you energy!