Shilajit Health Benefits
When a substance is nicknamed the fountain of youth and the destroyer of weakness, you know it means business. This sticky resin has an unusual nutritional makeup which is unlike anything else found on earth. It is formed from a diverse range of plant matter that contains alkaloids, saponins and chlorophyll. This plant matter turns into a dark gummy resin after it is naturally compressed over thousands of years. During the warmer summer months, the resin oozes out of rock crevices and is harvested and sold as shilajit or mineral pitch. Pure shilajit resin is an extremely rare and highly-sought after superfood which has incredible rejuvenating, healing and nourishing properties.
The History of Shilajit
Shilajit has been used for thousands of years; it is mentioned in the Charaka Samhita, an ancient book which sets the foundations for ayurvedic medicine. In this Sanskrit text, shilajit is referred to as a rasayana, which is a term given to substances that are said to lengthen lifespan and promote vitality.
Shilajit was not just used in India, over 2,500 years ago in Ancient Greece the scientist and philosopher Aristotle wrote about shilajit, which was then known as moomiyo. He prepared the shilajit with honey, milk and grape juice to create a potent elixir which he used to treat people with stomach and inflammation issues. Over in the Tajikistan region of Russia, many people took shilajit daily which resulted in the average lifespan of individuals in the region being way above the world average. Even famous emperors and leaders (including Alexander the Great) took shilajit to increase their strength, stamina and concentration.
Shilajit has long intrigued nutritionists, scientists and researchers. Several Russian studies found that shilajit can improve athletic performance, and the Russian military and Russian Olympic athletes regularly use shilajit for its recuperative powers. Shilajit is even recommended by the National Bureau of Cosmonauts as an excellent supplement for astronauts to take after long space journeys.
Shilajit Nutritional Profile
Shilajit is a phytocomplex which is hailed as being one of the most nutritionally dense substances in the world. Depending on its source and purity, shilajit can contain up to 85 different trace minerals which are all preserved in their ionic form. It also contains a wealth of other health compounds including vitamins A, B-complex, C, zinc, terpenoids, polyphenol, manganese and pyrones. It scores high on the ORAC scale, and it actually contains more antioxidants than both blueberries and noni fruit.
While these nutrients make it a superfood in its own right, what really makes shilajit a supplement like no other is its high fulvic acid content. Some believe that shilajit contains the highest amount of fulvic acid out of any natural substance. While it is found in a few other substances, what makes the fulvic acid in shilajit so special is that it has a very low molecular weight so it can be easily absorbed by the body.
Shilajit Health Benefits at a Glance
Energy: Provides a natural boost of energy
Cognitive Enhancer: Can improve memory and promote mental clarity and focus
Anti-Inflammatory: Reduces inflammation in the body
Stress Reduction: Helps the body to better deal with stress and anxiety
Full of Antioxidants: Scores very high on the ORAC scale
Hangover Buster: Can help to reduce the effects of a hangover
Mood Balancer: Promotes emotional stability
Yogi Wohi: Enables the body to absorb more nutrients from other substances
Aphrodisiac: Enhances libido and improves sexual function
Antibacterial: Can fight bacterial infections such as streptococci
Rasayana: Shilajit has highly rejuvenating properties
A Destroyer of Weakness
From increasing energy and mental clarity to protecting the heart, shilajit has a large range of benefits for the body and mind. Although more shilajit research needs to be done, several studies suggest that it could be a promising natural treatment for people suffering from cognitive disorders including Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. Bioactive molecules in the shilajit called dibenzo-alpha-pyrones help to prevent brain cell degeneration, which in turn can enhance memory and concentration.
Shilajit for Anti-Ageing
A host of health compounds in this miracle resin help to slow down the ageing process. The fulvic acid present in shilajit helps to deliver antioxidants, vitamins and minerals to exactly where they are needed the most. These antioxidants fight free radicals to limit cellular damage and have an anti-ageing effect.
Shilajit for Men
While both sexes will benefit from shilajit’s youth preserving properties, the resin also provides a number of benefits for men, particularly for those suffering from infertility issues and low sperm counts. A shilajit study by the Royal Ayurvedic Medical School in India backs up these claims. Sixty men suffering from infertility issues took shilajit twice a day for a total of 90 consecutive days. At the end of the study, results showed that the average sperm count for all of the men had increased by 60%, while the average sperm activity had increased by 12%. Shilajit could also naturally raise testosterone levels and help to cure erectile dysfunction issues.
What is A Yogi Wohi?
Shilajit is a yogi wohi, which is a Sanskrit term given to natural substances that enable the body to absorb more nutrients from other substances. One recent study found that CoQ10 absorption increased by 29% when it was taken alongside shilajit. For this reason, shilajit is a particularly beneficial supplement to take if you are suffering from malabsorption, have celiac disease, crohn's disease, or if you simply want to amp up the amount of nutrients that your body is able to receive.
How to Choose the Best Shilajit
Because of the rarity of high quality purified resin, there are unfortunately a number of products which are promoted as pure shilajit but are actually mixed with other substances or even ‘fake shilajit’. For this reason, it is extremely important that you choose to buy shilajit from a reputable source.
Always look for shilajit which has been purified to ensure that it is safe and ready to use. Avoid powdered supplements, as these are more likely to be mixed with contaminants. Genuine high quality shilajit will be dark black with a glossy finish, solid at room temperature, and have a strong, smoky flavour. You can also check where the product is sourced from; Siberian shilajit is renowned for being extremely potent. You may want to check for shilajit reviews from past customers, or do your own research into the company who is offering the products.
Shilajit should be carefully stored in a cool place and out of direct sunlight. If possible, purchase shilajit which has been packaged into a amber or miron violet glass container as this will help to further protect its nutritional content.
Shilajit Side Effects
High quality, pure shilajit is non-toxic, has no reported side effects and is safe to use. Some people report that taking shilajit before bed can be disruptive to sleep. If you have this issue, only take the shilajit in the morning or decrease your shilajit dosage. Consult your healthcare provider if you are experiencing any side effects which you believe are from the shilajit, and always seek a professional medical advice before taking shilajit if you are pregnant.
When poor quality shilajit is mixed with fillers and additives, or it is heavily processed, it can greatly alter the nutritional makeup of the product. This is why it’s so important to purchase a high quality shilajit resin from a trusted retailer.
You should be careful with your shilajit dosage if you are a first time user. Because of its potency, begin with smaller dosages to see how you feel. We recommend starting with a very small ‘grain of rice’ sized amount (less than 100 mg), which you can take between one and three times per day. You can then gradually up your intake amount to a large pea size ball (up to 300 mg in size). Again, you can consume this amount between one and three times per day.
Using this method, you can slowly build of the shilajit dosage until you find the right amount to give you the desired benefits. The exact amount that is right for you depends on a huge variety of factors including your body mass index and size, general health and fitness levels, metabolism, eating habits and other lifestyle choices.
How to Take Shilajit
While shilajit may look strange, it’s actually pretty easy to use once you get the hang of it. First, pinch off a small amount of the resin with your fingers. Avoid using a utensil to ‘scoop’ out the shilajit as it makes it harder to get the right amount. Fill a mug with warm water and drop the shilajit into and allow it to fully dissolve. Stirring the mixture will speed up the process, but just check there is no shilajit stuck to the spoon. One dissolved, the shilajit tonic is ready to be enjoyed. In order to maximize absorption of shilajit, it’s best to take it in the morning on an empty stomach.
If you’ve never tried shilajit before, you’re probably wondering what does shilajit taste like? Well, It has a rich, deep, slightly bitter and smoky flavour. When making tonics, always start with a base of dissolved shilajit in warm water and then add in the additional ingredients from then. You can blend in some almond or coconut milk, your natural sweetener of choice and a pinch of cinnamon to make a delicious warming tonic tea which is perfect for sipping on in the cold winter months.
If you’re craving a rich chocolatey kick, try mixing the dissolved shilajit with some raw cacao powder, coconut cream, vanilla powder or essence and some natural sweetener for a magical mocha. Use a nutribullet or blender to make your creamy shilajit mocha extra smooth.
While shilajit is typically consumed in beverages, you can get creative with your shilajit recipes and add it into foods. Try dissolving a small amount in liquid and adding it to soups or dips that would work well with a smoky flavour.
Shilajit will naturally work in synergy with other tonic herbs and medicinal mushrooms. You may want to experiment with mixing shilajit with chaga mushroom, reishi mushroom, schizandra berry, he shou wu and other tonic herbs and exotic spices.
In the Charaka Samhita, it states that ‘he who takes shilajit regularly will witness a hundred summers on earth, free from disease and decay’. While this is yet to be backed up by science, what we do know for sure is that shilajit offers powerful rejuvenating and life-enhancing benefits.
Name: Shilajit (shilajeet)
Other Names: mineral pitch, moomiyo, mineral wax, black asphaltum, mumie
Shilajit dosage recommendations: A grain sized to pea-sized amount up to three times a day
Atreya: Charaka Samhita
S. Ghosal: Shilajit in Perspective
Willer, Tina, Shilajit: The Fountain of Youth Healing Mineral Book
Dean Thomas, Rehmannia Shilajit: The Resin of LIfe