Shilajit: What are the health benefits?
Shilajit, which translates to “rock of life” in Sanskrit, is a natural substance found predominantly in the Himalayas that has traditionally been used to help revitalise the body and increase longevity.
In the realm of natural remedies, it has captured the curiosity of scientists and health enthusiasts alike. Derived from the decomposition of plant matter combined with minerals, shilajit is a unique resin-like substance found in mountainous regions. Composed of humic acids, fulvic acids, minerals, and bioactive compounds, it holds significant promise for enhancing our health and well-being.
In this blog, we delve into the scientific exploration of shilajit, uncovering its potential benefits. With a focus on its composition and mechanisms of action, we aim to shed light on the fascinating properties of this natural substance.
What is Shilajit?
Shilajit is a blackish-brown exudation obtained from steep rocks of different mountain ranges that are between 1000-5000m tall, and has been used traditionally as a therapeutic agent for centuries. It is known to be cultured in the Himalayan and Hindukush ranges, where it is used in Ayurveda medicine as an adaptogen (substances which help the body to manage stress).
How does Shilajit work?
Its complex mixture of compounds, particularly fulvic acid, plays a crucial role in its efficacy. Fulvic acid acts as a transporter, enhancing the absorption and utilisation of nutrients within our bodies. It promotes cellular energy production, aids in detoxification, and supports overall metabolic functions. Additionally, shilajit exhibits antioxidant properties, protecting our cells against oxidative stress caused by harmful free radicals. It also interacts with various enzymes and signalling pathways, showcasing adaptogenic and rejuvenating effects.
Benefits of Shilajit
Traditionally in Ayurveda medicine, shilajit has been revered for its ability to enhance vitality and boost stamina. Numerous studies have also examined the ability of shilajit to enhance energy levels by enhancing mitochondrial functioning, which involves converting energy from food into energy that can be used by the cell and therefore the body as a whole.
It has been associated with supporting cognitive function, including memory, focus and mental clarity. These factors explain why it is being used as a form of therapy for certain cognitive disorders like Alzheimer’s. However, this approach is still fairly new so more research needs to be done to see the true efficacy of the substance on such cognitive disorders.
Antioxidant and Anti-inflammatory Effects:
Studies have shown that fulvic acid, one of shilajits main compounds, has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. This protects the body from free radicals and cell damage which are two of the key factors causing aging.
May support anaemia:
Anaemia is most often caused by iron deficiency and has side effects such as heart rhythm irregularity, headaches and inexplicable fatigue. Due to Shilajit’s high levels of humic acid and iron, it could be a potential treatment for anaemia.
A study put 18 rats into three groups of 6. Researchers gave the second and third group anaemia. Rats in the third group received 500mg of shilajit after 11 days and then researchers collected blood samples from all 3 groups on day 21. The results showed that the rats who had received the shilajit had higher levels of haemoglobin and red blood cells than the other two groups.
Be sure to speak to a doctor about this option before taking the supplement.
Another research study stated that shilajit could fight off certain viruses due to its composition of various minerals and compounds like iron and zinc, but further research has to be done on live subjects before they can confirm completely.
Shilajit can increase dopamine secretion in the brain which in turn may reduce anxiety and stress levels. Furthermore, the high levels of potassium and magnesium help relax your muscles, including the heart, resulting in a soothing effect on the body.
Increased Testosterone Levels:
Men who consume shilajit have more testosterone which leads to a higher sperm count and higher sperm mobility. For years, shilajit has been used to boost testosterone in men, potentially augmenting fertility for couples facing challenges with conception.
How to take Shilajit
Due to its earthy and bitter taste, consuming shilajit on its own can be quite challenging. Individuals often choose capsules or tablets as alternatives. Another option is the powdered form which can be conveniently dissolved into water or milk. Always administer supplements according to instructions. The recommended dose of shilajit is 300-500mg per day.
Speak with your doctor before taking shilajit. According to recommendations, shilajit is believed to be the most effective when taken on an empty stomach, preferably in the morning, in order to optimise its energy boosting properties.
Shilajit can be taken in multiple different ways:
- Powder: 2-4 tsp shilajit powder mixed with water or milk once a day
- Capsule: 1 shilajit capsule once a day or as recommended by the doctor
- Tablet: 1 shilajit tablet twice a day or as recommended by the doctor
- Creams and tonics: It keeps skin glowing and fresh - add the herb to tumeric and ginger infused creams for the most effective combination
Similar to the majority of supplements, it requires a period of time to observe the effects. In the case of shilajit, it typically takes 2-3 months to discern the impacts on your overall health and lifestyle.
Potential Side Effects
Research has been done to show the safety levels of taking shilajit as a long-term supplement. However there has been some side effects detected.
Evidence indicates that shilajit’s ability to reduce blood pressure may pose a risk for individuals taking high blood pressure medication or with a history of low blood pressure (hypotension), as well as those with existing heart conditions.
This utilises 100% pure Shilajit resin extract with a minimum 20% of the active ingredient Fulvic Acid to help boost stamina for men and women as well as gut health. It is enhanced with Tulsi, Kapikacchu and White Musli for maximum absorption.
This purified and standardized extract contains no less than 60% fulvic acid complex and contains high levels of combined dibenzo-a-pyrones and dibenzo-a-pyrone chromoproteins which help support energy production in the brain and muscle tissue during exercise.
The wide array of proven health benefits associated with shilajit makes it a natural supplement deserved of our attention.
There also appears to be numerous ground-breaking applications of shilajit on the horizon, potentially bringing about significant improvements to people’s lives.