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Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Shilajit: Uses, Benefits, and Side Effects

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In this post, you will be learning about Shilajit, an ancient Ayurvedic brain-boosting and hormone-regulating medicinal herb.

I am sure when you think of supplements, you don’t expect anything that like a jar of black, tar-like goo. Lol, but this is what Shilajit looks it.

Don’t allow this look rob you of the benefits of this excellent ancient herb with a host of amazing health benefits.

What Is Shilajit?

Shilajit is a tar-like substance (also known as biomass) found in Tibet Mountains and in the Himalayan. Shilajit was formed as the lush forests were compacted when the mountains rose.

As the temperature rises around these Indian mountains, this tar-like therapeutic substance oozes out from the crevices within the mountains.

The colors range from yellowish-brown to pure black. The black color is considered the most nutritional.

It is not yet clear if Shilajit is purely geological or biological because it has a high presence of nutrients founds in both categories. Some of the nutrients responsible for the medicinal properties of this miracle substance are Fulvic acid, dibenzo alpha pyrones, and humic acids.

The use of Shilajit in Ayurvedic medicine dates back to over 5,000 years. It is a common substance used in treating and preventing diseases. Though it originated in India, it is used in many Asian countries.

In case you are wondering, Ayurvedic medicine is India’s traditional medicine. This system of healing is based on maintaining equilibrium in the 3 doshas of the body for one to live a long and healthy life.

Shilajit is one of the most commonly used supplements in Ayurveda and other systems of natural medicine. One of the main reasons why this supplement is effective is because of its high content of Fulvic acid.

There are lots of proven health benefits of Fulvic acid and this ancient herb (Shilajit), has a huge amount of this compound. If you want to increase the levels of Fulvic acid in your body to treat certain health conditions, then increase your intake of Shilajit.

For thousands of years, Shilajit has been known as a rejuvenator of the whole body. It has also earned a significant amount of research due to its amazing impacts on various body systems.

Ancient Sanskrit texts dating back to over 3,000 years describe Shilajit as the “conqueror of mountains and destroyer of weakness”.

A famous ancient Indian in the first century A.D Vaidya Charak is quoted as saying: “There is hardly any curable disease which cannot be controlled or cured with the aid of Shilajit”.

Other names for this wonderful therapeutic substance are:

  • Mineral pitch
  • Mineral wax
  • Black asphaltum
  • Vegetable asphalt
  • Asphaltum punjabianum (Latin)
  • Shargai
  • Dorobi
  • Barahshin
  • Baragshun
  • Mumlai
  • Brag zhun
  • Chao-tong
  • Wu ling zhi
  • Baad-a-ghee
  • Mumiyo
  • Arkhar-tash

Before you write it off due to its odd appearance, just take a few minutes and read on its amazing health benefits.

Amazing Health Benefits of Shilajit

1. Manages diabetes

Shilajit reduces blood glucose and lipid profile in diabetic patients when taken along with diabetic drugs.

A powerful Ayurvedic supplement designed to reduce blood glucose and repair the damages done to the pancreas by diabetes is D-400, GlucoCare, or Diabecon.

Shilajit is the main ingredient in D-400.

2. Improves cardiovascular health

The antioxidant properties of Shilajit protect your heart and blood vessels from drug-induced damage and injury. It is also helpful in treating anemia because one dose of this herb has a high content of iron.

In certain doses, Shilajit can regulate heart rate while in smaller doses, it can slow down a speeding heart rate. It may have an opposite effect in large doses.

If you are suffering from irregular heartbeat and other heart-related problems, it is a good idea to try this supplement but talk to your doctor before doing so.

3. Amplifies the effect of other herbs

You can take Shilajit with other herbs to amplify their effects and that of the nutrients in the herbs. Ayurveda practitioners refer to Shilajit as a “general accomplice”. Ayurveda medicine also classifies this potent substance as a “Yogavaha” which means an agent that enhance the effects of other drugs.  

4. Regulates menstruation

The hormone-balancing property of this herb helps in regulating menstrual disorders in women. Women experiencing irregular periods can correct that by combining this herb with their treatment plan.

It also reduces menstrual pains and cramps.

5. Revitalizes the body and increases energy

For thousands of years, Ayurvedic medicine practitioners have used Shilajit to boost energy and revitalize the body. Due to the level of importance natural healers place on this supplement, lots of researches has been carried out on this area and the results came out positive.

More research is still ongoing but it is now proven that Shilajit boosts energy levels. One of the ways it does this is to increase the functions of mitochondria within the body.

The mitochondria are organelles that serve as the source of power to your body cells. They convert oxygen and nutrients into ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate), the compound that power your body cells.

Shilajit supports the functions of your mitochondria, it increases their oxygenation more efficiently. When you combine Shilajit with CoQ10, it boosts mitochondrial oxygenation.

As Shilajit increases the production of energy, it also increases overall stamina and energy. Athletes take it to enhance their physical performance.

Chronic fatigue syndrome can also be relieved by taking Shilajit supplement. This herb also has powerful antioxidant properties, this prevent free radicals from causing damages in the body.

This ancient supplement also repairs internal damages caused by chemicals and other dangerous agents you come in contact with. It also reduces the levels of fats in the blood.

6. Protects against cancer

Studies have shown that Shilajit is toxic to a number of cancers including that of the liver, ovaries, colon, lungs, and breasts. Some scientists believe it is toxic to cancer cells due to the presence and combination of heavy metals in it.

It also protects the body from radiation damage. A study showed that Shilajit protects the ovaries from radiation-induced damage.

7. Breaks addictions

Due to its unique interactions with other drug substances, Shilajit has a positive effect on breaking addictions. It reduces addictions to opioids and reduces withdrawal symptoms.

This supplement is better than taking medications in many cases. It also reduces one’s addictions to alcohol and reduces the withdrawal symptoms alcoholics experience.

This is why Eastern medicine has used this to break addictions for centuries.

8. Relieves stress and anxiety

This ancient herb increases the levels of dopamine in the brain. This neurotransmitter reduces anxiety and the detrimental effects of stress on your brain.

It also has rich nutrient profile and acts as a powerful antioxidant. Shilajit also increases the levels of GABA in the brain, this mind-calming neurotransmitter relieves anxiety and stress.

It even helps with panic attacks and seizures.

9. Prevents some types of cancer

Shilajit has anti-tumor, anti-inflammatory, photo-protective, anti-mutagenic, and immune-modulatory properties. Due to all these, it is very toxic to cancer and tumor cells.

The high content of Fulvic and humic acid in this substance also prevents the growth and spread of cancer cells. Fulvic acid is also termed a super antioxidant which stimulates your immune system to fight against cancer cells.

10. Boosts brain health

Shilajit has a targeted mechanism for protecting your brain cells and boosting cognitive functions. Studies show that it has distinct and strong neuroprotective activity.

It has a powerful healing effect on brain trauma and it’s also included in treatment plans for Alzheimer’s patients. The presence of Fulvic acid, and combining this supplement with B complex vitamins will improve the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease.

Shilajit has anti-epileptic properties and antipsychotic effects and it also adjusts the levels of GABA in the brain to normal.

11. Fights inflammation and infections

Studies have this potent supplement highly effective in reducing inflammation in gastric ulcers. It heals and prevents this condition. Shilajit has a wide and specific antiviral property.

Some of the antiviral activities noted are those against a number of herpes-related viruses and the HRSV that causes respiratory tract infections in children.

12. Improves gut health

Shilajit is a powerful antioxidant and this protects your stomach from inflammation and damages caused by oxidative stress. The Fulvic acid in this substance also reduces stomach acid and the secretion of pepsin. This, in turn, reduces the risk of ulcer.

Benzoic acid, another acid found in Shilajit has antibacterial properties. This can help your immune system fight bacteria in the gut. This can help treat gut infections and SIBO.

13. Antioxidant defense

Due to its rich antioxidant levels, this herb can block death pathways in cells. It offers protection against damaging free radicals and even increases the levels of glutathione, the master antioxidant.

It also stabilizes your cells and increase their antioxidant capacity.

14. Improves skin health

This natural supplement tightens skin, promotes regeneration, and reduces wrinkles. Its high amount of Fulvic acid helps your body in absorbing essential nutrients, and this, in turn boosts skin health.

It prevents premature aging and slows down the natural process of aging due to its rich antioxidant content and potent free radical-scavenging property.

15. Regulates your immune and endocrine system

This is another important function of this potent ancient herb. It regulates many systems of your body including your hormones and immune system.

It balances hormones and helps your body to stay in equilibrium. Due to this, it can help improve fertility. In men, Shilajit increases testosterone in the blood and boosts the production of sperm.

It also improves ovulation in women, this makes it a powerful aid for those battling infertility.

16. Promotes skeletal health

Even your skeletal system is not left out when you consume Shilajit. It regenerates your bones and protects them from the slow process of osteoporosis.

Even in cases of osteoporosis, it regenerated the bones and improved their functions.

17. Relieves mountain sickness

This herb is also used to overcome mountain sickness at extremely high altitudes. It does this by increasing the transportation of nutrients deep into your tissues and it also increases your levels of energy.

Fulvic acid helps your bone marrow cells to absorb more iron thereby increasing the content of iron in your red blood cells. Adequate levels of iron in your bloodstream help capture more oxygen and this will help you cope in an area with low oxygen content.

18. Relieves inflammation

High levels of neutrophils can damage your tissues and aggravate inflammation. Both humic and Fulvic acid reduces inflammation and neutrophils in the body.

The potassium in this powerful substance reduces the levels of many inflammatory substances in the body.

19. Stabilizes Mood and improves focus

Every one, and especially women prone to mood swings and other mental problems due to PMS, menstrual problems, or menopause will benefit greatly from Shilajit.

Due to its positive effects on brain and mental health, it can promote mental calm in people and increase focus and clarity.

20. Relieves pain

For thousands of years, Ayurvedic medicine had praised and used Shilajit to reduce pain levels in people. It does this by interacting with the levels of GABA in the brain.

It acts as a sedating agent and has a powerful effect on orofacial pains (pains of the face, mouth, or jaws). Base on the dose, you can use this supplement to lesson chronic pain over the course of time.

Shilajit interacts with morphine positively and some other medications. It reduces the buildup of ones tolerance to morphine and also reduces the amount of morphine you have to take to reduce serious pain.

For more benefits click here.

Nutritional Profile Of Shilajit

The nutritional profile of this substance is responsible for its medicinal property. There are various brands of Shilajit and each brand contains different concentrations of vitamins and minerals.

Check the label to see the nutritional profile of the particular brand you are taking. In its purest forms, Shilajit contains different vitamins and about 85 minerals in their ionic forms.

It also contains other nutrients and other organic compounds. This is why it is regarded as a panacea in Ayurvedic medicine. No other supplement has so many nutrients like this and that is why it is used as a tonic or adaptogen.

One serving of Shilajit powder (about half teaspoon) contains about:

  • 0.45 milligrams of zinc (3% DV)
  • 2.8 micrograms of selenium (4% DV)
  • 40 milligrams of calcium (4% DV)
  • 5.4 milligrams of iron (30% DV)
  • 3 calories

How To Take Shilajit

It might be difficult to see this in your local pharmacy but you can get it from a reputable online health store. It is sold in three forms: Shilajit powder, Shilajit resin, and Shilajit supplements.

Each form has its own benefits but pure Shilajit resin is the most pure form to buy. You can take a resin supplement by spooning out a small portion (between the size of a rice grain and a pea) and mix it in water and take.

You can do this daily until you see improvement in your symptoms. Note that Shilajit do not taste great, so you can quickly down the glass of water containing it or you add the solution to a smoothie or other healthy liquid to mask the rubbery taste.

Make sure you buy yours from a reputable online store because many companies sell impure forms of Shilajit. Then do your own research before taking it.

Does Shilajit Have Any Risks Or Side Effects?

Although there are many warnings about Shilajit but there are inconsistent. But it is important you know these drawbacks regarding Shilajit.

Shilajit has heavy metals which might not be welcomed in the human body. Secondly, high doses of Shilajit can affect your blood pressure. So you should be cautious when taking it.

These are the two facts regarding the side effects of Shilajit that are verified by science for now. Aside this, others are just speculations. Then remember to always buy yours from a reputable store.

Unfiltered Shilajit contains dangerous strains of fungi and this is where the problems with heavy metals come in. It is also important to note that this herb is still in the introductory stage of scientific research but a lot of studies and discoveries are still going on.

Despite this, studies have shown that using safe forms of Shilajit for a long-term is safe for treating various disorders like anemia.

If you need help knowing the brand to go for, click here.

We hope this post has helped you understand and know more about the most scary but helpful supplement.


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Faith Ebiojo David
Faith Ebiojo Davidhttps://naturecuresus.org/
Hi, It's nice having you here viewing my post. I am Faith but friends call me Ebi, I am a naturopath and writer. I love writing on health and anything that educates people.
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