Pronounced shee-luh-jeet, aka salajit and mummiya in India, shilajit is literally translated from Hindi to a “rock (shila) win (jeet)” and is also referred to as a “destroyer of weakness”. It is a substance that has been found in certain mountainous terrain on earth including the Himalayas of India and Nepal, Russia, Tibet and Chile. Known for centuries – and that it is was in fact formed over many centuries – as a power-packed sticky resin, shilajit is a byproduct of the decomposition of plants by bacteria in the layers of the mountains. It is naturally composed of approximately 85 minerals, vitamin and antioxidant ingredients.
Shilajit had been used therapeutically in ancient Indian Ayurvedic medical tradition for its energizing properties. The presence of strong antioxidants- fulvic acid, humic acids and dibenzo alpha pyrones – is what generates the significant physiological benefits. The site of action for these is within the mitochondria – the energy producing organelles of every cell of the human body. Current-day Ayurvedic and other naturopathic practitioners use shilajit to reduce or alleviate chronic fatigue, enhance brain function, alleviate digestive disorders, balance hormones, support heart health, improve bone health, enhance libido, help improve anemia and more.
Some famous figures in history who were purported to have used shilajit to enhance their strength included Aristotle, Alexander the Great and Tamerlane. According to Indian folklore, the ancestors of a langur monkey were witnessed by villagers in the Himalayas to be picking at this substance and ingesting it. These people would then consume the resin as well and discovered a newfound strength and vitality that likely contributed to their stamina in harsh terrain and climate, in battle and everyday life. In view of all the benefits that were associated with this amazing sticky resin, we have scientific studies that have validated what was intuited and experienced that we now have scientific studies for on the outstanding properties of this we call shilajit.
Some evidence has been compiled on the action of shilajit in mental health cognitive enhancement in humans with dementia with presence of abnormal tau proteins. The fulvic acid acts to prevent the aggregation of these proteins into pathological filaments. Studies on chronic fatigue syndrome have demonstrated significant energy improvements, mood enhancement and reduction of associated musculoskeletal pain. The mineral content of shilajit has demonstrated bone enhancement for osteopenia and possibly osteoporosis. Other disorders that have shown potential benefits include anemia (iron increased with shilajit), ulcerative colitis, ulcers, eczema, kidney stones, high cholesterol, hypogonadism with low sperm count and anxiety.
Shilajit is available in different forms with the sticky resin being the best that one can dissolve in some water or juice and drink down. Be advised that the taste is quite strong (just remember the value of shilajit is most important)! Taking it without food is ideal. The quality of this product is essential so do inquire on the details of where the product is made and its ingredients. There are powders, tablets, and capsules but the tablet is the other preferred form. Capsules and powdered items are not as potent and may have uncertain fillers. One can use 80-200mg in single or divided doses daily as part of a wellness program. Combining it with Coenzyme Q10 at 100-200mg is also very helpful in giving mitochondria an enhanced power boost.
For more information and a plan of care for health improvement with shilajit and other natural means and methods, please consult a provider of naturopathic care today. Your energy is key to a productive and fulfilling life.
Carrasco-Gallardo, C. Shilajit: A Natural Phytocomplex with Potential Procognitive Activity. International Journal of Alzheimers Disease. 2012, Feb 23: 2012: 674142; online; doi: 101155/2012/674142
Surapaneni, D. et al. Shilajit attenuates behavioral symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome by modulating the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis and mitochondrial bioenergetics in rats. Ethnopharmacology. 2012, August 30; 143 (1); 91-99; doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2012.06.002Epub 2012.Jul 6.