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What is Shilajit? Origin, Benefits and How To Use

What is Shilajit? Origin, Benefits and How To Use

Contents

  1. What is Shilajit
  2. Origins of Shilajit
  3. What is Shilajit used for?
  4. What are the Benefits of Shilajit?
  5. What are the different types of Shilajit?
  6. Shilajit Dosage and Usage
  7. How Long Does It Take for Shilajit to Work?
  8. Is Shilajit Legal in the UK?
  9. Organic Shilajit - Its importance and how to identify.
  10. Conclusion

What is Shilajit?

Shilajit is a natural substance found primarily in the rocks of high mountains. It is a sticky, tar-like substance that is dark in colour and oozes out of the rocks, especially during the summer months when the heat causes it to melt. 

The name “Shilajit” is derived from the Sanskrit words “Shila”, meaning rock, and “Jit”, meaning conqueror, symbolising its ability to conquer diseases and counteract the ageing process. It is also often referred to as “mineral pitch” or “stone oil”.

Shilajit is composed of a complex mixture of organic humic substances and plant and microbial metabolites occurring in the rock rhizospheres of its natural habitat. It contains over 85 minerals in ionic form, as well as triterpenes, humic acids and fulvic acid. The primary active ingredients in Shilajit are fulvic acids, dibenzo alpha pyrones, humins, humic acids, trace minerals, vitamins A, B and C, and amino acids, which collectively provide a multitude of health benefits.

In Shilajit’s pure form, It’s a biogenic stimulant naturally produced by microorganisms. It has been used for centuries in traditional medicine systems like Ayurveda, Unani, and Siddha for its remarkable healing properties.

In the following sections, we will delve deeper into the origins, uses, benefits, and types of Shilajit, providing a comprehensive understanding of this potent and intriguing substance.

Origins of Shilajit

Where does Shilajit come from?

Shilajit is found in the high-altitude regions of the Himalayas and other mountain ranges around the world. It is most commonly found in India, Nepal, Russia, Mongolia, Iran, and in the northern parts of Chile in South America. The substance oozes out from the cracks in the rocks, particularly during the summer months when the heat causes it to melt.

How is Shilajit formed?

The formation of Shilajit is a long and complex process that takes millions of years. It begins with the decomposition of plant matter from tropical forests that existed in the region millions of years ago. Over time, this plant matter gets trapped in the rocks of the mountains. The extreme changes in temperature and pressure cause the plant matter to undergo a transformation process, eventually forming Shilajit.

The unique geographical and climatic conditions of the high-altitude regions where Shilajit is found contribute to its unique composition and potency. The combination of the plant matter, the specific microorganisms involved in its decomposition, and the unique environmental conditions all contribute to the formation of this potent substance.

What is Shilajit used for?

Traditional Uses

Shilajit has been used in traditional medicine systems for centuries. In Ayurveda, it is considered a ‘Rasayana’ or rejuvenator that can help increase longevity and vitality. It is commonly used to treat a variety of conditions, including digestive disorders, diabetes, inflammation, and even mental health disorders. Shilajit is also known for its ability to enhance physical performance and endurance, making it a popular supplement among athletes and those leading active lifestyles.

Modern Day Applications

In modern times, Shilajit is widely used as a dietary supplement. It is often consumed in a capsule or powder form for ease of use. Its rich mineral content makes it a potent supplement for bone health, immune support, and overall wellness. Recent studies have also highlighted its potential in improving cognitive function, heart health, and energy levels.

Scientific Research Backing Its Uses

Numerous scientific studies have been conducted to validate the traditional uses of Shilajit and explore its potential applications in modern medicine. Research has shown that Shilajit is rich in fulvic acid, a potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compound that can help protect against cellular damage and reduce inflammation in the body. Other studies have highlighted its potential in improving testosterone levels in men, enhancing cognitive function, and even slowing down the ageing process.

It’s important to note that while the research on Shilajit is promising, more studies are needed to fully understand its mechanisms and potential applications in healthcare. As always, it’s recommended to consult with a healthcare provider before starting any new supplement regimen.

In the next section, we will delve into the various benefits of Shilajit, providing a comprehensive understanding of why this substance is so highly revered in traditional medicine and increasingly popular in modern wellness practices.

What are the Benefits of Shilajit?

What are the general Health Benefits?

Shilajit is known for its wide array of health benefits. Thanks to its rich composition of minerals and organic compounds, it can contribute to overall wellness in several ways. Here are some general health benefits of Shilajit:

Boosts Immunity

Shilajit is known to enhance the immune system, raising your immunity and helping the body fight off infections and diseases.

Improves Cognitive Function

Studies have shown that Shilajit can help improve cognitive function, enhancing memory and concentration.

Promotes Bone Health

The high mineral content in Shilajit can contribute to bone health, making it beneficial for conditions like osteoporosis.

Enhances Energy Levels

Shilajit is often used as an energy booster, helping to improve physical performance and endurance.

What are the Shilajit Benefits for Men?

Shilajit has several benefits that are particularly beneficial for men:

Boosts Testosterone Levels

Shilajit is known to naturally boost testosterone levels, improving sexual health and performance.

Improves Fertility

Studies have shown that Shilajit can improve sperm count and motility, enhancing fertility in men.

Promotes Prostate Health

The anti-inflammatory properties of Shilajit can help promote prostate health, potentially preventing conditions like benign prostatic hyperplasia.

What are the Shilajit Benefits for Women?

Women can also reap several benefits from Shilajit:

Supports Hormonal Balance

Shilajit can help balance hormones, which can alleviate symptoms of conditions like polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and menopause.

Promotes Skin Health

The antioxidant properties of Shilajit can promote skin health, helping to prevent signs of ageing and improve skin texture.

Boosts Iron Levels

Shilajit is rich in iron, making it beneficial for women who are anaemic or have low iron levels.

What are the different types of Shilajit?

Shilajit comes in various forms, each with its own unique characteristics and benefits. The type of Shilajit can vary based on the region it comes from and the quality of the substance. Here are the main types of Shilajit:

Shilajit Resin

Raw Shilajit resin is a smooth, semi-solid paste that comes mainly in black and dark brown colours. It is considered the purest form of Shilajit due to the minimal processing it undergoes. The best method to identify Shilajit resin is by its texture - it should get sticky when you take it in your palm, but become brittle when kept in the fridge. Shilajit resin is mainly consumed by dissolving it in warm water or a hot beverage. You can also get it in harder form like Hard Himalayan Shilajit Resin, which makes it easier to use.

Pros of Shilajit Resin
  • Contains the highest concentration of fulvic acid.
  • Lasts for a longer time.
  • No fillers are added.
  • Requires less refinement than any other solid form.
Cons of Shilajit Resin
  • Contains a strong flavour.
  • Takes some time to dissolve completely in warm water.

Shilajit Powder

The powdered form of Shilajit comes in different shades of black, brown, and amber. The raw Shilajit is processed at a certain level to convert it into powder form. Many people prefer taking Shilajit powder as it easily gets dissolved in water or any beverage.

Pros of Shilajit Powder
  • Gets dissolved easily.
  • If stored away from direct sunlight, oxygen, and heat, it lasts for a very long time.

Cons of Shilajit Powder

  • Shilajit Powder has a strong flavour.
  • Could be overheated while processing.

Shilajit Capsules

Shilajit capsules are powdered Shilajit stored in a capsule. These capsules are good for those who do not want to take Shilajit in raw form and want to avoid its strong flavour. However, Shilajit capsules are not recommended as many manufacturers degrade the quality to increase profits.

Pros of Shilajit Capsules
  • Does not contain a strong flavour.
  • No need to dissolve in water and can be consumed very quickly & easily.
  • Lasts long if stored in a cool and dry place, away from direct sunlight, heat, and oxygen.
  • Zero mess involved.
Cons of Shilajit Capsules
  • Some May Contain fillers. Ours do not!
  • Takes some time to digest.

Shilajit Dosage and Usage

How to Use Shilajit Effectively

Shilajit can be consumed in various forms such as resin, powder, or capsules. The most effective way to use Shilajit depends on its form:

How to Use Shilajit Resin

Dissolve a pea-sized portion (approximately 300-500 mg) in a glass of warm water or milk and drink it.

How to Use Shilajit Powder

Mix the recommended dosage (usually around 300-500 mg) with warm water or a hot beverage.

How to Use Shilajit Capsules

Simply swallow the capsule with water.

It’s best to take Shilajit on an empty stomach in the morning or during the day. Avoid taking it late in the evening as it may increase energy levels and interfere with sleep.

Recommended Dosage

The recommended dosage of Shilajit can vary depending on its form and the specific product. However, a general guideline is to start with a small amount (around 300-500 mg per day) and gradually increase if necessary. It’s important to follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer or consult with a healthcare provider to determine the appropriate dosage.

How Long Does It Take for Shilajit to Work?

The effects of Shilajit can vary from person to person and depend on factors such as the individual’s health status and the quality of the Shilajit. Some people may notice benefits within a few days, while for others it may take a few weeks. Consistent use over a period of time is key to experiencing the full benefits of Shilajit.

Remember, it’s always important to consult with a healthcare provider before starting any new supplement regimen, including Shilajit.

Is Shilajit Legal in the UK?

In the United Kingdom, Shilajit is legal and is classified as a food supplement by the Food Standards Agency (FSA). This means that it can be sold and consumed without a prescription. However, sellers must ensure that their products comply with the FSA’s regulations.

Organic Shilajit

The Importance of Choosing Organic Shilajit

When it comes to Shilajit, choosing an organic product is crucial. Organic Shilajit is free from pesticides, herbicides, and other harmful chemicals that can be found in non-organic products. These chemicals can negate the health benefits of Shilajit and potentially lead to health issues.

Organic Shilajit is naturally purified and processed, ensuring that it retains all its beneficial compounds. It is also more likely to be sustainably sourced, which helps protect the environment and preserve the natural habitats where Shilajit is found.

How to Verify if Shilajit is Organic

Verifying if Shilajit is organic can be a bit tricky, as there is no universal standard for what constitutes “organic” Shilajit. However, there are a few things you can look for:

Certifications: Look for certifications from reputable organisations that verify the product as organic. This can provide assurance that the Shilajit has been sourced and processed in a manner that meets the standards of organic farming.

Transparency: Reputable sellers should be transparent about their sourcing and processing methods. They should be able to provide information about where the Shilajit is sourced from and how it is purified.

Third-Party Testing: Look for Shilajit that has been tested by independent third-party labs. These labs can verify the purity and quality of the Shilajit, as well as confirm that it is free from harmful contaminants.


Conclusion

Shilajit, often referred to as the “destroyer of weakness” or the “conqueror of mountains”, is a potent and intriguing substance that has been used for centuries in traditional medicine systems. Its unique composition of over 85 minerals and organic compounds provides a multitude of health benefits, from boosting immunity and energy levels to promoting bone health and cognitive function.

Whether consumed as a resin, powder, or capsule, Shilajit offers a natural way to enhance overall wellness. However, it’s crucial to choose organic Shilajit and purchase from reputable sources to ensure its quality and safety.

While Shilajit is generally safe for most people, it’s always recommended to consult with a healthcare provider before starting any new supplement regimen. As we continue to explore and understand this ancient remedy, it’s clear that Shilajit holds a promising place in both traditional and modern wellness practices.

FAQ

Is it OK to take Shilajit every day? 

Yes, it is generally safe to take Shilajit every day. However, it’s important to stick to the recommended dosage and consult with a healthcare provider before starting any new supplement regimen.

Can Shilajit be taken on an empty stomach? 

Yes, Shilajit can be taken on an empty stomach. In fact, it is often recommended to take Shilajit on an empty stomach for better absorption.

Can I take Shilajit with other supplements?

Yes, Shilajit can be taken with other supplements. However, it’s always a good idea to consult with a healthcare provider before combining supplements.

Does Shilajit have any side effects? 

Shilajit is generally safe and well-tolerated. However, some people may experience side effects such as dizziness, nausea, or increased heart rate. If you experience any adverse effects, stop taking Shilajit and consult with a healthcare provider.

How long does it take for Shilajit to show effects?

The effects of Shilajit can vary from person to person. Some people may notice benefits within a few days, while for others it may take a few weeks. Consistent use over a period of time is key to experiencing the full benefits of Shilajit.

Is Shilajit suitable for vegetarians and vegans? 

Yes, Shilajit is a natural substance that is suitable for both vegetarians and vegans.

Can pregnant or breastfeeding women take Shilajit? 

Pregnant or breastfeeding women should consult with a healthcare provider before taking Shilajit or any other dietary supplement.

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