Shilajit

Background

Shilajit is a blackish brown rock exudates found in some mountain ranges in the 1000-5000m height range in India. Shilajit translates from Sanskrit meaning Conqueror of mountains and destroyer of weakness. Shilajit is also known by various names as Mineral Pitch, Jew’s Pitch, Mineral Wax, Salajeet, Brag-shun, Shilajita, Moomio, Mumie, Mumijo, and Mumiyo. It is, actually, a mixture of minerals used traditionally in Ayurveda medicine to enhance vitality. It’s an adaptogen compound with historically ‘miraculous’ effects. One reason why Shilajit is such an effective medicinal herb is due to its high fulvic acid content that has many proven health benefits, from improving brain health to keeping skin healthy.[1]

Benefits

Shilajit is an excellent ancient herb with a variety of health benefits. Truly, this ancient herb contains a huge percentage of fulvic acid and is considered as one of the most common supplements used to increase your intake of this potent acid. Being a nootropic supplement, Shilajit is very effective for the treatment of brain related impairments. It reduces anxiety and improves focus. It is good for the treatment of anemia, and functions as an aphrodisiac.
A number of research studies point out that shilajit exhibits antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, adaptogenic, immunomodulatory, and anti-dyslipidemic properties.[14] Animal and human studies indicate that shilajit enhances spermatogenesis. Furthermore, animal and human data support its use as a ‘revitalizer’, enhancing physical performance and relieving fatigue with enhanced production of ATP.[2]
The most common health benefits of Shilajit include:

  • Enhances physical performance
  • Boosts energy and revitalizes the body
  • Promotes brain health
  • Is used for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease [15][19]
  • Reduces anxiety [16]
  • Improves memory and enhances cognitive performance [17]
  • Regulates hormones and immune system [19]
  • Increases blood testosterone and encourages the production of sperm [3]
  • Relieve and lessen chronic pain [4]
  • Helps relieve people of cancer [5]
  • Helps bones regenerate, protecting from and slowing the process of osteoporosis[6]
  • Moderate uses regulate heart rate [20]
  • Reduces the actual addiction and minimizes withdrawal symptoms [7]

People with diabetes may be interested to know that Shilajit can also help reduce blood glucose and lipid profiles in diabetes patients, especially when taken in conjunction with diabetes medications.[8][9]

How it works

Shilajit helps provide the body with energy in the way that will increase the performance of mitochondria in the body. Mitochondria are organelles that function as the “power source” of cells within the body as they convert oxygen and nutrients into ATP (adenosine triphosphate), the substance that truly powers body cells. Shilajit encourages the performance of mitochondria, helping them oxygenate more efficiently.[10]
Shilajit appears to own a targeted mechanism for protecting brain cells particularly. Initial studies show that it has “distinct and marked neuroprotective activity.” [11] A study was done in Iran on the consequences of Shilajit on risk factors following a traumatic brain injury. Researchers discovered that it has positive effects on the 3 most indicative factors of death following traumatic brain injury: brain edema, blood-brain barrier permeability and intracranial pressure. [12]
Shilajit also exhibits anti-epileptic properties and potentially antipsychotic effects, since it adjusts a naturally occurring acid in the brain known as GABA.[13]

Considerations

Shilajit is safe when taken in moderate amounts. Be cautious while taking Shilajit. It may have 2 well-known possible drawbacks such as the presence of heavy metals and the ability of large doses to adversely affect blood pressure. When you are at risk for heavy metal exposure or abnormally low blood pressure, you should be cautious when taking it.

Recommendations

The dosage of Shilajit varies consistent with patient’s age, body weight, diseases, and health conditions. The minimum recommended dosage of Shilajit can be 125 mg and the maximum dosage should not exceed 3 grams per day. However, currently, the maximum dosage is rarely used because it causes heat sensation in the body. It is seen that most of the ayurvedic doctors prescribe Shilajit in dosage 250 mg to 500 mg twice a day. It can be taken in empty stomach in the morning and at night before sleep.[18]

Sources