Shilajit is considered the root of Ayurvedic medicine, and the most powerful. Taken alone will strengthen the immune system, fortify cells and muscles. It can be used as an anti-oxidant, an anti-stressor, an anti-allergen, and an anti-asthmatic. In the practice of Ayurveda when Shilajit is used with any other Ayurvedic herb it can boost the health effects.
What is it?
Shilajit is a type of organic mineral pitch used in Ayurvedic treatments. It forms from the terrain in the Himalayas and other mountainous regions around the world. Shilajit translates to “rock of life” in Sanskrit. It is usually found in a powder form varying in color from deep red to dark brown. The dark brown one has the highest concentration and potency.
What are the benefits?
Shilajit acts on many different systems in the body, earning it a place among the prized natural medicines known as adaptogens. It helps to restore balance to one’s system, whether that is through reducing excess (stress and cortisol, for example) or promoting sound sleep and giving endurance, strength, and stamina within the body’s various systems.
One of the primary ways it does this is through its action on the endocrine system. Our endocrine system controls mood, libido, sleep-wake cycles, hair growth, cognition, energy, consciousness and much more. Therefore it should come as no surprise that Shilajit can restore sexual function, promote cognitive abilities, reduce anxiety and stress, improve mood and extend one’s lifespan. Pretty impressive, to be sure.
However, Shilajit’s beneficial medicinal properties are not solely limited to the endocrine system. It can reduce pain and inflammation, and also has a healing effect on the digestive tract, with the notable ability to repair ulcerated intestines and keep harmful bacteria in check.
And, of course, it is also a great detoxifier, removing heavy metals and replacing them with those the body needs for health and wellbeing. It has also been used to treat allergies, malnutrition, anemia, and broken bones.
It’s like water: life is just better when you consume it regularly.
The Ancient Yogic Superfood That Rebuilds Your Body
Laboratory analysis of Shilajit reveals a complete spectrum of every essential mineral on the planet in ionic form—the most readily absorbable and assimilated by the human body. Scientists also found amino acids, fulvic and humic acids, ellagic acid, fatty acids and plant sterols, which tend to have a harmonizing effect on the hormonal/endocrine system, among many others.
Although shamans and medicine men of the time could not possibly have understood its complex and unusual composition, they could easily discern the beneficial effects Shilajit was having on the people they treated, which was an extensive restoration of health and wellbeing.
Selecting Quality Shilajit
Shilajit can be found dripping wildly in many mountain ranges across Asia, although each culture tends to have its name for the substance. In Western and Central Asia it is typically referred to as Moomiyo, but in the areas in and around the Himalayas, it is known as Shilajit. While this may seem semantical, it is an important distinction because, depending on the source, Shilajit/Moomiyo will have different compositions. Generally speaking, the best quality Shilajit is believed to originate from the Himalaya area.
However, because Shilajit is somewhat rare and difficult to collect, as well as the fact that the world’s supply originates in developing countries, the quality varies widely in the products currently available through various health food stores and websites worldwide.
The most sought after and rare form is the night-black mineral resin, with only a handful of companies selling it worldwide. It is a sticky, wet-looking “tar” that is an intensely concentrated and purified form of Shilajit. It can be pricey, although a little goes a long way, making even a small amount last for months, even at higher dosages.
That being said, there are many excellent, more affordable Shilajit products that come in a powdered form—though they will be slightly less concentrated and potent than the pure resin. The primary benefits of the powder are the ease of use, price, and the ability to measure precise amounts, if needed, as the resin itself is quite sticky.
Authentic, quality Shilajit always has a distinct, sharp piercing tar-like odor that is unmistakable. If the product you have does not have a noticeably intense smell or seems ‘faint,’ then it is likely old or diluted Shilajit.
Shilajit is not grown like most herbs and foods, so there are no organic or conventional distinctions. If authentic and unadulterated, Shilajit is wildcrafted, which is truly what lends it such incredible healing properties.