Shilajit: 6 Health Benefits of Shilajit (2022)
Shilajit: its health benefits
Shilajit or the benefits of a nootropic that comes from the Himalayas. This strange and natural substance resulting from the decomposition of plants has miraculous virtues. It is similar to a brown resin comparable to a malleable paste, the degree of viscosity of which reacts to variations in temperature.
It is found in many places around the world, in very limited quantities . The most common sources are the Himalayas and Altai.
Used for millennia in traditional Indian medicine for its immense virtues. The latest studies by modern science show its potential.
Himalayan shilajit contains fulvic and humic acid and over 80 minerals and trace elements that provide many benefits for your health.
Shilajit: natural medicinal properties
Shilajit in Traditional Indian and Western Medicine
First, it seems important to mention that organic shilajit is a misnomer. No one today wants to introduce a food supplement into their body without it being organic or at least certified as such.
However, shilajit is a bit like salt. Could you really say that the salt is organic? No, of course. However, we mean by organic shilajit, an entirely natural product, tested and controlled by us. You can apply for this certification at any time.
80% of the inhabitants of our planet are treated with traditional medicine and many are those who use natural food supplements. “Traditional” does not mean ineffective but simply relating to the use of plants, minerals or animals that contribute to treating and preventing disease and maintaining well-being.
Among the 220 substances used in traditional Indian medicine, Ayurveda, organic shilajit is considered a major remedy, the "king of rasayana" capable of acting on the seven dhatus. It is notable to note how the dhatus system is very close to the bodily systems used in Western medicine (skeletal, muscular, endocrine, immune, respiratory, digestive, urinary, endocannabinoid, reproductive).
These traditional uses are:
- gastric problems
- Bone fracture
- joint inflammation
- Nervous and cardiovascular problems
- Urinary problems
Western science recognizes some of the virtues of shilajit to which we will return:
- Anabolic properties
6 virtues of shilajit in modern medicine
Recent research from Western science shows us some of the following effects:
The many compounds found in shilajit may be helpful for cognitive functions, increasing memory and reducing anxiety . It can thus be called a natural nootropic.
A study from the International Journal of Alzheimer's Disease noted that shilajit is traditionally used for longevity and to slow aging. The compounds it contains may help control cognitive disorders, such as Alzheimer's disease.
The many minerals and trace elements present in shilajit can also fight viruses. A study found that shilajit could fight and kill many different viruses in isolated environments, including some herpes viruses.
Low testosterone is characterized by:
- Low muscle mass
- Hair loss (or hair loss at an advanced level)
- Low libido
- Increase in body fat
A study of 96 men aged 45 to 55 showed that in 90 days their testosterone levels had increased by 20%, while they had also fallen by 23% in subjects with a placebo. So we can conclude that well beyond 20% shilajit increases testosterone levels by 43%.
Chronic fatigue syndrome is akin to a generalized fatigue of the human body which, as its name suggests, sets in chronically. It can be compared to a burn-out of the cells responsible for the production of energy, which can no longer provide enough to ensure the functions of everyone.
We all know, at times, this feeling of exhaustion. As long as it remains sporadic (bad night, significant stress, physical overtraining…) it remains manageable. When it becomes too frequent, we deplete our energy resources produced by the mitochondria. These mitochondria are the basis of ATP, responsible for storing and transporting energy in our organs.
Shilajit greatly helps boost your energy by allowing for more efficient cutting and absorption of nutrients, thanks to the presence of dibenzo-alpha-pyrones and fulvic acid which aid in the creation of ATP by the mitochondria.
Allergic reactions (pollen, food, wasp stings, etc.) are mostly linked to mast cell degranulation which is a reaction of our body in the presence of an external event aimed at calming the "aggression" which the body is doing. the object.
Normally our body reacts healthily and we do not feel any effects. When the system gets carried away, the mast cells (cells at the origin of a local inflammatory reaction) somehow invade our system and the different substances contained in these cells (histamine in particular) become unpleasant (hay fever, stomach aches ), exhausting (mental fog, fatigue) or even dangerous (anaphylactic shock). In some cases the mast cells will tend to be unstable, too numerous or both.
Shilajit, thanks to the combination of fulvic acid and DBP, will act as a stabilizer for these mast cells. Thus, by preventing the degradation of the latter, it will delay or cancel their deleterious effects. Shilajit is therefore effective in the treatment (without curing) of pathologies such as hay fever, mast cell activation syndrome, histamine intolerance or mastocytosis.
No, shilajit does not cure cancer , contrary to other articles.
On the other hand, some “potentiating” effects of shilajit have been researched in recent years.
In a 2016 study, shilajit potentiated the effects of cancer treatments by stimulating cell apoptosis and inhibiting the proliferation of malignant cells via several mechanisms.
Shilajit anti-aging & anti-anemic virtues (= iron deficiency)
Iron deficiency anemia can result from a diet low in iron or from an inability to absorb iron. Symptoms include:
- feeling of weakness
- cold hands and feet
- irregular heartbeat
Shilajit can gradually increase your iron levels
A study on rats showed that the hematocrit and red blood cell levels of rodents given 500mg/kg of pure shilajit per day increased compared to the control group after only eleven days.
Where to find shilajit?
No certainty exists as to the precise origin of shilajit. Some believe that it comes from a mixture of plants and shells. One thing is certain: shilajit is a resin with a texture close to latex, which appears thanks to increases in temperature, mainly in May and June.
It is highly likely that shilajit resin is derived primarily from a decomposition of Euphorbia royleana and Trifolium repens. Two plants that grow where we find shilajit precisely. Foams could also be part of the composition. Finally, it is likely that fossils such as the ammonite enter into its composition.
Siho offers you within its range of food supplements the purest shilajit.
Origins and different names
Coming from different regions such as the Russian Altai, the Urals, the Caucasus and the Himalayas (Nepal, India, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Tibet, Bhutan…), it also seems to be present in Tanzania, the Andes and Norway.
Shilajit or shilajeet is found around the world under the following many names:
- Shilajit, shilajatu, shilaras, adrija and girija in Sanskrit
- Arakuldzhibol, which means "mountain sweating" in Arabic
- Brag-shun or Bragzhun in Tibet and Mongolia
- Kao-Tui in Burma ("blood of the mountains")
- Although not traditionally used, the names in English are evocative of the nature of the product: asphalt, mineral pitch, bitumen
More commonly it is also called mumie, mumiyo, mummiyo (“mountain tears”) in Russian. In Sanskrit names such as jatu, ushnaja, laksha or niryas indicate its form and consistency as well as its harvest time.
The four types of shilajit
Contrary to what one can sometimes read, there is no better shilajit. The different metals have nothing to do with the medals of a sports competition! Gold shilajit will not be more prestigious than iron shilajit.
Using this belief can lead to charging more for a substance that is no more effective than another. The most commonly found is shilajit containing a higher proportion of iron. It also seems to be the most effective dietary supplement but again, nothing is proven.
Purification of Shilajeet
If the purchase of a non-purified shilajit is strongly discouraged, in particular due to the potential presence of heavy metals (lead, nickel, cadmium, aluminum ...), a shilajit sold commercially by a recognized company should not pose of problem. For this we strongly invite you to consult the analyzes carried out in the laboratory (ours are here) or to request them. They must be recent because carried out on each batch and not once and for all.
The purification is done quite simply with large quantities of water, which makes it possible to separate the insoluble elements by filtration. Then the resin is dried, usually in the sun. More recently and for “industrial” needs, it can be dried with hot air.
Chemical and physical properties
Shilajit from different parts of the globe have similar physical and chemical properties, while their composition varies widely.
60% of unpurified shilajit is water soluble (ours is, as you can see in the reviews) and its pH ranges from 6.2 to 8.2.
It consists of three chemical units:
- Non-humic organic compounds including dibenzo-alpha-pyrones (DBP)
- Dibenzo-alpha-pyrone-chirmoproteins (DCP) containing metal ions, dyestuffs, carotenoids and indigoids
- Metallic humates such as the famous fulvic and humic acids, which we will come back to in detail later.
It has been proven that the effects of shilajit are mainly due to DBPs and fulvic acid.
You know amino acids, but do you know fulvic acid?
According to a 2012 study, shilajit contains on average:
- 50-60% fulvic acid and its equivalents
- 0.3 to 0.4% DBP
- 10 to 30% of DCP
- 10 to 15% minerals
It should be noted that the proportion of fulvic acids varies little from one region to another (15.4% to 21.4%). Thus we can conclude that there is no fundamental difference from one shilajit to another, thus not justifying what we can read here and there, namely that shilajit from high altitudes are much better than those excerpts below.
90% of the minerals composing shilajit are:
The remaining 10% is made up of 80 other minerals, first and foremost sodium and sulfur. The rest of the list is long:
- Benzoic acid, iron, copper, zinc, manganese, magnesium, nickel, potassium, silicon, silver, sodium, barium, sulfur, iodine, strontium, rubidium, cesium, chromium, antimony, vanadium, molybdenum, phosphorus, glycosides, retinol carotenoids, Terpenoids, vitamin A, B, (including B2 and B12), vitamin C, D and E, melanoidin, polyphenols, dibenzo-alpha pyrones, phospholipid triterpenes and phenolic acids, albuminoids, hippuric and oxalic acid, tannic acid and bioflavonoids.
- polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids
Note that the color variations of shilajit are due to the different mineral contents, in particular iron, copper and silver.
The origin of fulvic acids and humic acids
These acids, grouped together under the term humic acid, come from the aggregation of organic matter (plants, shells, etc.) which decompose over time. Thousands of billions of bacteria then come to cut, aggregate and solidify this material. This will then be formed by enzymes, minerals and organic acids. Eventually it will become humus (the natural equivalent of compost). Humus is, as its name suggests, rich in humic substances, particularly humic acid and fulvic acid. This accumulation of humic substances will give shilajit or peat .
Fulvic acid and humic acid each form trace mineral aggregates. The main differences between humic and fulvic acid are:
- Humic acid contains more heavy minerals. Its color is also darker, tending towards brown-black
- Fulvic acid is made up of much smaller particles, the famous trace elements. Its color tends towards yellow.
Both types of acids are extremely important in our diet which is increasingly deficient in minerals and trace elements. The significant presence of trace elements in shilajit makes it a real treasure because it is very rich in easily absorbable trace elements.
Similarly, the trace elements and minerals present in shilajit will be more easily absorbed than colloidal type minerals because they are lighter. (Note: colloidal silver, the most commonly used form, may present certain health hazards).
Often dietary supplements are perceived in our society as a luxury, but SIHO allows you to access high quality shilajit at a reduced price.
The benefits of fulvic and humic acid
The soil is notably composed of minerals and trace elements, in the first place:
Then come more than 200 other compounds, present in trace form. Essential to the growth of plants, we consume them through our diet by ingesting plant and animal products that feed directly on them. We can, of course, also find them in dietary supplements.
Our soils are depleted dramatically. In 50 years, agricultural production has increased by 150% for an increase in surface area of only 12%. A real miracle? Yes, if we only refer to the figures, a short-term disaster if we understand that this incredible increase could only have been achieved with heavy blows of chemical fertilizers.
So our diet is increasingly poor , and empty calories… everywhere. We certainly eat a lot more but we feed ourselves much less well. Intensive selection of high-yielding seeds is largely the cause. Plants grow too quickly and do not have time to fix nutrients. The use of pesticides prevents plants from synthesizing phytonutrients.
Some figures make you dizzy. Since 1950:
- An apple contains a hundred times less vitamin C.
- An orange contains a hundred times less vitamin A
- Meat contains twice as much iron and much less zinc or copper.
- The milk has lost its essential fatty acids.
Much more than calories, we feed on minerals and trace elements (my mother gave us Oligosol, I have bad memories of it and yet… she was right!) that we ingest through plants and meat (animals normally eat plants). But our impoverished soils provide less and less energy .
By feeding on the minerals naturally contained in the soil, fulvic ionic minerals and other nutrients are formed in the plants, which in turn are transformed into enzymes, vitamins and antioxidants. Eating raw thus maximizes the benefits of plants because these elements are not degraded (eating raw has its advantages and disadvantages, we are not entering into the debate here).
Our diet is therefore no longer enough to provide the minerals we so badly need. We will therefore have to resort to food supplements.
In addition to a diet that is poorer in nutrients, we unfortunately have to rely on anti-nutrients that prevent us from absorbing them. These antinutrients are defensive reactions of plants (which, like all living beings, fight for their survival). Failing to be able to flee, they therefore manufacture their own poison. These are present in the following forms:
- Phytates or phytic acid, found in seeds, cereals and legumes. They prevent the absorption of zinc, iron, magnesium and calcium
- Lectins , found in seeds, legumes and cereals. They prevent the absorption of calcium, iron, phosphorus and zinc.
- Oxalates (tea, green cabbage, spinach, salads, etc.) prevent calcium fixation
- Saponins (legumes and cereal supplements) can interfere with normal nutrient absorption.
- Tannins (tea, coffee and legumes) can reduce iron absorption.
- Finally, and this is less known, the glucosinolates present in crucifers (cabbage) can act as a barrier to the absorption of iodine, which is essential in the functioning of the thyroid (lack of iodine and hypothyroidism are often linked).
WARNING: in no case do we recommend eliminating these foods, which are also extremely beneficial to health in many other ways.
As if that were not enough, other factors prevent us from absorbing or assimilating trace elements and minerals correctly:
- disturbed sleep
- Bad nutrition
- Intestinal problems
If all this prevents us from absorbing them correctly, nature is very well done and offers counterparties, which allow us to assimilate them:
- Fulvic acid
These are present in this resin that is shilajit. Yes yes, to us too it seemed incredible.
In addition to their presence in shilajit we can obtain these minerals and trace elements in several ways:
- Synthetic minerals, obtained from natural minerals (since they cannot be created from nothing), extracted and then combined with certain chelating agents. This is the case, for example, of magnesium citrate.
- Minerals contained in clays. We will find them in colloidal form, heavier and more complex than the trace elements contained in plants, therefore less bioavailable.
- Minerals and trace elements present in plants. These are all highly absorbable because they are part of a whole ( totum in Latin), present in a coherent way by the plant.
How to better absorb nutrients?
- Give preference to natural vitamins, minerals and trace elements, present in plants or shilajit when used internally. Synthetic minerals can also help, but buying supplements quickly becomes very expensive.
- Minerals from clays and other colloidal agents make excellent exfoliants, for external use therefore.
- As for the question of using trace elements for the skin, the answer is YES, a hundred times YES because here again highly absorbable. We will then favor the mixture in non-comedogenic oils such as argan oil, hemp, castor or poppy.
Shilajit danger: the problem of heavy metals
The earth contains heavy metals , all of which are more dangerous to health than each other. Dangerous if and only if present in large quantities and if they are in free circulation in our environment. But for the vast majority they are chelated, that is to say attached to other elements, which prevent them from "floating" around us.
Nevertheless, through cosmetic products, deodorants, dental amalgams, denatured food, “polluted” water… some penetrate our organism and settle more or less deeply. When the body is unable to dislodge them, they settle in and create a multitude of problems that can be extremely dangerous for health. Arsenic, cadmium, lead, aluminum and mercury are the most common.
Fulvic acid as well as clays or even chlorella have an ability to chelate (= to bind several atoms) heavy metals so that they are thus expelled from our body. Shilajit seems to be a gentle safe source of chelation because it provides trace elements that would replace these heavy metals. The exact mechanisms explaining the reason for this gentle action, however, remain unexplained.
In an environment where toxic products are increasingly present, performing a regular detox appears to be one of the keys to optimal health. Indeed, apart from aluminum, our body cannot manage to get rid of heavy metals on its own, of which here is the list of the main ones:
These have a deleterious effect on our health, by attaching themselves to the level of the mitochondria which is the mother house of all energy production in the human body. These heavy metals will not only prevent the cells from producing ATP (energy), but will also create more oxidation . Thus accelerated aging (we explain here what aging is) and degraded health.
This is why getting rid of heavy metals as soon as possible is of paramount importance.
Fulvic acid vs shilajit
Fulvic acid is, as you can read in other articles, a blessing for our health. So where is the difference between fulvic acids that we find alone and shilajit?
The answer lies in a few words: shilajit is much more than just a simple, but already wonderful, fulvic acid. It contains many other compounds that make it much more beneficial and assimilable. In fact, fulvic acid has the property of chelating, that is to say, binding the elements together, making them more stable and more absorbable. As part of shilajit fulvic acid will make minerals and trace elements more easily assimilated.
To put it simply: trace elements + minerals + fulvic acid = shilajit
On top of that, and like any extract, fulvic acid, which is found alone in commerce, is not found alone...in nature! And yes you have to extract it. And there each his secret, his recipe (there are dozens) but these secrets are never natural. Chemical processes are implemented, which can make their use more delicate and much less effective than what mother nature offers us in a 100% natural product, purified with water.
What is shilajit extract?
Extracts… they are found everywhere, in all dietary supplements. Extracts have several strengths in their game:
- easily quantifiable, they make it possible to dose the formulas of medicines or food supplements to the nearest mg. Thus they can meet the strict standards of the various world health agencies (FDA in the United States, ANSES in France) as to the effectiveness of a product. This is from our point of view the main advantage of extracts. Overdose impossible and therefore limited side effects.
- They can be filed by companies. Any company with (a lot of) money can test from an extract and after many tests validating its beneficial effects be deposited and resold with great profits.
- They can also be put in different forms (diluted in water, syrup, alcohol, dry extract, powder…) and thus mixed with other…extracts. These extracts will most often be mixed with other materials harmful to health (silicon dioxide, magnesium stearate, etc.).
But they are also composed of a single molecule (the one that is thought to be the most effective, like curcumin in turmeric) and at this point we necessarily lose the benefits of the totum (= whole plant ) which adds compounds in order to thrive. So it is possible that shilajit extracts contain less minerals. Nevertheless, they have the advantage of being able to be more easily consumed, the consumer not having to measure his shilajit.
However, be careful with powdered extracts. A powder is easily transformable, you can add whatever you want to it. Thus it will always be preferable to consume pure shilajit, in liquid or resin form, which will ensure that you have an unmodified product.
Posology, dosage and side effects
Dosage / Dosage
1 to 3 times a day.
In the morning - on an empty stomach
At noon - 1 hour before eating
In the evening - no earlier than 2 hours after eating
Daily: take 10 days, then break 5 days, then repeat 10 days again
For chronic diseases: repeat the 10-day course for 4-5 times with a 5-day break each time
For particularly serious illnesses: taken for 30 days, then a 10-day break and a further 30-day intake.
For internal use, dilute the product in a small amount of water, milk or juice in a small glass.
Shilajit: when to take it?
We advise you to take the resin ideally on an empty stomach in the morning then one hour before lunch then two hours before going to bed. Note that the fulvic acid contained in shilajit will increase the effects of what you take in a 2 hour interval.
How to consume it?
In Ayurveda, shilajeet is eaten with milk. However, you can also absorb it with hot water (not boiling) and infuse it for a few minutes. Mixing it with honey is very nice.
The various studies show that taking this Ayurvedic resin does not present any danger, even at high doses.
With a dosage of two grams per day, administered for 45 days, no changes were noted either physically or hematologically. No changes were observed in weight, blood pressure and pulse.
Likewise, it produced no significant changes in hemoglobin levels and no changes were observed in creatinine, uric acid, protein, albumin or alkaline phosphatase levels.
This study suggests that shilajeet is not harmful to the liver and kidneys. On the other hand, it improves cardiovascular health by reducing triglyceride levels, cholesterol, LDL and VLDL cholesterol levels and improves HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol) levels. This also suggests that it has cardioprotective properties.
However, do not take this Ayurvedic resin if you suffer from sickle cell anemia, hemochromatosis (too much iron in the blood) or thalassemia. Stop its consumption in case of skin rash, increased heart rate or dizziness. The nocebo effect also exists...
Our shilajit recipes
This article was written from the south of India, in an Ayurvedic (or traditional Indian medicine) center in Kerala
Milk or vegetable milk: 40cl
Black tea: 1 to 2 tbsp
Sugar/honey (optional): 1cc
Cinnamon: ½ tsp
Cloves: ½ tsp
Star anise / star anise: ½ tsp
Ginger: ½ tsp
Pepper: 1 pinch
Nutmeg: 1 pinch
- Mix all the spices in the milk and water, boil for 2 minutes
- After 30s add the tea (the liquid will be around 90°c) and let it infuse for 2 to 5 minutes depending on your taste
- Add sugar/honey and shilajit.
- Treat yourself
Shilajit contains collagen, essential for skin elasticity. This helps neutralize harmful external effects and age-related changes, so the skin can slow down aging, repair wounds and infections - without spending too much money. Shilajit is effective for cellulite, wrinkles, age spots, freckles, discolored and loose skin.
Shilajit is an integral part of many recipes that help maintain healthy, fresh skin. It is no coincidence that external beauty comes from internal good health. Here's how:
REVITALIZING MASK for HAIR
Hair can be revitalized with the following preparation: mix 4 grams of shilajit with a tablespoon of honey. Then add a raw egg yolk and a tablespoon of burdock oil. The mask is applied to the scalp along the entire length of the hair; after one hour, wash with lukewarm water and apply a mild shampoo.
To be renewed twice a month
Against hair loss: shilajit-enriched shampoo
Mix 5g of shilajit and a little water with your usual shampoo. Leave to stand for two days in the dark. Then use your shampoo as usual. You should feel the first effects after six weeks.
For facial skin
Shilajit has an anti-inflammatory effect, it prevents acne and rashes. It has a rejuvenating effect by improving skin elasticity and smoothing fine lines. It also has a restorative effect, making wrinkles less visible. It also has a cleansing effect, freeing the pores of dirt and toxins.
We advise you to apply the shilajit mask once every 10 days, for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Mix 5g of shilajit with a tablespoon of hot water
- add this mixture to 100g of your usual cream
And that's all !
Make shilajit (acne) cream
Dissolve 15 g of resin or powder in a spoonful of water. Meanwhile, melt 40 g of unsalted butter and 20 g of beeswax in a bain-marie. Once the mixture has cooled add the shilajit and stir in a teaspoon of agave and a tablespoon of aloe juice will see. The resulting cream is intended for daily use - applied in a thin layer once a day. Instead of a mixture of oil and wax, you can also use ready-made baby cream, but it is better to use natural ingredients.
For skin diseases, burns
The resin is useful for bleeding, burns, dermatitis, cuts, purulent wounds and rashes, stretch marks, psoriasis, eczema or non-healing ulcerative wounds.
Particularly useful for first and second degree burns. Mix 5 g of resin or powder with two tablespoons of rose oil. After mixing, the mixture is left to stand for a day, after which the burned area is treated every eight hours. At the same time, the mummy is also taken internally to stimulate the regeneration of damaged tissues. It is recommended to take a dose of 0.2 g of skimmed milk once a day for three weeks.