Benefits of Shilajit
Known by names like Indian Viagra and Reserve of Youth, Shilajit has been one of the most widely used supplements in Ayurveda. Unlike other Ayurvedic remedies that are derived from fresh or dried plant material, it is a naturally occurring substance consisting of a number of different chemical compounds.
What is Shilajit?
Shilajit is a black tar-like substance that comes from the mountains of the Himalayas. It is a mineral pitch that oozes out from between rocks at very high temperatures.
The Hindi word “shilajit” is derived from the Sanskrit “shilajatu”, which means “the conqueror of mountains and destroyer of weakness”. This name is absolutely fitting, as Shilajit is one of the strongest adaptogens that exist.
Shilajit has been used in Ayurvedic medicine since ancient times. It is known to support the immune system, reduce stress, and promote longevity.
Characteristics of Shilajit
Shilajit is a black, viscous, semi-solid, and amorphous deposit that forms at the base of the Himalayan mountains in the ultra-tropical environment near the Tibet-Himalaya border. It is a complex compound consisting of humic substances (fulvic acid and humic acid) and many minerals.
It is a microbial-like substance that forms from the aggregation of bacteria and fungi in highly condensed, reduced and oxidized soil with high carbon and low oxygen content. Trifolium repens and Euphorbia royleana are a few species of plants that can contribute to Shilajit.
Many scientific studies indicate that it exhibits adaptogenic, immunomodulatory, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-dyslipidemic properties.
What are the benefits of using Shilajit?
Shilajit has been aptly referred to as one of the panaceas of traditional medicine. It has many trace elements and minerals essential for the optimal functioning of the human body.
- Helps in high-altitude related problems: You can face hypoxia, acute mountain sickness, and cerebral and pulmonary oedema at high altitudes. Other general ailments like insomnia, lethargy, lack of appetite, and body aches may also occur. When a person ascends to high-altitudes from a low-lying area, they may experience these ailments. Shilajit benefits as a health rejuvenator to overcome altitude-related ailments.
- Anti-oxidant properties: Shilajit demonstrates a broad spectrum of biological activities such as being antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. As a result, it can be an excellent anti-diabetic and anti-ulcerogenic supplement. It also improves the strength of bones and can help treat joint pains, arthritis, and various other issues of the bones.
- Alzheimer’s Disease: Alzheimer's is a progressive neurological ailment that causes the death of brain cells. Many studies suggest that Shilajit can help prevent or delay the progress of Alzheimer's disease. Its fulvic acid content helps with cognitive health by preventing tau protein accumulation.
Shilajit Benefits for Diabetes
Diabetes occurs when your blood sugar levels, also called blood glucose, are not normal. This is caused as a result of the pancreas not producing enough insulin, the hormone that is responsible for the regulation of blood glucose. Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes are believed to be a result of genetic or environmental factors.
Shilajit has been recommended for treating diabetes mellitus in Ayurveda. You can control the usual symptoms accompanying diabetes like the excessive flow of urine (polyuria) and thirst (polyphagia) with it. It can be used as a dietary supplement for modulating blood sugar levels, as well as for preventing complications.
Shilajit is particularly beneficial for the urinary system, where it aids in releasing kapha stagnation and toning vata. Additionally, it has a substantial impact on the ambuvaha srotas, which are the body's water channels, and the medas dhatu, which is the body's fat tissue. It therefore aids in maintaining a healthy weight and blood sugar levels.
Shilajit Benefits for Men
Ageing can lead to a drop in testosterone levels in men. Lower testosterone levels can lead to a number of problems like low sex drive, fatigue, depression, and weakness. Ayurveda has used Shilajit for centuries to help men regain vigour and vitality. Purified Shilajit helps to increase testosterone levels in men.
Ayurveda also advocates its use for male infertility. Sperm motility refers to the ability of the sperm in a sample to move adequately - an important part of fertility. Regular intake of Shilajit can help increase sperm count and sperm motility in men. Therefore, it can be helpful for people who have trouble conceiving.
Shilajit Benefits for Females
An increased number of women are entering the workforce and leading stressful lives. Shilajit can be an amazing secret to longevity and stress resistance for such women.
Anaemia is a serious health condition caused by an iron deficiency in the body. The deficiency may be due to loss of blood by injury or menstruation, a low-iron diet, or low absorption of iron in the body.
Coldness in extremities, lethargy, weakness, headache, and improper heartbeat are some of the symptoms of Anaemia. Anaemia is common in women in the UK and often accompanies other health conditions and ailments.
Shilajit can help increase levels of iron in our body. Studies have shown that it is rich in iron content. Therefore, it can be a great supplement to your diet if you are anaemic. It can also help maintain normal iron levels in the blood for healthy women.
Traditional Use of Shilajit in Ayurveda
Shilajit is an important ayurvedic medicine, given its characteristics as a Rasayana. It has been used for its health benefits such as an increase in longevity and delayed ageing.
Shilajit is recognised for promoting the well-being and operation of the ovaries and testes in the reproductive system (shukra dhatu). Shilajit's high mineral concentration also makes it a powerful bloog (rakta dhatu) and bone (asthi dhatu) ally, supporting the development of strong, resilient bones and the nourishing of healthy blood.
Ayurveda provides the following specifications for Shilajit:
Rasa (taste): pungent, bitter, salty, and astringent
Vipaka (post-digestion taste): Pungent
Virya (action): Hot/Warming
All three doshas—vata, pitta, and kapha—are thought to be balanced by shilajit. It can aggravate pitta if used excessively owing to its warming tendency.
Traditionally, people in Nepal and Northern India consume it with milk as a supplement to their breakfast. It is an important part of the mountaineering culture. Sherpas claim that it plays an important role in their longevity and strength. 
Modern Scientific Research on Shilajit
Shilajit has been used in Ayurveda for millennia and has multiple benefits. Recently, scientific studies have tried to test the efficacy of these claims.
- "Clinical Evaluation of Purified Shilajit on Testosterone Levels in Healthy Volunteers." - https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26395129/
- "Safety and Efficacy of Shilajit" - https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23733436/
- "Shilajit: A Natural Phytocomplex with Potential Procognitive Activity" - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3296184/
- “Clinical evaluation of spermatogenic activity of processed Shilajit in oligospermia” - https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20078516/
- “Shilajit: A panacea for high-altitude problems” - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2876922/#CIT17
- “Shilajit in management of iron deficiency anaemia” - https://www.researchgate.net/publication/288266508_Shilajit_in_management_of_iron_deficiency_anaemia
How to take Shilajit as a supplement
You can take Shilajit as a supplement either in powder or tablet form. You can also find it in various beauty and skincare products. If you are using it as a supplement, start with a low dose, as it can be powerful. The recommended dose is 300 to 500 mg per day.
Using Shilajit Powder
Boil a glass of milk in a pan and add 200mg of Shilajit powder to it. Stir the pan until the mixture becomes consistent. You can drink this concoction once it is at room temperature.
You can also take it directly with a glass of warm water, or mix it with your favourite smoothie.
Using Shilajit Tablets
Since Shilajit has a very intense flavour and scent, many people favour tablets over raw Shilajit. The usual recommendation is to take 1-2 pills once or twice daily, but we strongly advise you to speak with a doctor to get the right dosage for you. The dosage of tablets also depends on the concentration of Shilajit in each tablet.
Using Shilajit Capsules
Capsules tend to have a higher bioavailability. Therefore, capsules make it easier for the ingredients to be absorbed into your bloodstream. You can take Hesh’s Shilajit Vegan Capsules twice a day after meals for the best results. Take the capsules with a glass of water or warm milk.
Is it safe to take Shilajit?
Shilajit is safe to take, but it can have side effects. If you have high blood pressure or are pregnant or breastfeeding, consult with a doctor first.
If you have pre-existing health conditions like sickle cell anaemia, hemochromatosis, and thalassemia, it is not recommended to take Shilajit unless advised by a doctor.
It is possible to be allergic to Shilajit. Stop taking it if you develop symptoms of allergies like headaches, irregular heartbeat, nausea, or dizziness.