Shilajit: Uses, Benefits, Doses and Side Effects
The name Shilajit is derived from two words, Shilajatu and Ati-Ruchikasad. Shilajit means "Conqueror of mountains and destroyer of weakness," while Ruchikaasad means "most superior amongst ruchis or purest form of organic matter." Some also translate the name as "the Mover of mountains."
Shilajit has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for 3000 years. One of the reasons it has gained popularity over recent times is that it does not have any side effects or toxicity.
Shilajit is known to be one of nature's greatest gifts to humanity. It gives energy, stamina, virility, longevity, cures many severe ailments, and is considered a panacea for diseases.
Shilajit is found in the mountains, particularly the Himalayan Mountains (Himvats). The rock-like substance oozes out of cracks in rocks due to extreme weathering by sun, wind, and rain. It has also been reported from volcanoes that are yet to erupt.
Once shilajit seeps out of its rocky crevice, it gets exposed to the elements, air heat, etc. This turns it into a dark brown or blackish color that is semi-solid but still has fluidity. Shilajit also contains fulvic acid, which comes from the earth's surface, thus giving shilajit different properties than the fulvic acid in the soil.
The majority of the Shilajit that is commercially available today comes from Nepal and Tibet. However, recently some have been found in the United States and Canada. The one from America is known to be contaminated with heavy metals and other impurities. Many shilajit products in India have synthetic additives, so it pays to be careful when choosing a good brand.
Shilajit contains about 85% minerals, vitamins, amino acids, etc., and 10-15% fulvic acid. Fulvic acid is currently believed to be the bioactive component of Shilajit which results in all the health benefits associated with this herbal supplement.
What is shilajit used for
Mountain climbers have used it for centuries to increase energy and improve endurance. It's known as 'the rejuvenator' in the Himalayas, where natives travel great distances seeking this rare herb, packing it into goatskins for transport back down the mountain.
It is widely believed that Shilajit is a powerful antioxidant, among other things. The scientific research on this subject, however, is inconclusive. One study shows that it may help with learning and memory; another suggests that shilajit can help regenerate nerves (the useful life of nerves is estimated to be around 50 years). The jury's still out about what shilajit does precisely, but there are several claims about its health benefits:
Health Benefits of Shilajit
1) Shilajit improves oxygen utilization.
2) Shilajit stimulates the formation of new blood cells and activates your body's natural defense mechanisms.
3) Shilajit is a potent antioxidant that can protect you from ailments such as arthritis, cancer, kidney disease, and neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson's and Alzheimer's.
4) Shilajit can help with diabetes by acting as an antioxidant that helps remove free radicals from your system.
5) It may also be effective in treating asthma. In one study involving ten adults, those who took shilajit experienced less resistance when breathing air into their lungs. However, in another study on children, there was no improvement in lung function after taking shilajit for six months.
6) Shilajit can help with erectile dysfunction, according to at least one study done in Siberia on menage 40-62. After taking shilajit, 100 percent of the study's participants reported improved performance while using 50-100mg twice daily. The effects are thought to be due to three alkaloids found in the herb: dibenzo alpha pyrones/Tetracyclic Benzpyrones (DBPs), triptanthrin, and triptans may have positive effects similar to Viagra.
7) It protects bone marrow against toxic damage caused by chemotherapy, according to a 2014 study published in Oncotarget, a journal focusing on the effects of molecular targets in cancer research.
To date, there have been no clinical studies conducted on humans to determine what dosage is necessary for any particular ailment, nor are there any standardization procedures in place to ensure high quality or consistent product. If you're looking into shilajit supplements, choose a good brand that's tried and tested by other users. One of the most valuable features of this herb is its natural synergism with several other well-known herbs such as Rhodiola Rosea, ashwagandha, Panax ginseng, and holy basil.
In addition to taking it by itself, people typically consume it with one or more of these herbs to enhance anabolism while suppressing catism, which increases strength while simultaneously decreasing fatigue, according to preliminary research.
Should You Take Shilajit
Shilajit is also found in combination with other substances like animal extracts and plant extracts, but most of the studies conducted so far have only tested it on its own.
The best way to approach shilajit is with an open mind because there's still no conclusive scientific evidence about what it does. There are many stories of success when combined with certain supplements or when used for specific purposes; however, there are just as many that don't work at all.
Finding out if shilajit works for you boils down to experimentation. One thing's for sure, though: its numerous health benefits make it worth a try.
Shilajit is a substance that has been used since time immemorial in Indian ayurvedic medicine to promote strength and vitality. It originates from the rocks of the Himalayan mountains, where it seeps through fissures due to weathering. While it has led to an extensive history of safe usage in India, scientific study of its effects on humans is minimal.
How long does it take for shilajit to work
Shilajit is an exudation that oozes out layers of rocks in the Himalayas, and it contains a wide range of organic and inorganic compounds. It has been used as a rejuvenator and an adaptogen for centuries in India, Tibet, China, and Russia. There are many claims about shilajit's benefits to health, but it's challenging to be clear about these effects because studies have been poorly designed. In this article, we look at shilajit properties and try to explain how it might work.
Shilajit is known as mineral pitch or black asphalt because of its appearance when fresh, dark brown, or black with a tar-like consistency; hence its name means 'conqueror of mountains and destroyer of weakness. It is mainly composed of plants, animals, soil minerals (including humic acids), and bioactive amines.
It's collected in Nepal, Tibet, and Bhutan by Monpas or Kuirey local people gathered it from rocks along the Himalayan mountains where there is no vegetation. They make cuts on the rocks to release shilajit, which slowly flows out like black molasses; this process takes about ten days to 2 months, after which it becomes a semi-solid substance.
In comparison with other herbal supplements, shilajit contains a wide range of ingredients, including many different plant materials and soil microbes. These include organic acids such as beta-sitosterol, dibenzo alpha pyrones, epi-beta-ecdysone, and a wide range of alkaloids found in plants which many have therapeutic activity. A small amount of oil is also present.
Uses and Risks
Shilajit has been used as an herbal medicine for rejuvenating, sexual dysfunction, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory health applications. As well as diabetes and stress-related problems such as anxiety and depression.
It's thought that the dibenzo alpha pyrones may be responsible for some of shilajit's beneficial effects through their ability to stimulate the release of growth hormone from the hypothalamus gland. It has been reported recently that shilajit inhibits platelet aggregation and enhances fibrinolysis, which may be a risk factor for some cardiovascular problems.
Shilajit has been given to both animals and humans for its rejuvenating properties. There were side effects such as headaches, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, hypertension, and lower extremity oedema in some cases. However, in this one case, shilajit was shown to decrease platelet aggregation, which may benefit those at risk from thrombosis. Any long-term toxicity data are absent; however, it's recommended that pregnant women avoid taking shilajit due to the possible mutagenic activity of some components.
Although the market for Siberian ginseng (Eleutherococcus senticosuss), a similar adaptogen with a reputation for improving stamina, was bogged down with exaggerated health promotion, shilajit seems to have avoided this fate.
Shilajit is claimed to be an adaptogen because of the definition given by the Russian scientist Dardymov in 1969, namely 'a substance preventing illness or death following substantial physical or mental stress'.
Although there are no scientific studies that have taken place on humans to establish whether it does adapt to stress so that resistance or immunity is raised, many animal studies show such effects.
The way it might work as an adaptogen is not known. Still, dibenzo alpha pyrones and several chemical constituents such as beta-sitosterol, epi-beta-ecdone, and dibenzo alpha pyrone have been shown to stimulate the neural system, which may be responsible for this.
It's also promoted as an antioxidant, and increased concentrations of catalase, glutathione peroxidase, and superoxide dismutase were found in animals given Siberian ginseng.
Other effects include anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer activity because it has immune-boosting properties through increasing lymphocytes and proliferating cells involved in the immune response.
It can therefore be used to boost both humoral immunity (mediated by antibodies)and cell-mediated immunity. There are some excellent reviews on the biological effects of shilajit. If you want further information about its health benefits, I won't go into more detail here.
At present, there are no legally approved health claims for shilajit in the USA and Europe. However, we don't know whether it has any side effects or drug interactions.
How to take shilajit
It's not hard to find out how to take shilajit; numerous sources talk about this substance, including its history as well as what you can expect from taking it. However, a little bit of research can go a long way in helping you learn about this substance so that you will gain the most benefit from your shilajit capsules or tablets.
1) Look for Certified Shilajit Supplements
One of the first things that people need to know is that not all supplements and extracts are equal; some accessories might claim to be made with shilajit, but they may contain minimal amounts of this substance – if any – because they're using an impure form. Furthermore, there's also a massive range of different prices for supplements and extracts, which means it's essential for people who want high-quality shilajit supplements to look for supplements certified by an organization such as the National Sanitation Foundation or NSF. These certifications mean that the product in question has been tested and meets specific quality standards, which is helpful for people who want to know how to take shilajit responsibly.
2) Take Only the Recommended Dosage
One of the essential things about shilajit is that you should only take the recommended dosage to avoid putting your health at risk. Some manufacturers might claim their products are "natural," but they still have active ingredients within them, so if you take more than what's recommended on the label, you could face some side effects. Furthermore, even though shilajit is a natural substance, it's also a potent one which means that taking too much could cause some problems.
3) Take Shilajit on an Empty Stomach
When you take shilajit supplements or extracts, you'll want to take them at least two hours after you've had any food, so they have time to absorb properly. Most experts also recommend that you accept these capsules with water. Still, if your stomach is going to be empty for a couple of hours, then tea would probably be better if there were any adverse interactions between the tea and the supplement. What's more important is that you don't eat anything within two hours of taking a shilajit pill because it will delay absorption into your body.
4) Be Aware of the Time Frame
When you take shilajit, it moves into your body and then moves out again. Therefore, most people want to know how long they should be taking this substance to get the most significant benefit possible. The consensus concerning time is that you should expect to take shilajit for up to 6 months, but you shouldn't go beyond six months because, after six months, there's no evidence of additional benefits with continued use. Furthermore, past studies also suggest that using this supplement daily could be dangerous in some cases.
5) Don't Take Shilajit if You're Pregnant or Breastfeeding
This one goes without saying because some supplements and herbs are not safe to use during pregnancy or breastfeeding. Therefore, if you're pregnant or planning on getting pregnant, then you should stay away from shilajit because it could hurt your unborn child.
6) Know the Possible Side Effects
Even though this is a natural supplement, there can be some side effects with taking shilajit, so people want to know how to handle it responsibly. For example, some studies have shown that people who have taken too much of this supplement for an extended period could experience headaches and insomnia. In addition, some individuals might experience mild digestive upset after taking this product for a short time, but this typically stops soon after they stop using the product.
Some research has also shown that there could be some hormonal changes for people who take shilajit for an extended period, so if you're planning on taking this product for several months, you'll want to factor in these possible hormonal effects. Furthermore, there's no proof that shilajit is safe for children or pets, so it should not be given to either one.
Finally, even though the production process can remove heavy metals from the supplement, some studies have shown that there may be traces of mercury left behind, which means that individuals with particular sensitivities might experience a reaction after using this supplement.
The Bottom Line
Overall, knowing how to take shilajit responsibly is essential because this natural substance does have the potential of causing adverse side effects if people take too much of it too frequently.