There’s plenty of resources online that talk about shilajit and its benefits. Simply typing in Shilajit in Google reveals a wealth of information about the resin, its use, the many claimed shilajit benefits, and the science done to understand the substance and its advantages to animal, and human health. But not everyone is truthful about its many qualities, neither are people honest about what makes shilajit wonderful. Did you know that over 95% of all the “shilajit” products sold online are either fake or imitations? Did you know that fulvic acid is not what makes shilajit incredible? In this article, we will try to give you everything you need to know about shilajit and why you should be mindful of what the manufacturers say about their product.
What is Shilajit?
Shilajit is a naturally occurring biogenic stimulant made from medicinal plants, fermenting naturally into shilajit bearing rock, without human intervention. Resin biomass with colors ranging from black to light brown oozes from shilajit-bearing rocks. The resin is what is known as shilajit. Shilajit rock needs processing and proper processing and the art of it is what can make a phenomenal health-boosting resin, or completely destroy the raw material for shilajit.
Shilajit contains a rich mix of nutrients, trace elements, humic and fulvic substances, and natural antioxidants our bodies easily absorb. Together, all of these nutrients and substances offer a wide range of benefits. Note that only genuine purified shilajit resin demonstrates the health benefits that made shilajit popular. Authentic Shilajit is in a resin formulation, the way it naturally occurs in nature. It does not occur in nature as a powder, oil and definitely not in a tablet or pill. I will explain this later. Next, we’ll explain some of its well-known uses in traditional medicine.
The use of shilajit dates back thousands of years. Ayurveda, Siddha, and Unani, European Holistic Systems, all recognize its wonderful health benefits. These health systems all consider it as a “Destroyer of Weakness” and routinely given by health practitioners to alleviate fatigue. It had the characteristics of a Rayasana, which, in Ayurveda, means a select group of Ayurvedic herbs promoting longevity, rejuvenation, and wellness. Uses include arresting fatigue, rejuvenating the body, and promoting healthy aging. Modern science sees shilajit as a biogenic stimulant, which improves metabolic processes in the body.
Shilajit gets credit for numerous health benefits and modern scientific approaches validate some of these benefits. Shilajit use continues today in traditional Indian medicine as a potent herbal remedy in its own or as an ingredient of certain formulations. Shilajit use spans many countries. From Africa to Europe, Russia all the way to Pakistan, it is a well known herbal formulation. This led to people calling it many names like moomiyo, mumijo, mumie, and mineral pitch. In this article, we will be using the names interchangeably.
Early users used shilajit and frequently mixed it with other herbs to create a powerful herbal tonic, for common colds, stress, and to improve energy. Others enjoyed it with milk, sugar, and honey. Children in Nepal and India took it with milk during breakfast with the sweet taste of milk, sugar and honey masking the bitter taste of shilajit.
There are claims that a Sherpa’s diet includes shilajit, and may be responsible for their extreme feats of strength. Sherpas belong to a group of natives residing in high altitude places surrounding the Himalayas.
Analysis done on Sherpa muscle cells reveal that the mitochondria of the muscle tissue utilized ATP and oxygen far better. Shilajit has been known to discourage hypoxia, and various studies suggest beneficial effects in mitochondrial function, and the study may add credibility to the claim. Sherpas, consume it regularly and may explain their extraordinary feats of strength. Of course, other factors may play a role, too; for instance, genetics.
Ashless Humic Acids & Fulvic Acid
Fulvic acid (FA) gets credit for most of the excellent health benefits of shilajit. That is why many companies hype up their FA content, believing it makes their formulations better. In truth, FA levels do not indicate quality but actually suggest the opposite. The higher the fulvic acid content, the more likely it is an imitation or fake. An authentic shilajit does not contain fulvic acid as high as 20%. More often it is about 5% to 10% only. Be cautious if the brand you are looking at has over 20% “standardized fulvic acids.”
We do not hear much about Ashless humic acids but with fulvic acid, along with other components, make shilajit a powerhouse of benefits. The presence of ashless humic acids in a certificate of authenticity adds a badge of genuineness to the product. It is actually ashless humic acids that you should look for when analyzing a product’s certificate of authenticity. These organic substances incorporate the di benzo-alpha pyrones, which helps in nutrient transport.
The truth is, you can find the same bioactives on humus. Fulvic acid, for instance, has fertilizer applications and is a nutritious component for proper plant health. The quality of FAs found in shilajit is significantly better. Bear in mind that the majority of the scientific studies done with shilajit use authentic resin. The type of medicinal plants, the microorganisms involved in fermenting those plants, the perfect climate conditions, altitude, and moisture levels and duration has to be highly specific for the biomass to form.
There are numerous benefits to using shilajit. Modern science has validated plenty, but we still have a lot to learn about the resin. We can only do so through extensive research and large-scale clinical research.
The following are well-known benefits of using shilajit:
- Quality nutrient and mineral supplement
- Replenishes electrolyte loss
- Boost food nutrient absorption
- Maintains and promotes efficient energy utilization
- Promotes a healthy and responsive immune system
- Promotes a natural resilience to stress
- Encourages bone and muscle repair
- Amplifies the effects of herbs
Helps Avoid Vitamin and Mineral Deficiencies
Our ever-changing lifestyles and busy work schedules make it difficult for us to follow a healthy diet. Not that it is any of our faults; most of the food found at your local grocery is either heavily processed or just downright unhealthy — foods that have a lower than desirable nutrient density. Eating these foods regularly will lead to vitamin and mineral deficiencies. The US government understood that these processed foods were lacking in nutrients, and to address the situation, they fortified foods to improve nutrient and mineral quantity. The move led to a massive decrease in vitamin and nutrient-related diseases. But, these food items still lack nutrient diversity, are calorie-dense, rich in sugar, salt, and other ingredients that are unhealthy long term.
Organically grown and ethically raised food sources are the best way to go. But, there is no assurance that you will get enough vitamins and minerals even with whole food. Soil mineral content has decreased substantially, meaning that the whole foods may not contain the number of nutrients they used to have before.
You get the added nutrient and mineral benefit when you take shilajit. It is rich in nutrients, vitamins, organic compounds, amino acids, and trace minerals. It can take the role of a multivitamin and mineral supplement. Learn more about the trace elements Purblack contains, send us an email, and we would be happy to send you our elemental quantification sheet, which lists all elements found in a dose of shilajit.
Replenish Electrolyte Loss
The resin is rich in minerals helpful for maintaining electrolyte balance, which explains why it is becoming a popular workout supplement. Electrolyte imbalance may cause fatigue, diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, palpitations. Shilajit contains a high amount of sodium, phosphorus, potassium, including other trace minerals that benefit the body. Taking in a reasonable amount dissolved in pure water before and after workouts will help keep you hydrated.
Boost Nutrient Absorption
In-plant nutrition, fulvic acid assists the attraction and binding of nutrient molecules, in a process called photosynthesis. The same nutrient transport benefit works in our bodies too.
Quality fulvic acid found only in shilajit helps the body transport these nutrients after digestion to each cell. Naturally occurring vitamins, amino acids, and minerals in the resin benefit from fulvic acid, and assist the body transport nutrients all over the body, efficiently. Take note that we are talking about the FAs in shilajit and not those found in humus.
Improved Energy & Utilization
Improved nutrient uptake also enhances energy use, for nutrients that play a role in energy production. Like we mentioned above, promoting longevity and improving energy are two of the top reasons why early Ayurvedic practitioners favor shilajit for those with fatigue and the elderly. Various scientific studies support this claim. Regular consumption of shilajit encourages optimal ATP production and use, allowing biological processes to function more efficiently since power is readily available. This benefits the elderly since efficient energy use by the body declines with age.
Effective energy production offers other benefits. You will feel hungry less, and you will be won’t get tired easily. Your body will use oxygen better as well, allowing you to do more workouts before fatigue sets in. The efficient use of food also encourages your body to suppress unwanted cravings for sugary foods. It might even help you lose weight.
Maintains Healthy Response to Inflammation
Early Ayurveda healers gave shilajit to those with weak immunity. Regular intake helps support a robust immune system, and at the same time, promote non-specific healthy responses to various forms of inflammation.
Resilience to Stress
Shilajit is a popular adaptogenic aid, meaning that it helps the user to cope with various non-specific stressors. Our hectic lifestyles demand so much from us physically and mentally; thus, shilajit may help us deal with our day to day lives. It can improve your sleep by helping your body naturally recalibrate its circadian rhythm. Shilajit encourages the body to reacquire its natural flow and rhythm, ultimately allowing us to feel more grounded, calm, and tuned.
Encourages Muscle and Bone Repair
In Ayurveda, milk and shilajit were given to those with broken bones and to children for healthy strong bones. Clinical studies are limited, but Soviet Scientists did substantial research on the subject. The results add support that purified shilajit promotes bone and tissue repair. Various animal-based studies also add support to this claim adding credence to the long-held claim that shilajit benefits muscle and bone repair.
One of the valuable characteristics of shilajit is its ability to amplify the benefits of herbs. Shilajit is a Yogavaha or a synergistic substance that boosts the effects of other elements and substances. Shilajit is used in combination with other herbs like Ashwagandha, Holy Basil, and Ginseng. Fulvic acid’s ability to effectively transport nutrients may be the factor that helps amplify the effects of these herbs. Early practitioners, no doubt, were right all along to combine pure natural shilajit with other substances to get the most out of both.
Shilajit Benefits for Women
There are no detailed studies that support any female-specific shilajit effect or benefit. But many women report that they feel calmer and stronger when they consume shilajit. Women who need to improve their libido and are going through menopause report major improvements as well.
In our opinion, the vibrant mix of nutrients and the quality bioactives found in shilajit ultimately allows the body to function well regardless of age. As a powerful adaptogenic substance, shilajit benefits women by helping them deal with stress better. The quality of nutrients in shilajit benefit women in other ways. For instance, nutrients present in the resin can fill any nutritional gaps, especially those with unique circumstances like pregnancy, lactation, adolescence, and menopause.
Shilajit Benefits for Men
Shilajit garnered so much popularity that it was also given to men to aid libido. Men and women both used it as an aphrodisiac. With healthy body functions, the body can produce healthy levels of testosterone, which in turn promotes healthy fertility but no study supports the use of shilajit as an aphrodisiac.
Potential Contraindications & Interaction
Shilajit may have contraindications. If you have any of these conditions, we suggest consulting your physician first before taking it regardless of form.
- Phenylketonuria (PKU) – Shilajit contains a tiny amount of Phenylalanine. It is an amino acid that is naturally assimilated and utilized by the body, but those who have Phenylketonuria cannot do so. The amino acid accumulates in the body, which can lead to neurological problems. PKU diets are very restrictive when it comes to phenylalanine content. Be careful to avoid PKU.
- Uric Acid & Gout – Very high doses of shilajit taken daily may elevate uric acid in the blood. Gout causes pain and in worse cases, causes the development of kidney stones and hard mass protrusions around the bone joints. If you have high uric acid, consult a physician first before taking shilajit. It is interesting to note that some studies suggest that shilajit promotes healthy pain response and may help with the management of joint health.
- Diabetes – Studies suggest that shilajit use can help promote healthy blood sugar levels. Others claim that it may lower blood sugar levels beyond normal, which in turn, can lead to hypoglycemia. At the same time, it helps promote healthy blood pressure levels through healthy blood sugar and lipid parameters — something to take note of when you are using blood pressure-lowering medication.
- Nursing & pregnancy – There are no detailed studies regarding the effects of shilajit use among nursing and pregnant women. Preliminary studies using mice suggest no detrimental impact on fetal development and neither did it produce any undesirable effects in the mother mice. Consult a physician to be sure if it is safe for you.
- Hemochromatosis – Shilajit is a good source of elements, including iron. If you have hemochromatosis (excess iron in the blood), you should consult a physician first if a 250mg dose of shilajit contains too much iron for your specific case.
- If undergoing hormone therapy, shilajit may promote healthy hormone levels like testosterone. Scientific studies suggest that shilajit actively supports natural hormone levels. Therefore, it is best avoided if the goal is underwise.
- Statin Drugs – Shilajit helps promote healthy lipid profiles, it may improve the action of statin drugs. Consult a doctor first if the resin is right for you.
You would be hard-pressed to find scientific data and studies that argue shilajit benefits as detrimental to human health. Always be on the safe side. Consult a physician if you are unsure. We also recommend researching the Pubmed database for the keyword shilajit, in order to find out more science in regards to shilajit benefits.
Poor processing, presence of high heavy metals levels and other contaminants are common concerns people have when it comes to shilajit, and we believe these factors cause the black shilajit side effects some people experience.
The Charaka Samhita mentions:
“impure shilajit can cause burning sensation, fatigue, aggravation of Pitta dosha, blood disorders, derangement of the metabolic fire known as agni, fainting episodes and constipation.”
There are plenty of scientific studies supporting the safety of purified shilajit. Both scientific (animal-based studies) and clinical tests exist supporting safety even in dosages well beyond recommended. But, these studies involve participants without any medical conditions or exceptional circumstances like pregnancy. We cannot rule out the possibility of allergic reactions when taking shilajit and if you are allergic to the bioactives, naturally occurring elements, and nutrients found in the resin.
You can buy shilajit in many online stores and large eCommerce stores like Amazon. Supplements stores will likely carry it as well. We encourage that you buy directly from the manufacturer through their website, official product listings, and from official distributors to make sure that what you are getting is genuine. Most premium shilajit brands will have their website, and will likely sell in Amazon. Lately, there is a tendency for several brands to not sell on Amazon and sell exclusively on their website.
Be cautious when buying from brands with elaborate labeling. At this point, it no longer matters whether a jar contains the resin source: Himalayan or Nepali shilajit, it no longer matters. What matters these days are proof that the resin is genuine shilajit. You can only confirm things when the vendor can produce certificates of safety and authenticity. It is important to test the brand out and see how is it working for you.
Purblack Shilajit operates its own e-store at Purblack.com, and you can get a jar us directly with FREE shipping for all US customers. You can also get a jar from Amazon. Our large X7 jar is offered exclusively through Purblack’s official website.
We partner with clinics, wellness centers, and supplements stores, so you can also get one from our partners too. Send us an email if you are looking for more information regarding our partners or whether a vendor has the authority to sell. Our growing network of distributors allows us to sell Purblack anywhere in the world, without worrying about high shipping costs and long delivery times.