Published on Mar 17, 2021
By Dr. Surya Bhagwati
Chief In- House Doctor
BAMS, DHA, DHHCM, DHBTC | 30+ Years of Experience
Shilajit is one of the most popular Ayurvedic substances out there. The ability of Shilajit to improving overall health has resulted in its worldwide reputation, deemed it the ‘Destroyer of Weakness.’ You can also find it in many health and fitness supplements on the market.
This article focuses on providing you with an overview of Shilajit, including its benefits, side effects, and how to use it.
What Is Shilajit?
Shilajit is a sticky mineral found in the Himalayan mountains. It's formed over centuries from a combination of extreme pressure of plant matter within the rocks. It has been a part of Ayurved for 5000 years and is a natural way to boost overall health and wellbeing.
This Ayurvedic medicine is a natural substance that’s claimed to help boost energy levels, vitality, and vigour.
- Boosts Brain Health: It contains Fulvic acid that acts as a neuroprotector. This allows it to prevent or delay the onset of degenerative brain diseases.
- Promotes Weight Loss: It may help with weight loss because of its ability to help muscle adaptations when exercising.
- Anti-Aging: While it can’t reverse skin aging, It can slow down the aging process. It contains antioxidants and anti-inflammatory components that protect the skin cells from free radical damage.
- Improves Sexual Function: It is popular today because of its sexual performance benefits. It can help improve testosterone levels, libido, and virility. It improves fertility as well.
- Heightened Energy Levels: Studies have shown that it combats Chronic fatigue syndrome. While elevating energy levels, it may also help reduce fatigue too.
- Combats Altitude Sickness: It contains Fulvic acid that may help combat altitude sickness. It’s said that Sherpas consume Shilajit to better deal with Altitude Sickness in the Himalayan mountains.
- Improved Muscle Gain: It is part of several popular muscle gain supplements because of its testosterone-boosting effects. It may also help preserve muscle strength and improve exercise stamina.
- Helps Against Anemia: The high concentration of Humic acid and iron in this substance can help against Anemia.
- Better Heart Health: Studies have found it to have cardiac protective benefits. It’s even used as a hypertensive treatment for those with low blood pressure.
- Boosts Immunity: Fulvic acid present in it has been reported to stimulate immune function and helps to protect from a variety of bacterial and viral infections. This can help to maintain overall health.
Read More: 10 Proven Health Benefits Of Shilajit
Shilajit Side Effects:
While it is a natural ingredient, raw or unprocessed Shilajit is unsafe to consume because the raw form may contain contaminants, fungus, and heavy metals.
If you are interested in buying it, be sure to only buy refined (processed) Shilajit or Shilajit-based products. Products which are FDA-approved can represent the standard of quality you should consider.
Those with Hemochromatosis, Sickle cell anaemia, or Thalassemia should also avoid taking this substance. Additionally, if you end up developing a rash, dizziness, or elevated heart rate, stop taking it immediately.
Those taking Uric acid-lowering drugs should also be careful when taking this because it may impact your Uric acid levels. Pregnant and breastfeeding mothers should also avoid it because of insufficient scientific evidence.
We recommend you talk to your doctor before using Shilajit or Shilajit-based products.
How To Find The Best Shilajit Products:
- Look for the purity of the Shilajit used. Don’t get anything that makes use of raw or unprocessed substance.
- Find out where the product was manufactured. Find out whether it was manufactured in a GMP-certified facility.
- See if the product is FDA-approved. Has the FDA tested and approved it for human consumption? This one is important as most supplements don’t get FDA tested, bringing their quality in question.
- Find out the other ingredients in the product and the concentration of this substance within.
These points should help weed out the subpar products and allow you to make a more informed decision.
- Carrasco-Gallardo, Carlos, et al. “Shilajit: A Natural Phytocomplex with Potential Procognitive Activity.” International Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, vol. 2012, 2012. PubMed Central, https://www.hindawi.com/journals/ijad/2012/674142/.
- Velmurugan, C., et al. “Evaluation of Safety Profile of Black Shilajit after 91 Days Repeated Administration in Rats.” Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Biomedicine, vol. 2, no. 3, Mar. 2012, pp. 210–14. PubMed Central, https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2221169112600434.
- Meena, Harsahay, et al. “Shilajit: A Panacea for High-Altitude Problems.” International Journal of Ayurved Research, vol. 1, no. 1, 2010, pp. 37–40. PubMed Central, https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20532096/.
- Pandit, S., et al. “Clinical Evaluation of Purified Shilajit on Testosterone Levels in Healthy Volunteers.” Andrologia, vol. 48, no. 5, June 2016, pp. 570–75. PubMed, https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/and.12482.
- Keller, Joshua L., et al. “The Effects of Shilajit Supplementation on Fatigue-Induced Decreases in Muscular Strength and Serum Hydroxyproline Levels.” Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, vol. 16, Feb. 2019. PubMed Central, https://jissn.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12970-019-0270-2.
- Khaksari, Mohammad, et al. “The Effects of Shilajit on Brain Edema, Intracranial Pressure and Neurologic Outcomes Following the Traumatic Brain Injury in Rat.” Iranian Journal of Basic Medical Sciences, vol. 16, no. 7, July 2013, pp. 858–64.
- Das, Amitava, et al. “The Human Skeletal Muscle Transcriptome in Response to Oral Shilajit Supplementation.” Journal of Medicinal Food, vol. 19, no. 7, July 2016, pp. 701–09. PubMed Central, https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/full/10.1089/jmf.2016.0010.
- Gaikwad, N. S., et al. “Effect of Shilajit on the Heart of Daphnia: A Preliminary Study.” Journal of Ayurved and Integrative Medicine, vol. 3, no. 1, 2012, pp. 3–5. PubMed Central, https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22529672/.
- Biswas, T. K., et al. “Clinical Evaluation of Spermatogenic Activity of Processed Shilajit in Oligospermia.” Andrologia, vol. 42, no. 1, Feb. 2010, pp. 48–56. PubMed, https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1439-0272.2009.00956.x.
- Pandit, S., et al. “Clinical Evaluation of Purified Shilajit on Testosterone Levels in Healthy Volunteers.” Andrologia, vol. 48, no. 5, 2016, pp. 570–75. Wiley Online Library, https://doi.org/10.1111/and.12482.