Shilajit is a blackish-brown resin that comes from rock layers in various mountain ranges around the world, including the Himalayan, Tibet, and Altai mountains.
Shilajit is believed to be partially formed by the decomposition of certain plants. It contains an important compound known as fulvic acid and is rich in minerals.
Shilajit is one of the many herbal and mineral formulations (Rasaushadhi) used in Ayurveda , a healing system that originated thousands of years ago in India. Shilajit is used in traditional medicine to treat a wide variety of conditions, from bone fractures to impotence.
Shilajit is available as a food supplement. Read on for potential health benefits, side effects, dosage, preparation methods, and more.
Also know as
Shilajit is known by other names, including:
What is the mummy used for?
Research on the possible health benefits of shilajit is limited. Very few well-designed, placebo-controlled, peer-reviewed studies in humans or animals have been published.
However, several preliminary studies indicate that shilajit may have certain health benefits.
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Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is a condition characterized by extreme fatigue that cannot be explained by an underlying medical condition. A study with rats published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology in 2012 suggests that shilajit may help treat chronic fatigue syndrome .
After administering the mummy to laboratory rats for 21 days, the scientists discovered that the treatment could affect several processes involved in the body's energy production. Additionally, the treatment was found to reduce anxiety and protect against oxidative stress .
Shilajit shows promise in treating Alzheimer's disease , a progressive type of dementia that causes problems with memory, thinking, and behavior.
According to a 2012 report published in the International Journal of Alzheimer's Disease , the fulvic acid in shilajit may help block the build-up of tau, a type of protein that forms twisted clumps of dead and dying nerve cells known as neurofibrillary tangles. Tau is considered a key marker for Alzheimer's disease and related conditions .
However, the study authors note that more research is needed to determine whether shilajit is effective as a treatment for Alzheimer's disease.
A 2010 study published in the journal Andrologia examined the effects of this dietary supplement in 35 infertile men. After taking 100 milligrams (mg) of processed mummy capsule every day for 90 days, 28 study participants showed significant increases in total sperm count, healthy sperm count, and sperm motility, which is an indicator. how well sperm move. …
A small study published in 2003 showed an improvement in cholesterol levels when 30 people between the ages of 16 and 30 were studied.
The participants were randomly divided into two groups. A group of 20 participants took 2 grams of mumiyo per day for 45 days, and another group of 10 participants took sugar tablets.
The researchers found significant reductions in cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the shilajit group compared to the placebo group. High levels of cholesterol and triglycerides increase the risk of heart disease .
The Shilajit group also improved antioxidant status, an indicator of how well the body protects cells from damage. However, the study authors checked but found no changes in blood pressure, heart rate, or body weight .
In addition to these limited studies, there are anecdotal reports of other health benefits of shilajit. The supplement is touted as a natural remedy for the following conditions:
Shilajit is believed to strengthen bones and protect against osteoporosis . Some proponents also argue that shilajit may act as an adaptogen , a group of substances that are believed to increase the body's resistance to stress, increase libido, and increase energy.
There is not enough scientific evidence to support the use of shilajit for many of these medical purposes.
Possible side effects.
Due to a lack of research, little is known about the safety of using shilajit in the short or long term. However, there are some potential side effects and problems, including:
- Shilajit can increase uric acid production in the body and, in turn, worsen conditions like gout .
- Shilajit can increase iron levels, so people with medical conditions like hemochromatosis or excess iron in the blood should avoid it .
- Shilajit can alter hormone levels in the body, including a significant increase in total testosterone, free testosterone, and dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA-S) .
- Raw or unprocessed shilajit can be contaminated with heavy metals or fungi, which can make you sick.
- Pregnant or nursing women and children should not take shilajit in any form.
Dosage and preparation
There is not enough scientific evidence to determine a standard or appropriate dose of shilajit. Some supplement vendors recommend up to 150 mg once or twice a day. In shilajit studies, varying amounts have been used, although subjects are often under medical supervision.
The correct dose may depend on your age, current health, and desired benefits.
Talk to your doctor for personalized advice on using shilajit or any nutritional supplement.
What to look for
Shilajit is sold in various forms, including capsules, powder, and liquid. There is no scientific evidence which way is better. Additionally, there are safety concerns when taking this or any supplement.
Nutritional supplements are largely unregulated by the Food and Drug Administration, and the agency does not require dietary supplements to undergo safety testing. Some products may be contaminated with dangerous substances such as heavy metals. Even substances labeled "purified" can contain contaminants.
When choosing a supplement, try to find products certified by one of the following organizations:
- NSF International
These organizations do not guarantee that the product is safe or effective, but they do verify that the product was manufactured correctly, that it contains the ingredients listed on the label, and that it does not contain harmful levels of contaminants.
Finally, remember that it is illegal for any company to sell dietary supplements as a treatment or medicine for a particular medical condition.
Shilajit is a mineral-rich resin that has long been used in Ayurvedic treatment. Several preliminary studies today claim that it can help treat chronic fatigue syndrome, Alzheimer's disease, sperm count, and high cholesterol.
In some reports, shilajit is touted as a natural remedy for a variety of ailments, from anemia to diabetes to osteoarthritis. However, there is little evidence of such use.
Although research is limited, possible side effects include elevated blood iron levels, altered hormone levels, and increased uric acid production. Like most supplements, shilajit is not regulated by the FDA, so it is important to inform your doctor if you plan to use shilajit for any health purpose.
Frequently asked questions
Taking mummies in any form can have side effects:
Shilajit is used as a natural remedy for anemia , chronic pain , diabetes , digestive disorders , eczema , osteoarthritis , high cholesterol, chronic fatigue syndrome , Alzheimer's disease, and ulcerative colitis . It is also claimed to strengthen bones against osteoporosis and protect against stress. However, there is insufficient scientific evidence to support its use for these purposes.