The popularity of a more holistic approach to physical and mental wellness has been steadily on the rise for decades.
As we expand our understanding of nutritional supplements, modern science is shedding light on the potential benefits of some natural remedies that have been used for centuries in cultures around the world.
One supplement that has garnered a lot of interest is Shilajit. Shilajit is a resin-like substance comprised of decayed plant matter.
Practitioners of ayurvedic and other types of Eastern medicine have been using Shilajit for centuries because they believe it may help address several conditions. In fact, the word Shilajit is Sanskrit for “Conqueror of mountains and destroyer of weaknesses.”
While more clinical study is still needed, researchers are finding some positive correlation between Shilajit use and enhanced health.
Here, we examine scientific studies that highlight Shilajit’s potential application in addressing several specific conditions. But first, we’ll begin with some background on Shilajit and it’s most beneficial ingredients.
History of Shilajit
Shilajit has a long history of human use for its purported ability to boost wellbeing and enhance life quality. Among Eastern medicine practitioners, Shilajit is used to rejuvenate the body, increase strength, and aid in promoting recovery.
Primarily found in the rocks of the Himalayas, between India and Nepal, Shilajit is a mineral pitch made up of humus and decayed organic material that has been compressed by layers of rock for hundreds of years.
As the organic material decomposes, the compounds can mix with microbial metabolites. Then, a long process of fermentation begins where that material embeds itself deep into the rocks.
Over time, Shilajit exudes from the rock as a dark, tar-like substance that is then harvested for natural medicinal use. The Shilajit is rich in various bioactive compounds and acids.
Shilajit contains nearly every element in the periodic table, including 84 different minerals, and is believed to create different benefits for the user.
Many of the specific ingredients in Shilajit are believed to have positive health benefits. To stay consistently healthy, every human being should have at least 90 nutrients in their diet, including vitamins, minerals, and amino acids.
It’s probably no surprise that the processed and fast foods we often consume not only don’t have many of these nutrients, but they can also deplete the body of these essentials.
Shilajit contains many mineral ingredients that may help support a healthy immune system, including fulvic acid, zinc, potassium, calcium, iron, and antioxidants that can benefit the body at the cellular level to create balance.
While studying Shilajit’s benefits from a traditional, Western medical perspective is in its infancy, increasingly researchers are testing Shilajit’s qualities in clinical settings with promising results.
1. Anti-Viral Properties
Unlike a bacterial infection, viruses aren’t typically responsive to antibiotics, so medical experts continue to study ways to alleviate virus symptoms and even prevent them from developing in the first place.
In a 2015 study conducted at the University of Torino in Italy, clinicians found that Shilajit had substantial antiviral effects on human epithelial cells tested in an isolated lab environment.
They tested Shilajit’s effect on several different viruses and ultimately determined that at the right dosage, Shilajit inhibited the development of herpes simplex 1 &2, human respiratory virus (RSV), and cytomegalovirus.
2. Altitude Sickness
Altitude sickness is caused by the lower barometric pressure found at higher altitudes that allow for less oxygen in the air. Lower oxygen levels in the blood can inhibit the transport of oxygen to the body’s tissue.
If you live in a high altitude environment, you’re likely to get used to the air pressure over time. But people who aren’t accustomed to the lower oxygen level can encounter many complications collectively known as altitude sickness, including dizziness, nausea, and headaches. Severe altitude sickness can even cause fluid to build up in the heart and brain.
In a 2010 review of the literature, researchers found Shilajit to have a positive effect on many of the symptoms of altitude sickness by helping the absorption of iron and reducing the production of toxins in the body.
The relatively high levels of fulvic acid are believed to stimulate blood formation, increase energy, and combat other high altitude effects by transporting nutrients throughout the body.
3. Iron Deficiency
When our blood is lacking healthy cells and hemoglobin, it can result in iron deficiency and anemia. Shilajit has high levels of iron that may help to improve the quality of the blood.
In a 2010 study published in The Journal of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Science, Shilajit was given to iron-deficient rats. They discovered that Shilajit consumption generated anti-anemic activity and a gradual increase in iron levels.
At the end of the study, the rats who were dosed with Shilajit had higher hemoglobin levels, hematocrit, and red blood cells, all of which are vital components to healthy blood, including iron levels.
4. Chronic Fatigue
For those who suffer from chronic fatigue’s extreme tiredness, the simplest daily tasks can be overwhelming. It is believed that chronic fatigue results from decreased energy production in the body’s cells.
In a 2012 study published in The Journal of Ethnopharmacology, researchers first induced chronic fatigue symptoms in lab rats by having them swim for extended periods of time every day for several weeks.
They found that the rats who had been given a course of Shilajit before starting the study had a reversal of chronic fatigue symptoms, including immobility and enhanced physiological energy overall.
5. Skeletal Muscle Adaptation
The benefits of Shilajit on muscle function have been highlighted for centuries in ancient Ayurvedic medicine. It is believed to positively affect physical performance, particularly as it relates to our muscles’ ability to adapt to different types of exertion and activity.
In a 2016 study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food, researchers measured the effects of Shilajit on muscle performance in a group of human participants over the course of 12 weeks.
Results of the study indicated that Shilajit affected the development, maintenance, and regeneration of muscle. It seemed to activate the body’s mechanism that improves endurance and allows us to adapt to physical activity changes, like adopting a new exercise routine.
Testosterone is the primary male sex hormone and an integral part of functioning male physiology. Men experiencing a low sex drive, hair loss, and increased body fat may be experiencing a deficiency in testosterone.
In a double-blind, placebo-controlled study conducted in 2016, clinicians administered Shilajit to a group of healthy male volunteer subjects aged 45-55. After 90 days, all of the participants who used Shilajit saw an increase in total and free testosterone.
7. Cognitive Function and Aging
Traditionally, Shilajit has been used to increase longevity and slow the aging process and overall vitality.
In a study published in the International Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease in 2012, researchers found that Shilajit’s antioxidant effects could positively contribute to brain health and cognitive function.
Specifically, the fulvic acid in the Shilajit was found to prevent the build-up of tau proteins that can cause cell damage in the brain.
Their findings found Shilajit to benefit brain cognition. It also demonstrated potential as a potential way to protect against unstable free radicals that can damage brain cells and lead to illness and aging.
8. Heart Health
Shilajit has also been studied for its potential benefits to heart health. In a 2014 effort published in 2014 in Cardiovascular Toxicology, a group of lab rats were injected with isoproterenol to mimic a heart injury.
It was determined that the rats given a course of Shilajit before the study had fewer cardiac lesions.
Shilajit and Your Body
Before making any changes to your wellness routine, it’s essential to consult with your healthcare provider. If you are considering Shilajit or any other botanical, talk to your doctor about Shilajit and any other medications you’re taking.
Medical professionals recommend that people with active heart disease, hypertension, or high blood pressure should avoid Shilajit all together.
Because Shilajit is a botanical, it is not regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. As such, the quality of Shilajit available on the market today varies significantly from supplier to supplier.
To experience any benefit from Shilajit, it needs to be high-quality and pure because l0wer-end products can contain heavy metals, free radicals, and even arsenic.
It is extremely important to procure Shilajit only from recognized, qualified purveyors.
Kats Botanicals is one of the most trusted suppliers of quality holistic botanicals, including Shilajit, Kratom, and CBD.
Kats Botanicals are always all-natural and pure and backed by a 100% satisfaction guarantee and 30-day refund policy. Kats has been providing the very best in wellness supplements for years. You can rest assured that you’re getting a quality product at a reasonable price.
For more information or to order from a wide variety of holistic products you can feel good about, visit Kats Botanicals and explore the possibilities of natural, holistic supplements.