|What is Shilajit?
|Where does it come from?
|What are the benefits?
|Is it effective?
|Who should use it?
|How does it work?
|Is Shilajit Safe?
Shilajit | Black Asphaltum | Mineral Pitch
You’re mostly likely here for one of two reasons, you’ve heard of shilajeet and want to learn more. Or you’ve tried shilajeet in one form or another, perhaps in the East, and you want to find a reputable and quality source on the internet. If you’re not familiar, read on. If you are, skip to the bottom and check out the two forms recommended here.
So what is shilajit? To put it simply, it is supplement-like compound that when consumed, can provide a number of health benefits. It has many interesting properties, and has been taken in one form or another for thousands of years in places like Tibet, India, Russia, China, Mongolia, and even ancient Greece. So, if it has been around so long, and it is amazing, why isn’t everyone taking it? Well, they are, it is the most popular medicinal compound on the Indian subcontinent. Shilajit is also known by almost a dozen different names (like Shilajeet, mineral pitch, black asphaltum) and is used in Ayurvedic and traditional medicine widely throughout Asia. The west has been extremely slow to adopt eastern medicine, despite an incredibly long tradition of medicinal experimentation that has produced time tested remedies.
Pure shilajit is obtained from a few select mountain ranges in Asia, specifically the Tibetan Himalyan mountains, the Russian Caucuses, Mongolian Altai, and the Pakistani Gilgit mountains. The shilajeet recommended here is from the Ladakh range in the northwestern Himalayan mountains between India and Tibet, and is harvested at elevations over three thousand meters, or around ten thousand feet. Himalayan shilajit is generally accepted to be the highest quality and most potent shilajit available due to its ideal temperatures and elevation for formation.
Is shilajit an herb?
Shilajit itself is not an herb. However, many sellers provide shilajit in a blend with other healing and medicinal herbs. These herbs (like ashwaganda, for example) help to multiply and enhance the many benefits that shilajit provides on its own. However a “shilajit herb” does not exist on its own!
You heard right, harvested. Shilajeet (black asphaltum) is not a natural herb nor a man-made medicinal compound. It literally seeps from cracks in the mountains like a nectar or sap and is scrapped from the stone of the himalayan mountains. Basically, this stuff it is the blood of the himalayan mountains and the word “Shilajit” can be translated to mean rock-invincible, destroyer of weakness, or conqueror of mountains.
Metaphors aside, Shilajeet is a naturally occurring exudate of plant and mineral based origins. In these himalayan mountains, organic and plant material dies, mixes with microorganisms or microbial metabolites in the soil, is saturated in water during the spring freeze, works its way deep into rocky crevasses, leaches minerals from the stone, gets compressed by layers of rock, brews and “ferments” in this compressed state for thousands of years, and when ready, due to the intense heat of the sun on the stones, bubbles up from down below. So basically, you’ve got a substance that is of both organic and geological origins, that is essentially a distillation of vitamins, minerals, nutrients, enzymes, electrolytes, and amino acids.
After the Himalayan Shilajit is harvested it is either processed, or sold in its raw form. Be wary of sellers who sell their product in its raw form, and do not get pure shilajit confused with raw shilajit. Unprocessed, or improperly processed Shilajeet can contain toxins and heavy metals… it did come from inside a mountain after all. If you’re worried about safety there’s a section on it below. Jump to Safety Info
The benefits of pure Shilajit as a supplement are legendary, and lore attributes the compound with magical properties that are heralded by the gods. Historically it has been used as a cure-all. In the past 60 or so years numerous scientific studies have shown its benefits, and continuing research confirms them.
It has been used traditionally for the following:
Increased energy and stamina (both physical, and sexual), enhancing meditative and spiritual practices, detoxification, as a remedy for general sicknesses, as an aphrodisiac, to treat premature ejaculation, as a supplement to boost the immune system, and again, as a general cure all.
Modern usages tend to exaggerate the “proven” benefits of Shilajit / Black Asphaltum as a panacea, or wonder substance for marketing reasons. In Nepal, Sherpas count it as essential to their diet, and scientists attribute their strength and longevity in part to Shilajeet. In India it is widely used by men to invigorate, cure impotence, and treat premature ejaculation. In China it is used to build physical, spiritual, and sexual energy. Claimed usages include:
Diabetes/Blood Glucose Levels
Immune System Support
Urinary tract problems
Research confirmed reasons to take Shilajit / Black Asphaltum:
Again, Himalayan Shilajit has been the subject of study primarily in Russia and India for the past several decades. The following benefits were investigated and confirmed in a laboratory setting.
- Anti-inflammation for arthritis and rheumatism
- Alzheimer’s prevention
- Cognitive and Memory Enhancer
- High Altitude Problems/hypoxia, sickness, lethargy, depression
- Influenza /Common Cold
- Mental and physical rejuvenation or anti aging benefits
- Nootropic/Smart Drug /Cognitive and Memory Enhancer
- Pain Relief and Injury Repair
- Stress and Anxiety reduction
- Ulcer Repair
With the seemingly endless list of benefits for this product how can it be distinguished for what, or why it should be taken? The best thing is to go with the science, and go with time tested usages.
- Anyone with joint or connective tissue related inflammation.
- Sick people! If you have a virus, like the common cold or influenza, the humic substances in mineral pitch (black asphaltum) have powerful anti-viral effects.
- People looking to treat age related mental or physical decline.
- Those suffering from anxiety or stress related problems/disorders.
- Athletes who are looking for increased energy and faster recovery. The fulvic acid in Shilajeet facilitates the transfer and creation of energy between and through cells, and the ridiculous amount of nutrients in the compound will nurture your body.
- Those with mineral deficiencies or looking for a powerful natural vitamin supplement. Shilajeet has over 85 trace minerals in high concentration.
- Spiritual practitioners looking to enhance their awareness and connectedness, through black asphaltum or mineral pitch.
- Anyone looking for a nootropic, or smart drug effect to enhance their concentration, learning, and memory.
- People who are detoxifying their bodies. The fulvic acid in Shilajeet is a powerful antioxidant and detoxifier.
- Both the Chinese and Indians widely use black asphaltum to increase sexual energy and have done so for hundreds, if not thousands of years…. It has even been called the Indian Viagra. So those with low drive, impotence, or any similar issues should consider giving shilajit a try.
The most powerful substances in Shilajeet and black asphaltum, besides the combination of minerals, are the humic and fulvic acids. This is why it is sometimes called “mineral pitch.” There’s a ton of literature about the health benefits of these acid and if you’d like further reading on the subject and its mechanisms you can do so here. Basically, fulvic acid acts as one of the world’s most powerful poly-electrolytes and antioxidants, and it benefits in many cellular processes. It does this by increasing cell wall permeability and assisting in an influx of nutrients and an outflow of toxins. It is one of the only colloidal substances that moves easily through cell membranes.
This mobility contributes to increased bioavailability of the minerals and nutrients in Shilajeet. Herbs and vitamins taken with Shilajeet also see this increase. A great deal of mass market vitamins and supplements do contain essential nutrients, but they are simply not absorbed. It is important to take a bio-available supplement to ensure your body doesn’t flush out those expensive nutrients.
Consider the fact that our food is de-mineralized due to modern farming practices. Most of us are very mineral deprived or mineral deficient, and this can impact your mind, body, and energy. Black asphaltum (shilajeet) contains over 80 trace minerals and is regarded by many as one of the most nutrient dense mineral substances on the planet. So those supplementing with it can expect to see benefits purely from a nutritive standpoint.
Can I Take Shilajit as a Fulvic Acid Supplement?
Shilajit is one of the highest containing fluvial acid supplements available. If you are looking to supplement fulvic acid and add more fulvic acid into your daily regimin, using shilajeet would be highly beneficial. However – if a doctor as prescribed fulvic acid for a medical condition you may have, check with them before adding shilajit to your diet. Fulvic acid will increase the general health of every cell in your body – giving you more energy and making you feel better all around. Because of the impact fulvic acid has on blood flow, it has also been shown to increase and optimize sexual activity! Although not everyone takes shilajit or fulvic acid for this purpose, it is usually welcomed as a nice added benefit.
Is Shilajit safe?
The section below offers general safety information. If you want more we have a detailed article specifically dealing with Shilajit safety here: Is Shilajit Safe?
Shilajit that is authentic and properly refined is very safe. It is safe taken in small amounts as a daily supplement, and also safe taken in higher dosages for people looking for greater effect.
A safety concern is that a good deal of suppliers outside of India and Tibet are actually selling ozokerit, which is a similar humic substance, but without any of the health benefits. Basically counterfeit Shilajit. Also, improperly refined black asphaltum… or unrefined for that matter, can contain contaminants and heavy metals like mercury, lead, arsenic, and cadmium.
The Shilajeet recommended here is purified and prepared in Manali, India. It is harvested in Ladhak, Northern India (about two days travel North East of Manali) at extremely high altitude. The Tibetan doctor, and his family, who sourced the product have been preparing this compound for more than twelve generations and are considered supreme experts in Ayurvedic medicine, especially Himalayan Shilajit. Of the 30 or so Shilajit’s that we’ve tried the two below are the only ones which produced the effects detailed in the Ayurvedic literature as a tonic and rejuvenating Rasayana. It has been tested for contaminants and was found to be safe, and to contain no organic contaminants whatsoever.
Considerations: You may want to consult a doctor about Shilajeet / black asphaltum / mineral pitch if you have gout, are hypoglycemic or pregnant.
Our new #1 most recommended is harvested in the Himalayan mountains in both India and Nepal. This is easily the best pure shilajit we have sampled thus far: it ranks highest for potency, effectiveness, and sourcing. Regular testing and quality control ensures there are no dips in performance or benefit. The seller’s three main tenants are also respectable as they strive to support local harvesters and ensure that heavy machinery stays out of the beautiful mountainscapes of the Himalayas.
Shilajit Super Tonic
Shilajit Super Tonic combines the incredible energizing and adaptogenic qualities of the finest available Himalayan Shilajit with a potent array of herbal essences in a single, multi purpose tonic. According to a millennium of Ayurvedic research in India and Tibet, Shilajit promotes mental and physical energy, regulates blood sugar levels, stimulates the immune system and speeds recovery from sickness and exercise. Tibetan medicine and Traditional Chinese Medicine are one in their appreciation of these herbs.
Pure Ladakhi Shilajit
Our third most recommended is again harvested in Ladakh at elevations of over 3000 meters by a family of alchemists and practitioners with a history of more than 12 generations, the raw material is processed through an elaborate series of Ayurvedic stages to produce the pure elixir found here. This pure Shilajit comes in a semi solid form that should be combined with milk or warm water.
Our fourth most recommended is the only high quality form of encapsulated Shilajit we’ve found online. This is because it contains no fillers whatsoever. No rice flour, vegetable powder, or other junk. Their product is sourced in Nepal and is combined with Ashwagandha which is a powerful adaptogenic herb. The combination is very powerful and seems to significantly increase the benefits of the shilajit.