The information presented here has been gathered from research I have collected on shilajit.
John Anderson, me, Dr. Satyan, Dr. Muhammed Majeed Chairman & CEO Sabinsa Corporation and the research staff at Sabinsa in Bangalore, India Sept. 2001.
What is it?
How was it discovered?
What is it used for?
Are there different grades of shilajit?
Are there different brands?
How is it processed?
What are the active ingredients?
How much should I take?
Are there any contraindications?
Has there been any research done on Shilajit?
Shilajit and depression/serotonin.
Order Shilajit. This is the product directly from India I use.
What is shilajit? (She-la-jeet)
Shilajit is an exudate that is pressed out from layers of rock in sacred mountains in Nepal and other high mountains. It is composed of humus and organic plant material that has been compressed by layers of rock. Humus is formed when soil microorganisms decompose animal and plant material into elements usable by plants. Plants are the source of all our food and humus is the source of plant food. Unlike other soil humus, Shilajit humus consists of 60 - 80% organic mass. About 200 million years ago, India was a large island off the Australian coast separated from the Eurasian continent by the Tethys Sea. The Indian continent drifted north at a rate of about 9 meters a century. This movement lead to the eventual disappearance of the Tethys sea. 40 to 50 million years ago the Indian continent collided with the Asian continent. This caused the sea bed of the Tethys sea to be pushed up and keep moving up to eventually form the Himalayan mountains. The Himalayan mountains continue to rise more than 1 Centimeter a year. During this transition the mineral rich and fertile soil of the sea bed gave rise to a lush and dense tropical jungle. As the ground continued to be pushed up to become mountains a lot of the plants became trapped by layers of rock and soil and remained preserved for thousands of years. These plants had never been exposed to any chemicals, fertilizers or pesticides. They are gradually transformed into Humus, a rich organic mass that is food for new plant life. Due to microbial action and the tremendous pressure from the weight of the mountains the Humus was transformed into a dense, viscous, mineral rich mass. This is Shilajit. The trapped layers of Shilajit become exposed due to the freezing winters, hot summer sun and erosion from monsoon rains. Shilajit will “flow” out from between the cracks in the layers of rock during the summer when the temperature of the mountains gets warm enough and the Shilajit becomes less viscous. The native Nepali people them climb the mountains, repel down cliffs to collect the Shilajit.
How was it discovered?
Shilajit has been used for thousands of years and for as many different health problems. It is listed as a healing agent in ancient Sanskrit writings and is used today in Ayurvedic health practices. The discovery is said to be made by Himalayan villagers observing large white monkeys migrate to the mountains in the warm summer months. The monkeys were seen to be chewing a semi-soft substance that flowed from between layers of rock. The villagers attributed the monkey’s great strength, longevity and wisdom to the substance. They began to consume it themselves and reported a broad spectrum of improvements in health. It seemed to give them more energy, relieve digestive problems, Increase sex drive, improve memory and cognition, improve diabetes, reduce allergies, improve the quality and quantity of life and it seemed to cure all diseases.
What conditions can shilajit help?
The greatest Ayervedic physicians have said “There is no disease on earth which cannot be cured by Shilajit”. This is a very broad statement and recent research has proven that its adaptogenic properties can indeed benefit everyone, however there are certain conditions that it is especially effective for.
Memory and cognition, Immune system modulator, Anti-ulcer, Anti-inflammatory and Antioxidant. Through these actions shilajit can have positive effects on many different health problems.
Will it cure my ________?
I do not know if shilajit can "cure" your specific health problem and I can not make any claim that it will cure anything. However I do know and have seen many people get incredible results for a wide variety of health problems. The best advice I can give you is to try it for at least 2 months. If you do not see any improvement after 2 months than, unfortunately, I would not expect any change with continued use.
Are their different grades of Shilajit?
Yes. The therapeutic actions of the raw material vary by the region it is harvested from. There are other substances that contain Humic and Fulvic acids, but true Shilajit has a very important therapeutic, bioactive ingredient that is not present in other "Shilajit-like" substances. The authenticity and therapeutic quality of Shilajit is identified by the inclusion of oxygenated dibenzo alpha pyrones. While there are several areas that the raw material is collected from the highest levels of therapeutic ingredients come from specific areas in the Himalayan Mountains in Nepal at 10-12,000 feet above sea level. Historic records report that “sacred” mountains produce the best Shilajit. The processing of the raw Shilajit is very important as it contains free radicals and may also contain mycotoxins and fungal toxins. The processing needs to remove the free radicals, Polymeric Quinone radicals, toxins, mycotoxins and inactive ingredients. You must use a standardized extract to get the benefits of Shilajit. The levels of active ingredients varies by geographic region so some Shilajit may have good levels of active ingredients or it may have next to none. Shilajit with %50 fulvic acid is now available .
Are there different brands?
Yes there are and there are different qualities also. To make sure you have the best chance of getting positive results with Shilajit Check to make sure you have a product made from a standardized extract to contain at least 50% Fulvic acids and 1% Dibenzo-alpha-Pyrones. Some products may only contain 3-5% Fulvic acid and no measurable amount of Dibenzo-alpha-Pyrones. You would have to take 10 times the amount (at 10 times the co$t) to get the same therapeutic dose as a standardized extract and possibly no Dibenzo-alpha-Pyrones. Shilajit must also be properly processed to remove inactive substances, check for the proper PH, remove harmful free radicals and mycotoxin producing fungi and fungal toxins. Fulvic Factor, at %50 fulvic acid, from has the highest level of active ingredients.
This is an excerpt from a letter of a leading fulvic acid research facility giving their review of a fulvic acid product.
"The analysis that we performed on your latest production batch of *************, using the California Method for Humic Acid Determination (with detection limit accuracy of 0.01%), verified that your health supplement contains 3.50% Fulvic Acids. This is significant because it is the highest level of quality fulvic acids we have ever seen in any health supplement."
Only 3.5% fulvic acid and they claim it is the highest they have ever seen!
How is raw shilajit processed?
Approximately 40% of the raw material remains after extraction. Proper
extraction is very important to guarantee a consistent high level of active
ingredients, remove inactive substances, check for the proper PH, remove harmful
free radicals and mycotoxin producing fungi and fungal toxins. Good quality
Shilajit is then standardized to guarantee consistent levels of the active
SUMMARY: Provided by Dr. Satyan of
1. This is the only process, which brings out the most active components of Shilajit i.e., dibenzo–alpha–pyrones (DBP) to therapeutic amounts. The raw Shilajit contains 0.01% w/w, which is enriched to 1% w/w DBP in processed Shilajit.
2. The process would selectively bring out fulvic acids, which are the beneficial components of Shilajit humus. Furthermore, the content of fulvic acid (Not less than 20%) would be maintained from batch to batch which will be equiactive biologically. Fulvic acids occurs with microporic voids (200 – 500 microns.) and act as “carrier molecules” to small molecular weight substances like DBP.
3. The processing would remove the high molecular weight, Humins, which cannot be utilized by our body.
4. The extraction process would remove polymeric semiquinone free radicals from the Shilajit humus. Free radicals are responsible for causing damage at cellular and molecular levels.
5. The extraction process would also ensure the removal of mycotoxins and mycotoxin producing fungi and assure safety to the recipients ingesting Shilajit.
6. Standardization of Shilajit to 20% fulvic acids and 1% DBP would ensure a consistent nootropic activity, enhanced immunomodulation and very effective antioxidant activity, the three attributes responsible for slowing the aging process.
What are the active ingredients?
The primary active ingredients in Shilajit are Fulvic Acids, Dibenzo Alpha Pyrones, Humins, Humic Acids and trace minerals. These are produced by microbial action on humus (think of Humus as a nutrient rich soil, like compost). Fulvic Acids are small lattice shaped molecules that act as carriers for the Dibenzo Alpha Pyrones and trace minerals. The Fulvic Acids are "carrier" molecules as they carry other nutrients with them. They are small molecules and are absorbed by plants that need the trace minerals and other nutrients for their own growth. We would then eat the plants (or the animals that ate the plants) and get Fulvic Acids in our diet. However due to modern farming methods the soils are lacking the beneficial microbes and plant material to produce Fulvic Acids and the soil is planted and harvested too frequently to allow the time needed to produce Humus.
This "carrier" action is responsible for part of Fulvic Acids health benefits. The Fulvic Acids will actually transport the Dibenzo Alpha Pyrones and trace minerals into the body. The trace minerals are needed as cofactors for enzymes, play important roles in turning food into energy, maintain the electrical balance in bodily fluids, carry oxygen in the body, are part of blood and bone, allow nerves to transmit messages and more.
The Dibenzo Alpha Pyrones are able to pass the blood brain barrier and act as a powerful antioxidant protecting the brain and nerve tissue from free radical damage. It also inhibits the enzyme Acetylcholinesterase, which breaks down Acetylcholine. This will increase the levels of Acetylcholine. Low levels of Acetylcholine are associated with Alzheimers, Poor memory and concentration.
Recent analysis of the raw material has shown it contains a high percentage of Trifolium repens (white clover). Trifolium pratense (red clover) has been used by herbalist as a treatment for cancer, blood purification, asthma, skin problems, Bronchitis and ulcers. Many of the same conditions traditionally treated with Shilajit.
How much should I take?
The recommended amount for general use and to maintain optimal health is around 300-500Mg. Per day. There is approximately a 6-8 week period for the therapeutic effects to be noticed. I have personally taken 1000Mg. per day (for bronchitis symptoms) and gotten excellent results. I would recommend you start off with 300Mg. per day and add 100Mg. per day until you achieve the desired results. Shilajit is slowly metabolized reaching maximum blood levels in 12-14 hours. Taking Shilajit twice a day will ensure optimal blood levels and therapeutic efficiency. Some people will experience detox reactions, most commonly loose stools or mild diarrhea, fatigue, headaches and even skin rashes. You should consume lots of pure water and decrease the dose (number of capsules) until the symptoms go away then gradually increase the dosage again.
Are their any contraindications?
No. Shilajit is very safe for anyone and everyone to take. However, due to its strong ability to lower blood sugar, diabetics need to carefully monitor their insulin usage to prevent hypoglycemia.
There is also a very small amount of phenylalanine. Just a trace, however persons with PKU should be aware of this.
The standard supplement disclaimer applies: if you are pregnant or lactating or under a doctors care for any health condition you should consult with your physician before taking this or any other supplement. The full extent of shilajit's actions may never be completely known. The information presented is, therefore, incomplete and further studies are highly recommended. All material provided is meant for educational purposes only and should not substitute for a medical consultation. All readers are strongly encouraged to consult and work with an experienced health-care practitioner.