More likely than not, you must have heard about Himalayan Shilajit, especially if you belong to the Hindi speaking belt in India. Whether it be through a raunchy Indian movie or jokes among friends when one of them is getting married, Shilajit is more renowned, albeit notoriously, as an aphrodisiac or sex performance enhancing herb then a range of health benefits which it provides.
The original Shijalit has been praised in Ayurveda as a wonder herb, which contains within itself a wide range of potent medicinal properties. Containing more than 85+ essential nutrients and vitamins, trace elements, fulvic acid, humic acid and other bioactive compounds which contribute to an array of health benefits.
With such rich composition, it is no wonder that original Shilajit extracted from the higher altitudes of Himalayas is often referred to as the Ayurvedic Superfood in India. A superfood is defined as a food that is nutritionally very dense and provides many health benefits besides nutrition and energy.
Before we dive into the health benefits of original Shilajit extracted from furthest heights of Himalayas and dispel the misconception that it is essentially just an aphrodisiac or male performance booster, let’s talk about the interesting origin story behind discovery of Himalayan Shilajit.
The Discovery of Himalayan Shilajit
There’s an interesting folklore behind the discovery of Himalayan Shilajit. In fact there are many but let’s talk about the most interesting story of the lot.
Popular folklore can be attributed to a group of curious villagers residing in Himalayan region. As the story goes, villagers often observe langurs full of vitality, immense energy & stamina and self healing powers. The groups of langurs could frolic up the highest of mountain peaks without a fuss.
Baffled by witnessing their strength, energy and stamina and their longevity, a few of the curious villagers decided to follow the langurs as they ascended towards the Himalayan peaks in groups, a trek these creatures often undertook each summer.
Finally, the group of langurs came to a halt near the highest reaches of the mountain in a cave-like place where villagers noticed them gathered around and eating black gooey and viscous black substance. That is how the original Shilajit was first discovered.
Origin of Shilajit – What is Himalayan Shilajit
Shilajit is a natural substance found mainly in the Himalayas, formed for centuries by the gradual decomposition of certain plants by the action of microorganisms.
During the summer months when the temperature is quite warm enough, Himalayan Shilajit becomes viscous and It can be seen glistening between the cracks in the layers of rock and this is when the local people of the area carefully collect the precious substance by hand.
Shilajit is a sticky black substance that resembles tar, but don’t be fooled by its appearance. It is packed with nearly 85 ionic minerals, trace elements, fulvic acid and several vitamins and phytochemicals.
The main chemical components of Shilajit are: humic acid, fulvic acid, benzoic acid, benzoates and high concentration of vitamin A, B, and C. Pure original Himalayan Shilajit is composed of 60-80% organic matter, 20-40% mineral matter and 5% of trace elements. including silica, iron, calcium, copper, magnesium, manganese, and zinc, making it a powerhouse of nutrients.
As for the taste, there are mention in classical Ayurveda texts that Shilajit smells or even tastes like cow urine. It’s ayurvedic tastes are pungent, bitter, salty and astringent. In simple terms, it’s a very unpleasant, extremely bitter taste if you consume it directly. Even when mixed, don’t expect it to taste much to please your taste buds.
Looking for a tastier alternative of Shilajit Resin? Check out SK Turbo Treats, the Pure Himalayan Shilajit Gummies which contains stevia and tamarind to taste better and even digest better.
Top 10 Health Benefits of Himalayan Shilajit
Himalayan Shilajit is a dark resin-like substance which has been used for centuries as a potent Ayurvedic herbs to treat numerous types of ailments and as a rejuvenator and strength, vitality and stamina booster.
Charak, the “father of Ayurveda” has written in praise of health benefits of Shilajit that “there is hardly any curable disease which cannot be controlled or cured with the aid of Shilajit.”
In the reproductive system (shukra dhatu), Shilajit is renowned for supporting the health and function of the ovaries and testes thus aiding both male and female reproductive system, mood and fertility.
In this brief guide on health benefits of Himalayan Shilajit, the Ayurvedic superfood of India, we will list the various health benefits of Shilajit, including its impact on strength, stamina levels, skin health, fertility, testosterone, stress reduction, and immunity.
1. Boosts Testosterone Levels, Fertility & Libido in Men
Testosterone is perhaps the single most important hormone responsible for development of physical characteristics and sexual well health in men. Deficiency of this important hormone in males may potentially lead to:
- Lower muscle mass
- Low sex drive
- Sleep disorder
- Low energy & mood
- Increase in body fat
- Low sperm count
Clinical studies have shown that taking Himalayan Shilajit regularly may significantly boost testosterone levels in men. The healthy production of this hormone is ideal for those looking to increase muscle mass, bone density, and overall physical health. It also enhances overall strength and stamina, improves sperm count and motility (ability of the sperm in a sample to move adequately, an important part of fertility), and gives you endurance to last longer in bed.
2. Boost Sexual Health in Women and Improves Fertility
As opposed to the popular belief that Shilajit acts as a potent aphrodisiac and enhances sex drive and performance only in men, Shilajit also offers a lot of health benefits when it comes to women’s sexual health and wellness.
According to studies, taking Shilajit regularly has potential health benefits for women
- Improve fertility
- Balances estrogen levels
- Regularize menstrual cycles
- Relieves period pain and cramps in women
3. Increases Muscle Mass, Strength & Stamina
Perhaps, the most widespread use of this Ayurvedic supplement has been seen among athletes and fitness enthusiasts who require a lot of strength, power and stamina.
A wide range of health benefits has bestowed Shilajit with the title of “destroyer of weakness”. Regular consumption of Shilajit activates the genes responsible for muscle elasticity, repair and regeneration.
Loaded as it is with fulvic acid, intake of Shilajit increases the oxygen level in the body which helps reduce loss of breath and muscle soreness.
More oxygen in the body cell also means you can work out longer, improved athletic performance owing to increased endurance power.
Fulvic acid acts as the carrier of in our body transporting essential minerals to the deep tissues of our body.
It improves dilation of the cell walls leading to better absorption of vitamin and minerals that enters our body effectively prolonging cell life. Shilajit aids in energy production which gives our body more vitality , strength and stamina.
According to one scientific study, following improvements were noted when it comes to human exercise performance.
- Improvement in muscular strength
- Maximal oxygen intake
- Increased work capacity
- Heart rate improvement
- Enhanced visual and auditory reaction time
- Improvement in alertness and mental agility
4. A Panacea for High Altitude Stress
Of many names by which Shilajit is referred to, “conqueror of mountains” is the most apt to describe the high altitude stress related properties of this Ayurvedic superfood.
Mountaineers and trekkers have to face a lot of issues as they gain elevation during mountain climb especially as they cross the threshold of 10,000 feet.
Starting with dizziness, nausea, tiredness, lethargy, diarrhea, to symptoms of acute mountain sickness, insomnia, body pain, hypoxia, high altitude cerebral edema (HACE), high altitude pulmonary edema (HAPE), there are several issues that high altitude mountaineers have to cope with.
These problems arise due to low levels of oxygen, high atmospheric pressure, very high fluctuation of night and day temperature and high level of solar radiation among others.
Higher one goes, the more the chances of escalation of these problems increase rapidly.
Scientific studies have found that Shilajit can help deal with or reduce these symptoms and high altitude stress significantly.
This Ayurvedic superfood with 84 minerals that include copper, silver, zinc and iron and metabolites like humic acid and fulvic acid who act as transporter of these minerals to deep tissue accelerates the production of energy, blood and oxygen level in our body.
Fulvic acid also removes the deep seated toxins from our body.
In many scientific studies, it has been found Shilajit can help alleviate the symptoms associated with high altitude trekking owing to below listed properties and effects:
- Gastro-intestinal tonic
5. Strengthens Immune System
Maintaining a strong immune system is crucial for our overall health and well-being. This wonder Ayurvedic herb plays a crucial role in strengthening our immune system which helps our body protect and fight against harmful viruses and bacteria.
The rich mineral composition of Shilajit and phytochemicals like Fulvic Acid which acts as metabolite enhance the body’s natural defense mechanisms, preventing illness and promoting optimal health.
And as Charaka said, Shilajit can cure any disease related to our mind and body, so has studies have shown that taking Shilajit regularly can help build our immune system to fight against diseases and gives us longevity.
6. Enhances Cognitive Functions
Cognitive health is crucial for maintaining mental clarity, focus, and memory as we age. Shilajit has been recognized for its potential in supporting brain function and preserving cognitive health.
Studies have shown that Shilajit may help improve memory, enhance learning abilities, and protect against age-related cognitive decline.
The fulvic acid found in Shilajit has been associated with neuroprotective effects, helping to shield brain cells from damage caused by oxidative stress and inflammation.
7. Manages Stress
Stress has become a prevalent issue in our modern lives, affecting both our physical and mental well-being. Shilajit has been recognized for its adaptogenic properties, meaning it helps the body adapt and respond to stress more effectively.
By lowering the production of stress hormones and promoting the release of oxytocin, the “feel-good” hormone, Shilajit can help induce a sense of calm and relaxation, and improves mood. It supports emotional well-being and can contribute to a more balanced and blissful state of mind.
8. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Chronic fatigue syndrome is characterized by the long term condition in which we feel extreme tiredness or fatigue. Ever felt like not going to work after waking up or missing the school or that work out session? That’s exactly what chronic fatigue syndrome does.
Researchers have found that it is mitochondrial dysfunction that is responsible for chronic fatigue syndrome. Mitochondrial dysfunction occurs when the cells in our body don’t produce enough energy.
In one study,  it was found that Shilajit reversed the chronic fatigue syndrome induced immobility period by reversing mitochondrial oxidative stress.
The 85+ minerals and metabolites (phytochemicals like fulvic acids present in Shilajit gives nutrition to deep tissue and leads to production of immense energy and oxygen thereby alleviating the symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome.
9. Slows Aging Process
Since Shilajit is rich in fulvic acid, a strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, it also protects against free radicals and cellular damage by reducing oxidative stress. As a result, regular use of Shilajit may contribute to longevity and slow down the aging process.
10. Helps with Anemia
Anemia is the medical condition when our body does not produce enough red blood cells. Red blood cells are made in bone marrow of our body and contains the vital protein hemoglobin which is responsible for carrying oxygen from lungs to all parts of our body.
Amenia symptoms include fatigue, inflamed tongue, mouth ulcer, dizziness and cold hands and feet among others.
The main cause of anemia is the deficiency of iron in our body or the problems with the bone marrow. Studies have shown that taking Shilajit can effectively help with anemia.
Among the minerals present in this Ayurvedic superfood is iron as well as metabolites and phytochemicals such as fulvic acid and humic acid. Fulvic acid helps in the absorption of iron into the body, making it bioavailable to bone marrow stem cells for blood formation.
11. Skin Care and Rejuvenation
Studies reveal that shilajit can help to keep our skin tighter, reducing fine lines and wrinkles while also promoting skin regeneration.
Shilajit’s detoxifying abilities enable it to eliminate toxins from our skin pores and repair our cells due to the presence of phytochemicals and vital minerals required for cell nourishment and repair.
Fulvic and humic acids are both perfect for the skin, as they can help maintain the natural oils found in the skin and aid in its ability to produce collagen.
The power of Shilajit to detoxify, rejuvenate, and nourish skin cells is also beneficial in protecting skin tissues from damage caused by free radicals. Shilajit also has radio protective properties which protects our skin from radiation other environmental factors.
It is stated in the Charaka Samhita, “There is no curable disease in the universe which is not effectively cured by silajatu when administered at the appropriate time, in combination with suitable drugs and by adopting the prescribed method. When administered to a healthy person, with similar conditions it produces immense energy.”
Shilajit is one of the most impeccable tonifying and rejuvenating herbal remedies that exists in the Ayurvedic system of medicine. It’s one of the reasons why it is referred to as the conqueror of mountains and destroyer of weakness.
There are many health benefits attributed to Shilajit based upon the traditional wisdom of Ayurveda and recent scientific studies. This wonder Ayurvedic herb has also been found effective against various chronic and lethal and age related diseases like arthritis, diabetes, dementia, memory loss, addiction, cancer and Alzheimer’s Disease. However, the full effects of Shilajit on the human requires further investigation.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this blog is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical advice by a healthcare professional.Reader should consult their physician or a certified Ayurvedic practitioner to determine the appropriateness of the information for the reader’s situation.
A digital marketer and content crafter by profession and a keen traveler, amateur photographer, avid reader and ayurveda enthusiast by passion, Nikhil Chandra applies his educational qualification and professional experience to write on a range of topics that includes wander wisdom, ayurvedic health and wellness tips and search marketing.