11 health benefits of Shilajit, an Ayurvedic resin, we bet you didnโ€™t know!


Shilajit is an Ayurvedic medicine that has many benefits such as promoting bone health, increasing testosterone and enhancing immunity. Read on to know more

A brown powder or a sticky substance, Shilajit is an Ayurvedic medicine that is known for its multiple benefits. Ranging from better bone health to enhancing sexual performance and boosting brain function, Shilajit has been touted to be a quite a wonder supplement. Shilajit contains antioxidants and may have a positive effect on your body, provided it is used in the right way.

What is Shilajit?

Shilajit is an Ayurvedic supplement, a dark-hued powder or secretion obtained from the lofty mountain rocks, primarily in the Himalayan range spanning between India and Nepal. โ€œEmployed for centuries within the realm of Ayurvedic medicine, Shilajit is esteemed for its revitalizing attributes and its role as an anti-aging agent,โ€ explains AyurvedA expert Dr Monica B Sood.

Uses of Shilajit

Now that you know what Shilajit is, you may want to know what is Shilajit used for. Shilajit has many uses which help in overall wellness of our bodies, as it is an antioxidant. It is used to improve our immunity. It is also an energy-booster and can support metabolism too. Additionally, it is used to control appetite and cravings, and therefore, even aids weight loss. When it comes to Shilajit benefits for women, there are also multiple reasons why it may be a good addition for them!

11 health benefits of Shilajit

1. Preventing Alzheimerโ€™s Disease

Shilajit enhances cognition and memory, and can help in the prevention of Alzheimerโ€™s Disease. โ€œThis Ayurvedic medicine is believed to stimulate the production of nerve growth factors crucial for sustaining healthy neural pathways and memory retention,โ€ explains Dr Sood. A study published in Pharmaceuticals points out that Shilajit can prevent or slow down Alzheimerโ€™s progression. Also, fulvic acid that is present in Shilajit, leads to a halt in the production of tau protein, a form of protein that plays a role in the progression of Alzheimerโ€™s disease

2. Impacts testosterone levels

One of the biggest Shilajit benefits for males is that it can help in increasing testosterone levels. As a result, it boosts energy for physical activity and even enhances sex drive. While synthetic steroids are often employed to amplify testosterone levels, they frequently induce adverse effects such as liver damage, cardiovascular complications, and mood fluctuations. โ€œConversely, this Ayurvedic medicine is a natural and benign alternative,โ€ says Dr Sood. A clinical study published in Andrologia, gave pacebo to half of the volunteers, aged between 45-55 years. The other half was administered 250 mg of shilajit twice a day. After 90 days, the group that was given Shilajit, had higher levels of testosterone.

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3. Mitigates Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

CFS is known to cause extreme fatigue and exhaustion. Shilajit can help prevent this, and even reduce the symptoms. A condition known as mitochondrial dysfunction can happen in your body when your cells are not producing enough energy. โ€œThis Ayurvedic medicine effectively mitigates chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS)-induced mitochondrial dysfunction. Moreover, Shilajit demonstrates the ability to reverse CFS-induced mitochondrial oxidative stress that can lead to fatigue and headaches,โ€ explains Dr Sood. This research, published in Journal of Ethnopharmacology, tested lab rats for 21 days. They were given Shilajit and were forced to swim for 15 minutes, thereby inducing CFS. It was revealed that Shilajit prevented mitochondrial dysfunction.

4. Alleviates altitude sickness

The common challenges faced by individuals ascending to high altitudes from lower elevations are high-altitude pulmonary edema (fluid accumulation in the lungs), acute mountain sickness, high-altitude cerebral edema (brain swelling), loss of appetite, hypoxia (inadequate oxygen in tissues), insomnia, lethargy, gastrointestinal discomfort, as well as physical and mental fatigue. โ€œShilajit addresses these issues. Fulvic acid within Shilajit has been associated with stimulating energy production and blood cell formation, as well as preventing hypoxia,โ€ says Dr Sood. A study published in International Journal of Ayurveda Research, states that fluvic acid in Shilajit, has a total of 84 minerals, that helps the bodyโ€™s immunity and gives energy.

5. Addresses anaemia

Iron deficiency or reduction in blood cells can cause anemia. โ€œShilajit, known for its iron content, offers potential benefits in addressing this condition. indicating promising therapeutic advantages in anaemia,โ€ says Dr Sood. This study in the Journal of Pharamceutical and Biomedical sciences talks about the effect of Shilajit on anaemia-induced rats. The study deduced that the rats had higher levels of hemoglobin as well as red blood cells.

6. Helps with infertility

Shilajit benefits for female patients includes the fact that it addresses irregular menstrual cycles in women, which can influence their fertility. โ€œBy assisting in regulating the menstrual cycle, Shilajit positively influences womenโ€™s reproductive health. It enhances the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the reproductive organs while actively aiding in the elimination of toxins and harmful substances,โ€ says Dr Sood. A study, published in Andrologia, states that shilajit may lead to an increase in sperm count in men.

A woman showing her arm strength
Shilajit can help absorbtion of calcium and other minerals to bone tissue. Image courtesy: Freepik

7. Helps enhance bone health

In women, the decline in estrogen levels during menopause results in reduced calcium absorption, leading to bone weakening and decreased bone mineral density. โ€œShilajit, a remarkable natural remedy, aids in fortifying bones by enhancing the transportation of essential minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and phosphate into bone and muscle tissues,โ€ says Dr Sood. A study published in Phytomedicine states that Shilajit improves bone mass and bone density.

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8. Manages Cholesterol

One of the biggest Shilajit benefits is that it contributes to the maintenance of heart health by aiding in the management of cholesterol levels. โ€œThis natural substance is known to contain compounds that lower the levels of LDL (bad cholesterol) while simultaneously increasing HDL (good cholesterol),โ€ says Dr Sood.

9. Anti-ageing effects

Shilajitโ€™s antioxidant properties may contribute to slowing down the aging process, promoting healthier skin, and reducing the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. This study, published in Molecules, suggests that Shilajit has fulvic acid that protects the body against cellular damage and free radicals.

10. Immune system support

Shilajit reviews from people to take the supplement suggest that it strengthens the immune system, helping the body defend against infections and diseases. A study, published in Fish and Shellfish Immunology, states that Shilajit helps to build the bodyโ€™s immunity.

11. Improved digestive health

It may aid in digestion and gut health by promoting the production of digestive enzymes and supporting the balance of gut bacteria. A study, published in International Journal of Ayurveda Research, states that Shilajit helps with absorption of food in the gastrointestinal tract.

How to take Shilajit?

Shilajit comes in the form of capsules or in powder form, like a supplement. The capsule can be taken with warm milk and the powder can either be dissolved in milk or in water. There are many shilajit capsules available in the market such as the Himalayan Shilajit.

How much shilajit should be taken per day?

According to the Indian Journal of Ayurveda Research, 300-500 milligrams of shilajit can be taken per day. However, it is important to consult your doctor or healthcare provider before adding Shilajit to your wellness plan at any age and stage of life.

Who should not take Shilajit?

People with the following conditions should refrain:

  • Pregnant or breastfeeding women
  • Children
  • People with sickle cell anemia, hemochromatosis or thalassemia

Also Read: 5 benefits of Shilajit which make it a herb worth every penny

Blood in a tube
Shilajit helps keep anemia at bay. image courtesy: Freepik

Side effects of Shilajit

Some likely side effects of Shilajit include:

1. Allergic reactions

One of the most important shilajit side effects is that some people may experience allergic reactions to Shilajit. This can lead to symptoms such as itching, rash, swelling, or difficulty breathing.

2. Digestive issues

In some cases, this Ayurvedic medicine may cause gastrointestinal discomfort such as nausea, diarrhea, or upset stomach. These symptoms are typically mild and transient.

3. Heavy metal contamination

Shilajit sourced from contaminated regions may contain trace amounts of heavy metals such as lead, arsenic, or mercury. Prolonged exposure to these metals can lead to toxicity and adverse health effects

4. Interactions with medications

Shilajit may interact with certain medications, particularly those used to manage blood sugar levels, blood pressure, or blood-thinning medications. Therefore, it is essential that you consult a doctor before starting this Ayurvedic medicine.

5. Electrolyte imbalance

Due to its high mineral content, excessive intake of this Ayurvedic medicine may disrupt electrolyte balance in the body, leading to symptoms such as muscle cramps, weakness, or irregular heartbeat.

Summary

With 85 iconic minerals, Shilajit is a wonder Ayurvedic drug that is sure to bring you many health benefits. It contains fulvic acid, and when used correctly, it can enhance your fitness as well as wellness levels. It was initially found in India and Tibet, and has not gained prominence all over the world. While the benefits are many, it is important to speak to your doctor before consumption of shilajit.



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