Shilajit: An Herb for Rejuvenation and Beyond
Found at high altitudes within some of the great mountain ranges of the world, Shilajit (Asphaltum Punjabianum) is cultivated when microbes digest a mixture of minerals and decomposed plants over time, creating a dark, sticky resin. While its specific phytochemical makeup varies depending on the region it is harvested from, Shilajit is considered a panacea (a remedy for all diseases) in Ayurvedic medicine because of its effectiveness in the treatment of various ailments. In the west, Shialjit is becoming a popular herb for rejuvenation and beyond.
Disclaimer: This blog is for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical advice. Please consult your health care practitioner before adding any new herbs to your wellness routine.
The medicine men of the Himalayas became aware of Shilajit by watching animals. One species of monkey lived at a higher elevation on the mountain, and was strong, agile, and communal. The species living on the lower region of the mountain was slower, sickly, and full of conflict. The difference?
The monkeys at the top of the mountain consumed the mineral pitch, also known as Shilajit, while the monkeys living below did not have access to it. Based on these findings, ancient healers began incorporating Shilajit into the medicinal practices of their regions.
History of Use
For over 3000 years, Shilajit has been used to treat various ailments, such as declined cognitive function, inflammation, blood sugar imbalance, immune dysfunction, and infertility. It is traditionally used in Ayurveda as medhya rasayana, a tonic used to nourish memory, intellect, and longevity. There are two important characteristics of a rasayana compound:
- To increase physical strength.
- To promote human health.
As trade routes opened up, Shilajit made its way from the Himalayas over to Europe. As an herb with high value, it was only purchased and consumed by the wealthy, making it a prized commodity. By the 1900’s, scientists all over Europe and Asia began to study the theories behind Shilajit’s origin, along with its phytochemical properties and wellness benefits. It was soon discovered that variations of this rejuvenating substance could be found in high altitude regions across the world.
To this day, this herbal ally is consumed by people from Nepal to combat altitude sickness and anxiety. The Sherpas of this region have helped Shilajit gain a strong reputation for supporting health and longevity (1).
The Many Forms of Shilajit
While perusing the aisles of your favourite health food store, you may notice Shilajit in powder, resin, or liquid form. Depending on the source, either of these options will provide you with the benefits of this herbal ally. When extracted correctly, a powder form can be even more potent than resin or liquid.
At Harmonic Arts, we source our Shilajit powder directly from the Himalayas in India. This region is free from environmental pollutants, and the mineral pitch itself is wild harvested ethically.
Our supplier follows a traditional Ayurvedic purification method, using Triphala powder and high heat to remove impurities. Next, the Shilajit undergoes a cold-water extraction under high pressure to remove any fibres. This part of the process also concentrates the levels of fulvic acid, increasing the potency of the powder.
Benefits of Shilajit
This potent superfood is packed with fulvic acid, an antioxidant that can take credit for many of Shilajit’s wellness-boosting benefits.
Traditional healing systems have known for thousands of years that Shilajit can support memory, and recent scientific research has backed up this claim. When combined with complex B vitamins, its rich fulvic acid content is shown to improve memory and even delay the onset of Alzheimer’s Disease (2). In a study done with rats, Shilajit proved to enhance learning and memory retrieval, all while soothing anxiety (3).
Known as a “revitalizer” in the scientific community, Shilajit increases adenosine triphosphate (ATP) in the body (4). Supplementing with Shilajit regulates ATP synthesis in the muscles during exercise, driving energy to our cells and supporting elevated energy and endurance. Some studies show that it’s as effective as taking CoQ10, an antioxidant that converts food into energy, at facilitating ATP synthesis (5).
Shilajit’s rich fulvic acid content makes it a powerhouse at combating oxidative damage caused by free radicals – even rivalling the antioxidant levels found in blueberries. This also makes Shilajit a complement activator, stimulating the production of antibodies to dispose of damaged cells within the body (1). By preventing and combating free radical damage, Shilajit can delay visible signs of aging.
Considering Shilajit grows in mountainous regions, it makes perfect sense that it can soothe symptoms of altitude sickness. It works to transport nutrients into the tissues, helping to combat fatigue and lethargy. This herbal ally enhances the ability to cope with the stressors of being at a higher altitude, stimulating the immune system to keep us well (6).
How to Add Shilajit to Your Routine
Our Activate Elixir features a rich blend of mushrooms and herbs to ignite your senses and restore energy. Packed with antioxidant powerhouses like Reishi, Chaga, Cacao and Shilajit, this blend provides a boost of energy and supports an uplifted mood.
Wild Harvested Shilajit
Experience the benefits of this herbal ally in its most potent form with our Wild Harvested Shilajit.
Looking to dive deeper into the world of plant medicine? Learn more about our favourite herbs and their benefits here.
- Carrasco-Gallardo, C., Guzmán, L., & Maccioni, R. B. (2012). Shilajit: A Natural Phytocomplex with Potential Procognitive Activity. International Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, 2012, 1–4. https://doi.org/10.1155/2012/674142
- Carrasco-Gallardo, C., Farías, G., Fuentes, P., Crespo, F., & Maccioni, R. B. (2012). Can nutraceuticals prevent Alzheimer’s disease? Potential therapeutic role of a formulation containing shilajit and complex B vitamins. Archives of Medical Research, 43(8), 699–704. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.arcmed.2012.10.010
- Mirza, A., Alam, M., Faiyazuddin, Mahmood, D., Bairwa, R., & Mustafa, G. (2010). Shilajit: An Ancient Panacea. International Journal of Current Pharmaceutical Review and Research, 1(1), 2–11.
- Stohs, S. J. (2013). Safety and efficacy of Shilajit (Mumie, Moomiyo). Phytotherapy Research, 28(4), 475–479. https://doi.org/10.1002/ptr.5018
- Stohs, S. J., Singh, K., Das, A., Roy, S., & Sen, C. K. (2017). Energy and Health Benefits of Shilajit. Elsevier eBooks, 187–204. https://doi.org/10.1016/b978-0-12-805413-0.00012-0
- Meena, H. S., Pandey, H., Arya, M. C., & Ahmed, Z. (2010). Shilajit: A panacea for high-altitude problems. International Journal of Ayurveda Research, 1(1), 37. https://doi.org/10.4103/0974-7788.59942