By Doctor Seeta Shah BSc (Hons), MBChB
As a medical doctor working in the NHS, I am continuously seeing people who have chronic illnesses and diseases, which just did not exist a hundred years ago. We are all living more stressful lives and with that comes increased fatigue, not looking after our bodies in the way we should be and unfortunately accepting the fact that they have to live with these chronic conditions and constantly feeling fatigued.
I am however, also seeing a shift in the way that a lot of people think, in the sense that they are wanting to step away from conventional medicines and look for alternatives which give the same positive effects but with far fewer side effects. There is also a general trend of people wanting to shift to more sustainable methods and products which are being naturally sourced. This is where Shilajit comes into play.
So, firstly let us talk about what Shilajit is. It is known as ‘the destroyer of weakness’ and is also referred to as ‘mumijo’. It is a blackish-brown powder or an exudate from high mountain rocks, often found in the Himalayas, however can also be found in various other mountain ranges. Most current theories state that it could have been produced from plants that were trapped in the rocks when the Himalayas were being formed 55 million years ago. It is a highly viscous substance like a tar or resin. However, unlike the former, it is readily soluble in water. Shilajit is composed of 60% to 80% humic substances such as humic and fulvic acids.
So why exactly should Shilajit be a part of your daily routine?
1. Ayurvedic Medicine (the oldest medical practice on Earth)
Shilajit has been used in India for thousands of years until the present day for its medicinal purposes as part of Ayurvedic medicine. Ayurveda focuses on finding and restoring imbalances within the body which are defined by balancing three centres of energy. and preventative measures, mostly through diet and lifestyle. Recently, Ayurvedic techniques and practices are being discovered and adopted outside of India, along with the herbs, plants and roots commonly used. Shilajit has been an ingredient used only in remote corners of the world previously, but as the ancient Ayurvedic knowledge spreads across the world, many have started to reap the rewards of shilajit too. It has been shown to have many beneficial properties such as helping with infertility, arthritis, diabetes, depression etc. It is common knowledge that ancient methods do work and this is the same when it comes to using Shiljait!
2. Contains High Levels of Fulvic Acid
Shilajit contains a high amount of fulvic acid. This is a strong antioxidant and is thought to have the following effects on the body;
Helps to combat fatigue as well as help to maintain muscular strength and acts as an anti-ageing property.
Asthma, allergies, and eczema, along with many other disorders, can be associated with overactive immune cells. In these cases, anti-inflammatory drugs are critical for reducing symptoms. Several studies indicate that fulvic acid can act as an anti-inflammatory by reducing the release of pro-inflammatory mediators from cells. Through its anti-inflammatory properties, some research shows it can also potentially improve Alzheimer’s symptoms by seizing the build-up of tau protein, which in normal quantities are an important part of your nervous system, however a build-up can trigger brain cell damage.
3. Helps with Fertility
A lot of research has been done in how shilajit helps with infertility. The safety of Shilajit is well documented based on animal and human studies with dosing being a key factor in this. Various research studies also indicate that Shilajit exhibits antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, adaptogenic, immunomodulatory, and anti-dyslipidemic properties. In men, it is known that regular Shilajit helps to increase testosterone levels, the primary male sex hormone. One study revealed, taking a 250 mg dose of the Ayurvedic remedy twice a day for 90 days helped significantly increase levels of total testosterone as well as free testosterone and dehydroepiandrosterone, a hormone that’s a precursor to testosterone, in healthy volunteers. In Ayurveda shilajit is often used as part of remedies to boost libido.
Shilajit has also been found to be helpful in combating anaemia. An animal study found that Shilajit given at the dosage of 500 mg/kg had anti-anaemic activity, improving haemoglobin levels and red blood cell count and fighting iron-deficiency anaemia, which is a more common problem for women with the main side effect being extreme fatigue.
*to find out in detail how shilajit can play a part in improving your chances of fertility please see previous post here.
4. Great for the Skin!
One of the reasons that a lot of people turn to Shilajit is due to the great effects it has on the skin. Due to the strong anti-inflammatory and antioxidant affects that fulvic acid contains, it is thought to help protect against free radicals and cellular damage and thus ease the ageing process of the skin. I use Altai Mountain Shilajit Soap daily and also the Shilajit Skin Balm which I love! It gives me a lovely glow and smells amazing.
5. Easy to Use
Altai Mountain Shilajit provide various forms of how you can take the Shilajit. They offer a resin which comes in a tub in different sizes, a choice of 3 capsules, soaps and ointments. Therefore there is something for everyone and you can tailor your Shilajit regime to suit you! Your body will be able to tell you what works best for you and you can experiment with all the forms and Altai Mountain Shilajit would happily guide you through them. Shilajit is 100% water soluble and therefore it can be easily added to your beverage of choice and you can be creative with it. Another use for it can be in your garden! You can add it as part of your plant feed and they will be thriving.
So, let us talk about the safety of Shilajit and the best places to source it from. When using Shilajit, it is very important that you use pure Shilajit that has been processed and is free of contaminants. Raw Shilajit may be contaminated with fungal organisms or free radicals that can cause damage to the cells in your body.
Altai Mountain Shilajit products make sure that you are getting the purest form of Shilajit. They contain no GMO’s, are 100% natural and organic, vegan friendly and have 3rd party lab test status as well as having no added ingredients. Another benefit of their products is that they will arrive to you in eco-friendly packaging! So, not only will you be helping out your body but the environment too!
Even though the research for the use of Shilajit is in its early stages, it’s benefits look very promising and Shilajit may well be a part of your daily routine soon!
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Disclaimer: Always contact your doctor before using a herbal remedy like Shilajit if unsure. It may interact with other medications being taken and may not be suitable for all groups of people.