Shilajit, also known as Mumijo, is a natural powdery substance blackish-brown in colour, found from rocks formed in high mountains of India (Himalayas), Russia, and also in the northern part of Chile (Andean Shilajit). Developed through centuries of the slow decay of plant matter by the agents like microorganisms, Shilajit is widely used as an Indian traditional Ayurvedic medicine for its numerous health benefits.

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Let us take a look at the key benefits of Shilajit –

  • Ageing

The fulvic acid in Shilajit being a potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory provides protection against free radicals as well as against cellular damage. This, in turn, makes Shilajit very effective in controlling the ageing process and boosting overall wellbeing.

  • Increases testosterone level

Men often suffer from low testosterone levels. The hormone being the chief sex hormone, a decrease in its level can affect men’s health in many ways including lowering sex drive, causing loss of muscle mass and hair, fatigue or accumulation of body fat.

Regular intake of Shilajit in a dose of 250 milligrams (mg) twice a day can be effective in increasing the hormone levels.

  • Infertility

Male infertility causes a lot of distress. Studies have revealed that with a dose of Shilajit, twice a day, there can be a rise in total sperm count. Shilajit also plays a role in raising sperm motility or the capacity of sperms to move effectively, which is a critical cog of fertility.

  • Chronic fatigue syndrome

Shilajit supplements are also known to address chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), which is a lasting medical condition and includes the dysfunction of the mitochondria. CFS happens when cells stop producing energy. Under the condition, an individual can experience excessive tiredness or fatigue. CFS often makes it difficult to carry out the day to day activities. Shilajit is effective in curing this by addressing the dysfunction and restoring energy.

  • High altitude sickness

Due to low atmospheric pressure, extreme cold and high-velocity winds, higher altitudes often result in various types of health issues like hypoxia, pulmonary oedema, exhaustion, body ache, dementia, even sleeplessness. Studies show Shilajit, which contains over 80 kinds of minerals and fulvic acid, has the potential to address these problems.

The chief constituent of Shilajit is Fulvic acid which is an antioxidant and has the power to advance immunity and memory. It is also known to play the role of an anti-inflammatory and energy enhancer. Another interesting potential of this herbal element is that it can be used as a diuretic for eliminating surplus fluid from the body — all these help in countering the conditions linked with higher altitudes.

  • Anaemia

Anaemia or iron deficiency is a prevalent disease in women but also occurs in men due to low-iron diets, lack of the ability to absorb iron, or from blood loss. The condition comes with signs of sheer lack of energy, unstable heartbeat, cold hands and feet and headache. Many researchers agree that with regular intake of Shilajit supplements, iron levels can rise.

  • Heart health

Shilajit, when taken as a dietary supplement, is known to promote heart health. However, people with acute heart disease must not take it.

  • Alzheimer’s disease

Alzheimer’s disease or the progressive brain disorder tamper with one’s memory, thinking ability also with behaviour. Though several medical cures exist to treat the condition, Shilajit, because of its molecular composition can stop or arrest the advancement of Alzheimer’s.

Tau protein is an extremely critical component of the nervous system. However, the accumulation of these proteins leads to brain-cell damage. Fulvic acid, a powerful antioxidant present in Shilajit, supports cognitive health as it thwarts building up of tau protein, thereby reducing inflammation, and effectively convalescing Alzheimer’s symptoms.

Side effects

Being a natural ingredient, Shilajit is mostly safe, provided you are not taking it untreated or unprocessed. Contaminations present in raw Shilajit like free radicals, metal ions and fungus can lead to health disorders. Before buying, you must check the level and ensure that it has been processed and is ready for consumption.

It is also essential to be watchful about the store from where you are buying it, as being a herbal product, there is no administrative control on its quality, purity, or strength.

If you are afflicted with conditions like - hemochromatosis (excess iron in the blood), sickle cell anaemia, or thalassemia - do not try it. It is also important to be sure that you are not allergic to it. Allergic reactions include body rash, rapid heartbeat and vertigo.

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Shilajit supplements are available in the market both as liquid and powder. Follow the instructions before taking the supplements.

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Medically reviewed by Rishabh Verma, RP