hilajit is not a recently developed product or a brand name. It is a substance that is so old that it is described in detail in ancient Hindu texts. "Shilajit" (properly pronounced Sil'-i-jeet") literally means "conqueror of mountains & destroyer of weakness" in Sanskrit. In the ancient Charak, it is described as a substance for which "there is hardly any curable disease that cannot be assisted."
A bituminous substance found in the lower Himalayan mountains, Shilajit has been elevated over thousands of years in terms both commonly practical and deeply spiritual. In its native state, Shilajit is a compact mass of vegetable organic matter composed of a dark gummy matrix - thought to be largely the result of humification of the plant Styrax officinalis Linn and/or Euphorbia royleana Boiss. It is gathered from stone formations, either on the ground or from fissures in the rocks. Before refinement, Shilajit is a semi-hard, brownish black to dark, greasy, black resin that has a distinctive smell and taste.
Many health benefits are attributed to Shilajit by regular users who live near the Himalayan mountains. It us known as a strong kidney tonic and is said to increase the body's core energy, responsible for sexual and spiritual power (which is why some have nicknamed it "Indian Viagra"). It is, therefore, considered an anecdote for anxiety and stress.
Among Ayurvedic practitioners, Shilajit is considered indicated for genito-urinary diseases, diabetes, gallstones, jaundice, digestive disorders, enlarged spleen, epilepsy, nervous disesases, elephantiasis, chronic bronchitis, worms, piles, adiposity, renal and bladder stones, nervous diseases, amenorrhoea, dysmenorrhoea, menorrhagia, exczema, bone fracture, anorexia, and anaemia. Its properties include aphrodisiac, rejunvenator, alterative tonic, respiratory, stimulant, internal antiseptic, diuretic, and lithontriptic.
Ayurvedic practitioners also commonly report that Shilajit:
Shilajit ("encyclopedia article" by botanical.com)
Unearthing the evidence ("The claims that surround folk medicines may not all be down to superstition...")
Shilajit comparative study of the ancient and the modern scientific findings published by Indian Medlars Centre. [ Conclusion: "The biological effects of shilajit revealed by modern research lend credence to its anti-aging and rejuvenating properties as claimed in Ayurveda." ]
Fulvic acids and Shilajit
Fulvica Bio-Science -- describes role of fulvic acid
-- on same site: "Renowned longevity and health of isolated Himalayan cultures is linked to fulvic acid extracted from fossil-like humic substances."
Fulvica - Pharmacological Studies
Shilajit: Sacred Soma of the Alchemists
Research references on shilajit
Effects of Shilajit on Memory, Anxiety, and Brain Monoamines in Rats (PDF format) [ Summary: "... The observed neurochemical effects induced by shilajit, indicating a decrease in rat brain 5-hydroxytryptamine turnover, associated with an increase in dopaminergic activity, helps to explain the observed nootropic and anxiolytic effects of the drug.")
Shilajit, the Traditional Panacea: Its Properties
Ayurvedic Adaptogenic Herbs - Though not an "herb," Dr. John Douillard, D.C., includes shilajit in this interesting summary of Ayurvedic's Adaptogenic class of compounds.
Is there a scientific basis for the claims that end users make about Shilajit, some of which, to the outsider, seem outrageous?
We know that Shilajit is primarily composed of fulvic acid. We also know that fulvic acid rests at the end of the life cycle: it is the end product of nature's humification process. It contains all of the phytochemical protective substances, amino acid peptides, nucleic acids, etc. from the original plant matter.
Numerous ongoing studies on the medical applications of Shilajit have been going on in China since 1978 with astonishing clinical results.
For those who don't want to wait for the pharmaceutical companies to get involved and figure out a way to monopolize an extract ...
. . . there's Shilajit.
DirectionsEach hard gelatin capsule contains extract derived from 500 mg. of raw Shilajit, a complex mixture of organic compounds obtained as exudates from rock surfaces mainly found in the Himalayas. Take 1 to 2 capsules with a glass of your favorite beverage. (The label instructions from Dubar, the manufacturer, say "milk," but that would not be our first choice.) Not suitable for persons known to have kidney calculus (stones).
Ingredients: Aqueous extract of raw shilajit, starch, capsule shelf (gelatin & water) and talc. Sealed for freshness and security. Keep away from children. Store in a cool, dry place.
Made in India.