Shilajit (also known as “mumijo”) is collected in the form of a thick paste and purified for medicinal use. In traditional Indian medicine (Ayurveda), shilajit is known as a hot bitter. It is reputed to boost energy, to renew sexual and spiritual vitality and act as an overall tonic.
In addition, Indian Shilajit is said to facilitate brain function, help bones to heal, tone the kidneys and immune system and help to reduce the pain of arthritis.
It is also used to stabilize blood sugar, increase libido, tone the urinary system and help heal injuries. According to Indian folklore, shilajit can make the body as “strong as a rock.”
In Ayurvedic tradition, Indian Shilajit is used as a remedy for almost any illness or condition that can affect the human body. It is said to enhance the benefits of other herbal remedies as well.
Among the more common diseases that Ayurvedic physicians would treat with Indian Shilajit are diabetes, digestive disorders, obesity, sexual inadequacy and chronic fatigue. Shilajit is said to be able to counteract any toxic effects of other herbs as well.
It’s important to understand, however, that the statements above simply describe how Shaljit is used… very few of the claims have been rigorously tested, let alone verified (particularly in human subjects). According to a 2011 review…
“This review finds that shilajit is used in twenty Sastric formulations and twenty-four proprietary drugs for extraneous indications. Even-though, there is a long history of use of shilajit in traditional Indian materia medica, shilajit unfortunately lacks scientific evaluation and systematic documentation. In vivo antioxidant activity of shilajit has been studied at an irrelevant dose and without using a positive control. The immuno-modulatory activity does not stand the test of critical assessment and currently may be considered as unproven.”
“Unproven” doesn’t necessarily mean “wrong,” but it does mean that claims should be taken with a grain of salt.
Indian Shilajit is available in capsule form, with dosage recommendations varying from 200 to 600 mg. The better products are standardized to contain fulvic acid and humic acid, the organic compounds present in soil that are considered to provide the benefits for which shilajit is touted.
These acids contain high concentrations of minerals like calcium, magnesium and iron. Side effects are rarely reported by people who use Indian Shilajit within recommended amounts, but it should not be used by people with a high uric acid count or with by those who have a fever or flushing.