Everything You Need To Know About Shilajit
Scientific Name: Shilajit
Any Other Names: Mumijo, Andean Shilajit, Gomutra Shilajit, Karpura Shilajit
Primary Constituents: Humic/Fulvic Acid, DBP, and DBP with Chromoproteins, Oligoelements (e.g. Selenium)
Country or Region of Origin: India, Russia, Asia, South America
Known Uses: Anti-fatigue, Muscle Building
General History & Introduction
Shilajit is a common ingredient in many traditional Ayurvedic practices. It is a black to brown colored powder and is most often found in higher altitudes, usually on mountains. Sometimes it is incorrectly referred to as a tar or resin. Unlike resins, Shilajit is easily soluble in water and insoluble with ethanol. It has been speculated that Shilajit comes from the decomposition of resin-bearing plants; and it is loosely associated with the plants Euphorbia roleana and Trifolium repens, which may produce the substance (Agarwal et al., 2007). Typically, there are two types of Shilajit, although the powder winds up a part of many concoctions (even including other nootropics such as ashwagandha or various mushrooms). The two types of Shilajit are Gomutra Shilajit and Karpura Shilajit (Ghosal et al., 1976).
Nootropic Benefits of Shilajit
Anti-Fatigue and Energy Booster
One of Shilajit’s most profound benefits is its ability to reduce fatigue and help the body conserve energy (Carrasco-Gallardo et al., 2012). One recent study specifically revealed its potential to elicit favorable muscle growth during various workouts (Keller et al., 2019). These energy boosts come from the herb’s ability to metabolize more ATP in the body and thus improving mitochondrial function. This study directly suggested an overall benefit to exercise performance, enhanced anti-fatigue effects, and increased muscle mass and strength (2019).
Memory and Cognitive Stimulation
Shilajit has been well-known for its ability to improve the condition of those suffering from cognitive disorders, especially those associated with aging, such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease (Carrasco-Gallardo et al., 2012). The herb is an excellent cognitive stimulant and has been used for centuries to promote memory formation and memory recall (2012). For these reasons it has proven extremely useful in the fields of neurological studies.
Muscle Building and Workouts
Shilajit is a popular workout and muscle building nootropic for its ability to promote energy and reduce fatigue. This extra resistance to tiring can give workout and fitness participants that extra burst of energy when they need it most. There are body builders who find Shilajit extremely effective in extending the duration of their workout and the quality of their muscle gains (Keller et al., 2019).
Antioxidant and Immune System
The fulvic acid content of Shilajit possesses powerful antioxidant properties (Vucskits et al., 2010). It is able to bolster immunomodulatory response and overall immune system (Bhavsar et al., 2016). Shilajit is also known for its adaptogenic abilities, helping the body purge stress and function more smoothly. Recent studies suggest these properties contribute to the herb’s ability to boost physical and mental performance (2016).
Sometimes Shilajit is only used for its general, energy boosting effects within beverage concoctions, especially those containing milk (Carrasco-Gallardo et al., 2012). Since it has been so closely associated with anti-fatigue properties, it is usually consumed around breakfast time to promote improved energy and physical performance throughout the day. The herb has also been associated with overall health and longevity (2012). Shilajit can be useful in the treatment of anemia, enlarged spleen, kidney stones, edema, bronchitis, epilepsy, nervous disorders and hemorrhoids (Ghosal et al., 1995). It has also been used as an internal antiseptic, to reduce anorexia, and to treat jaundice (1995).
Dosing and Usage Information
Generally Shilajit is consumed as a powder. A normal supplement serving size of Shilajit would be around 250 mg of purified powder per day.
Most side effects are only experienced upon consuming raw or unprocessed Shilajit. This is usually due to contaminants or fungus which can cause illness. Purified Shilajit is generally accepted as safe for consumption within daily established values. It is recommended that people suffering from sickle cell anemia, hemochromatosis, or thalassemia avoid using Shilajit.
Other Important Information
Traditional Ayurvedic practices classify Shilajit into four different categories. The four categories are Suvarna Shilajit, Rajat Shilajit, Tamr Shilajit and the most popular Loh Shilajit (Ghosal, 1976). Although it is most commonly known to be found in (and originates from) the Himalayas, it has been considered for its health benefits and nootropic effects for centuries (Carrasco-Gallardo et al., 2012).
Although minimal modern research exists on Shilajit, enough traditional, historical use merits its place in many nootropic stacks. Obtaining a purified extract of Shilajit is the most common way to find it as a supplement. It’s independent abilities to relieve stress and tension from the mind and body, while also promoting physical and cognitive performance makes it a wonderful part of almost anyone’s routine. Whether it is mixed into a nootropic stack in pill form, a part of a proprietary blend, or being mixed into a beverage as a powder, the herb is extremely valuable in the world of nutraceuticals and nootropics.
A Note from NooFiles
This article is intended to be used for information only. We want to remind you that consulting your physician is recommended before adding any dietary supplement of any kind to your daily regimen.
Agarwal, S., Khanna, R., Karmarkar, R., Anwer, K., and Khalid, K. (February 13, 2007). Shilajit: A Review. Phytotherapy Research. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Vol. 21(5). Pp. 401–405. DOI:10.1002/ptr.2100
Bhavsar, S., Thaker, A., and Malik, J. (2016). Champter 51 – Shilajit. Nutraceuticals: Efficacy, Safety and Toxicity. Pp. 707-716. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-802147-7.00051-6
Carrasco-Gallardo, C., Guzmán, L., and Maccioni, R. B. (2012). Shilajit: a natural phytocomplex with potential procognitive activity. International journal of Alzheimer’s disease. PMID: 674142. https://doi.org/10.1155/2012/674142
Ghosal, S., Mukherjee, B., and Bhattacharya, S. (1995). Shilajit—a comparative study of the ancient and the modern scientific findings. Indian Journal of Indigenous Medicine. Vol. 17. Pp. 1–10.
Ghosal, S., Reddy, J., and Lal, V. (May 1, 1976). Shilajit I: Chemical Constituents. Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences. Vol. 65(5). Pp. 772–773. DOI:10.1002/jps.2600650545
Keller, J. L., Housh, T. J., Hill, E. C., Smith, C. M., Schmidt, R. J., and Johnson, G. O. (2019). The effects of Shilajit supplementation on fatigue-induced decreases in muscular strength and serum hydroxyproline levels. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 16(1), 3. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12970-019-0270-2
Vucskits AV, Hullár I, Bersényi A, Andrásofszky E, Kulcsár M, Szabó J. (2010). Effect of fulvic and humic acids on performance, immune response and thyroid function in rats. J Anim Physiol Anim Nutr (Berl). Vol. 94(6). Pp. 721-8. DOI: 10.1111/j.1439-0396.2010.01023.x