By Esme Evan-Cook
Strengthen your memory, enhance your immunity, boost your energy and slow the aging process. Sound good? We thought so too. These are just a few of the health benefits of taking Shilajit. Previously predominately targeted at a male gym going market, the incredible benefits of Himalayan Shilajit are now becoming more widely publicised and are most definitely of interest to all sexes and all ages.
What is it?
Shilajit originates from India and Tibet, though it is now found in many other countries, and has been used in traditional Indian Ayurvedic medicine for centuries.
Shilajit, sometimes referred to as mineral pitch is the result of a long process of breaking down plant matter and minerals. It is a sticky, black, tar-like substance that comes from rocks in high mountain ranges like the Himalayas.
What can it do?
Slow down ageing: Shilajit does this by controlling the ageing process and maintaining your vitality. The presence of fulvic acid, which is one of the key concentrations within Shilajit, has anti-inflammatory properties and functions as an antioxidant. The result being it reduces the cell damage in your body as well as decreasing the production of free radicals within the body, both of which cause ageing.
Improve memory and brain health: Being a powerful antioxidant Shilajit is known to help increase your overall brain health in particular sharpening memory and increasing attention span.
There has been a lot of research and results to suggest that Shilajit can even help in preventing Alzheimer’s disease.
Higher levels of fertility and testosterone in men: A scientific study of 60 men found that more than half prescribed Shilajit supplements saw an increase in sperm count. Further studies showed men aged between 45-60 who took Shilajit daily had increased levels of testosterone.
Help contribute to healthy bones: Shilajit has positive effects on overall bone health, containing good quantities of calcium, which is essential for healthy bones. It also helps the body absorb nutrients from food which are needed to fight against conditions like osteoporosis.
Increase energy levels: Consumed daily Shilajit is known to increase energy levels, being packed with nutrient rich antioxidants to provide energy to the body cells. It has even been recommended for those who suffer with chronic fatigue syndrome to help reduce tiredness levels and act as an energy boost.
What are the potential side effects?
As with most supplements there are potential side effects to be aware of before taking. Those with high iron levels in their blood should avoid taking it as it may further increase iron levels.
Shilajit may also alter the body’s hormone levels, in particular with increased levels of testosterone, something female users may want to be particularly aware of.
Raw or unprocessed Shilajit may be contaminated with heavy metals so make sure that you are getting yours from a reliable source.
How to consume Shilajit?
Shilajit is most commonly sold in powdered or liquid form and can be found in many health food shops, it will come with an appropriate preparation method on the pack. The liquid form is usually dissolved in water or milk and can be consumed 1-3 times each day. It doesn’t taste great but the brief bad taste is far outweighed by the benefits of taking it daily.
Your doctor or physician may have specific instructions for you, so check with them first. For most healthy people, 300-500mg is the maximum safe dose per day. Always make sure to research products before taking and if concerned ask a doctor for advice.