Shilajit, also known as Mumie, Moomiyo, and Mummiyo, is a sticky black resin found mostly in rocks of the Himalayan mountains of India and Tibet. It is formed from the slow decomposition of plants and develops over centuries.
Shilajit has many medicinal properties and is used in Ayurveda, an Indian traditional medicine that is found to be beneficial against diseases, improve overall health, and produce positive effects on the body. However, avoid taking Shilajit and other herbal supplements unless you consult your doctor.
18 health benefits of Shilajit
Shilajit is rich in minerals, antioxidants, and beneficial metals that prevent and protect from diseases, improving the overall health of the body. However, despite what Ayurveda may say, most of the health benefits do not have enough scientific evidence for their efficacy and safety. Thus, consult your healthcare provider before using Shilajit for any therapeutic purposes.
The 18 health benefits of Shilajit are described below:
- Brain function: The powerful antioxidant fulvic acid in Shilajit reduces inflammation, slows down the aging process, and prevents or slows down the progression of brain cell damage.
- Cognitive function: Fulvic acid in Shilajit is a strong antioxidant that improves cognitive functions because it prevents the accumulation of tau protein, which a buildup of the protein may damage the brain cells, reducing cognitive functions, such as thinking, learning, understanding, justifying, listening, questioning, and paying attention to details.
- Alzheimer’s disease: Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive brain disorder where a person has problems with thinking, memory, and behavior. The antioxidant effect of fulvic acid blocks the buildup of tau proteins that damages the nerve cells and slows down the aging of the brain cells, improving cognitive functions, which in turn prevents or improves the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease.
- Aging: Shilajit contains high concentrations of fulvic and humic acids that act as antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds, reduce free radicals, and lower cellular damage in the body, thus improving the overall health and functionality of the cells and slowing the aging process, as well as improving longevity.
- High cholesterol: A study reported that a group who were given Shilajit showed a significant decrease in cholesterol and triglycerides compared with another group who were given a placebo.
- Heart health: Shilajit has cardioprotective properties since it relieves the symptoms of palpitations and arrhythmias (abnormal heart rhythms). Shilajit reduces the risk of heart diseases because it is well-known for its antioxidant properties that improve the health of cells, slow the aging process, and reduce cholesterol.
- Maintains healthy blood sugar levels in people with diabetes: Shilajit has hypoglycemic (glucose-lowering) properties. It increases the production of insulin by the pancreas and reduces the breakdown of starch into glucose.
- Anemia: Shilajit is a good source of iron that helps treat anemia (iron deficiency).
- Antiviral: Shilajit has a wide range of minerals and compounds that are believed to fight off viruses and boost the immune system. A study suggested that Shilajit may fight and kill viruses including the herpes virus.
- Chronic fatigue syndrome: A study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology in 2012 reported that Shilajit reduced the symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome because it reduces physical and mental stress. Shilajit improves cellular function and increases energy.
- Liver cancer: A study suggested that Shilajit helped reduce the force of destruction of cancerous cells in the liver by preventing the cells from multiplying.
- Intestinal troubles: Shilajit’s anti-inflammatory and purifying properties suppress the growth of harmful bacteria such as Helicobacter pylori in the gut, prevent constipation, maintain healthy bowel movements, keep the colon healthy, and prevent stomach discomfort, flatulence, and pain.
- Male infertility: Studies have reported that intake of Shilajit showed a significant increase in the total sperm count and improved the production of male sex hormones, thus improving health and motility of sperm and stamina in men. It’s also said to boost testosterone in men.
- Regulates periods: Shilajit balances female sex hormones estrogen and progesterone that help regulate the period cycle and reduce menstrual cramps and pain because they relax the muscles.
- Pain and inflammation: Shilajit has abundant anti-inflammatory and anti-arthritic properties, so it helps reduce inflammation and relieve pain. It was found to be effective against rheumatoid arthritis.
- Treats wounds and ulcers: Anti-inflammatory and anti-ulcer characteristics of Shilajit help treat ulcers such as ulcerative colitis, peptic ulcer, canker sores, and mouth ulcers. Shilajit increases the regeneration of new cells and aids in wound healing.
- Relieves stress and anxiety: Shilajit has antidepressant properties that help calm the mind, reduce anxiety symptoms, physical and mental stress, and irritability.
- Bone health: Shilajit may strengthen the bones, increase bone density, and protect against osteoporosis. Post-menopausal women have estrogen deficiency that reduces bone density. Because Shilajit increases estrogen levels, it helps relieve the symptoms of menopause.
Ayurveda claims most of the benefits of Shilajit. However, despite Ayurvedic philosophy, extensive study is necessary to confirm all the potential health benefits.
What are the side effects of Shilajit?
There are certain downsides with the use of Shilajit such as decreasing blood pressure. Because Shilajit is a herbal product, it may be contaminated with dirt and many other heavy metals. Therefore, it should be processed well to remove all contaminants before consumption because they may cause harm to the body.
Because the U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not regulate supplements the way it regulates drugs, it is recommended to obtain Shilajit from a trustworthy supplier who produces or sells contaminant-free good quality supplements.
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Top What Does Shilajit Do for the Body Related Articles
Alzheimer's DiseaseAlzheimer's disease is a common cause of dementia. Symptoms and warning signs of Alzheimer's disease include memory loss, difficulty performing familiar tasks, disorientation to time and place, misplacing things, and more. The biggest risk factor for Alzheimer's disease is increased age. Treatment for Alzheimer's is often targeted toward decreasing the symptoms and progression of the disease.
7 Alzheimer's Disease Stages and Symptoms
The signs and symptoms of Alzheimer's disease depend on the stage of the disease. Some doctors and researchers disagree in regard to the number of stages of Alzheimer's disease (from 1 to 7 stages). The Global Deterioration Scale or GDS identifies seven stages of Alzheimer's disease that include stage 1 (no impairment), stage 2 (very mild cognitive decline), stage 3 (mild cognitive decline), stage 4 (moderate cognitive decline), stage 5 (moderately severe decline), stage 6 (severe decline), and stage 7 (very severe decline). There is no cure for Alzheimer's disease, however, there are drugs and therapies to help the symptoms Alzheimer's disease causes.
Alzheimer's Disease PictureIn the early stages of Alzheimer's disease, patients may experience memory impairment, lapses of judgment, and subtle changes in personality. See a picture of Alzheimer's Disease and learn more about the health topic.
Alzheimer's QuizTake the Alzheimer's Quiz to discover some of the mysteries behind this cognitive disorder. Learn causes, symptoms, treatments, diagnosis, and little-known facts about Alzheimer's disease (AD) and the brain disorders it can mimic.
Anti-Aging SkincareSome of the most important tricks in the fight against aging come down to the basics. Learn how washing and moisturizing your skin and other skin care can help you age more gracefully.
Cholesterol Levels: What's Normal and How to Lower High CholesterolWhat do cholesterol numbers mean? LDL, HDL, good, bad, and triglycerides - Get the facts on cholesterol, blood testing, medications, and how to keep your cholesterol in check.
The Stages of Dementia: Alzheimer's Disease and Aging BrainsWhat are the symptoms of dementia? What causes dementia? Dementia includes many disorders, such as Lewy Body dementia, Alzheimer's disease, vascular dementia, and more. Learn the warning signs of dementia.
Cholesterol QuizHigh cholesterol can be a dangerous condition. Take the Cholesterol Quiz to understand what high cholesterol means in terms of your health risks.
High Cholesterol: Frequently Asked QuestionsCholesterol occurs naturally in the body. High blood cholesterol levels increase a person's risk of developing heart disease, heart attacks, strokes, TIAs, and more. In addition to medication (fibrates, statins, bile acid sequestrants, and niacin), lifestyle changes can be made to lower blood cholesterol levels
Vitamins and Calcium SupplementsVitamins are organic substances that are essential for the proper growth and functioning of the body. Calcium is a mineral essential for healthy bones and is also important for muscle contraction, heart action, and normal blood clotting.
What Vitamins and Supplements Should I Avoid During Pregnancy?You should always clear it with your obstetrician before taking any vitamins or supplements while pregnant.
Vitamins QuizTake the Vitamins & Supplements Quiz to learn just how many essential vitamins your body needs to function!
What Are the Causes of High Cholesterol?Your body naturally produces all the LDL (bad) cholesterol it needs. An unhealthy lifestyle – not enough exercise, too many unhealthy foods – makes your body produce more LDL cholesterol than it needs. This is the cause of high LDL cholesterol for most people.
What Are the Five Classic Signs of Inflammation?Inflammation is the body’s response to any harmful stimulus. The stimulus may be an injury, infection, or irritation. The stimulus may be internal or external.
What Causes Inflammation in the Body?Inflammation is a part of the body's defense mechanism. It is a process through which the immune system recognizes and fights against harmful infections and makes toxins to protect the body. However, long-term infection is not beneficial to the body.
What Foods Have the Highest Antioxidants?What are antioxidants? Learn the potential benefits and which foods have the highest antioxidants.
What Is the Best Vitamin Supplement to Take?Dietary supplements are a general term that includes vitamins, minerals, botanicals, probiotics and other products to supplement the diet. The best vitamin supplement differs from person to person depending on their gender, age and any health conditions they have.
Vitamins and Supplements: What to Know Before You Take Herbal SupplementsNot all herbs and supplements are safe, especially if you have certain medical conditions or take some drugs. Find out which ones you may need to skip with the help of this WebMD slideshow.