Shilajit:
The Mysterious Himalayan Superfood With Extraordinary Healing Properties

BY MEGHAN MCDONALD

Shilajit-Resinshilajit is a resinous paste harvested from high altitudes in the himalayan mountains of india and nepal, where local peoples and doctors have used it for thousands of years due to its remarkable healing and rejuvenative properties.

For thousands of years, Shilajit has held a revered spot as one of the most powerful healing tonics in Ayurveda, itself one of the oldest and most sophisticated systems of natural medicine on the planet. And that should come as no surprise given the recent scientific research into Shilajit, which has confirmed many of its traditional uses. Quality Shilajit, which begins as a resinous paste, is harvested from high altitudes in the Himalayan mountain ranges of India and Nepal, where it is prized by locals for its ability to seemingly rejuvenate the body from the inside out.

Legend has it that Shilajit was discovered when local tribes saw packs of native chimps regularly eating it as it seeped through cracks in the mountains. Upon further observation they realized that the monkeys who regularly consumed the Shilajit resin seemed to be the strongest, most intelligent and long lived of the bunch. Curious to try it for themselves, the indigenous peoples began ingesting the dark mineral pitch as well. When they too began experiencing similar benefits, they knew they had stumbled on a great discovery.

The Health Benefits of Shilajit

In recent years, scientists have taken an interest in Shilajit to both understand its chemical composition and to separate fact from fiction when it comes to its health-enhancing properties. Laboratory analysis has revealed that Shilajit is one of nature’s richest sources of fulvic acid, which has been well studied and shown to have a number of positive effects on the human body, including neuroprotection [1], improved skin health [2], detoxification of heavy metals and toxins [3], and more. However, Shilajit is a complex substance, and its effects extend beyond those of fulvic acid.

Shilajit is rich in ionic minerals which are readily used by every system in the body and important in maintaining overall healthy functioning of all organs and tissues. One human study showed Shilajit has a potent hormone-boosting effect, increasing DHEA and free testosterone levels in males. [4] Elevated levels of DHEA are associated with improved cognitive function and longevity, among many other things. [5,6] Many who use Shilajit regularly report similar effects and overall increases in strength, energy and endurance, as well as a decrease in stress.

Important Things to Know Before Taking Shilajit

Due to its remarkable health benefits, there is a growing demand for quality Shilajit worldwide—and also a very limited supply, because unlike herbs and foods that can be cultivated on farms, Shilajit can’t be grown. It forms naturally over very long timescales in remote locations, and therefore, there is a limited supply of authentic Shilajit at any given moment.

In part due to its increasing popularity, many of the suppliers in India and Nepal have begun selling fake, adulterated or highly diluted powders and pastes passed in an attempt to capitalize on an uneducated public. Therefore, when purchasing Shilajit it’s extremely important to seek out products and companies that a) have direct relationships with the harvesters and suppliers in the Himalaya region and visit regularly to verify and inspect their operations and b) conduct and publish third-party testing on their products to verify its composition, that it is free from adulterants and heavy metals and is indeed authentic, high-quality Shilajit.

Where to Find High-Quality Shilajit

One company that meets and exceeds all of the above criteria is Omica Organics. Omica has put in the extraordinary time and effort to secure long-term leases for two organic-certified, proprietary Shilajit harvesting areas above 8,000 feet in the high Himalayas where they run all operations according to organic standards, which is a first in the Shilajit industry.

To obtain organic certification for a wildcrafted material, such as Shilajit:

+ It must be collected without use of dynamite or heavy equipment (which is common in Shilajit sourcing)

+ There can be no areas of cross-contamination risk throughout the supply and production chain

+ No solvents are used in processing, except water

+ Rigorous testing by the organic certifying agency ensures that harvesting areas and finished products are pesticide, heavy metal and herbicide-free

Omica maintains tight control of the quality and integrity of their Shilajit, from the beginning when it’s gathered, through processing, drying, storing and shipping. They do not purchase on the open market from distributors or brokers in India, nor do they relinquish control during any part of the process, which allows them to ensure that everything is maintained at the highest quality standards.

The low-heat extraction method used for their Shilajit resins and powders produces one of the purest forms of Shilajit available, abundant in dibenzo alpha pyrones, plant-based trace minerals, amino acids and naturally-occurring high concentrations of fulvic acid. Their Shilajit are full-spectrum water extracts that are solvent-free, without fillers and raw. Even their powders, because of the water-extraction, are water-soluble.

To learn more about their line of Shilajit resins and powders, visit their website here: Omica Organics Shilajit

Disclaimer

The statements made in this article have not been evaluated by the FDA. Any products recommended are not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any disease. No claim is made or implied whatsoever as to the effects of any recommended products or their effects on health.

References

1. Cornejo A, Jiménez JM, Caballero L, Melo F, Maccioni RB. Fulvic acid inhibits aggregation and promotes disassembly of tau fibrils associated with Alzheimer’s disease. J Alzheimers Dis. 2011;27(1):143-53.

2. Gandy J. J., Snyman J. R., Van Rensburg C. E. (2011). Randomized, parallel-group, double-blind, controlled study to evaluate the efficacy and safety of carbohydrate-derived fulvic acid in topical treatment of eczema. Clin. Cosmet. Investig. Dermatol. 4, 145–148. 10.2147

3. Christl I, Metzger A, Heidmann I, Kretzschmar R. Effect of humic and fulvic acid concentrations and ionic strength on copper and lead binding. Environ Sci Technol. 2005;39(14):5319-26.

4. Pandit S, Biswas S, Jana U, De RK, Mukhopadhyay SC, Biswas TK. Clinical evaluation of purified Shilajit on testosterone levels in healthy volunteers. Andrologia. 2016;48(5):570-5.

5. Dharia S, Parker CR Jr. Adrenal androgens and aging. Semin Reprod Med. 2004 Nov;22(4):361-8

6. Alhaj HA, Massey AE, McAllister-Williams RH. Effects of DHEA administration on episodic memory, cortisol and mood in healthy young men: a double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2006 Nov;188(4):541-51.

About The Author

Meghan McDonald is the co-founder of Conscious Lifestyle Magazine.