Shilajit, also known as silajit, is an herb used in the Indian system of medicine known as Ayurveda. This herb is considered an adaptogen, an substance which enhances stamina, stress relief, and strength. Used as a drug in India as far back as ancient times, this herb has been used to purify blood, counteract diabetes, and increase muscle absorption of minerals.
In ancient times, shilajit was used to enhance energy, ward off illness, and increase sexual performance. The "Kama Sutra" mentions the use of shilajit throughout the ages. In more modern times, shilajit has been shown to cleanse the blood, fight off ulcers, and stimulate the immune system among. Some enthusiasts even claim that the herb slows aging dramatically and increases fertility, though these statements have not been substantiated by science.
Studies have shown the benefits of shilajit on diabetes, weight loss, and the immune system. It has been discovered that shilajit is formed by the humification of plants bearing certain resins. This humification occurs inside a rock, and sometimes the herb is expelled by rainwater or ice melt. Other times, it is harvested by human hands. The nature and properties of this herb can vary greatly by plant origin, country, and the type of rock it forms in—many sources believe the best and most potent form of this herb is the Himalayan sort.
Like with most natural supplements, there are some individuals who present the drug as a magical cure-all for many ailments. This may lead many to believe it can cure many serious ailments, when in fact, it may not. While shilajit may improve some areas and offer relief to some ailments, it may not work the same in each person choosing to take it. Things which should also usually be taken into account include the quality of the herb in a chosen supplement and how high the dosage actually is.
Shilajit contains high levels of certain minerals, such as iron, that are possible to overdose on. These overdoses may pose serious health risks, such as the possibility of liver failure. For this reason, it is typically recommended that a person considering this supplement speak with a nutritionist or health professional first. Some medications or conditions may increase the danger.