Shilajit resin: Why should you pay attention to it?
Google “shilajit” and you’ll find it’s widely available online and in brick and mortar stores. If you’ve been reading up on shilajit for a while, you must be wondering how come so much of it is being sold — hmm. Makes us all think and we’ll tell you later why you should care.
Shilajit is more than just the next fad in nutrition. In fact, it has been used in traditional medicine to remedy everything from headaches to fatal diseases. Shilajit continues to be used today for its rejuvenating properties. And, in many regions, as a cure-all solution.
What is shilajit resin?
Shilajit is sold in pill, tablet, powder, liquid, tincture, and shilajit resin forms. Wait. What’s a shilajit resin?
Better known as mineral pitch in the west, shilajit is a dense and sticky compound. Shilajit resin is the most natural form of shilajit you can get. It hardens when frozen and softens when exposed to a warm environment. Shilajit is unlike any other supplement you’ve tried before. Its unappealing appearance, aromatic smell, and complex, earthy taste takes a while to get used to.
How is shilajit made?
Original shilajit cannot be created, only extracted from its natural environment. Raw shilajit develops in spaces and cracks between rocks. Under favorable environmental conditions, shilajit is formed from mineral-rich soil and Phyto complex from decaying plants that have medicinal value.
Based on anecdotal accounts, hunters and food gatherers first discovered shilajit. They figured that wild animals who were hurt or ill sought a black, gooey material between the rocks. When they licked on it, they recovered.
Humans started using it to counter high-altitude sickness. Not long after, they extracted it, stored it in jars, and took it with them to their villages. The epic rise of shilajit to the highest pedestal of ancient medical practices in India, China, the Arabian Peninsula, Nepal, Russia, and beyond followed.
Shilajit medical uses were largely shunned in modern medicine. It simply didn’t fit the allopathic medical practice that became prevalent in the west — until recently. A rekindled interest in eastern medicine and holistic treatment prompted countless scientific efforts to search for proof.
Researchers are fast uncovering evidence that shows the potential health benefits of shilajit. That includes the possibility of using it to treat chronic diseases that are currently incurable such as cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.
Needless to say, much of the potential of shilajit to enhance health and wellness lies in its composition. Current research on shilajit revolves around finding out what shilajit is made of.
Shilajit is unlike most supplements that highlight one or two vitamins or minerals. Based on the best available research findings, shilajit can rival even multivitamins that give you all the essential nutrients you need from A to Z.
As yet, nobody knows exactly what is shilajit made up of. What’s certain is that its composition and nutrient levels can vary depending on where shilajit is sourced.
Listed below are a handful of shilajit constituents that are most useful to the human body:
- Fulvic Acid and Humic Acid Complex. This complex is derived from the soil. An important plant food, it speeds up plant growth and enhances processes that help plants produce food. That’s why it is used as a fertilizer. But, without the other components found in mineral pitch, shilajit humic and fulvic acids have limited potential in promoting health and wellness.
- This is an amino acid produced by our bodies but which may also be derived from one’s diet. It serves as a precursor for important enzymes, including hormones. Glycine in shilajit may enhance immune response. Whereas hormones generally serve a turn-off-turn-on function that regulates body processes and makes sure each one is working correctly.
- Amino acids. Like glycine, other amino acids found in shilajit also serve as precursors of hormones and protein. These also make up neurotransmitters. Amino acids in shilajit may contribute to the proper functioning of the brain and the central nervous system.
Although amino acids are naturally formed by our bodies, there are 9 essential amino acids that you must get from your diet. Some of the best sources are
All tissues are essentially made from amino acids and proteins. Collagen, the fibrous biological material that makes everything from our vital organs to our bones and skin, also rely on amino acids to repair and regenerate.
- Dibenzo-alpha-pyrones. Many researchers argue that shilajit’s rejuvenating and restorative properties are primarily due to the presence of these bioactive compounds. Also termed as DBPs, these components enhance nutrient absorption.
DBPs also play a key role in transforming energy from the diet into adenosine triphosphate. ATP is the human body’s energy currency. By unlocking more energy from food, it makes energy more accessible for the body to use to help speed up recovery and healing.
- Shilajit may contain more iron and less than other minerals in shilajit. Others may contain less of it and more magnesium. This variation depends on the location where raw shilajit or mumie rock is taken. The human body requires essential minerals in very low amounts. But, just a slight deficiency can cause major adverse effects to the body.
Story by Ela Reynolds