What is it?
This substance has several names - shilajitu (or shilajit in Sanskrit) in Ayurveda, which means ‘rock-invincible’, moomiyo (or mumiyo) in Russian medicine, sometimes it is also called ‘amberat'. It is used as an additive for at least three thousand years. The authors of the papers about shilajit allude to the works of Aristotle, Biruni, Avicenna, etc. From time to time, new assumptions about its origin continue to appear. But the scientists agree that shilajit is a healing substance nature has given us in a ready-to-use form.
Shilajit or moomiyo is a biologically active product of natural origin, it is a piceous substance which oozes out from the cracks in the rocks. These are small natural deposits or drop-like formations found in the cracks as well as on the walls of the caves and grottos located at the altitude of 2000 m above sea level. Shilajit looks like pitch with a shiny surface and varies in color from yellowish-brown to black. Its distinctive smell reminds you of petroleum, as for its taste – it is bitter. This substance completely dissolves in water leaving almost no residue (it may leave only a small amount of sediment) and changing the color of water to brown.
For many years modern medicine almost never used shilajit, it was used only by folk healers. However, in the beginning of the 1960s, as soon as the first publications concerning shilajit had appeared in popular and scientific literature, this substance was given a new lease of life. It contains a great range of organic substances and microelements and, thus, it is widely used in folk medicine.
The magical power of shilajit
Although shilajit is not yet studied enough, it is a fact that this natural product contains a lot of organic and inorganic substances. It has been discovered that shilajit consists of over 80 components:
- vital substances including plant-derived antibiotics and anticoagulants;
- about 30 chemical elements – macro- and microelements (potassium, calcium, phosphorus, silicon, sodium, magnesium, aluminum, vanadium, phosphorus, barium, sulfur, molybdenum, beryllium, manganese, titanium, silver, copper, lead, zinc, bismuth, nickel, cobalt, tin, strontium, iron, chromium, helium);
- essential amino acids (histidine, threonine, methionine, tryptophan, lysine, amino isovaleric acid, etc.);
- a range of vitamins – B vitamins, P, etc.;
- essential oils, fatty acids, bee venom and other substances;
Hippuric and benzoic acids, waxes, gums, pitches and piceous substances as well as plant residues were also found in shilajit. Each of these components exerts influence on the metabolic processes and improves regeneration of various body tissues.
Shilajit biological action improves the resistance of the human organism to the environment; it shows anti-inflammatory and detoxifying effects, has a positive influence on the hematopoietic and immune system. It can effectively improve the metabolism, stimulate regenerative processes, it has a choleretic effect and many other properties.
Where to find shilajit?
The deposits of moomiyo are found in many regions of the world – in India, Mongolia, Iran, Arabia, Indonesia, Australia, Burma, China, Nepal, Afghanistan, South America and in Northeast Africa. Researches have shown that shilajit deposits, being found in many places of the world, are quite rare and the stocks of raw material in such deposits are limited. The richest deposits of shilajit are located in the mountains of Central Asia and the Caucasus.
The age of the oldest sample of shilajit, that was estimated using radiocarbon dating, is about 15,000 years.
Depending on its origin, this substance is divided into the following types:
- Caucasian moomiyo;
- Central Asian moomiyo;
- Siberian moomiyo;
- Iranian moomiyo;
- Nepalese moomiyo;
- Himalayan moomiyo;
- Arabian moomiyo, etc.
All these types have almost identical physical properties and rather close chemical composition. Their differences consist in the proportions of certain components. If one does not know such peculiarities about each particular type of shilajit, it is impossible to use it successfully in the treatment of this or that disorder and to be sure in its effectiveness. When used properly in moderate and thoroughly calculated doses this substance usually have no contraindications, however, folk medicine recommends using shilajit in a very small dose that should not exceed the size of a wheat grain.
How can shilajit help people?
It is very difficult to deduce the formula of shilajit. Scientists have found out that its inorganic part is quantitatively superior to its organic part. While any medication usually contains only several elements, shilajit comprises almost a half of periodic table. But the main peculiarity of this substance is that it is not a stimulator but a biological regulator that regulates electrolyte balance of the body eliminating both the symptoms and the disease. Shilajit belongs to the group of adaptogens – substances that promote the adaptation of the body to various extreme and harmful conditions. Other shilajit properties include:
- Shilajit activates mineral metabolism in the body, increases the level of calcium, potassium, phosphorus salts (important building material found in bones) in blood. Under its influence the number of erythrocytes and the level of hemoglobin in blood go up, and that promotes a better blood supply to the damaged tissues and has a stimulatory effect on the body;
- Shilajit positively affects the processes of neural activity. It has the property to resolve tumors and pimples, it can cause increased bile secretion. This substance is very effective for the diseases caused by sclerosing blood vessels, and it is successfully used for the treatment of varicose veins and thrombophlebitis. Moreover, it is effective in the treatment of bronchial asthma, tuberculosis, urolithiasis, chronic bronchitis, diabetes, edema;
- This substance has acquired particular importance as the activator of the bone tissue regeneration and as an antiseptic;
- It was experimentally established that staphylococci die in shilajit solution;
- Shilajit is good for the diseases of the liver, ears, heart, gums, it has a beneficial influence on a number of vital body factors – survivability and increased life expectancy. It is reasonable to include this substance in the general complex of measures used to treat the acute form of radiation sickness (blood cancer);
- When shilajit is rubbed into the skin, it has a healing effect on peripheral nervous system disorders, radicular pains, neurodermatitis, trigeminal neuralgia and neuralgia facialis vera;
- Taking shilajit by mouth both has a direct impact on the esophagus as well as stomach walls and influences the whole body as a general health-improving, immune system and regenerative processes stimulating agent.
The ways to use shilajit
Depending on the disease one is going to treat, shilajit can be taken orally in the form of pills or solution as well as used externally in the form of ointments, compresses and poultices:
- Lubricating the skin with shilajit, shilajit applications. Light scratches can be healed with 10% water solution of shilajit if it is applied several times a day. Running sores should be treated with 30% shilajit solution;
- Drops. For inflammatory diseases of the ears it should be instilled into the ears; for maxillary sinusitis and nasopharyngitis – into the nose; for glaucoma – into the eyes;
- Shilajit suppositories. For the treatment of hemorrhoids and anal fissures, they can be inserted into the rectum;
- Small enemas. For colitis, duodenal ulcer, hemorrhoids, salmonellosis, various poisonings and toxicosis, it is recommended to use small enemas with warm 4% solution of shilajit (50 - 150 ml / 1.69 – 5.07 fl oz);
- Compresses. For the treatment of joint pains, internal abscesses, and for any conditions when you can find the very place that hurts by touching it, compresses made of a plate of a dry shilajit are highly effective. The amount of shilajit used for such compresses depends on the size of the area that should be treated – from 2 to 10 g (30.9 grains to 0.35 oz) of the dry substance. It has been noticed that if applied to a healthy part of the body, almost no shilajit is consumed under such compress; but if applied to a sore spot, it is effectively liquefied and absorbed into the skin. Therefore, it is better to protect yourself against the leakage of shilajit through the bandage by laying over it an additional absorptive band (like a shroud);
- Rubbing into the skin. The technique is as follows – a layer of shilajit should be applied to a clean skin moistened with warm water until the skin becomes brown or even dark. After that put on a surgical glove and rub the shilajit into the skin for 3-5 minutes until the skin gets dry. For certain diseases shilajit should be both taken orally and used topically;
- Gargling. The shilajit solution is good for inflammatory diseases of the throat;
- Applications to the gums and teeth. A piece of shilajit should be applied to the aching tooth and gum;
- Vaginal douche. Shilajit solution is used to treat inflammatory diseases of vagina;
- Taking orally. To be taken by mouth shilajit can be dissolved in water, milk, juices, or honey, etc. Dissolved substance should be stored in the fridge in a closed container, but it is better to prepare the solution right before using it. During the first or second decades of the treatment course there may be an exacerbation of the disease – it is a natural reaction of the body to the treatment. If that occurs, you should stop taking it for 1-2 days and then continue the treatment. It is recommended to combine shilajit with the use of the herbs that are good for this very disease (then the effectiveness of treatment is higher);
Folk medicine recommends taking shilajit 1 or 2 times per day (in the morning and in the evening), and the recommended duration of oral intake is usually about 25 – 28 days (if required the course of treatment can be repeated in 10 days). Moreover, the optimal daily dose depends on the weight of the person who takes it. For those weighing 70 kg (154 lbs) the optimal daily dose of shilajit is 0.2 g (3 grains), from 70 to 80 kg (154 to 176 lbs) – 0.25 g (3.9 grains), from 80 to 90 kg (176 to 198 lbs) – 0.3 g (4.6 grains), for those over 90 kg (198 lbs) – 0.5 g (7.7 grains). When making remedies using shilajit, it should not be heated over 40°C (104 °F).
Shilajit standing on guard of the human digestive system
It improves absorption and evacuation function of the digestive tract, oxygen uptake and carbon dioxide discharge in liver tissues, stomach and colon.
- If there are stones in the gallbladder or inflammatory processes in the liver, 3 or 4 courses of shilajit treatment are required (each lasting for 28 days and with a 10-day interval between these courses). The amount of shilajit used during each course depends on the weight of the person taking it. Shilajit should be taken in combination with common agrimony (Agrimonia eupatoria) infusion and honey.
Follow these steps to prepare the infusion (daily dose):
- Put 1 tablespoon of common agrimony into a thermos.
- Pour 250 ml (8.45 fl oz) of boiling water into it and let it infuse for 2 hours.
- Filter the blend, cool it a bit and dissolve shilajit in it (a daily dose depending on your weight).
- Add 3 teaspoons of honey into the infusion and divide it into 3 parts.
- Take this remedy 40 minutes before meals 3 times a day. Fresh infusion should be made every day.
This treatment is also beneficial for the spleen, pancreas, gastrointestinal tract and nervous system.
- For the treatment of the gallbladder and liver diseases as well as gastritis it is recommended to dissolve 3 g (0.11 oz) of shilajit in 1.5 l (3.17 pts) of boiled water and drink this solution as follows – 1 glass 3 times a day 30 minutes before meals on an empty stomach. The course of treatment lasts for 10 days, then take a 5-day break. Repeat 3-4 treatment courses. During the treatment and 15 days after you have finished it you should stick to a diet.
- Gallstones can be treated as follows – dissolve 1 g (15.43 grains) of shilajit in 1 l (2.11 pts) of water. Drink 200 ml (6.76 fl oz) of the solution 3 times a day 30 minutes before meals. The course of treatment should last for 10 days, then take a 5-day break. 12 g (0.42 oz) of shilajit are required for one treatment course.
- Peptic ulcer disease can be treated using the following scheme – dissolve 10 g (0.35 oz) of shilajit in 1.5 l (3.17 pts) of water and take it as follows:
- first 10 days – 1.5 tablespoon taken on an empty stomach;
- next 10 days – 1 tablespoon taken on an empty stomach;
- last 9 days – 1.5 tablespoon of the solution taken after meal.
The course of treatment lasts for 29 days and requires 50 g (1.76 oz) of shilajit.
Do not use shilajit if..
..you have idiosyncrasy to shilajit, if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Do not use it if having oncological diseases, coagulation failure, hemorrhagic diathesis and in children under 12. Before you start taking it on a regular basis, you should talk to your doctor. Shilajit should be used with caution in patients with hypertension. Alcohol is contraindicated during the course of treatment.