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shilajit
Shilajit - Himalayan Mineral Pitch - Asphaltum - Bitumin - Shilajatu - Silajit - Shilajeet - Shilijit

Item Number : 2101 Price: $19.95

Promotes Rejuvenation & Detoxification 300 mg. tablets, 90 per bottle

   * Maintains a healthy urinary tract*
   * Supports healthy kidneys and lungs*
   * Supports proper function of the reproductive organs*

Ayurvedic Energetics:

   * Rasa (taste): bitter, salty, pungent, astringent
   * Virya (action): heating
   * Vipaka (post-digestive effect): pungent
   * Doshas (constitutions): Balancing for kapha, may aggravate pitta in excess

Common Usage: Under the guidance of a qualified health practitioner, shilajit can be used to support healthy urinary tract function, the kidneys, lungs, the male and female reproductive system, and weight management.*

Possible Contraindications: Hypoglycemia; use with care during pregnancy

Suggested Use: Take 1-2 tablets, once or twice daily, or as directed by your health practitioner.

Commentary: Shilajit is a natural mineral substance that exudes from the rocks in the Himalaya during the heat of summer. It is a powerful rejuvenative that cleanses the urinary tract and lungs, while bolstering strength and supporting the immune system. It purifies the blood and helps remove excess kapha and natural toxins from the tissues. As an aphrodisiac, it increases vitality and stamina while toning the reproductive organs and supporting their proper function. Shilajit is balancing for all doshas and can also be used to support healthy aging.*

Notes: For reproductive health, also consider Men's Support* or Women's Support* For prostate health, also consider Men's Support* For Kidney health, also consider Kidney Formula* For healthy lungs, also consider Lung Formula* For weight management, also consider Trim Support*

Supplement Facts: Serving size: 1 tablet Servings per container: 90 Each 300 mg tablet contains: Shilajit (mineral pitch).

Other ingredients, from natural sources: maltodextrin, stearic acid (from vegetable oil), silicon dioxide, modified cellulose, magnesium stearate (from vegetable oil).

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Other names: Girija (S), Shilajita (H), Perangyum (T), Bitumen, mineral pitch (E)

Description: Shilajitu is a curious resin that can be found exuding from certain steep rock faces in the Himalayan mountain range at altitudes between 1000 and 5000 meters. Similar exudates have also been found in other mountain ranges in what is called the Tethyan mountain system, including the Caucasus, Urals, Pamir, Hindu Kush, Karakoram, Tian Shan and Kunlun Shan ranges, and has also been identified as far away as Norway.

Shilajitu is typically found in the summer when the hot sun beats down upon the rocks causing the resin to liquefy and exude, and then harden again upon cooling. As its older common name of bitumen suggests, Shilajitu was once thought to be the ancient fossilized organic material from what was once the coastline of the tropical Tethys Sea region that existed between the subcontitient of India and Eurasia some 200 million years ago. As the subcontinent gradually collided with Eurasia the ancient coastline and seabed of the Tethys was thrown up as the Himalayas and the plant material was compressed between the rocks, where it became fossilized. More recent research however has indicated that Shilajitu is composed primarily of humus with other organic constituents, and is thus likely to be of relatively recent origin. Researchers have found the degraded components of several different medicinal plants in samples of Shilajitu including Euphorbia royleana and Trifolium repens, leading to the idea that Shilajitu is in large part derived from the humification of a variety of resin or latex containing plants. The Bhavaprakasha states that there are four types of Shilajitu, classified according to their respective colors, each with a different medicinal activity: sauvarna is reddish; rajata is yellowish; tamra is bluish; and lauha is blackish. The Charaka samhita also classifies Shilajitu based on the morphological features of the rock from which it exudes. Modern research supports these time-honored perspectives, as it appears that the composition of Shilajitu is influenced by a variety of factors, including the particular humified plant species involved, the geological nature of the rock, local temperature, humidity and altitude (Srikanthamurthy 2001, 344; Sharma and Dash 1988, 50-54; Philips 1997)

Part used: Purified exudate.

Dravyaguna:

   *
     Rasa: all varieties are katu and tikta; sauvarna is also madhura, and lauha is lavana
   *
     Vipaka: katu (sauvarna, lauha, tamra), madhura (rajata)
   *
     Virya: ushna (tamra), shita (lauha, sauvarna, rajata)
   *
     Karma: dipanapachana, krimiaghna, chedana, kasahara, svasahara, kushtaghna, mutravirechana, medohara, sandhaniya, vishaghna, hrdaya, medhya, vajikarana, rasayana, tridoshaghna (Srikanthamurthy 2001, 344; Srikanthamurthy 1995, 403; Sharma and Dash 1988, 50-54; Nadkarni 1954; 28-32).
   *

Prabhava

The Charaka Samhita states that “…there is no curable disease in the universe that cannot be cured by Shilajitu” when administered at the appropriate time, in combination with suitable dravyas, and by using the proper method of preparation, further adding that by taking Shilajitu the body becomes strong and sturdy, as if made of stone (Sharma and Dash 1988, 53). The Chakradatta states that if a small piece of Shilajitu is kept in the mouth it has the ability to give victory in debates and disputes (Sharma 2002, 647).

Constituents: The complex chemistry of Shilajitu is highly variable depending upon the where it was collected and processing methods. The early chemical research on crude Shilajitu indicated a variety of constituents, including a mixture of organic constituents (e.g. benzoic acid, hippuric acid, fatty acids, resins, waxes, gums, albuminoids and vegetable matter) and inorganic constituents (e.g. calcium, potassium, nitrogen, silica, aluminum, magnesium and sodium). Further work concluded that crude Shilajitu is composed upwards of 80% humus, decaying plant material acted upon by bacteria and fungi, and most notably, fulvic and humic acids. Recent analysis has yielded the presence of biphenyl metabolites including a benzocoumarin and low molecular weight oxygenated dibenzo-?-pyrones in Shilajitu, as well as triterpenes, phenolic lipids, and additional trace minerals including antimony, cobalt, copper, iron, lithium, manganese, molybdenum, phosphorous, strontium and zinc (Tillotson 2001, 201; Bucci 2000; Ghosal et al 1988; Philips 1997; Nadkarni 1954; 28-32).

Medical research:

Central nervous system: Researchers investigated if the traditionally-ascribed memory-enhancing effects of Shilajitu are due to neurochemical alterations of specific transmitter systems, examining its potential acetylcholinesterase activity as well as its effect upon cholinergic, glutamatergic and GABAergic receptor subtypes. Adult male Wistar rats were injected intraperitoneally daily with Shilajitu in doses of 40 mg/kg of body weight for 7 days. The administration of Shilajitu led to reduced acetylcholinesterase staining, restricted to the basal forebrain nuclei including medial septum and the vertical limb of the diagonal band. Shilajitu had no effect upon GABA-A and benzodiazepine receptor binding, nor on NMDA and AMPA glutamate receptor subtypes in any of the cortical or subcortical regions studied. Researchers noted that Shilajitu preferentially affects events in the cortical and basal forebrain cholinergic signal transduction cascade, partially explaining its traditionally ascribed nootropic and memory-improving effects (Schliebs et al 1997). Shilajitu was investigated for its potential nootropic and anxiolytic activity, and its effect on rat brain monoamines using albino rats. Researchers used passive and active avoidance tests, and learning acquisition and retention tests to determine possible nootropic effects, the elevated plus-maze technique to assess possible anxiolytic effects, and HPLC to estimate rat brain monoamines and monoamine metabolites. The results of the study indicated that Shilajitu had significant nootropic and anxiolytic activity, and when given over a period of five days there was decrease in 5-hydroxytryptamine and 5-hydroxyindole acetic acid concentrations, and an increase in the levels of dopamine, homovanillic acid and 3.4-dihydroxyphenyl-acetic acid concentrations (Jaiswal and Bhattacharya 1992).

Addiction and withdrawal: Processed Shilajitu was given in doses of 0.1 and 1 mg/kg, (i.p.) in Swiss mice to evaluate its effect upon the development of tolerance to morphine-induced analgesia in the hot plate test. Chronic administration of morphine (10 mg/kg, i.p., b.i.d.) to mice over a duration of 10 days resulted in the development of tolerance to morphine. The concomitant administration of Shilajitu with morphine, from day 6 to day 10, resulted in a significant inhibition in the development of tolerance to morphine-induced analgesia. Used alone Shilajitu did not elicit any significant analgesic effects in mice (Tiwari et al 2001).

Diabetes: Researchers evaluated the effect of Shilajitu on blood glucose, lipid profile and vascular tissue in alloxan-induced diabetic rats, dosed at 50, 100 and 200 mg/kg (p.o.) daily, against controls. The animals were sacrificed at the end of 4th week and effects of Shilajitu assessed. All three doses of Shilajitu reduced blood glucose by 43.7%, 48.7% and 53.7%, respectively. Shilajitu also produced a significant reduction in total cholesterol by 14.5% 30.6% and 29.7%, triglyceride levels by 18.1%, 27.46% and 36.82%, and increased HDL levels by 21.6%, 37.6% and 34.4%, respectively (Trivedi et al 2001).

Antiulcerogenic: Researchers evaluated the antiulcerogenic activities of Shilajitu obtained from the mountains of Zarlek, in Badekshan, Afghanistan, in experimental animals. Shilajitu was found to increase the carbohydrate/protein ratio and decrease the gastric ulcer index, indicating an increased mucus barrier in the stomach (Goel et al 1990).

Antiinflammatory: Shilajitu obtained from the Zarlek mountains in Afghanistan was found to have a significant antiinflammatory effect in carrageenan-induced acute edema, granuloma pouch and adjuvant-induced arthritis, in rats (Goel et al 1990)

Toxicity: Tradition states that humans first became aware of the benefits of Shilajitu by watching wild animals such as monkeys utilize it as a food source. Shilajitu is generally regarded as being quite safe, but crude unprocessed Shilajitu may contain mycotoxins from contaminating fungi such as Aspergillus niger, A. ochraceous and Trichothecium roseum. Unprocessed Shilajitu may also contain free radicals in the humic constituents that increase in concentration with an increasing pH, and thus certain sources of Shilajitu that tends to have a higher pH, such as that obtained from Russia, may be a less desirable source (Philips 1997).

Indications: Dyspepsia, constipation, intestinal parasites, hemorrhoids, hepatits, bronchitis, asthma, consumption, skin diseases, kidney diseases, anemia, diabetes, obesity, infertility, exhaustion, epilepsy, psychosis, wounds, fractures, arthritis, cancer, aging.

Contraindications: Charaka states that Shilajitu is contraindicated with dietary articles that are heavy in nature or promote burning sensations, and with the legume Kulattha (Dolichos biflorus, horse gram) and the meat of Kapota (pigeon) (Sharma and Dash 1988, 53).

Medicinal uses: Shilajitu is an exception to every other entry in this text in that it is not directly derived from botanical sources, but its ubiquitous usage among Ayurvedic physicians makes it important to include. Shilajitu is considered to be an important rasayana, used both therapeutically in the treatment of a wide number of conditions, to prevent illness and to ward off the effects of old age. As mentioned there are a variety of types of Shilajitu, and among them the Bhavaprakasha states that lauha Shilajitu is best, which is black in color, has an odor resembling cow’s urine, and a salty, pungent and bitter taste (Srikanthamurthy 2001, 344-45). Crude Shilajitu however is not considered fit for use as a medicament, and a variety of processing techniques are mentioned in the extant texts to both purify it and modify its therapeutic properties. According to both the Chakradatta and the Sharangadhara samhita the crude Shilajitu is powdered and then macerated in hot water (or a decoction of Triphala) for several hours. The maceration is then filtered and the liquid collected in an earthen plate and exposed to the sun until a scum begins to form on the surface. This scum is then skimmed off the surface of the liquid and dried in the sun until it forms a hard mass (Sharma 2002, 644; Srikanthamurthy 1984, 156). This substance is now considered to be pure and can be processed further or “impregnated” by macerating the Shilajitu in the decoction of different dravyas chosen specifically for their medicinal activities in particular diseases. The Charaka samhita states the Shilajitu should be soaked in this decoction and dried in the sun each day for seven days, then combined with lauha bhasma (purifed iron) and consumed with cow’s milk (Sharma and Dash 1988, 51). Many commercial sources of Shilajitu probably do not undergo such traditional processing techniques, but may be standardized to fulvic acid and dibenzo-?-pyrone content, which many researchers consider the active constituents. Shilajitu is perhaps best known as a treatment for madhuameha (diabetes mellitus), and for this purpose the Ashtanga Hrdaya recommends that it be macerated in a decoction of herbs from the Asanadigana group of dravyas (represented by Asana, Pterocarpus marsupium), used to reduce Kapha, diabetes and obesity (Srikanthamurthy 1995, 388). This preparation is taken as part of the diet along with the meat of desert animals and aged rice, in combination with rigorous exercise. Another commonly used approach in the treatment of diabetes is to combine Shilajitu with herbs such as Triphala and Guduchi. Its rich mineral content and sandhaniya (healing) properties also makes Shilajitu a good choice when treating musculoskeletal disorders, from osteoarthritis to osteoporosis. It is also used as a specific in the treatment of paralysis, the Chakradatta recommending a combination of Shilajitu, Guggulu, Pippali with a decoction of Dashamula (2002, 243). Shilajitu can be used in any disease however, and as a rasayana has a special ability to treat deficiency conditions, including reproductive problems. It can be used as an adjunct to the primary treatment of conditions such as cancer, or to enhance the potency of other medicaments. The Charaka samhita recommends that the truly excellent benefits of Shilajitu are only obtained when it is consumed at the appropriate dosage levels each day for at least seven weeks (Sharma 1988, 51).

Dosage:

• Churna: 1-48 g b.i.d.-t.i.d. The Charaka samhita states that the lowest potency dose for purified and impregnated Shilajitu is one karsha (12 g) (Sharma and Dash 1988, 51), but many modern Ayurvedic practitioners can be observed to use much lower doses, closer to 2-3 g twice daily.

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SHILAJATU / Silajit / Shilajeet / Shilijit

English: Bitumin, Mineral Pitch Sanskrit: Silajit / Shilajatu Hindi: Silajit / Shilajeet / Shilijit

WHAT IT DOES: Shilajatu is bitter and slightly pungent in taste, and mildly warming in action. It has the distinct odor of cow urine. Shilajatu strengthens immunity; reduces fatigue; slows aging; tonifies the brain; cleanses the blood; and strengthens the liver and kidneys.

RATING: Gold

SAFETY ISSUES: None known. Must be purified before use.

STARTING DOSAGE: • Purified sediment: combined with 50% triphala, use one to two grams twice per day

Shilajatu is a secretion gathered off Himalayan mountain faces. In the heat of summer it can be found on the southern slopes. It is a black, gummy substance that hardens easily into a solid rock-like mass. It is a complex but completely natural mixture of minerals with organic and inorganic compounds, and is one of the most important rasayana tonics in Ayurveda.

Shilajatu contains aluminum, antimony, calcium, cobalt, copper, iron, lithium, magnesium, manganese, molybdenum, phosphorus, silica, sodium, strontium, zinc, fatty acids, hippuric acid, benzoic acid, fulvic acid, chebulic acid, tannic acid, resin and waxy matter, gums, albuminoids, glycosides and an ichthyol oil (Tiwari et al., 1973). The gathered substance must be purified before use. It is mixed with water and filtered, then slowly evaporated in the sun. Then, the sediment is again mixed with water, filtered and evaporated. This process is repeated a total of seven times. It is then combined with other herbs, most frequently with triphala (three-fruit compound).

Shilajatu can be used with benefit for long periods of time, and is a true tonic. It increases the potency of other herbs. Ayurvedic doctors use it to strengthen immunity and cleanse the blood, noting that it benefits the liver and kidneys, our two most important blood-filtering organs. They use it to treat diabetes, anemia, aging, bronchitis, skin diseases, acne and boils, liver diseases, constipation, dyspepsia, allergies, fatigue, cancer and all urinary diseases. It also speeds wound healing. It is the first treatment given to people suffering from kidney failure and various chronic nerve diseases. The native peoples of the northern regions of Russia and Afghanistan collect and use a similar rock secretion (mumiyo) from their mountains.

Research Highlights

• The Indian Central Council for Research on Ayurveda and Siddha cited a series of experiments showing significant anti-inflammatory activity as well as cardiotonic action (Pandley et al., eds, 1996, Frotan & Acharya, 1984). •Laboratory experiments have shown that shilajatu is anti-ulcerogenic, stabilizes mast cells, and has protective effects on the liver and pancreas (Tiwari et al., 1973; Ghosal et al., 1989; Acharya, 1988; Vaishwanar et al., 1976; Mitra et al., 1996).

• A clinical study done in Russia on 38 patients with swollen prostrate (BPH) showed a reduction in subjective and objective symptoms (reported by Sodhi, 2000).

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shilajit.txt · Last modified: 2018/02/26 18:13 (external edit)