Treasures may be found everywhere for those who have eyes to see—a perfect example of this being Shilajit, one of the most prized medicines throughout Asia for the last few thousand years. In its “wild habitat” you could be forgiven for simply thinking that it was a tar-like substance
Scientists also found amino acids, fulvic and humic acids, ellagic acid, fatty acids and plant sterols, which tend to have a harmonizing effect on the hormonal/endocrine system, among many others.
Although shamans and medicine men of the time could not possibly have understood its complex and unusual composition, they could easily discern the beneficial effects Shilajit was having on the people they treated, which was a massive restoration of health and wellbeing.
Shilajit acts on many different systems in the body, earning it a place among the prized natural medicines known as adaptogens, meaning it helps to restore balance to one’s system, whether that is through reducing excess (stress and cortisol, for example) or nourishing deficiencies (promoting sound sleep and giving endurance, strength and stamina) within the body’s various systems .
One of the primary ways it does this is through its action on the endocrine system . As the master controllers of the body’s thousands of delicately tuned processes, hormones—or the lack thereof—have a very large influence on your health. They control mood, libido, sleep-wake cycles, hair growth, cognition, energy, consciousnessand much more. Therefore it should come as no surprise that Shilajit has long been valued for its ability to restore sexual function, promote cognitive abilities, reduce anxiety and stress, improve mood and generally extend one’s lifespan. Quite impressive, to be sure.
Shilajit can be found seeping wildly in many mountain ranges across Asia, although each culture tends to have its own name for the substance. In Western and Central Asia it is typically referred to as Moomiyo, but in the areas in and around the Himalayas, it is referred to as Shilajit. While this may seem semantical, it is an important distinction due to the fact that, depending on the source, Shilajit/Moomiyo will have different compositions. Generally speaking, the best quality Shilajit is believed to originate from the Himalaya area.
However, because Shilajit is somewhat rare and difficult to collect, as well as the fact that the world’s supply originates in developing countries, the quality varies widely in the products currently available through various health food stores and websites worldwide.
The most sought after and rare form is the night-black mineral resin, with only a handful of companies selling it worldwide. It is a sticky, wet-looking “tar” that is an intensely concentrated and purified form of Shilajit. It can be pricey, although a little goes a long way, making even a small amount last for months, even at higher dosages.
That being said, there are many excellent, more affordable Shilajit products that come in a powdered form—though they will generally be slightly less concentrated and potent than the pure resin. The primary benefits of the powder are the ease of use, price, and the ability to measure precise amounts, if needed, as the resin itself is quite sticky.
When using a powder discernment is needed, as not all brands are equal. (In the section that follows we recommend some high quality, potent and high integrity Shilajit powders that are not adulterated). The vast majority of products available worldwide are actually diluted Shilajit powders. Pure Shilajit resin is composed of approximately 2% to 10% naturally occurring humic and fulvic acids with the remaining portion composed of minerals and other medicinal substances. However, adulterated products are typically 10% to 30% actual Shilajit powder and about 70% to 90% extracted humic and fulvic acids, which can be produced cheaply in a lab and added afterwards. While not dangerous, the adulterated Shilajit powders do not posses the same powerful medicinal properties.
Authentic, quality Shilajit always has a distinct, strong piercing tar-like odor that is unmistakable. If the product you have does not have a noticeably intense smell or seems ‘faint’, then it is likely old or diluted Shilajit.
Shilajit is not grown like most herbs and foods, so there are no organic or conventional distinctions. If authentic and unadulterated, Shilajit is wildcrafted, which is truly what lends it such incredible healing properties.