Shilajit: Benefits, Side Effects, & Doses (Backed by Experts)

Tuesday 21 March 2023
Shilajit: Benefits, Side Effects, & Doses (Backed by Experts)

Discover the ancient wonder of Shilajit, a black tar-like substance found in the Himalayas. Known as the "Conqueror of mountains" and "Destroyer of weakness," Shilajit has been revered for millennia in Ayurvedic and Tibetan medicine for its potent healing properties.

Learn about its rich chemical composition, including minerals, fulvic acid, and bioactive compounds. Explore its potential benefits, from boosting energy and brain function to supporting heart health and promoting detoxification.

But tread carefully, for Shilajit has its precautions and side effects, especially for certain demographics like men, women, children, and the elderly. Ensure proper usage and consult with a healthcare professional if needed.

Join us on this journey to rediscover the enigmatic power of Shilajit, a natural remedy that bridges the gap between ancient wisdom and modern well-being.

What is Shilajit?

Shilajit laying on the grass

Commonly known as the "Conqueror of mountains" and "Destroyer of weakness", shilajit is a mineral-enriched bituminous extract that was largely emitted from the Himalayas between India and Nepal at an altitude of 1000 to 5000 meters above sea level.

As a result of the extreme heat, the black, gummy-like substance seeps out of the cracks of the rocks. It is a long-lasting, tar-like substance that arises from the breakdown of plant matter.

Shilajit is a mineral that grows naturally and may be found in the rocks of the Himalayan highlands. It has been known as an elixir in Ayurvedic treatment for millennia.

Its resinous exudation was first mentioned in ancient Ayurvedic texts as the best treatment for a variety of unusual health conditions. It promises to elevate elevate stamina and spiritual power. Moreover, it helps the body detoxify and rid itself of pollutants.

People in different places know the shilajit by different names like Silajatu, Saileya Shilaja, Moomie, Moomiyo, Punjabinum, Memiya, Asmaja, Shilasweda, Girija, etc. In English, it is known by names such as black bitumen, asphaltum, mineral pitch," etc.

Origin of Shilajit

The shilajit has a link to various ancient medicine systems that shows its magnificence and importance in healing people in different times and regions.

Significance of Shilajit in Ayurveda

Ayurveda is an ancient Indian medicine system that originated in India almost 5,000 years ago. It is also known as the “science of life “, which focuses on the overall health patterns of people. 

It involves the importance of balance in all kinds of aspects, such as diet, exercise, sleep, and emotional well-being. 

Ayurvedic doctors use a range of methods to promote health and fight off diseases. The methods include herbal medicines, dietary recommendations, massage, meditation, and yoga. 

Moreover, they employ a method of diagnosis based on the three doshas (vata, pitta, and kapha), or body kinds, which are said to affect a person's physical and emotional traits.

Shilajit and Ayurveda

Shilajit has a long history of usage in Ayurveda medicine. It has been popular in Ayurvedic treatment, the conventional medical system that has its roots in India. Shilajit was first mentioned in the Charaka Samhita and Sushruta Samhita in the 5th century BCE. 

Shilajit has historically been used by ayurvedic doctors to treat a variety of ailments, such as exhaustion, tension, anxiety, and inflammation, as it is thought to balance the three doshas (vata, pitta, and Kapha).

Also, in Ayurveda, they regard it as a Rasayana, which is a rejuvenating tonic that supports general health and well-being. It is also used to treat sexual dysfunction and is said to have aphrodisiac qualities.

Moreover, it promotes memory, boosts cognitive function, and guards against some cancers.

In Ayurveda, shilajit is frequently mixed with other herbs and nutrients to maximize its effects. 

It is normally taken orally in the form of a powder or capsule. It is commonly combined with honey, ghee, or milk to increase its absorption and efficiency.

Shilajit in Tibetan Medicine

Moreover, practitioners have been using the traditional Tibetan medicine system. The Tibetan medicine practitioner would refer to Shilajit as “brag zhun” or “chao-tong”. They thought Shilajit had several health advantages in this school of medicine, including enhancing mental clarity, increasing energy, and fostering longevity.

In Tibetan medicine, it is known as the “brag-shun”, “chao-tang” or “shilajit”. Shilajit is an herb that treats a variety of ailments and is thought to have a wide range of therapeutic characteristics in Tibetan medicine.

According to Tibetan medicine practitioners, Shilajit has a warming impact on the body that alleviates ailments brought on by a lack of warmth or vitality. Also, it treats Joint discomfort, lung issues, and digestive issues.

Just like in Ayurveda, Shilajit is also regarded as a rejuvenating tonic in Tibetan medicine that supports overall health and well-being. much like in Ayurveda, and is said to support general health and well-being. To increase its benefits, they combine it with other herbal, mineral, and animal items.

In Tibetan medicine, the Tibetans normally consume it as a powder or whole resin. If you use it in the form of a paste and apply it to the face, it also treats skin disorders. 

Also, Shilajit attracted the curiosity of Western experts in the 20th century who were eager to investigate its potential health advantages.

According to the early studies and research of the 20th century, shilajit may have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties and the potential to enhance cognitive function and guard against some forms of cancer.

Present Usage of Shilajit

shilajit pack on the rock

Now, shilajit is garnering fame again as a natural supplement, and it is widely available for its effectiveness in the body. 

You can now find Shilajit in several different forms, including powders, capsules, and extracts. It is famous as a natural supplement for overall health and wellness and for particular ailments like sexual dysfunction and low energy.

Looking for natural ways to boost your energy and overall well-being? Explore the unique qualities of Shilajit and Ashwagandha and find out which one is right for you.

Rediscovery of Shilajit

There has been an interesting story about the rediscovery of the shilajit. In the summer months, a group of Himalayan villagers saw a troop of monkeys chewing a semi-soft, shiny black substance in the warm weather. Upon witnessing the money consume the tar-like substance, they decided to try it for themselves. 

And only after a few weeks of consuming the substance did they notice a noticeable change in their health conditions. They claimed that it increased their day-to-day energy, alleviated stomach issues, and increased their sex drive.

Also, it enhanced their memory and cognition, decreased their allergies, improved their quality of life, and appeared to cure all illnesses.

Hence, the villagers credited the mysterious chemical for the monkeys’ extraordinary knowledge, longevity, and intelligence. Since then, shilajit has been a well-known ingredient in the diet of the mighty Himalayan people. 

Chemical Composition

Shilajit is a complex blend of organic and inorganic substances that includes minerals, trace elements, humic and fulvic acids, and bioactive chemicals. Depending on where it came from and its method of extraction, its precise chemical composition may differ. But, in general, it consists primarily of the following elements:

  • Fulvic Acid: Shilajit has a significant amount of an organic acid called fulvic acid, which you can find in soil, sediment, and water. Some of the health advantages of fulvic acid are its anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, and antioxidant effects.
  • Dibenzo-alpha-pyrones: These bioactive compounds present in the shilajit are the cause of many health advantages, such as anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and immune-stimulating qualities.
  • Minerals and Trace elements: Some of the shilajit minerals are iron, copper, zinc, manganese, magnesium, and selenium. These minerals are necessary for the vast range of biological functions in the body, such as the production of energy, the health of bones, and the operation of the immune system.
  • Humic Acid: Another form of organic acid that can be found in soil, sediment, and shilajit is humic acid. Many of the health advantages of humic acid are its anti-inflammatory, immune-stimulating, and detoxifying effects.
  • Amino Acids: Shilajit includes a variety of amino acids, including phenylalanine, tryptophan, and methionine. These amino acids are necessary to track many metabolic activities, like protein synthesis, in the body. 
  • Carboxylic acids: Shilajit contains several carboxylic acids, which are well-known for their anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

Benefits of Shilajit for Your Health and Body

A young boy taking shilajit in the morning

As we already know, shilajit is a traditionally sought-after compound in both Ayurveda and Tibetan medicine, as well as a few other ancient medical practices. Its benefits serve as a total package of cures to almost all ailments of the body and mind. Here are some of the potential benefits of shilajit: 

Boosts energy levels

By consuming shilajit, it can increase the supply of oxygen to the cells in the body, which in turn produces an abundance of energy.

Also, since it contains several bioactive compounds, including dibenzo-alpha-pyrones and fulvic acid, it can enhance mitochondrial function. Mitochondria are the organelles in cells that help to produce energy and increase the energy levels in your body.

Shilajit may also aid in controlling energy metabolism by promoting the synthesis and usage of ATP, the chemical that gives cells their energy. 

Shilajit might support normal adrenal function, which might help increase energy and lessen tiredness. You can easily deal with stress and fatigue by promoting full-fledged recovery after heavy physical activity. 

Promotes Brain Function

Shilajit contains fulvic acid, dibenzo-alpha-pyrones, and several trace minerals such as iron, copper, and zinc. These shilajit minerals and compounds help to improve brain health and function. It is also better for the immune system.

Fulvic acid has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects that protect the brain from cellular damage and oxidative stress.

According to a study, supplements of shilajit may help improve cognitive function. As a result, it may reduce the symptoms of cognitive impairment in patients with Alzheimer’s disease. 

Furthermore, according to another study, supplementation aids in improving cognitive function and reduces anxiety in active and healthy people.

Shilajit Benefits for Skin: Aging and Enhancing Elasticity

Antioxidants present in shilajit play a crucial role in safeguarding the body against the damaging effects of free radicals, known for accelerating the aging process. Additionally, chronic inflammation has been linked to various age-related health concerns.

Shilajit's abundance of fulvic acid, known for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, makes it a potential powerhouse for skin health. Studies published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology reveal its benefits, including wrinkle reduction and improved skin elasticity in women.

Moreover, research in the Journal of Medicinal Food demonstrates that shilajit consumption elevates antioxidant levels while reducing inflammation in individuals, further supporting its role in promoting healthy and youthful skin. Embrace the potential of shilajit to enhance your skin's vitality and combat signs of aging.

Also Read: 10 Best Shilajit Benefits for Women

Supports Heart Health

Shilajit has been shown to have potential blood pressure-lowering effects, which may also help reduce the risk of heart disease. It reduces oxidative stress and inflammation, which helps improve good heart health. 

Some studies show that shilajit supplements help to improve lipid profiles and alleviate oxidative stress in patients with coronary artery disease.

Enhances Sexual Libido and Performance

In Ayurvedic medicine, shilajit has long been used as an aphrodisiac and is thought to offer certain advantages for sexual health. It contains several bioactive substances that may enhance libido and sexual function.

Some studies suggest that shilajit may help improve testosterone levels and enhance sexual performance in men with low testosterone levels. Low testosterone levels have been linked to erectile dysfunction and lost libido. It is a hormone that is essential for male sexual stamina. 

Additionally, it may aid in increasing blood flow to the genitals, which may help improve sexual function. According to research in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology, taking shilajit supplements helped increase sperm count and sexual performance in men.

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Improves Bone Health

The presence of shilajit minerals like calcium, magnesium, and potassium may help to improve bone health. These elements are crucial for preventing osteoporosis and keeping the bones strong. 

According to studies, shilajit may assist in increasing bone mineral density and lower the risk of bone loss due to its anti-inflammatory properties.

Promotes Detoxification

Shilajit is a natural detoxification medication that has historically been used in Ayurveda medicine, and it is thought to have potential advantages for ridding the body of impurities.

Fulvic acid and humic acid are two bioactive substances found in shilajit that may help bind to toxins and eliminate them from the body.

There have been demonstrations that show that it contains fulvic acid, which may have chelating actions. This action implies that it may assist in binding heavy metals and eliminating them from the body.

Shilajit Side Effects

Doctors testing shilajit in lab

While Shilajit is generally safe, it is important to be informed about any potential adverse reactions. Following are some of the shilajit side effects in different individuals and demographic groups:

Side Effects of Shilajit on Men

Prostate Health

Shilajit contains various bioactive compounds, including fulvic acid, minerals, and antioxidants, which are believed to contribute to its benefits for the prostate. However, men with existing prostate conditions need to seek advice from a healthcare professional before using it, as certain conditions may worsen it.

Testosterone Level

Testosterone is a crucial hormone that plays a vital role in male reproductive health, muscle development, bone strength, and overall well-being. While the idea of increasing testosterone levels may seem appealing, men with pre-existing hormone-related conditions must exercise caution and consult a healthcare professional before incorporating Shilajit into their routine.

Side Effects of Shilajit on Women

Hormonal Imbalances

Hormonal imbalances can occur for various reasons, such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), thyroid disorders, or menopause. These conditions require careful management and treatment, and any intervention that may influence hormone levels should be approached with care.

And if you are already dealing with any hormonal imbalance, then it is always better to visit a doctor. Consulting with a healthcare professional is essential for women with hormonal imbalances before using Shilajit.

Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

To ensure the well-being of both the mother and the child, it is strongly recommended to consult with a healthcare professional, such as an obstetrician or a pediatrician, who can provide appropriate guidance based on individual circumstances.

Side Effects of Shilajit for Children

Safety Concerns

Children have unique physiological and developmental needs, and their bodies may respond differently to substances and supplements compared to adults. Shilajit contains various bioactive compounds and minerals, and the effects of these substances on the growing bodies of children are not well-established.

Hence, it is better to first visit a pediatrician to know if it’s safe for the children to consume shilajit or in what dosage they should consume it. 

Side Effects of Shilajit for Elderly

Existing Health Conditions

If you are an older adult with underlying health issues, it is crucial to exercise caution and consult your healthcare provider before considering the use of Shilajit. As we age, our bodies may become more vulnerable and susceptible to the potential risks and interactions associated with certain substances.

Shilajit contains bioactive compounds and minerals that could potentially interact with medications or exacerbate existing health problems. Therefore, it is essential to seek guidance from a healthcare professional who can evaluate your specific health conditions, medications, and potential risks.

Some health conditions that commonly affect older adults, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, kidney disease, or liver problems, may require special consideration when it comes to the use of supplements. Its use may interfere with existing treatment plans or medications.

By consulting with a healthcare provider, you can have a comprehensive evaluation of your health status and receive personalized advice.

Digestive problems

Certain older individuals may face digestive discomfort or mild issues with their stomach when using Shilajit. If you experience any negative reactions, it's best to stop using it and consult a doctor.

General Side Effects

Allergic reactions

Although rare, some individuals may be allergic to Shilajit. It's important to be aware of any allergic symptoms such as itching, rash, or difficulty breathing and discontinue use if such reactions occur.

Digestive Discomfort

Some individuals may experience mild digestive discomforts, like an upset stomach or diarrhea, when using Shilajit. Although these effects are generally mild and temporary, it's important to be aware of them and take precautions to minimize any potential discomfort.

To lower the likelihood of digestive issues, it's advisable, to begin with a smaller dose of Shilajit and gradually increase it over time. This allows your body to adapt to the supplement and helps determine your optimal tolerance level. Starting with a lower dose also allows you to evaluate your body's response and identify any digestive discomfort that may arise.

Furthermore, it's recommended to take Shilajit with food. Consuming it alongside a meal or snack can help cushion its impact on your digestive system and potentially reduce the chances of experiencing an upset stomach.

Interference with Medication

If you are currently taking prescription medications or have underlying health conditions, it is crucial to seek guidance from a healthcare professional before considering the use of Shilajit. This is because Shilajit can potentially interact with certain medications, which may affect their effectiveness or lead to unwanted side effects.

Dosage Recommendation and Safety Precautions

When it comes to utilizing the potential benefits of Shilajit, following the recommended dosage instructions is paramount. Adhering to the proper dosage not only ensures the optimal effectiveness of the supplement but also helps mitigate the risk of potential side effects.

Tips for Shilajit Dosage 

  1. Start with a little amount of Shilajit, especially if you're new to using it. Observe how it serves your body and needs. Then slowly increase it as you find it tolerable.
  2. Read and follow the guidelines given by the manufacturer with caution. 
  3. Adjust your dosage according to its concentration of active compounds.
  4. Factors such as age, weight, overall health, and specific goals may influence the appropriate dosage of Shilajit for an individual. Consult with a healthcare professional to determine the ideal dosage that suits your unique needs.

Intrigued by Shilajit's effectiveness and the time it takes to experience its transformative properties? The duration for shilajit to work is subjective, with individuals experiencing its remarkable effects at their own pace. Recognizing the gradual nature of Shilajit's impact on well-being, it's crucial to embrace the journey. Uncover a detailed timeline and explore the extraordinary benefits of shilajit on our dedicated page, 'Embarking on the Path: How Long Does Shilajit Take to Work?


If you have pre-existing health conditions or are currently taking medications, it is important to seek guidance from a qualified healthcare professional before incorporating Shilajit into your routine. They can provide personalised advice and evaluate potential interactions or contraindications.

If you have known allergies or sensitivities, it's important to check the ingredients of the Shilajit product you plan to use. Look for any potential allergens and avoid products that may trigger an allergic reaction.

Keep an eye on how your body responds to Shilajit. If you encounter any adverse effects or unusual symptoms, it's recommended to discontinue its use and seek medical guidance.

Avoid exceeding the recommended amount as higher doses do not necessarily result in better outcomes and may increase the risk of side effects.

Embrace the possible advantages of Shilajit while respecting the significance of safety and individual health factors. Each person's body is unique, and what works for one may differ for another. Prioritize your health, listen to your body, and consult with a healthcare professional if you have any concerns or queries about using Shilajit.

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