Shilajit: Wonder Mineral of Ayurveda



Shilajit, also known as mineral pitch, comes from the rocks in the lower Himalayas during the warm, summer months.  It is believed that its origin is from the decomposition of vegetable substances.  This organic matter is composed of a large variety of minerals along with the main active ingredient - Benzoic acid. Throughout history there has been four varieties of Shilajit which have been used; however, the iron shilajit which is a blackish brown is the most common one used for medicinal purposes. A purified form is used which may have been processed with a number of different herbs including Triphala, Dashamula or Ashwagandha.

Having tonic properties, this substance is useful in a wide variety of treatments.  It has been said that there is hardly any curable disease which cannot be assisted with the aid of Shilajit.  General debility and fatigue is among the list of ailments which can be helped with Shilajit.  The overall action is alterative, tonic, slightly laxative, cholagogue, respiratory stimulant, disinfectant, expectorant, intestinal antiseptic, diuretic and lithotriptic.  The following is a list of diseases which may benefit from the use of this gum resin: genito-urinary, diabetes, gall stones, jaundice, enlarged spleen, dyspepsia, worms, digestive troubles, hemorrhoids, fatty tissue, kidney stones, mental disturbances, neurasthenia, epilepsy, nervous diseases, female reproductive system, skin, anemia, and bronchitis. Since it promotes expectoration, it makes it useful in respiratory illnesses.  It may be used in acute and chronic bronchitis.  The antispasmodic qualities brings it's effects with asthma, colic, other intestinal complaints and menstrual difficulties.  It addresses ascites and edema with being a diuretic.

The average dose is one 250 mg. tablet once a day. Some diseases may benefit from an increased dose, please ask the advice of your Ayurvedic physician if you have any questions about dosage.  You may wish to include Shilajit along with your use of other herbs.

In sexual weakness you may take Shilajit along with Ashwagandha. For menorrhagia you may take it with Amalaki.  With painful micturation it would be helpful with Yashtimadhu (licorice). In mental disturbances you may want to also include Jatamansi.  In Diabetes it decreases the quantity of sugar and urine.  You may want to take it with other hypoglycemic herbs.  Arthritis may receive results with an addition of Shilajeet to your other herbal therapies.

Shilajeet may also be applied externally as an antiseptic, parasiticidal, and anodyne.