The sun rays of Greeshma Ritu or summer season warms up the boulders of Himalaya Mountains. A thick, sticky, tar like substance comes out of these boulders. This is known as Shilajit or Shilajitu. This is mainly found in Himalaya and Tibet mountains, Caucasus Mountains, Altai Mountains, and mountains of Gilgit .
Various Sanskrit names have been coined based on its origin from mountains.
- Shilajatu – The one which originates from rock.
- Girija – the substance which is available in mountains
- Shailaniryasa – an exudate from rock
- Ashmaja – the one which has taken birth from rock.
Colours of Shilajit – Shilajit attains various colours based on its mineral content.
Souvarna : This has gold molecules in it and looks reddish in colour
Raajata : This has silver content and looks pale
Taamra : has copper content and usually has blue tinge.
Aayasa : It is mixed with minerals of iron and looks dark.
Usually the Aayasa type of shilajit has highest medicinal properties and is considered as the best.
Purification of Shilajit: Shilajit is purified by two methods .Suryataapi – by heating in scorching sunlight and this method is considered as the best. Agnitaapi -Another method is to purify by heating on fire. This herbomineral substance has to be used only after purification. Pure shilajit always dissolves in warm water without leaving any residue.
Various researches have shown that shilajit contains active ingredients like fulvic acids, dibenzo alpha pyrones, humins, humic acids, trace minerals, vitamins A, B complex, C and P (citrines), phospholipids and polyphenol complexes, terpenoids. Also present are microelements like cobalt, nickel, copper, zinc, manganese, chrome, iron, magnesium and others.
Ayurvedic Properties of Shilajit: Shilajit is light to digest and reduces the moistness of body tissues. It tastes hot (katu rasa), bitter (tikta rasa) and astringent (Kashaya rasa). Shilajit has hot potency.
Ayurvedic Medicinal Uses Of Shilajit :
Joint Pain: This can be applied externally on painful swollen joints to get rid of pain and swelling. When administered internally it helps to reduce joints pain due to rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis and gout.
Digestive Disorders: Shilajit helps in indigestion, colic pain, piles, jaundice and to eliminate intestinal parasites.
Disorders of Circulatory System: various studies have shown that shilajit helps to reduce levels of blood cholesterol and triglycerides. Hence Ayurveda acharyas call it as hridya or heart friendly. Shilajit also helps to lose weight. Hence shilajit is used in Ayurvedic Weight Loss Capsules to aid weight loss and prevent other problems of obesity.
Effect on respiratory system: Shilajit helps in chronic cough, bronchitis and whooping cough. It strengthens the lungs and boosts their immunity.
Diabetes: Texts of Ayurveda describe the importance of shilajit in controlling the blood sugar level. This herbomineral compound helps to reduce blood sugar level and is boon to diabetic patients.
Reproductive system: This compound helps to correct infertility in men and women. It improves sperm count and boosts motility. This can be a best ayurvedic remedy for erectile dysfunction. Since it controls blood sugar level and also aids weight loss, it can be used in men who suffer from erectile dysfunction due to diabetes and erectile dysfunction due to obesity. This can be administered in men who suffer from low sperm count. The ayurvedic herbal preparations which are used in Vajikarana Therapy to boost men sexual health usually includes shilajit as ingredient
In women it helps in Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome or PCOS. Since shilajit aids in Weight loss and blood sugar level control, it effectively controls formation of cysts in ovaries.
Skin diseases: Consumption of shilajit detoxifies skin and improves skin glow. Ayurvedic preparations which are administered to treat psoriasis, dry skin, eczema etc., contain shilajit as main ingredient.