Shilajit is a rejuvenating age-old natural substance that has stood the test of time amongst many Eastern cultures. Today we know it worldwide as one of nature's most potent nutritional supplements for enhanced energy and vitality.
Due to cryptic references and its complex nature, many are left feeling confused as to what Shilajit is exactly. In an effort to do away with some of the mystery and build an accurate picture of what it is, the below article endeavors to explain it's history, properties, where it originated from, how it's formed as well as how it works.
Shilajit's European History and Ayurvedic Origins
With firm origins in the East, the ancient Indians and other cultures revered it as a powerful medicine, with recorded history making detailed mention of this potent substance for more than 3000 years!
Found in the caves and crevices of very high mountain slopes (10 000-19 000 ft) throughout India, China, Central Asia, Iran and a few other Arabian countries1; the indigenous people of these areas are all very well acquainted with Shilajit. Other names for this substance include Shilajeet, Silaras, or Shilajatu.
Shilajit in Ancient Ayurveda
Some of the oldest records of this medicine stem back approximately 5000 years to India and the Himalayan Mountains, which has led many to believe that this is where Shilajit originates from. Still today, the best quality Shilajit comes from the Himalayan mountains and the Altai mountains, both of which are speculated to be between 300 and 500 million years old!
In Ayurveda, an ancient Indian system of medicine, Shilajit forms a core part of most remedies and was said to be able to treat every curable ailment known to man.
Ancient Hindu and Vedic texts - such as the Charaka Samhita and Sushrut Samhita that later formed the basis of Ayurveda - explicitly outline how to prepare Shilajit, what herbs to mix it with and when it is appropriate to administer it to treat a whole host of diseases. Some of these texts even make divine, spiritual and mythological reference to Shilajit, stating that it came from the Hindu god Shiva3.
Moomijo and the Widespread Eastern Origins of Shilajit
There is another substance nearly identical to Shilajit that was discovered by the folk people living in the Altai Mountains and other Eurasian ranges such as the Caucasus Mountains.
This type of Shilajit is known as Mumijo, Mumiyo, Mumie, momio, myemu or mummy. The name is a variation of the Greek word mumie, which means "to save or preserve the body".
There is very little difference between Mumiyo and Shilajit, aside from the fact that the chemical composition differs slightly and that Himalayan Shilajit is seen to be older, rarer and slightly more potent. Many people use the word Shilajit and Mumijo interchangeably, as their properties are virtually identical.
Mumiyo has been venerated countless times in Russian, Turkish, Sumerian, Egyptian, Persian and Arabic4 texts too.
In one such text titled 'The Form of Climates' (Mahzanul-Adwiya) by Alhakim Alyavi, a story is described in which Mumijo was discovered in a mountainous cave by the Sultan's guard. He placed a sentry outside the cave to guard it like treasure and once a year, his servants would collect it.
Moreover, famous doctors, scientists and philosophers knew about Shilajit; such as Avicenna, Paracleus and Buruni, who have had a large impact on shaping ideas within society today.
As in Ayurvedic literature, all of these ancient professionals dictated in their writings how to purify and use Shilajit in combination with other herbs with the intent to heal a long list of health problems.
Amongst those who knew, Mumiyo and all related substances were regarded as the closest thing to the legendary Fountain of Youth.
The Movement of Shilajit From East to West
As trade opened up between the East and the West, Shilajit and Mumijo began to spread to Europe. Kings, emperors and sultans all valued the substance highly and so it was largely only accessible to the wealthy who could afford to pay for its weight in gold. Naturally it became a highly prized tradable good.
In the West, Mumie was first described by the great Greek philosopher Aristotle, around 2500 years ago. His writings also speak of it as embodying healing properties as well as how to check for the best quality5.
This indicates that Shilajit has been in circulation between the East and the West for an exceptionally long time.
Other European mentions of Shilajit are surprisingly embedded in the famous works of William Shakespeare, including The Merry Wives of Windsor, Macbeth and Othello.
Shilajit in More Modern Times
In spite of all these well documented accounts of Mumijo, many falsely attribute it's discovery in modern times to the British explorer, Sir Martin Edward Stanley in the year 18706.
He observed that monkeys in the Himalayan mountains appeared to remain healthy and agile in their old age, unlike their counterparts from Europe. These monkeys were seen eating black tar-like rocks and upon further investigation, the indigenous people there confirmed that it was Shilajit which was responsible for their good health.
At the time of this fresh rediscovery, modern science as we know it was only just beginning to take shape, resulting in a sort of renaissance for Shilajit.
Scientists from all over Eurasia began to study this seemingly magical substance, coming up with many theories as to how it came to be, as well as researching all the amazing benefits that were already common knowledge to the folk people of these regions (more on that below).
As more people started looking into it, they discovered that most high mountain peaks in the world offer a variation of this substance, including those in Norway, Africa, and South America. Today, some of the best data on the subject can be found within Russian and Indian literature.
Physical and Chemical Properties of Shilajit
To help one better understand precisely what Mumiyo is, it's important to note both its chemical and physical properties.
These characteristics are what set it apart from other substances that look similar but are not at all the same, such as ozokerite7. One ought to be careful not to confuse Shilajit for these imposter products as sometimes they are sold as fakes, yet they will not contribute positively to your overall health!
When collected, Shilajit or Mumijo look like a dark brown (almost black) resinous mass. Depending on where the Shilajit is collected from, it may look slightly lighter or darker in color, as well as being tinged with shades of amber or red.
Raw unpurified himalayan shilajit, Gold Grade
According to some researchers, the more fossilized a sample is, the darker the color8, which further adds to the understanding that Himalayan Shilajit is slightly older than Mumijo.
Some Mumijo may even look yellow in color, which possibly indicates that it is in its primary powdered form, completely untouched by water. However, this form is exceedingly rare to come across as it is very difficult to find.
Most Shilajit is found in it's secondary form as a waxy, resinous exudate from mountain crevices, after it has come into contact with moisture. Thus, this yellow type is likely to be a vastly different product, one made from fossilized animal droppings; which is occasionally referred to as mumie, but is better distinguished as Karpura Shilajit or Brakshun8.
Composition & List of Elements
Quality Mumies are formed in some of the world's oldest mountain ranges from organic matter at incredibly high altitudes, due to natural processes over millions of years.
As a result, some refer to Mumijo and Shilajit as mineral pitch, asphaltum, ozokerite or even as some kind of petroleum-based product such as mineral oil, but in reality it is none of these.
The main difference is that Shilajit is made from organic carbon and contains an impressive list of elements that are organic in origin9,as opposed to being entirely composed of inorganic materials, as seen in the above mentioned substances.
Shilajit is very similar to other humic substances found in the soil as it is comprised of about 60-80% humus - however, after millions of years and under precise conditions as found at high altitudes, these substances undergo a profound change, becoming the phenomenal natural product ready for human consumption that we know of today.
The other portion of Shilajit that is not made of humic and fulvic acids consists of beneficial plant alkaloids, amino acids, healthy fats, resins, waxes and many other natural compounds with uplifting effects.
Here is a complete list of elements and organic products found in Shilajit:
- Phenolic steroids and pregnane steroids
- Phosphoric anhydride
- Resins and plant remains
- Silicate groups of silicon dioxide
- Small amounts of strontium oxide
This list of elements remains more or less the same across all types of Shilajit and Mumiyo, with slight differences in the ratios of each depending on the geographical origin10.
Mumijo harvested from the Caucasus Mountains, for instance, tends to be higher in iron, copper and manganese than that of Central Asian varieties.
In the Himalayas, four types of Shilajit have been taken into account based on their ratio of nutrients: red (gold), blue (copper), white (silver) and black (iron). The colors are referring to the color of the ores the Shilajit is found in and around, with there being fractionally more of that specific mineral in the Shilajit respectively (eg. red Shilajit contains a little bit more gold than other varieties).
Scientists have spent a great deal of time testing multiple types of mumijo to see if this mineral content has unique benefits. Some of the results are confusing, particularly amongst different groups of Indian scientists who each seem to have a different opinion over which one is best11,13.
Thankfully, the majority of these trials carried out all over Eurasia have shown that all Shilajit and Mumijo offer almost identical positive health effects. The only exceptions to this understanding are low altitudes, heat exposure and poor preservation, all of which reduce the potency.
Chemical & Empirical Formula
Truth be told, Shilajit does not have a standard chemical formula as of yet.
Since the composition of all the minerals differs slightly from region to region, it is difficult to create a universal equation. Not to mention, the fulvic acid portion of Shilajit makes it virtually impossible, as nobody could tell you what the chemical formula for fulvic acid itself is!
While this may be the case regarding the chemical formula, a basic empirical formula was suggested by R. G. Yusupov in 19794:
Melting Point & The Effects of Temperature
Shilajit has a melting point of 80°C/176°F. This is one way to tell it apart from fake substances like ozokerite, the melting point of which is ±73-76°C/164-169°F.
When Mumijo is heated up for prolonged periods of time, it begins to denature and therefore loses some of its beneficial components and effects. From a purist's perspective, Shilajit should never be heated or boiled beyond 65°C/150°F and it is recommended to process it even at lower temperatures to fully preserve its nutrients.
Unfortunately, most manufacturers will heat it up to 70°C/158°F for a limited time at some point during processing to bring it to a desirable consistency. This partially destroys some of the active components, but will still provide some of the vitality-enhancing benefits Shilajit offers. Heating over the melting point will completely denature the substance, effectively "burning" it.
If placed in a fridge or kept at low temperatures, Shilajit resin begins to harden and becomes brittle. Dropping a piece of cold Shilajit on the floor will shatter it! While cooled down to this extent, it also gains a sheen that it lacks when at room temperature. You should be able to soften a piece of cold Shilajit resin in the palm of your hand with ease.
Water & Oil Solubility
Mumijo has an exceptionally high affinity for water and is able to dissolve readily in water, whether at room temperature or heated.
Many of the organic minerals in Mumijo are present in salt form, which imparts hygroscopic properties similar to that of salt. For example, if you leave open a bag of good quality mumie powder for 1-3 days, it will start to draw in moisture from the air and clump together.
Shilajit does not dissolve into oil as it does in water, however it does naturally contain a small portion of fatty acid components. In resin or powder form, one can easily mix it into an ointment.
Not surprisingly, Mumijo also has surfactant properties14. This means that it lowers the surface tension of water, making it easier to mix other substances into water. Surfactants are commonly used in household cleaning agents to break down the surface tension of stains, although this will not work in the case of Shilajit as it will make a much bigger stain of its own!
The Origins of Shilajit
At this stage you might be wondering 'where does this stuff come from?'
Aside from the obvious geographical mountainous origins of Shilajit and Mumijo, there has been an age-old debate as to how these natural products came to be.
Natural formation of raw shilajit oozing from himalayan rock. After harvesting shilajit purified from sand and plant debris.
Everybody who has studied Shilajit and Mumijo mostly agrees that they are ancient substances which have undergone vast changes due to natural processes over the course of centuries or millions of years - yet nobody seems to be able to agree on exactly how Shilajit is formed and what substances came together to form it.
As a result, many different classes of Mumie were established according to theories of its precise origin, from fossilized honey to fermented succulent remains. If anything, it would seem that all natural substances can ultimately come together under certain conditions over millions of years to form Shilajit or Mumie.
This is another reason that it is so difficult to create a standard chemical formula for Shilajit or single out one active ingredient (as seen in FDA-approved drugs), because it is almost certain that all "types" are a combination of multiple types, with many active components.
The fact remains that in order to accurately know what a particular Mumie originated from, we would have needed to be there right from the beginning!
Nevertheless, to clarify the confusion people have on this subject, we have gone ahead and compiled a comprehensive list of all the known theories to date.
#1 Hot Mumie & The Petroleum Theory
As explained above, asphalt, mineral oil, mineral pitch, petroleum oils, bitumen, ozokerite and stone oil were all names used to describe Shilajit at some point or another, even though they are technically not accurate.
Petroleum products and mineral oil by nature contain inorganic minerals in them while Mumijo is made of mostly organic minerals, more closely resembling humic substances on a chemical level than mineral pitch, petroleum or tar.
However, a distinction was still made based off the theory that Mumijo and Shilajit originated from petroleum products.
These types of "Mumie" are known as hot Mumie - a hint as to how these substances formed under extreme heat and pressure, in mountainous regions devoid of moisture. Ancient Egyptians used this type of Mumie to embalm and preserve their dead, with Egyptian mummies still being some of the most ancient and intact corpses known today.8
The famous philosopher Avicenna made mention of hot Mumie, referring to it as 'mountain wax' and also classifying it as having petroleum origins. This is possibly where some confusion came into being as ozokerite was also previously thought of as mountain wax and was often directly confused with Shilajit.
Fast forwarding to more recent times, a group of Russian scientists in the late 50s believed that Siberian stone oil was a form of hot Mumie. According to them, it originated first from paraffin oils founded deep within the Earth. After slowly rising to the Earth's surface and being exposed to air, these paraffin oils eventually oxidized into bitumens that resembled ozokerite, forming stone oil. This theory does not take into account water soluble Mumie.
Further speculation on this hypothesis occurred a decade later in the 60s, where a few other researchers considered Mumijo to be mineral or stone oil which was subject to being altered by microorganisms, forming the substance that we now know today.
Cold or Water Soluble Mumie
The rest of the theories presented below will be focused on cold Mumie, also known as water soluble Mumie.
pure himalayan liquid shilajit extract mixing with water
This is the most common type of Mumie found on the planet and is not mined from deposits in the Earth where one can find petroleum-based products. Rather, this Mumie is hypothesized to originate from ancient decomposing organic matter in mountains where there is a lot of moisture as well as extreme weather conditions.
Scientists are still currently debating what substance these Mumies originated from, yet the truth is likely to be a combination that differs from region to region.
#2 The Geological Hypothesis of Mineral Origin
Some extra mineral-rich samples of Mumijo have been found in remote mountain areas, at incredibly high elevations and in places that neither animals could reach nor plants could grow.
These samples suggest that this type of Mumie was formed from inorganic minerals and rocks, but with the help of microorganisms or protozoa.5
#3 The Biological Hypothesis of Plant Origin
There are many different theories as to how Shilajit was formed by different types of plant species. Most specimens appear to be closely linked to humic substances in the soil and therefore it seems the most likely that Mumie formed from decomposing plant matter.
As to the type of plants, it is very difficult to say. Some research mentions how the Mumiyo was found in the presence of a specific plant species which lead to the creation of a new hypothesis; while other scientists argue that it took millions of years for it to form and thus the landscape would have changed from the plants that existed in that time.
An Indian scientist by the name of Ghosal studied many samples of Himalayan Shilajit. He determined that the samples had portions of resins, gums and plant residues, which he attributed to a specific variety of cactus growing near the collection site. These cacti appeared to contain similar compounds in them.
Convinced that this is how Shilajit originated, his view still dominates India as well as Wikipedia today.
Unfortunately, a very quick look at other mountains quickly dismisses this theory, as no cacti grow in the Altai Mountains. The succulents growing near the collection site may also merely be growing out of the nutrients provided from the Shilajit in the first place, contributing beneficially to their biological makeup.
Juniper & Other Trees
Geologist S.N. Potapenko attributes the origins of mumie to be that of juniper or mulberry juice or sap, after it has drained through the soil and then accumulated in a mountainous crevice.
This kind of Mumie was proposed to come from a certain resin that accumulates in the trunks and roots of juniper, pine and spruce trees. After being exposed to the elements and mixing with water as well as the tree's fruits and needles, this resin washes down into the soil and further mixes with organic minerals and elements - before evaporating into crusts that sit inside rocky crevices or caves.5 It is thought that limestone enriches the process, helping the end product to harden into Mumijo.8
Z.N. Khakimov and T. Yusupova came up with a theory that Mumiyo is in fact the direct result of rock lichen activity, originating from lichen waste products. This is believed to be true of Mumie harvested at lower altitudes where there are low growing plants present - namely rock lichens.5
Another type of Mumie that does not contain any oils in its makeup is known as Bituminous Mumie. This can be either a liquid or a solid wax which researchers propose was formed as a result of anaerobic bacteria after decomposing dead plant matter. Unlike other types of Mumiyo, this type contains little to no fatty acids as it is formed very close to the soil surface and ends up losing them naturally.5
Interestingly, C.B. Davidyants and a few others in the mid 60s suggest that Central Asian Mumijo was and always has been some kind of complete, original formation - an inherent part of the cycle of nature, which originates out of the Earth's biosphere under the influence of biochemical, physical and chemical conditions.
This group of researchers also believe that plants from high altitudes played a minor role in the creation of Mumijo due to the waxy components it contains.5
#4 The Biological Hypothesis of Animal Origin
A few researchers propose that some types of Mumiyo originate from animals or insects, like bees.
Bees & Honey
K. Dyakov believed in 1963 that Himalayan Shilajit is the result of decomposed bees, venom and honey. He pointed to the fact that like Shilajit, the only other known substance that does not decompose is honey.
According to his theory, before the Himalayas officially formed, India and much of central Asia was either under the sea or consisted of multiple islands where life flourished - including bees. As these islands moved North towards Asia due to tectonic plate activity, the Himalayan Mountains formed in a very short space of time during a collision. As this occurred, Dyakov believed that all the bees nesting in trees and caves on the islands found themselves caught inside the formation of the mountains, where they became permanently trapped. Supposedly, they decayed along with their hives, turning into Shilajit after millions of years8.
B. N. Ismailova supports this hypothesis, believing Shilajit comes from the honey bee.
After testing ancient samples from the East (referred to as 'Mumiyo Asil'), he proved in 1964 that they contained extra added beeswax and honey, as well as being a product of a wild honey bee species5. This has since been known as honey-wax Mumie5.
It was also described by a man named Abu Hanif that the bees themselves seal their larvae and honey with a black substance similar to wax but with a unique pungent smell.
This black resin was sold at high prices, used to heal wounds and was also known as Mumie in Persia5.
Coprolites are fossilized specimens of animal dung, which some speculate as being the origins of Mumie or count as a form of Mumie. Not a lot of research has been carried out on this type of "Mumie" as it is rare and only takes a brief 50-75 years to develop8. This Mumie is often yellow and known as Karpura Shilajit or Brakshun.
Most Mumijo is much older than this type and contains a lot more evidence that points to either plant or mineral origins.
#5 The Diagenesis Hypothesis
A. Sh. Shakirova and N. P. Petrov believe that cold Mumijo samples are the end product of organic biostimulants, uric acid and natural salts which have undergone centuries of diagenesis - i.e. the physical and chemical process wherein rocks and sediment layers are formed in the Earth’s crust8.
How Is Mumie Made?
Most of the work involved in making Mumie is done by nature. Before it becomes perfect for human consumption though, it needs to be collected, purified and then dried.
In mountains with high elevations, where the conditions are extreme, nature has been working for millions of years to produce Mumie.
Higher altitudes provide sharp changes in temperature, reduced oxygen content, dramatic wind speeds, increased radiation and less microbial activity; all of which contributed to the making of Shilajit and Mumiyo.
When rain, melted snow or even just atmospheric moisture condenses on mountain slopes, it passes through the soil and through layers of organic matter. Along with it, many beneficial organic compounds are extracted; which were created through complex natural processes and the harsh mountain environment. Eventually this liquid ends up inside a crevice or a cave in the mountainside, evaporating to leave behind a blackish-brown crust that is rich in trace minerals - this is Shilajit or Mumijo8.
In some cases, this initial crusty mass forms so thickly that it builds up into stalagmites or fills very deep crevices in the mountains, creating big deposits of mumie. It is in established collection sites like these that it is hand harvested annually by local workers.
When Mumie is harvested, it contains impurities such as dirt, rubble, and plant matter. It is estimated that any given mass of raw Mumie consists of 2-15 times more impurities than the actual pure substance itself.
To remove these impurities, the Mumijo undergoes extraction via water, filtration, centrifugation (or stirring) and evaporation to dry it out.
During these processes, the product also becomes more organic, losing any inorganic components, such as minerals which have not bound to fulvic acid in an organic ionic form.
Since Shilajit is highly water soluble, the first step is to place a fresh harvest into distilled or pure spring water at a ratio of 1 part solids to 4 parts liquid. This allows it to dissolve into the water while the biggest impurities rise to the top.
It is generally kept in the solution for 12 hours, at a temperature of 40-50°C. Every 2 hours, the batch is stirred for 15 mins. By the end of the process, a clear line is drawn between the impurities and the Mumie water. The solution is then carefully drained using a tube.
The next stage uses a series of fine mesh sieves, pouring the solution through finer and finer barriers until all sand, debris and further impurities have been removed.
Since ancient times, this process has not changed much at all. The only exception is that instead of modern filtration systems, the locals would use fine mesh fabric and strain it much like cream cheese is strained through muslin cloth to remove the moisture.
At this part of the process, one is sitting with a very diluted form of Mumie which needs to be concentrated.
The Modern Way
Professionals nowadays will send this 4% concentrate to a vacuum-evaporator plant where it concentrates to at least 50%. At a 50% concentrate, it can then be sold as liquid Shilajit or dried further in sophisticated ovens to form a resin, solid Shilajit or a powder. In the case of the powder, extra solid Shilajit is ground up and sieved again to provide the best texture.
During the drying process, liquid Mumie is not heated up to more than 70°C for 12 hours. The best Shilajit producers will not use a temperature this high, however the majority of producers do for the fastest results.
Some manufacturers have turned to freeze drying their Shilajit to make the powder as this does not subject it to high heat for prolonged periods of time and conserves more of the nutrients in the product.
The Common Improper Way
Sadly, not all manufacturers of Mumijo and Shilajit use the sophisticated methods that the modern world has to offer.
Instead of drying out the Shilajit using the best technology where the factors can be fully controlled, these producers simply place the liquid Mumie into a fireproof vat or vessel. Then, lighting a fire, they boil the substance until it reduces down into a thick paste.
While this has been an ancient technique in India and other parts of the middle East, it damages the end product, dramatically reducing its potency and quality. This is still a rather common drying method used today and ought to be avoided by those who are looking for the best quality Shilajit.
The Ancient Way
There is another ancient technique that is superior to merely boiling the Shilajit. Before modern technology was invented, people used to sun dry their liquid Mumiyo. The Mumie was placed on a perforated tray which slides into a special type of container, very similar to a simple solar cooker. The lid of the container consists of a glass sheet that focuses heat from the sun inside to dry out the contents.
Good ventilation allows for moisture to leave the container, with air flowing in from the underside of the tray through to air holes near the top. Sun drying sounds attractive to those who want a completely natural product, however the process takes a very long time to yield results and is far too expensive for manufacturers nowadays. There are a few exceptions in areas of the Himalayas where access to modern technology is not available.
How Does Shilajit Work?
Unlike other supplements, Shilajit does not have one active ingredient responsible for its action.
Instead it has many different active ingredients that come together chemically to form something completely unique. In the same way, you can't really look at the gases hydrogen and oxygen individually to get an idea of what water is; rather, you need to see how they combine to create it.
Nevertheless, we are going to look at each of Mumie’s individual components to get a better idea of how it works, yet the true magic of it lies in how these parts work together as a whole.
Fulvic And Humic Acids
A large portion of Mumie is made up of humic acids, a small percentage of which are fulvic acids.
Both of these substances fall under a specific class of organic acids which are the by-products of microbial action in soil and water. Each of them are responsible for binding to beneficial nutrients, neutralizing toxins in their surroundings and helping all life on the Earth to flourish.
Humic acids are much larger particles than fulvic acids, both with slightly different properties. Both of them chelate nutrients together, yet humic acids tend to bind to polyphenols and other organic acids while fulvic acids chelate ionic trace minerals, forming complex bonds.
The polyphenols (antioxidant plant-synthesized compounds) and other organic acids that are drawn to humic acids appear to be responsible for its many antioxidant and immune-supportive benefits.
It also binds to quinones, which create small doses of free radicals. These quinones - in conjunction with the other beneficial compounds found in humic and fulvic substances - help to heal wounds faster and discourage the growth of pathogenic fungi and bacteria.
These properties are not nearly as impressive as the ones displayed by fulvic acid, the smaller and more complicated of the two.
Fulvic Acids form a bridge between inorganic trace minerals and organic ones, effectively binding to and converting inorganic minerals into their organic form; a transformation that allows minerals to become readily absorbable nutrients that plants and animals (including humans!) can fully assimilate.
One molecule of fulvic acid is estimated to hold up to 60 ionic trace minerals!
Not only does it bind to minerals, but it also kick-starts mineral metabolism, makes cell walls more permeable and delivers nutrients across cellular membranes with ease to directly where they need to go. This makes Shilajit a step up from most mineral supplements where there is always the chance that you won't absorb an adequate amount of a given mineral - not to mention whether those minerals are in the correct organic form or not.
Fulvic acid may also bind to toxins, whether in the ecosystem or inside of our bodies, swapping beneficial nutrients for harmful metals or free radical species as well as potentially supporting their removal.
Fulvic acid also acts as a potent electrolyte. Being one of the strongest electrolytes on the planet, it may help to restore a cells chemical balance through the delivery of important minerals like sodium, potassium and magnesium.
Over and above these benefits, fulvic acid exhibits powerful immune-boosting, antioxidant, and anti-aging effects.
As both humic and fulvic acids are by-products of beneficial microbes, these substances also help gut bacteria to thrive by promoting an ideal environment and making it unsuitable for pathogens.
We would normally obtain these acids from fresh produce but due to modern intervention (pesticides, chemical water treatment, etc), we lack them in our diet. Shilajit contains them in perfect proportions for optimal nutrition and well-being.
Trace minerals are another essential part of our diets that is often lacking.
Statistics from all over the world reveal that many populations are at risk of mineral deficiency, experiencing subclinical deficiencies in elements such as magnesium, potassium, selenium, zinc, chromium and more. A subclinical deficiency means that you are not getting adequate amounts of a nutrient that you need, however it is not severe enough to be registered by a physician as a severe, full-blown deficiency (which can sometimes land a person in hospital).
Living life with chronic subclinical deficiencies makes us more prone to having a weaker immune system and results in poorer health in general. Afterall, all the cells that make up our bodies require trace minerals to function optimally; using them to send cellular signals,, produce enzymes or proteins, regenerate tissues, contract muscles and so on.
Shilajit contains more than 80 trace minerals, all in a balanced ratio and bound together with fulvic acid, making them much easier for us to absorb.
Interestingly, when our bodies are presented with a whole host of trace minerals in this ionic form, the ones we need the most appear to be of higher preference to the others. This does not occur in the case where individual supplements are taken as some of these elements compete with one another, ultimately leading to less efficient absorption.
Carbon-60 & Dibenzo-Alpha-Pyrones
Carbon 60 is a unique allotrope of carbon - like diamond and graphite - that is found inside mumie, as well as ancient star dust and coal.
Yet unlike these two forms of carbon, C60 molecules look like tiny soccer balls; comprising of 60 carbon atoms which come together to form a 3D carbon cage structure, known in geometry as a truncated icosahedron.
This structure gives carbon 60 versatile properties, including a high resistance to breaking down in the face of radiation, chemical corrosion or immense pressure. These nanoparticles are small enough to pass right through our cell walls, after which we can typically find them sitting comfortably between strands of our DNA16.
Generally speaking, C60 is basically an antioxidant on steroids! It's so effective that it is estimated to have a capacity several hundred times more than that of any other antioxidant17.
The cage-like structure has the potential to scavenge free radicals inside a living organism as it moves through cell walls and DNA. All 60 nodes of carbon are capable of binding to free radicals and other toxins, making them inert before exiting the system and leaving the organism unharmed. This effectively supports the protection of the cells, enhancing their innate defences and promoting an increased lifespan.
What makes carbon-60 a main feature of mumie is it's amazing ability to react with other substances and enhance their capacity.
Inside the core structure of Shilajit, C60 has formed strong molecular bonds with other potent antioxidant compounds known as Dibenzo-Alpha-Pyrones (DBPs)18.
DBPs preserve our body's natural antioxidants (e.g. co-enzyme Q10), helping to maintain a stable immune system. They also work very closely with the way we make energy on a cellular level.19
Inside each of our cells, the mitochondria are constantly creating energy through a series of reduction reactions involving the 'energy molecule' ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate); ultimately translating into electrons that power us up like some kind of organic computer.
Essentially, DBPs are an effective reservoir of electrons, potentially capable of supplying our mitochondria with more of them at a faster speed - in turn boosting the amount of energy we have and the speed at which it is created!
Combined with carbon 60, these C60-DBP complexes have no trouble getting right into our cells, our DNA and our mitochondria to boost the overall function of our cells.
How The Parts Work Together As A Whole
While each of the components found in Shilajit are impressive when singled out, the overall result creates a substance with properties like no other found on the planet!
The combination of fulvic and humic acids, trace minerals, plant resins, polyphenols, amino acids and C60-DBP complexes makes Mumie a truly complicated product that corrects imbalances at a cellular level - something only nature could have created over millions of years.
When ingested, the fulvic and humic components appear to kick start our mineral metabolism1 as well as promoting cell wall permeability, allowing all of the nutrients inside Shilajit to easily get through to where they need to go.
This sets off a cascade of beneficial processes inside each of our cells from head to toe, as all of the antioxidants present inside mumie tend to support the elimination of harmful cellular by-products and may promote less damage to our DNA, or any other part of the cell for that matter. The amino acids, plant nutrients and minerals support all parts of the cell with everything they need to restore themselves, facilitating heightened energy output, efficient protein and enzyme production as well as bolstering our body's natural defense and healing mechanisms.
There is no part of the body that Shilajit does not reach and as such, the list of its benefits are almost never-ending. To give you an idea, here is a brief compilation of as many benefits* as we could find, reflected through years of research on both humans and animals:
- Maintains the blood and corrects the balance of electrolytes in the body, fighting off dehydration. *
- Enhances permeability of blood vessels and all other cell wells.*
- Strengthens bodily defences.*
- Enhances our immune response by boosting its efficiency.*
- Helps us to cope with stress by offering nourishment to our central nervous system.*
- Promotes the longevity of neurons20, having a positive outcome on cognition.*
- Supports less fluid retention in the body.*
- May be useful for soothing stomach upsets and discomfort22,23,24.*
- Promotes the cellular elimination of free radicals such as superoxide, nitric oxide and hydroxyl radicals25.*
- Supports the recycling of other antioxidants in the body such as glutathione, Superoxide Dismutase (SOD) and Vitamin C.*
- May boost levels of growth hormone and testosterone.*
- Promotes a natural cellular lifecycle, from birth to death.*
- May offer safe nutritional support to those who are at risk of nutritional deficiency26.*
- Enriches the oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood27.*
- Promotes a natural cellular lifecycle, from birth to death.*
- Facilitates strong, healthy muscle and bone growth.*
- Optimizes energy production, fending off weakness and lethargy.*
- Enhances the defences of the skin and supports a quick recovery.*
...And the list goes on!
Freshly made pure shilajit extract
Basically, Shilajit contains everything each of your cells need in order to thrive - especially in light of all the challenges we face in the modern world; where being bombarded with stress, chemicals, electromagnetic radiation and poor nutrition appear to be the norm.
In essence, Shilajit truly was and still is the closest thing to the fountain of youth that humanity has uncovered as of yet.