In Indian traditional medicine, Ayurveda, in addition to many medicinal plants, a remarkable product called Shijalit is also used. Shilajit is a brown substance found on the rock walls of the Himalayan Mountains. This mineral-rich regenerative agent has always been highly appreciated in Ayurveda.
The origins of shilajit
Shilajit is largely created in nature by humus formation. The lush vegetation in places where shilajit is found ensures a continuous supply of humus. Over time, this substance is increasingly absorbed by the rock. Under the influence of the heat of the sun, the rocks sweat out the shilajit.
However, shilajit owes its special biological effect to conversion processes that are more original than humification. These conversion processes are geochemical in nature and take place within the rock, whereby the minerals present in the rock cause the conversion. These minerals appear to catalyze reactions that lead to the formation of organic molecules. These end products, formed on the border between inorganic and organic, have strong auto-catalyzing properties that are of great importance for biological organisms. For example, shilajit has been shown to be part of fundamental biological processes in connection with proteins. They play a role in the free radical metabolism of higher organisms.
Applications and operation
Shilajit is used in Ayurveda for anemia, aging symptoms, arthritis, diabetes and allergic symptoms. It is described as regenerating nerve, bone and muscle tissue. The preparation is recommended for amnesia and to improve cognitive functions in healthy people.
Scientific research confirms effects on stomach ulcers, aging, diabetes, learning, memory and cognitive disorders and wound healing. A large part of the effect appears to be based on immunomodulatory effects and optimization of free radicals. Shilajit is cell protective and induces an increase in the activity of superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT) and glutathione peroxidase (GPX).
Support cognitive functions with Shilajit
Shilajit improves cognitive functions in healthy individuals and stimulates psychological functions. This is in line with the use of shilajit as medha rasayan (ayurvedic remedies that enhance learning and memory capacity). Research also confirms its significance in the treatment of amnesia and senile dementia. The preparation lowers the level of serotonin and increases that of dopamine and norepinephrine. Dopamine and norepinephrine control the limbic system and are important for our emotional life. Shilajit may be useful for Alzheimer’s disease. Unlike neuroleptics and tranquilizers, the preparation does not cause any side effects even with longer use.
Uses of shilajit summarized
- purifies the blood
- regulates blood sugar levels
- strengthens digestion and the functions of the pancreas
- adaptogen – promotes adaptation to stress
- di-benzo alpha-pyrones protect the brain and nervous system against oxidation by free radicals
- strengthens memory, improves sensory activity
- for use in Alzheimer’s disease
- stimulates the immune system
In a scientific review of the scientific journal Phytother Res. the conclusion is drawn that ‘ Many therapeutic properties have been ascribed to Shijalit, a number of which have been verified by modern scientific evaluation’