8.3 Famous Ayurvedic
8.3.15 SHILAJIT, Silajatu, Mineral Pitch
Taste: Pungent, bitter
Attribute: Light, oily
General Action: Rejuvenating, urinary tonic, aphrodisiac, antidiabetic, antiparasite
Specific Action: Rejuvenating
Therapeutic Action: Depending on the variety, it can be balancing to all the three dosas according to several
Ayurvedic materia medica and the caraka Samhita, but generally people say that it lowers
kapha, vata, and increases pitta.
Shilajit os one of the prime Ayurvedic compounds for rejuvenating the body. It has a special effect on the kidneys, urinary system, and reproductive organs. It is included in many different formulas as it is said to enhance the effect of any herb with which it is combined. It is used in Ayurveda to treat diabetes and al debilitating urinary problem. It is used in consumptive type diseases, to treat asthma, the kidneys, hemorrhoids, anemia, epilepsy, skin diseases, and parasitic infections. It is also used to treat impotency and infertility, and as such it is considered to be an aphrodisiac.
While Ayurveda considered shilajit to be of a mineral origin, the by-product of certain stones in the Himalayas, there is now strong evidence to show that shilajit is of vegetable origin. Shilajit is a black or brown bitumen-like tar that seeps out of certain rocks in the Himalayas during the hot summer. As early as 1942, tests concluded that neither bitumen nor minerals resins have any significant role in the formation of shilajit. Other studies in 1958, 1970, 1973,and 1976 have continued to uphold this finding and, in addition, have found a link to a cactus-like plant, Euphornia royleana, Bioss. This plant is very rich in latex and has many of the same organic components, which indicate that the chemical constituents of shilajit are derived from the latex of the E. Royleana plant. These findings have been supported by another study done in 1978 that actually discusses the manner of formation that results in the tar.
The Caraka Samhita states that a person must use shilajit for a minimum of one month before starting to realize their regenerating effects. Shilajit is extracted from the rocks by boiling them, then it is stained off and cooked with Triphala. It is most often used in rejuvenating formulas, although it may be purchased in a tar-like form. This tar, or tablets, should be taken with milk twice to three times per day for several months.
Dose: 1 to 2 grams two or three times per day