Shilajit: a remedy for all times

Shilajit: a remedy for all times

One of the emerging health food trends to hit the Western world is the consumption of Shilajit, a curious resin found exuding from the steep rock faces of certain mountains in the Himalayas. It is one of the more unique remedies utilized in traditional medicine, and for practitioners of the ancient system of medicine called Ayurveda, among the most valuable as well. It is a relatively rare substance, found only when the hot summer sun beats down upon the mountains, causing the resin to liquefy and exude from cracks in the rocks. Similar exudates are also found in other mountain ranges, including the mumiyo harvested from the Altai Mountains in Siberia, but these are not necessarily the same thing as Shilajit.   What is Shilajit? As the older scientific names of 'bitumen' and 'ashphaltum' suggest, Shilajit was once thought to be some sort of fossilized organic material. It was believed to be derived from decaying organic materials that built up along the coastline of a … [Read more...]

Shilajatu: a traditional Indian panacea

Shilajatu: a traditional Indian panacea

Among the different medicines lauded in Ayurveda is a curious resin called shilajatu (‘shilajit’ in Hindi, pictured above), found as an exudate from steep rock faces in the Himalayan mountain range. Shilajatu is not only among the most unique of remedies utilized by Ayurveda, but among the most valuable as well. Shilajatu is found at altitudes of between 1000 and 5000 meters, typically when the hot summer sun beats down upon the rocks, causing the resin to liquefy and exude, and then harden again upon cooling. Similar exudates have also been found in other mountain ranges in what is called the Tethyan mountain system, including the Caucasus, Urals, Pamir, Hindu Kush, Karakoram, Tian Shan and Kunlun Shan ranges. As its older common name of bitumen suggests, shilajatu was once thought to be the ancient fossilized organic material from what was once the coastline of the tropical Tethys Sea region that existed between the subcontinent of India and Eurasia some 200 million years ago. As the … [Read more...]