Since ancient times, people have used plants to heal themselves. For example, frescos dating to 1500 or 1600 B.C. found on a Greek island are said to depict a goddess cultivating saffron for medicinal use.
Today, using plants to treat disease is widespread in most cultures.
From marijuana to catnip, there are hundreds of remarkably common herbs, flowers, berries and plants that serve all kinds of important medicinal and health purposes that might surprise you: anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, insect repellent, antiseptic, expectorant, antibacterial, detoxification, fever reduction, antihistamine and pain relief.
But there is one special ‘plant’ that will blow your mind!
Shilajit, one of the most prized medicines throughout Asia for the last few thousand years. In its “wild habitat” you could be forgiven for simply thinking that it was a tar-like substance oozing from the cracks in between rocks high up in the Himalayan Mountains. And the locals did for many thousands of years; however, in ancient times one had to look for clues from nature to better understand their natural habitat—particularly what was safe and what was poison. Upon seeing packs of native chimps snacking on the Shilajit tar and further observing that those who did seemed to be the strongest, most intelligent and long-lived of the bunch, the indigenous people began ingesting the night-black mineral pitch themselves.
When they too began experiencing the benefits:—a rapid restoration of their health and enhanced cognitive and physical abilities—they knew they had stumbled on a great discovery.
Oral tradition has it that this is how Shilajit was originally discovered. Maybe so, maybe not, but either way decades of intense scientific analysis and study have revealed that
Shilajit is one of the most nutrient-dense substances on the planet.
And what’s more, is that the nutrients it contains, such as naturally occurring humic and fulvic acids—two of nature’s most potent detoxifiers of heavy metals and other pollutants that disrupt the natural function of the body, and are quite rare to boot.
Known euphemistically as the “destroyer of weakness,”
much can be learned about the incredible properties and benefits of Shilajit by understanding the process of how it is created. Over the course of millions of years, the lush primeval vegetation that once blanketed Asia was decomposed by the forces of nature, eventually becoming highly compacted under the weight of the mountains, which later formed as continental plates collided. Over 6,500 different species of ancient plants spent many millennia in a sort of geological alchemy that created a thick, black, resin-like substance trapped deep within the Himalyan, Caucasus, and other famous mountain ranges in the region. The relentless monsoons and ever-increasing pressure eventually caused this “tar” to begin seeping from cracks in rocks in the sides of the mountains.
a complete spectrum of every essential mineral on the planet in ionic form—the most easily absorbable and assimilated by the human body. Scientists also found amino acids, fulvic and humic acids, ellagic acid, fatty acids and plant sterols, which tend to have a harmonizing effect on the hormonal/endocrine system, among many others.
Although shamans and medicine men of the time could not possibly have understood its complex and unusual composition, they could easily discern the beneficial effects Shilajit was having on the people they treated, which was a massive restoration of health and wellbeing.
The Benefits of Shilajit
Shilajit acts on many different systems in the body, earning it a place among the prized natural medicines known as adaptogens, meaning it helps to restore balance to one’s system, whether that is through reducing excess (stress and cortisol, for example) or nourishing deficiencies (promoting sound sleep and giving endurance, strength and stamina) within the body’s various systems.
One of the primary ways it does this is through its action on the endocrine system.
As the master controllers of the body’s thousands of delicately tuned processes, hormones—or the lack thereof—have a very large influence on your health. They control mood, libido, sleep-wake cycles, hair growth, cognition, energy, consciousness and much more. Therefore it should come as no surprise that Shilajit has long been valued for its ability to restore sexual function, promote cognitive abilities, reduce anxiety and stress, improve mood and generally extend one’s lifespan. Quite impressive, to be sure.
However, Shilajit’s beneficial medicinal properties are not solely limited to the endocrine system.
It has also been shown to reduce pain and inflammation,
making it one of the most sought after remedies for those suffering from arthritis. It also has a healing effect on the digestive tract, with the notable ability to repair ulcerated intestines and keep harmful bacteria in check.
And, of course, it is also a great remineralizer and detoxifier,
removing heavy metals and replacing them with those the body needs for health and wellbeing. It has also been used to treat allergies, malnutrition, anemia, and broken bones. It’s kind of like water: life is just better when you consume it regularly.
Dea is passionate about pursuing gentle, pure living in all its forms. She’s a veg and fruit foodie, who loves to explore the healing properties of plant-based foods and then fully indulge in their sun-filled taste. She believes that “In the end, only three things matter: how much you loved, how gently you lived, and how gracefully you let go of things not meant for you.”