Shilajit, deeply rooted in ancient Ayurvedic and traditional medicine, is currently gaining traction among Australians as a natural solution and supplement. It has been used for thousands of years in places like India and Tibet as a cure-all for various diseases and health issues.
This organic mineral is found almost exclusively in high-altitude places like the Himalayas, Bhutan, and Peru. Shilajit is composed of humins, humic acid, and fulvic acid. Fulvic acid forms the major component that accounts for 60 - 80% of its core components. The rest of it is made up of various different elements like fatty acids, resins, and amino acids, making it a potentially unique and natural powerhouse to boost vitality, libido, fertility, and improve wellness in general.
- PURIFIED OR RAW SHILAJIT? -
If Australians have to choose, we would recommend purified shilajit as the best choice for a safe supplement, with properly standardized options providing the best balance of bioactive effects and safety. Purified shilajit undergoes a refining process to eliminate impurities, reducing the risk of potentially harmful contaminants and remnants. In contrast, raw shilajit is unprocessed and contains a broad spectrum of minerals, bioactive components, along with potentially harmful contaminants. Despite differences in consistency and safety, both variations remain increasingly common on the market as natural solutions to treat various diseases, particularly chronic conditions. Meanwhile, due to the unregulated nature of shilajit supplements, fake products are also increasingly common.
Given the challenge for consumers in Australia to determine whether they are getting the real thing, a dangerous raw version, or a plain fake made with coal and fertilizer, we will explore the benefits and side effects of shilajit generally below to help consumers have a better idea of what they’re getting into.
- BENEFITS -
- Shilajit may benefit heart health. Rats dosed with shilajit showed fewer cardiac lesions in an animal study.
- Shilajit may have potential as a testosterone booster. Participants supplemented with purified shilajit showed higher testosterone levels in a 90-day clinical study.
- Shilajit may benefit those with low iron levels or anemia. It has demonstrated positive effects on hemoglobin levels in an animal study.
- Shilajit may help with symptoms of fatigue. Supplementation reduced chronic fatigue syndrome in rats in a 2012 animal study.
- Shilajit may benefit men suffering from infertility. Supplementation led to improvement in sperm count and motility in a clinical study.
Other Potential Benefits
- Shilajit has been postulated to have benefits for those with Alzheimer's, diabetes, as well as high-altitude sickness due to its potent antioxidant properties.
- SIDE EFFECTS -
Increased Iron Levels
- Shilajit may significantly increase iron levels in the blood, making it unsuitable for those with conditions such as hemochromatosis or chronic liver disease.
Heavy Metal Contamination
- Shilajit, both raw or purified, has been found to contain varying levels of lead, arsenic, and mercury.
Interaction with Medication
- Shilajit supplementation may lower blood pressure and glucose levels, posing risks for those on related medications.
- Shilajit can potentially be contaminated with deadly fungal contaminants and mycotoxins, which can lead to various health issues.
- Shilajit consumption has been found to cause gastrointestinal issues in some; possible side effects include nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
- Shilajit can become tainted with external free radical contaminants. If improperly harvested or during the production proecess. These can counteract shilajit's purported antioxidant properties via increased oxidative stress.
Lack of Clinically Determined Safe Dosage
- These is insufficient evidence to determine a safe and effective dose of shilajit, with varying amounts used in studies.
While the potential benefits of purified shilajit are promising, obtaining genuine pure shilajit in Australia proves to be increasingly challenging due to scarcity, difficulty harvesting, and a hefty price tag. If you are intent on trying it, Australian consumers are advised to be discerning by seeking certificates of analysis and scrutinizing the entirety of the production processes. The true nature of shilajit, whether as a natural marvel or potential Pandora’s Box, depends heavily on factors like industry regulations, production quality, and further research on dosing.
For now, the lack of regulatory control, difficulty in discerning genuine from fake, and the real risk of deadly contaminants in commercial shilajit products underscores the need for caution. Until standardization aligns with pharmaceutical standards and stringent sourcing regulations, we encourage Australians to steer clear and choose established options for health and wellness like Tongkat Ali.
If you are interested in experiencing the benefits of standardized hot-water root extract, try our dose-optimized capsules.
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