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Shilajit, also known as silajit, salajeet or mumijo, momia and moomiyo,[1]"shargai", is a thick, sticky tar-like substance with a colour ranging from white to dark brown (the latter is more common), sometimes found in Caucasus mountains, Altai Mountains, and Tibet mountains and mountains of Gilgit Baltistan Pakistan.[2]

Shilajit is a blackish-brown exudation, of variable consistency, obtained from steep rocks of different formations found in the Altai Mountains

It is used in Ayurveda, the traditional Indian system of medicine. It has been reported to contain at least 85 minerals in ionic form, as well as triterpenes, humic acid and fulvic acid.[3][4][5] A similar substance from the Caucasus Mountains, and the Altai Mountains is called mumijo (Russian).[6]


Shilajit is a Sanskrit word meaning "rock-invincible." It is also spelled "shilajeet," and "salajeet(سلاجیت)" in Urdu and is known by various other names, such as shilajita mumiyo, mineral pitch or mineral wax in English, black asphaltum, Asphaltum punjabianum in Latin, barahshin, dorobi, baraga shun or brag-shun, chao-tong, and wu ling zhi (which generally refers to the excrement of flying squirrels). Shilajit is commonly called shilajitu in Ayurveda.The wakhis call it "baad-a-ghee"(evils feces).

Mumijo is a word of Greek origin. The substance is mentioned in the works of Aristotle and Avicenna as a remedy with antiseptic and general stimulant properties used in Caucasus mountains. Most scientists agree that people observed wounded animals frequenting caves with mumijo and so discovered the substance. Similar substances are used for medicinal purposes throughout Tibet.[1]

Active Ingredients[edit]

The primary active ingredients in Shilajit are Fulvic Acids, Dibenzo Alpha Pyrones, Humins, Humic Acids, trace minerals, vitamins A, B, C and P (citrines), phospholipids and polyphenol complexes, terpentoids. Also, present are microelements (cobalt, nickel, copper, zinc, manganese, chrome, iron, magnesium and other).

Fulvic Acid is a unique health component known to contain as many as 70 chelated vitamins. As such, this compound is effective for stimulating a number of healthful effects as well as treating a variety of health conditions. Its unique combination of nutrients make fulvic acid a key component of many bodily processes. The nutrients help boost energy, promote cell life, improve circulation, enhance endurance and stimulate metabolism. Additionally, the compound helps remineralize the body, control inflammation, regulate hormone production, boost the immune system and promote brain function. Fulvic acid also serves as a natural libido stimulator as well as a cleansing and detoxing agent. With all of these benefits, fulvic acid is an effective treatment for a wide range of conditions. The compound can be used to treat neural pain, diminished brain function, degenerative diseases and a variety of others.

Calcium (calcium phosphate) - Calcium is the most present mineral in the human organism. Basic role is to construction and maintenance of optimal state of bones, teeth and ligaments. It is important for cardio vascular system it gives elasticity to connecting tissue. Calcium and magnesium deficiency is common occurrence with older people. With women (especially in menopause), and with men who experience hormonal changes. As the consequence of deficiency and non-utilization of taken calcium and magnesium reduction of level of all these minerals in the organism occurs (especially bones) and osteoporosis occurs. The way to prevent and stop the occurrence and development of osteoporosis is additional intake of these elements in the organism. Beside osteoporosis, deficiency of calcium can cause bone deformity, sensitivity to stress, susceptibility to muscle inflammation and cramps. In case of insufficient intake, calcium deposited in bones is being used it enters in the blood stream and accumulates on the walls of the blood vessels which can cause their blockage. To better use calcium, the presence of many micro elements and vitamins is necessary in the body, above all magnesium, vitamin D and vitamin K. For better absorption of calcium you need to intake vitamins A and C, non-saturated non-fat acids, iron, phosphor and manganese and other.

Magnesium (magnesium oxide) - magnesium is essential mineral. In the organism of a grown man there is about 25 gr of this mineral (about 60% is located in bones). It is necessary for proper functioning of nervous system, muscles, heart, teeth, brain. They take part in the metabolism. Magnesium needs to be added to the diet, especially for women in the period until menopause, and to women that use oral contraception or consume alcohol.

Vitamin K (fitonadion) - vitamin K is very important for metabolism of calcium in the organism. It is necessary for proper functioning of kidneys and the health of cardio vascular system and blood stream.

Vitamin D (calcipherol) - vitamin dissolvable in fat which is dissolved in the organism during sun exposure. In the organism it can be introduced with food. It falls in vitamins that are necessary for the health of the organism, especially for bone health. The name calcipherol came to be because of its necessity for the metabolism of calcium in the organism. In the absence of vitamin D, calcium does not fulfill its role in the metabolic processes in the organism. Together with calcium it provides healthy skin and bone density, teeth and nails; it maintains normal ferment activity (enzymes); they have anti oxidative effect, reduce the risk of occurrence of all types of cancer diseases.

Vitamin A (Beta carotene) - necessary for the development of connecting tissue during growth and for regeneration of damaged connecting tissue (including bone tissue).

Vitamin B1 (Thiamine HCL) is involved in biosynthesis of many integral cell parts.

Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) - the presence of this mineral provides oxygen necessary for breathing to cells and proper cell division.

Vitamin B6 (Pirodixin HCL) - is taking part in decomposition of some amino acids and hormones, it is very important for absorption of nutrients (fat, amino acids, iron, calcium, and other). Deficiency in the organism is one of main reasons for the occurrence of arthrosclerosis. It mitigates muscle cramps and arm stiffness.

Vitamin B9 (Folic acid) - takes part in the synthesis of nucleic acids. It is important in the prevention of occurrence of cervix cancer. It mitigates pain, prevents anemia, protects from intestine parasites.

Vitamin B12 (cyanocobalamin) - stimulates liver cell regeneration. It has an important role in prevention of sterility. Symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency in some cases can occur after 5 years of after its deficiency in the organism reserves. Vitamin B12 deficiency very often occurs with people after 50 years of age.

Copper (copper gluconate) - very important catalyst of certain chemical reactions in the organism. It is necessary for the synthesis of hemoglobin and for proper pigmentation of skin and hair (prevents early gray hair).

Potassium (potassium phosphate) - potassium is necessary for functioning of cell membrane. It participates in maintaining acid-base balance. It has an important role in muscle contraction (especially heart muscle), in conducting nervous impulses. It helps enzyme functions. It is very important for proper functioning of the liver.

Iron (peptone) - the most important role of this element is transport of oxygen in blood. Women can have twice higher iron then men. The organism cannot synthesize iron but it is necessary to intake it with food or supplements.

Manganese (manganese gluconat ) - mineral that is very important for proper shaping and maintaining of cartilage, connecting tissue and bones. It participates in the synthesis of genetic material. It has anti oxidation effect. It is important for clotting process (coagulation). It takes part in the energy traffic in the organism.

Chrome (chrome picolinate) - chrome together with the insulin takes part in the sugar metabolism. Its presence in the organism is necessary for proper exchange of fat acids. It prevents the development and progress of atherosclerosis. It has a prophylactic effect on heart and blood vessel diseases.

Selenium is (seleniumetonin) essential mineral. Very strong oxidant (its presence in the organism fulfills the effect of vitamin E), successfully neutralizes the effect of free radicals in the organism (slows down aging process). It is necessary for optimal usage iodine in the organism. Selenium reduces the risk from cardiac diseases. It is important for health of the bones, skin and nails. It gives the tissue elasticity. Clinical studies have proven that this element is important for prevention of cancer diseases in the organism. Organic form of selenium is best absorbed in the organism.


Shilajit is a substance mainly found in the Altai, Himalaya, and Caucasus mountains. The color range varies from a yellowish brown to pitch-black, depending on composition. For use in Ayurvedic medicine the black variant is considered the most potent. Shilajit has been described as 'mineral oil', 'stone oil' or 'rock sweat', as it seeps from cracks in mountains due mostly to the warmth of the sun. There are many local legends and stories about its origin, use and properties, often wildly exaggerated. It should not be confused with ozokerite, also a humic substance, similar in appearance, but apparently without medicinal qualities. Some marketers of dietary supplements pretend to sell mumio, while in fact they are offering cheap raw ozokerite, a substance used, for example, in cosmetics.[7] Genuine mumio/shilajit should melt in the hand and has a distinct smell of bitumen, whereas ozokerite melts at 164-169 °F/73.3-76.1 °C.

Once cleaned of impurities and extracted, shilajit is a homogeneous brown-black paste-like substance, with a glossy surface, a peculiar smell and bitter taste. Dry shilajit density ranges from 1.1 to 1.8 g/cm3. It has a plastic-like behavior, at a temperature lower than 20°C/68°F it will solidify and will soften when warmed. It easily dissolves in water without leaving any residue, and it will soften when worked between the fingers. Purified shilajit has an unlimited shelf life.

It is still unclear whether shilajit has a geological or biological origin as it has numerous traces of vitamins and amino acids. A mumio-like substance from Antarctica was found to contain glycerol derivatives and was also believed to have medicinal properties.[8]

Based on currently available studies, the bioactivity of shilajit lacks substantial evidence. The immuno-modulatory activity does not stand the test of critical assessment and is considered as unproven.[9]


Mumijo/shilajit has been the subject of scientific research in Russia and India since the early 1950s. Though there is no clinical study to support any benefits to human health, some observed effects in animal models include:

In the former USSR, medical preparations based on mumijo/shilajit are still being sold,[16][17] further developed and investigated.[18] In India, dietary supplements based on shilajit are also very popular, mainly due to its purported effects on male impotence and premature ejaculation.


  1. ^ a b Winston, David; Maimes, Steven (2007). "Shilajit". Adaptogens: Herbs for Strength, Stamina, and Stress Relief. Inner Traditions / Bear & Company. pp. 201–204. ISBN 978-1-59477-969-5. Retrieved November 29, 2010. 
  2. ^ A. Hill, Carol; Forti, Paolo (1997). Cave minerals of the world, Volume 2. National Speleological Society. pp. 217–23. ISBN 978-1-879961-07-4. 
  3. ^ "Safe Use of Salajeet During The Pregnancy Of Female Mice". Retrieved 2012-06-22. 
  4. ^ Shibnath Ghosal -Chemistry of Shilajit, an immunomodulatory Ayurvedic rasayan [1]
  5. ^ Chopra, R N, Chopra I C, Handa K L & Kapur L D. - Chopra’’s Indigenous Drugs of India. [2]
  6. ^ David Winston & Steven Maimes. Adaptogens: Herbs for Strength, Stamina, and Stress Relief, Healing Arts Press, 2007. ISBN 978-1-59477-158-3
  7. ^ "Ozokerite Wax Material Safety Datasheet" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-06-22. 
  8. ^ PMID 18996940 Mumijo Traditional Medicine: Fossil Deposits from Antarctica (PubMed)
  9. ^ Wilson, Eugene; Rajamanickam, G. Victor; Dubey, G. Prasad; Klose, Petra; Musial, Frauke; Saha, F. Joyonto; Rampp, Thomas; Michalsen, Andreas; Dobos, Gustav J. (June 2011). "Review on shilajit used in traditional Indian medicine". Journal of Ethnopharmacology 136 (1): 1–9. doi:10.1016/j.jep.2011.04.033. PMID 21530631. 
  10. ^ a b Acharya, SB; Frotan, MH; Goel, RK; Tripathi, SK; Das, PK (1988). "Pharmacological actions of Shilajit". Indian journal of experimental biology 26 (10): 775–7. PMID 3248832. 
  11. ^ Goel, R.K.; Banerjee, R.S.; Acharya, S.B. (1990). "Antiulcerogenic and antiinflammatory studies with shilajit". Journal of Ethnopharmacology 29 (1): 95–103. doi:10.1016/0378-8741(90)90102-Y. PMID 2345464. 
  12. ^ a b Ghosal, Shibnath; Singh, Sushil K.; Kumar, Yatendra; Srivastava, Radheyshyam; Goel, Raj K.; Dey, Radharaman; Bhattacharya, Salil K. (1988). "Anti-ulcerogenic activity of fulvic acids and 4′-methoxy-6-carbomethoxybiphenyl isolated from shilajit". Phytotherapy Research 2 (4): 187. doi:10.1002/ptr.2650020408. 
  13. ^ a b Jaiswal, AK; Bhattacharya, SK (1992). "Effects of Shilajit on memory, anxiety and brain monoamines in rats". Indian Journal of Pharmacology 24 (1): 12–7. 
  14. ^ a b Mukherjee, Biswapati (1992). Traditional Medicine, Proceedings of an International Seminar. Nov. 7-9 1992. Hotel Taj Bengal, Calcutta India: Oxford & IBH Publishing, New Delhi. pp. 308–19. ISBN 81-204-0817-9. 
  15. ^ Schliebs, R; Liebmann, A; Bhattacharya, S; Kumar, A; Ghosal, S; Bigl, V (1997). "Systemic administration of defined extracts from Withania somnifera (Indian ginseng) and Shilajit differentially affects cholinergic but not glutamatergic and GABAergic markers in rat brain". Neurochemistry International 30 (2): 181–90. doi:10.1016/S0197-0186(96)00025-3. PMID 9017665. 
  16. ^ Schepetkin, Igor; Khlebnikov, Andrei; Kwon, Byoung Se (2002). "Medical drugs from humus matter: Focus on mumie". Drug Development Research 57 (3): 140. doi:10.1002/ddr.10058. 
  17. ^ The antioxidant - genoprotective mechanism of the preparation Mumijo-Vitas [3]
  18. ^ Yarovaya, Sofiya Alekseevna (2003-02-01). "Medical preparations based on Mumijo". Oriveda Research Repository. Retrieved 2012-06-22. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Robert Talbert - SHILAJIT - a materia medica monograph - California College of Ayurveda [4], 2004
  • Bucci, Luke R (2000). "Selected herbals and human exercise performance". The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 72 (2 Suppl): 624S–36S. PMID 10919969. 
  • Hill, Carol A.; Forti, Paolo (1997). Cave minerals of the world 2 (2nd ed.). National Speleological Society. p. 223. ISBN 978-1-879961-07-4. 
  • Schepetkin, Igor; Khlebnikov, Andrei; Kwon, Byoung Se (2002). "Medical drugs from humus matter: Focus on mumie". Drug Development Research 57 (3): 140. doi:10.1002/ddr.10058. 
  • The antioxidant - genoprotective mechanism of the preparation Mumijo-Vitas [5]
  • Frolova, L. N.; Kiseleva, T. L. (1996). "Chemical composition of mumijo and methods for determining its authenticity and quality (a review)". Pharmaceutical Chemistry Journal 30 (8): 543. doi:10.1007/BF02334644. 
  • Kiseleva, T. L.; Frolova, L. N.; Baratova, L. A.; Yus'Kovich, A. K. (1996). "HPLC study of fatty-acid components of dry mumijo extract". Pharmaceutical Chemistry Journal 30 (6): 421. doi:10.1007/BF02219332. 
  • Frolova, L. N.; Kiseleva, T. L.; Kolkhir, V. K.; Baginskaya, A. I.; Trumpe, T. E. (1998). "Antitoxic properties of standard dry mumijo extract". Pharmaceutical Chemistry Journal 32 (4): 197. doi:10.1007/BF02464208. 
  • Kiseleva, T. L.; Frolova, L. N.; Baratova, L. A.; Baibakova, G. V.; Ksenofontov, A. L. (1998). "Study of the amino acid fraction of dry mumijo extract". Pharmaceutical Chemistry Journal 32 (2): 103. doi:10.1007/BF02464176. 
  • Kiseleva, T. L.; Frolova, L. N.; Baratova, L. A.; Ivanova, O. Yu.; Domnina, L. V.; Fetisova, E. K.; Pletyushkina, O. Yu. (1996). "Effect of mumijo on the morphology and directional migration of fibroblastoid and epithelial cellsin vitro". Pharmaceutical Chemistry Journal 30 (5): 337. doi:10.1007/BF02333977. 
  • Joshi, G. C., K. C. Tiwari, N. K. Pande and G. Pande. 1994. Bryophytes, the source of the origin of Shilajit – a new hypothesis. B.M.E.B.R. 15(1-4): 106-111.
  • Ghosal, S., B. Mukherjee and S. K. Bhattacharya. 1995. Ind. Journal of Indg. Med. 17(1): 1-11.
  • Ghosal, S.; Reddy, J. P.; Lal, V. K. (1976). "Shilajit I: Chemical constituents". Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences 65 (5): 772–3. doi:10.1002/jps.2600650545. PMID 932958. 
  • Phillips, Paul. On Shilajit on the Internet.
  • Faruqi, S.H. 1997, Nature and Origin of Salajit, Hamdard Medicus, Vol XL, April–June, pages 21–30
  • Zahler, P; Karin, A (1998). "Origin of the floristic components of Salajit". Hamdard Medicus 41 (2): 6–8. 
  • Shafiq, Muhammad Imtiaz; Nagra, Saeed Ahmad; Batool, Nayab (2006). "Biochemical and Trace Mineral Analysis of Silajit Samples From Pakistan". Nutritional Sciences 9 (3): 190–4.