From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Shilajit (Sanskrit: शिलाजतु, śilājatu)[1] is a thick, sticky tar-like substance with a colour ranging from white to dark brown (the latter is more common), is found predominately in Himalaya and Tibet mountains, Caucasus mountains, Altai Mountains, and mountains of Gilgit Baltistan Pakistan.[2][3]

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.[4][5]


Shilajit comes from the Sanskrit compound word shilajatu meaning "rock-conqueror", which is the regular Ayurveda term. It is also spelled shilajeet (Hindi: शिलाजीत) and salajeet (Urdu: سلاجیت‎).

Shilajit is known universally by various other names,[6] such as mineral pitch or mineral wax in English, black asphaltum, Asphaltum punjabianum in Latin, also locally as shargai, dorobi, barahshin, baragshun (Mongolian: Барагшун), mumlai (Farsi مملایی), brag zhun (Tibetan: བྲག་ཞུན་), chao-tong, wu ling zhi (Chinese: 五灵脂, which generally refers to the excrement of flying squirrels), baad-a-ghee (Wakhi for "devil's feces"), and arkhar-tash (Kyrgyz: архар-таш).[6] The most widely used name in the former Soviet Union is mumiyo (Russian: мумиё, variably transliterated as mumijo, mumio, momia, and moomiyo), which is ultimately from Persian mūmiyā (مومیا).


Several researchers have noted that Shilajit is unlike mineral tar seeps and is most likely of vegetable origin. The cactus like plant Euphorbia royleana has been observed growing near collection sites and is the likely origin as its gum has a similar composition. [7]

Active ingredients[edit]

The primary active ingredients in Shilajit are fulvic acids, dibenzo alpha pyrones, humins, humic acids, trace minerals, vitamins A, B Complex, C and P (citrines), phospholipids and polyphenol complexes, terpenoids. Also present are microelements (cobalt, nickel, copper, zinc, manganese, chrome, iron, magnesium and others).[citation needed]


Shilajit is found predominately in Himalaya and Tibet mountains, "mumio" is found in the Altai 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. In fact, neither of the substances, ozokerite nor shilajit, possesses any scientifically proven medicinal qualities.

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.

It is still unclear whether shilajit has a geological or biological origin as it has numerous traces of vitamins and amino acids. A shilajit-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]


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 mumiyo/shilajit are still being sold,[17] further developed and investigated.


  1. ^ Rigpa Wiki
  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. ^ David Winston & Steven Maimes. Adaptogens: Herbs for Strength, Stamina, and Stress Relief, Healing Arts Press, 2007. ISBN 978-1-59477-158-3
  4. ^ Ahmed R. Al-Himaidi, Mohammed Umar (2013). "Safe Use of Salajeet During the Pregnancy of Female Mice". Journal of Biological Sciences. 3 (8): 681–684. doi:10.3923/jbs.2003.681.684. 
  5. ^ Shibnath Ghosal (January 2009). "Chemistry of shilajit, an immunomodulatory Ayurvedic rasayan". Pure and Applied Chemistry. 62 (7): 1285–1288. doi:10.1351/pac199062071285. 
  6. ^ 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. 
  7. ^ "LITERARY SUPPORT TO THE VEGETABLE ORIGIN OF SHILAJIT" (PDF). Ancient Science of Life, Vol No. VII Nos. 3 & 4, January & April 1988, Pages 145 - 148. 
  8. ^ Anna Aiello, Ernesto Fattorusso, Marialuisa Menna, Rocco Vitalone, Heinz C. Schröder, Werner E. G. Müller (September 2010). "Mumijo Traditional Medicine: Fossil Deposits from Antarctica (Chemical Composition and Beneficial Bioactivity)". Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 2011: 738131. doi:10.1093/ecam/nen072. PMC 3139983free to read. PMID 18996940. 
  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): 187–191. 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. ^ Sidney J. Stohs (April 2014). "Safety and Efficacy of Shilajit (Mumie, Moomiyo)". Phytotherapy Research. 28 (4): 475–479. doi:10.1002/ptr.5018. PMID 23733436. 
  17. ^ Schepetkin, Igor; Khlebnikov, Andrei; Kwon, Byoung Se (2002). "Medical drugs from humus matter: Focus on mumie". Drug Development Research. 57 (3): 140–159. doi:10.1002/ddr.10058. 

Further reading[edit]

  • 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): 140–159. doi:10.1002/ddr.10058. 
  • 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): 543–547. 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): 421–423. 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): 197–199. 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): 103–108. 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): 337–338. 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. 
  • 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.