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Shilajit is an important drug of ancient Hindu materia medica and
extensively used in a variety of diseases.It is classified as a panacea,and has
been used historically for general physical strengthening, anti-aging , blood
sugar stabilizing, libido, injury healing, enhanced brain functioning potency,
support immune system, arthris management, hypertension, obesity ,
leprosy etc. It is also used in parasitic disease of skin and as antiphlogistic.
According to Ayurveda, Shilajit arrests the process of aging and produces
MODERN MEDICINAL USES
Shilajit shows huge pharmacological actions: Analgesic, nootropic, ant
anxiety or adaptogenic, antiulcer , anti-inflammatory ,antiviral activity,
antimicrobial, immune modulator, spermatogenic and ovogenic effects,
anthelmintic, antidiabetic, antispasmodic, bronchodilator etc.
SHILAJIT:A potent herbo-mineral drug
Sunita Maka (2011 Batch)
Central Institute of Science and Technology
Sangam Chowk, New Baneshwor, Kathmandu, Nepal
Botanical Name: Asphaltum panjabanium, Black asphaltum
Common names: Shilajit (Nepali), Shilajita (Sanskirt), Asphalt
Shilajit is a precious product of nature in herbal medicine. ‘Shila’ means
stone and ‘jit’ means exudate. Shilajit is a natural blackish brown exudate
found to be exposed between the cracks in the layers of rocks during the
summer. It is a herbo-mineral with humic acids that are considered
natures own best medicine for plants, animals, human, and the earth
It is found in altitudes between 1000 to 5000 meters in high Himalayan
cliffs of Nepal and also been found in similar mountain range in India,
Afghanistan , Bhutan, China, Pakistan, Tibet, Norway, and Russia. It is
believed to be latex gum resin of plants like Styrax officinalis Linn and/or
Euphorbia royleana Boiss, and bryophytes (Barbula, fissidens,
Marchantia etc.) which became trapped and preserved in tallest
mountains during movement of continents.
collected in May-June or June-July
Colour : Laccifer Lacca (dark red or blackish brown)
Odor : Smells like cow’s urine
Taste : Salty and bitter in taste
Texture : Soft, slimy to the touch, and heavy
IDENTIFICATION AND PROCESSING
Ancient Ayurveda Acharyas (sage) Charak and Susruta have
characteristically differentiated shilajit into four and six types .They are:
Gold(red variety)-Sauvarna, Silver(white variety)-Rajat, Copper(blue
variety)-Tamra and Iron(blakish brown variety)-Lauha. Lauha shilajit is
common and supposed to be superior. Susruta samhita includes two
more minerals: lead and zinc.
Method of purification: Dissolved in water, filtered and dried. Reverse
osmosis and freeze drying are used by manufacturers to remove free
radicals, mycotoxins and fungal toxins.
Silajit purity test:
Pliability: Melts in hands becoming gooey and sticky, very hard when
placed in fridge.
Solubility: Dissolves completely in warm water or milk creating black
gold or reddish black liquid.
Flame: Will not light on fire or get burned. It will bubble and produce
an ash that emanates outward.
Bhattacharyya et al., Pharmacology online 2 : 690-698 (2009) SHILAJIT
DIBENZO - ALPHA – PYRONES : MITOCHONDRIA TARGETED
Carlos Carrasco – Gallardo , Review Article Shilajit : A natural
Phytocomplex with Potential Precognitive Activity, International
Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease Volume 2012, Article ID 674142, 4
Mohd. Aamir Mirza1, Shilajit: An Ancient Panacea, International
Journal of Current Pharmaceutical Review and Research ,Volume 1,
Issue 1, May 2010 – July 2010, Page 2-11
Kishor Pant, Bimala Singh, Nagendra Thakur Shilajit: A Humic
Matter Panacea for Cancer International Journal of Toxicological and
Pharmacological Research 2012; 4(2): 17-25
Mittal P.1*, Kaushik D.1, Gupta V. 2, Bansal P.2, Khokra S.1
Therapeutic Potentials of “Shilajit Rasayana”-A Review ,International
Journal of Pharmaceutical and Clinical Research 2009; 1(2): 47-49
Euphorbia royleana Raw shilajit
Side effects may be seen with unpurified Shilajit which include
generalized burning sensation, peripheral neuritis, syncope, vertigo,
bleeding tendencies, indigestation etc.
Possible contradictions : are hypoglycemia, gout, with heavy foods
Charak Samhita : Contraindicated with Kulthi (Dolichus biflorus) that is
used in treatment of renal calculi.
Toxicity : Crude unprocessed Shilajit may be toxic if they contain
mycotoxins from fungus like Aspergillus niger, A. ochraceous ,
Trichothecium roseum and free radicals.
Shilajit contains more than 85 minerals in ionic form. The constituents
Ozokerite and Alum earth are substance that look like similar to shilajit
and may be used as counterfeit products. Some others include:
Sand, gum, feces of goat and bitumen
Mixed with gum of Vanjha
Momia resembling Shilajit is obtained from some of the mountains in
Arabia and Persia
Substances used as Shilajit in Nepal, Bihar and Bengal in 1844 which
on analysis was found to be Aluminium sulphate.
Shilajit rock, Neem , Guduchi, Vasa , Bhringaraj , Ghritakumari ,
Indrayava, Triphala, Gomutra, Karpura Shilajatu, mud of pond and
some other substances are mixed together and sold as Shilajit.
Anti-Alzheimer holds a potential in the treatment of the apparently
untreatable and incurable Alzheimer’s disease
It help maintain the balanced flow of testosterone
& help maintain the urine’s flow.
Ability to decrease gastric acid secretion and
Effective in treating burning urine, incontinence of
urine due to enlarged prostate or stone in the
bladder or kidney.
Nootropic activity,augment learning acquisition
and memory retrieval.
Aphrodisiac Increases core energy responsible for sexual and
Diabetes Used for the prevention and treatment of diabetes
in Ayurvedic medicine.
Antioxidant A powerful antioxidant that has the added benefit
of being able to cross the blood-brain barrier.
Shown to reduce acute chemically induced edema
Anemia Good source of trace minerals and contains iron.
Arthritis The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties
help to decrease and relieve joint inflammation
Cholesterol Lowers serum cholesterol, liver cholesterol, serum
triglycerides and serum phospholipids
1. Moisture 12.54 29.03
2. Benzoic acid 06.82 08.58
3. Dibenzo alpha pyrones 0.4-1 -
4. Hippuric acid 05.53 06.13
5. Fulvic acid 3-5 -
6. Fatty acids 02.01 01.30
7. Resin and waxy matter 03.28 02.44
8. Gums 15.59 17.32
9. Albuminoids 19.61 16.12
10. Ash 22.88 18.34
11. Silica 4.60 02.69
12. Iron (Fe2O3) 00.51 00.64
13. Alumina (Al2O3) 02.26 02.61
14. Lime(CaO) 06.83 04.82
15. Magnesia (MgO) 01.20 01.20
16. Potash (K2O) 04.60 03.81
17. Sulphuric acid 00.64 00.97
18. Chloride 00.26 00.57
19. Phosphoric acid 00.28 00.24
20. Nitrogen 03.64 03.36
COOH OH O
Dibenzo alpha pyrones
SIDE EFFECTS AND SAFETY MEASURES
ADULTERANTS / SUBSTITUENTS
A well standardized shilajit contains fulvic acid 60-70%
Table: 50g shilajit tab. formulation
LOD 105 c %w/w 1.613+_0.336
Total ash (%w/w) 5.765+-0.3385
Acid insoluble ash(%w/v) 0.927+-0.131
Fig : Shilajit capsules
Fig : Shilajit powders