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11 Powerful Health Benefits of Shilajit

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“There is hardly any curable disease which cannot be controlled or cured with the aid of shilajit.” 

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– Vaidya Charak, famous ancient Indian from the first century A.D

It looks and smells like tar and, in fairness, it tastes a little like tar too. Yet this wondrous, ancient resin-like substance just may be one of the best things you can take to improve your health.

Shilajit has been used in Ayurvedic medicine and by yogis alike for centuries, and for good reason. It’s said that this ancient superfood supports every system in the body.

The Mountains Make It

Made by the compression and biodegradation of plant matter over centuries, this mountain lifeblood can only be found in a few areas of the world — namely the Altai mountains, Himalayas, and Caucuses. This mineral rich superfood delivers nutrients in their most natural and bioavailable form.

It’s said to contain over 85 minerals in ionic form and the added magic comes from the high levels of naturally occurring fulvic acid. Not only does the fulvic acid superboost the nutrients it is consumed with, it also has the ability to transport them directly into the cells — which is exactly where they need to be to support optimal health.

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Fulvic acid has many other proven benefits, from improving gut health to keeping skin healthy, and this ancient herb contains a huge amount of it. Shilajit is one of the most common supplements used to increase intake of this beneficial and potent acid.

So, before you dismiss this black goo for its strange look and bitter taste, read on to learn of the many ways this ancient superfood can superpower your health.

Top 11 Things Shilajit Can Do for Your Health

1. Promotes and supports gut health

You’ll have likely heard the statement by Hippocrates that “All disease begins in the gut.” And it’s true, as a poorly working gut is where many chronic health conditions take shape, which is why gut permeability (when particles are able to escape through the gut lining and enter the bloodstream) is so harmful.

There is some evidence that consuming fulvic acid can help decrease digestive disorders, including SIBO symptoms (small intestine bacterial overgrowth) and inflammatory bowel disorders. (1) For hundreds of years, shilajit, which contains roughly 50-60% fulvic acid, has been used in traditional Ayurvedic medicine to treat a wide scope of health matters that can be traced back to poor digestive/immune health.

2. Increases energy and stamina

Traditionally called the ‘destroyer of weakness’ and ‘conqueror of mountains,’ shilajit has been used by Ayurvedic practitioners for millennia to rejuvenate the body and boost energy.
Many people complain of feeling tired, despite eating well and getting sufficient sleep, but with over-farmed land and overuse of pesticides, the levels of nutrients found in our food have drastically decreased. It’s no wonder then that our bodies cannot work optimally. Without sufficient nutrients, our cell’s mitochondria cannot work properly and cannot produce ATP (energy) as efficiently.

As shilajit helps increase the production of ATP, it increases overall energy and stamina. In fact, it’s commonly used to enhance athletic performance. (2)

Chronic fatigue syndrome, a disorder classified by at least six months of extreme and debilitating fatigue, has been successfully treated with shilajit supplementation, also evidenced by the way it enhances mitochondrial function. (3)

Furthermore, whilst shilajit activates mitochondrial respiration, it also suppresses activity of succinate-oxidase and NADH-oxidase in Mitochondrion. This means that while increasing production of energy through cellular respiration, the substance simultaneously protects from damage that usually accompanies increased production of energy. (4)

3. Supports healthy aging

Shilajit can even slow the aging process! This mineral pitch is rich in antioxidants, meaning it is very effective in supporting healthy aging of the cells, and therefore the body.

Furthermore, one study (5) found that shilajit upregulates the production of collagen, which in turn supports joint health and skin elasticity.

4. Regulates hormones

Another important function of shilajit is its ability to regulate and balance hormones. Many researchers agree that it impacts so much of the body because of the way it helps this system remain in equilibrium. (6) Known as an adaptogen, shilajit has the ability to increase the half life of cortisol circulating in the bloodstream. What this means is that during times of stress, the adrenal glands are not required to produce as much cortisol to enable the body to function properly. As the adrenal glands and thyroid are so closely linked, when you support one, you support the other.

When tested in pilot studies involving rats, it was also associated with ovulation in adult female rats, indicating that shilajit may be an viable agent to consider for those struggling with infertility. (7)

5. Promotes blood sugar balancing

As diabetes rates soar, and many suffer with poor blood sugar balancing, affecting energy levels and restful sleep, it’s worth knowing that shilajit has been shown to help reduce blood glucose levels. Studies have also shown it to reduce lipid profiles, lowering triglycerides. (8, 9)

Shilajit is one of the main ingredients in a supplement known as D-400, Diabecon, or GlucoCare. This supplement is designed to combine the most potent Ayurvedic natural medicines into one pill. D-400 reduces blood glucose levels and shows potential to repair damage to the pancreas caused by diabetes. (10)

Furthermore, in the same study scientists induced diabetes in vivo to animals and when treated with a Shilajit-based formulation, it was shown to effectively repair and regenerate tissue of a pancreas.

6. Balances mood

Shilajit also works as a very effective mood balancer, reducing both anxiety and depression. This has been supported in a study (11) where, when tested against the antidepressant Xanax, shilajit showed similar results but without any of the side effects associated with prescription drugs.

Many people report a feeling of calm, and of being more grounded when taking shilajit.

7. Supports brain health

Shilajit is classified as nootropic, which means it enhances the brain’s ability to learn new things. Many people speak of shilajit bringing about mental clarity and sharpness, but the ways in which shilajit is both supportive and protective of the brain are numerous.

Some studies show that shilajit has a “distinct and marked neuroprotective activity,” (12) highlighting its targeted mechanism for protecting the brain cells in particular. In a 2013 study conducted by the Physiology Research Center at the Kerman University of Medical Sciences on the effects of shilajit on risk factors following a traumatic brain injury, researchers discovered that it has positive effects on the three most indicative factors of death following traumatic brain injury: brain edema, blood-brain barrier permeability, and intracranial pressure. (13)

In addition, shilajit has been shown to exhibit anti-epileptic properties and potentially antipsychotic effects. The action thought to be behind this is that it adjusts GABA levels (a naturally occurring neurotransmitter) back into balance. (14)

Furthermore, this unique superfood has, in one preliminary study, shown to be an exciting consideration for patients suffering with mild Alzheimer’s disease. The presence of fulvic acid and a treatment protocol including the administration of a vitamin B complex showed promising results. (15)

8. Exhibits anti-cancer action

As well as shilajit showing many ways in which it is preventative of cancer, such as improving detoxification pathways, working as an antiinflammatory, and delivering abundant and bioavailable nutrients to the cells, some studies are showing that shilajit also exhibits cancer killing activity as well.

A 2016 study (16) on hepatic cancer cells clearly indicated that cancer cell apoptosis occurred in those treated with a solution of shilajit for 24 hours. While further studies are needed, this is a promising first glimpse at how shilajit can support cancer patients.

In addition to this, one study showed the protective action of shilajit against damage from radiation as a cancer treatment. (17)

9. Strengthens and repairs the skeletal and muscular system

Shilajit has been traditionally used for hundreds of years in Asian herbal medicine both inwardly and outwardly against injuries, bone fractures, dislocations, diseases of skin, and diseases of peripheral nervous system, and also as a soothing and anti-inflammatory agent.

There is initial evidence that it supports in the regeneration of bones, protecting from and slowing the process of osteoporosis. (18)

In a study of obese patients published in the Journal of Medicinal Food, supplementation significantly improved the function and regeneration of skeletal muscles. (19)

In one article it is noted that the resin will regenerate damaged bones approximately two times faster than they normally would. This effect was used by Soviet surgeons consistently for many years. (20)

10. Immune boosting and balancing

Shilajit is a powerful tonic to keep you healthy in general. It is known as a nonspecific immune system stimulator. It proliferates lymphocytes, activates the macrophages (the cells that literally ‘eat’ bacteria and viruses), and it was shown to accelerate regeneration of the immune system (lymphopoietic erythropoiesis). The resin restored more rapidly the number of lymphocytes and peripheral blood, bone marrow and spleen than. (21)

In addition to this, it also has “broad, yet specific” antiviral properties. One Italian lab study found significant antiviral activity against a number of herpes-related viruses and HRSV, a virus that causes respiratory tract infections, most prevalent in children. (22)

11. Improves libido and stamina

Shilajit also works as one of nature’s best aphrodisiacs and is a powerful supplement for low sex drive. For hundreds of years it has been a widely recommended solution for impotency.

It positively affects reproductive hormone functions, with some even hailing it as ‘Indian Viagra.’ In healthy males, supplementation increases blood testosterone and encourages the production of healthy sperm, with many men seeing an improvement in their endurance and libido in general. (23)

How to Take Shilajit

Shilajit has a very strong flavour, not unlike tar. This is perhaps why it was traditionally dissolved in warm milk to dilute the flavour. You can also add it to herbal teas or plain warm water or, if you’re in a rush and feeling brave, just pop a small pea-sized amount directly under your tongue. Taste aside, the advantage of this method is that sublingual is one of the areas of highest absorption, so you’ll feel the beneficial effects sooner.

How to Know If Your Shilajit Is Genuine

As shilajit becomes more popular and demand increases, fake and inferior products inevitably flood the market. Capsules and powders are often mixed with other ingredients, so how do you know if what you’ve bought is genuine shilajit?

To receive the health benefits mentioned above, it’s crucial that you’re buying and taking genuine shilajit. These original methods of testing shilajit will give you confidence as to whether you have the real thing:

  1. Shilajit becomes harder at cold temperatures and softer and more malleable when warm
  2. Shilajit should dissolve completely in warm water or milk, with no remaining bits
  3. Shilajit should not dissolve in alcohol
  4. Shilajit should have a strong, smoky, tar-like odour
  5. Shilajit should have a strong and smoky tar-like taste
  6. Shilajit will not light on fire or burn like a candle. If heated with a flame, it will bubble and produce an ash. But it will not burn like a candle.

For added reassurance, it’s also worth seeking out a company that independently tests their shilajit for authenticity and heavy metals. Ensure you have the results for ppm (parts per million) or parts/KG, as this will give you a true indication of the levels.

If you have tried Shilajit, tell us what you think of it!

further reading

Please note: Collective Evolution is not affiliated with the brand mentioned in this article.  We do however, think it is fantastic quality and love that they independently test each batch they produce.

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Awareness

Johnson & Johnson Found To Have Knowingly Allowed Asbestos In Their Baby Powder

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Johnson and Johnson have recently lost lawsuits for negligence in knowingly allowing carcinogenic substances in their talc-based hygiene products.

  • Reflect On:

    Are we starting to turn the page on an era where human health and safety are not the prime considerations in the manufacturing of consumer products?

We are starting to awaken to the fact that it seems to be the rule, and not the exception, that large Western corporations put profits above human health considerations. The only time they seem to give any regard to human health concerns is when their forecasts of potential lawsuits down the road would likely exceed the cost measures needed to ensure the safety of their product.

Johnson & Johnson is just one of a long line of corporate perpetrators who believed that covering up and lying about known health concerns would make better business sense than taking the time and resources to actually address those health concerns within their products.

Contaminated Baby Powder: The Height Of Indignity

One would think, regardless of an understanding that the bottom line is a priority for most private companies, that the health and safety of a nursing mother and her newborn child would be sacrosanct for any industry. The reality is that this is simply not the case, even though J&J could have mitigated this problem from the start.

Companies that mine talc are required to take extra steps to ensure the absence of asbestos in their talc. Instead, J&J allegedly went to great lengths to fake it.

Not only did the company know about the asbestos contamination, evidence suggests, but J&J also failed to warn its customers about the link between Baby Powder and cancer or replace its talc with a safer alternative. As a result, J&J guaranteed its customers’ exposure to asbestos.

And regardless of their size or numbers, asbestos fibers are lethal at any capacity. As the World Health Organization (WHO) has stressed repeatedly, there is no safe level of exposure. (source)

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The Testimony of Scientist James Webber

Baby Powder’s contamination with asbestos (a mineral that naturally occurs near talc) has long been the subject of lawsuits. But only in recent years has evidence begun to unravel J&J’s defense – that the company had no idea – and threatened its success in lawsuits to come.

In March, a California jury awarded $29 million to Terry Leavitt, a woman who said that asbestos in Johnson & Johnson’s talcum-powder-based products caused her terminal mesothelioma. Environmental scientist James Webber testified in her high-profile California trial and made these observations:

During several hours on the stand, Webber explained how he ran tests that showed “clear” evidence of asbestos contamination in the mines from which J&J sourced talc.

“The testing I have seen [shows] that it was present at least as early as 1971 and up through the late 1990s,” said Webber, who ran an asbestos laboratory in New York state.

Despite denying it publicly, J&J had observed this contamination in internal memos. Its notes dismissed the amount of asbestos in its talc as “but a trace,” Webber alleged. But that was just an optimistic interpretation of superficial testing, he said: the tests used methods too weak to detect microscopic asbestos fibers. Webber insisted the actual tests results revealed there could be millions of asbestos fibers per gram of talc.

And J&J’s inaccurate reports were allegedly only the tip of the iceberg. In some instances, Webber said, photos attached to J&J’s reports revealed that “they had been seeing it and not reporting it.”  (source)

And It’s Getting Worse

The $29 million verdict, in California Superior Court in Oakland, was the latest defeat for the healthcare conglomerate facing more than 13,000 talc-related lawsuits nationwide. And things may be getting even worse for J&J, according to ZeroHedge:

Johnson & Johnson shares are down over 5% after Bloomberg reports that, according to people with knowledge of the matter, the U.S. Justice Department is pursuing a criminal investigation into whether Johnson & Johnson lied to the public about the possible cancer risks of its talcum powder…

Now, a grand jury in Washington is examining documents related to what company officials knew about any carcinogens in their products, the people said.

The Takeaway

It seems as though corporations have long been willing to take the calculated risk of short-cuts and denials instead of ensuring that their products are safe for public use. My suspicion is that a part of our collective awakening process will be issuing in a new business paradigm in which human health and safety become paramount.

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Awareness

Prescription Infant Formulas Found To Be Contaminated With Aluminum

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Multiple brands of prescription infant formula were found to contain high levels of aluminum.

  • Reflect On:

    Should we be questioning the quality of products that come from pharmaceutical production? Do we veer away from natural methods of raising children more than we should? At what cost?

You may not think aluminum is a big deal, but it is. For anybody who has looked into aluminum toxicology, it’s quite clear and apparent that it has no place inside of any living biological organism. Putting it simply, it wreaks havoc on our biology. High amounts of aluminum have been found in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease, with experts in the field believing that aluminum brain accumulation may be one of the main causes of Alzheimer’s disease.

It’s also been discovered within the brains of MS patients, and some of the highest aluminum content ever recorded in brain tissue has also been discovered in people with autism. Aluminum is associated with several diseases. But an adult body can do a great job of flushing out aluminum.

Despite the fact that aluminum has no place within earth’s biota, it’s still present in many of our medications, our food, and even in the water that we drink due to contamination since the industrial revolution. Aluminum inside the body is a new phenomenon and still understudied. Again, there is a threshold, and aluminum that is injected via vaccines doesn’t exit the body–there is strong evidence that it remains inside the body and ends up in distant organs and eventually inside of the brain. If you want to access more studies on that topic, you can read this article I published that provides them and goes into more detail. You can also watch this interview with Christopher Exley, where he also points to that fact.

A new study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health has shown that multiple popular infant prescriptions are contaminated with aluminum. You may be asking how much aluminum, but the authors make it a point to stress that there are no safe amounts of aluminum levels that can be inside of a human body, let alone a newborn baby. That being said, the amounts found are listed within the abstract of the study:

Historical and recent data demonstrate that off-the-shelf infant formulas are heavily contaminated with aluminium. The origin of this contamination remains to be elucidated though may be imported via ingredients, packaging and processing. Specialised infant formulas exist to address health issues, such as low birth weight, allergy or intolerance and medical conditions, such as renal insufficiency. The aluminium content of these prescription infant formulas is measured here for the first time. We obtained 24 prescription infant formulas through a paediatric clinic and measured their total aluminium content by transversely heated graphite furnace atomic absorption spectrometry following microwave assisted acid/peroxide digestion. The aluminium content of ready-to-drink formulas ranged from 49.9 (33.7) to 1956.3 (111.0) μg/L. The most heavily contaminated products were those designed as nutritional supplements for infants struggling to gain weight. The aluminium content of powdered formulas ranged from 0.27 (0.04) to 3.27 (0.19) μg/g. The most heavily contaminated products tended to be those addressing allergies and intolerance. Prescription infant formulas are contaminated with aluminium.

Another very important point made right off the bat by the authors:

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Human exposure to aluminium is a serious health concern. Aluminium exposure in infants is understandably a burgeoning issue. While infant exposure to aluminium continues to be documented, its consequences, immediate and in the future, have received only scant attention and research is required to understand the biological availability of aluminium through formula feeding. For example, how much aluminium is absorbed across the neonate gut and its subsequent fate, including excretion.

There is already too much aluminium in infant formulas and herein we have measured its content in a large number of prescription formulas, products which are fed to vulnerable infants in their first months of life. Many of these products are heavily contaminated with aluminium.

As for the specific infant formulas, you can refer to the study. The researchers obtained 24 prescription infant formulas via the Paediatric Clinic of Russells Hall Hospital in Dudley, United Kingdom. The ready-to-drink and powdered products were new, ready-to-be used and unopened samples. These formulas are for babies with some sort of growth restriction, like for preterm infants or infants who have poor weight gain. There were also powdered formulas for allergies and intolerances and powdered formulas with additional amino acids.

The authors contacted each manufacturer and expressed that they denied knowing that there was any aluminum in their products, which means it’s still a mystery as to their source. The authors hypothesize on a number of ways that aluminum could be entering into the formulas.

In their conclusion, the authors emphasize that:

Where possible, breast milk feeding should be prioritised, as the aluminium content of breast milk is invariably an order of magnitude lower than in formula feeds. Where infant formulas are the only source of nutrition for many infants in their first weeks and months of life, aluminium ingested in formula feeds will be the major contributor to their body burden of aluminium. The last thing that vulnerable infants fed specialised formulas for their specific nutritional/medicinal need is additional aluminium in their diet.

Detoxing

There is a lot of information out there on how a person can detox from aluminum and other heavy metals. There are multiple studies, and based on what I’ve looked into, water with high amounts of Silica are effective in draining aluminum out of your body and brain. Herbs like cilantro and substances like chlorella and spirulina are also great for removing some metals. The information is out there, so be sure to do your research.

The Takeaway

It’s concerning to think about what these corporations are doing. Again, aluminum should hold no place in our society, it should’ve remained well below our surface as part of the Earth’s crust for a reason. It wasn’t until humans began digging it out and using it for a number of things, irresponsibly I might add, that we started to see the health implications which still go largely ignored by the medical community.

In fact, heavy metal accumulation and detoxification of aluminum haven’t been addressed at all, which is odd given the fact that heavy metal accumulation is linked to a variety of diseases.

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Awareness

9 Studies You Should Be Aware of Before Trying The Ketogenic Diet

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    The Ketogenic diet is a popular fad diet that promotes quick weight loss and symptom management for bodies that are dealing with poor lymph, kidney and digestion health.

  • Reflect On:

    Based on the studies that are emerging, is our desire for quick weight loss more important than living a long and healthy life? Are we learning about these diets primarily through those with strong ties to upholding these diets?

The ketogenic diet has popped up as a popular approach to weight loss in the last few years. Is it successful at that? Sure, it is. I’ve experimented with the diet myself years ago when I was looking to lose some belly fat. I was entering into ketosis in a different way than most, as I was not eating any animal products, but it does in fact work.

But like any animal product based diet, what are the consequences of eating so much food that does not truly jive with our human bodies? Not only that, is fast weight loss more important than keeping our morality rate down?

In the last few years, we’ve reported a lot on the Keto diet and the various ways it can be done. We have explored the studies, the results and in some ways, we supported it. But lately, I have been thinking about how supporting this could actually be encouraging people to jump into these diets, including the paleo diet, when in reality these diets increase mortality rates and are not healthy for the human body.

It became a thought in the back of my mind, I have always strived to put the best information out that I can through this platform to promote good health. And so we must look at that, even if that means upsetting some people who currently are on paleo or keto and are seeing some good weight loss or symptom management. The truth is, like the many people I’ve seen crash on these diets after a few years, I want people to know the truth of what’s going on out there. And how we can get beyond diets that symptom manage, and instead get onto diets that truly heal.

Anytime we have fad diets, which paleo and keto are, we see products and bias pop up all over the place to support the continuation of these trends. It becomes less about health and more about upholding an identity or a business.

So as I recently looked into what experts are saying about these diets, I came upon two important videos I think everyone should check out. Both have been embedded below. Remember, it’s not that I care what you choose in your own life, or that I feel there is a right or wrong, it’s that I believe we should be informed and I wish to use this platform to promote as best a message as I can.

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The Videos

Thanks to Plant-Based News for creating such a good channel and resource of information on YouTube.

In this video, several plant-based health experts talk through 9 nutrition studies that would be of interest to low carb keto diet proponents. To read the 9 studies, click here.

Next up, Dr. Kim Williams (past President of the American College of Cardiology) shares his insights about the ketogenic.

Related Articles

Diabetic Shares Why He Quit ‘The Ketogenic Diet’

Doctor Explains Why She Never Recommends The ‘Ketogenic Diet’

The Biggest Misconception About The ‘Ketogenic Diet’…You Don’t Actually Have To Follow It

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