Written by Norianna Diesel
Have you heard the word Shilajit, or perhaps it’s Russian counterpart, Mumiyo, and wondered, what the heck is this substance with such a strange name? The purpose of this blog post is to give you a general overview of this “black gold” and to educate you as to what it is, the differences in quality, and what to look for.
Shilajit is a sanskrit word that means: “Conqueror of mountains and destroyer of weakness” which is a suitable name for this rock ore found deep in certain mountain ranges all over Asia, Europe, and more recently discovered in the Rocky Mountains of the Western United States. This mineral rich substance that appears on rocks of certain mountain ranges has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years. Hailed as a panacea by many: it states in the Charaka Samhita, Ayurveda’s definitive treatise: “There is no curable disease in the universe which is not effectively cured by shilajat when administered at the appropriate time, in combination with suitable drugs and by adopting the prescribed method. When administered to a healthy person, with similar conditions it produces immense energy.” In The Yoga of Herbs by Dr. David Frawley and Dr. Vasant Lad, it says: “Shilajit possesses great curative powers and is considered capable of treating many diseases, particularly those of the aging process.” Although Shilajit has been used medicinally for many thousands of years, in the more recent decades the word has gotten out about this “black gold” and unfortunately a new market was developed where companies sprung up out of nowhere selling contaminated and impure products. With many innocent people not knowing the difference or even what to look for, the market became an industry and the majority of what is marketed as Shilajit on the market today is between 30-80% impure.
Pure Shilajit is naturally very rich in fulvic and humic acids as well as other minerals and nutrients. The fulvic acid in Shilajit helps make it an anti-inflammatory, an antioxidant, a powerful detoxifier, and a memory enhancer. Other molecules found in Shilajit are: eldagic acid, some fatty acids, resins, latex, gums, albumins, triterpenes, sterols, aromatic carboxylic acids, 3,4-benzocoumarins, amino acids, polyphenols, phenolic lipids, polysaccharides and lignins.
Some of the multitudinous health benefits of Shilajit are:
Improving digestive health thanks to the fulvic acid which carry nutrients that improve and retain overall intestinal health including the absorption of nutrients in the intestinal tract.
Can act as a histamine blocker
Helps to regulate inflammatory symptoms ( has been effectively used to treat eczema for this reason)
Assists the body in maintaining healthy collagen levels and thus has been used historically as a rejuvenating and restorative beauty tonic.
Helps promotes brain health
Regulates the immune system
Alleviates pain response in the body
Supports skeletal health
Supports the heart and blood
And so much more
So now that you have a better understanding of the benefits of Shilajit, it is important to be aware that not all Shilajit is created equal. In fact, getting your hands on any powdered form/ capsuled form of Shilajit is usually guaranteed to be anything but pure Shilajit powder. Every single Shilajit powder that has been tested (as far as we know) has shown to have no more than only 30% Shilajit with the rest of the 70% serving as some sort of filler. This is also why the powdered Shilajit industry tends to set a very low price for their capsules, it is simply not a pure product. It is important to realize that if a Shilajit pitch costs $55 for 7 grams of pitch, a powdered product of an equal weight would be significantly more expensive since it would be a much more concentrated product. So what is in the 7 grams of powder might actually be closer to 50 grams of actual pitch, dehydrated out. Phoenix Aurelius has actually tried making a Shilajit powder before with a dehydrator and knows just how challenging the process actually is. He believes making dehydrated Shilajit powders are simply not commercially viable based on his own R&D experience.
We’re still working on perfecting the process ourselves, but something that we at the Phoenix Aurelius Research Academy would like to offer before long is our very own Freeze-Dried Pure Shilajit Powder, sourced from our friends who ethically hand harvest sustainable amounts of Shilajit ore in the Rocky Mountains. This would be, in our opinion, the best and most pure form of a Shilajit powder available on the market. But there are barriers to this, too, as once we finish the R&D, only a certain amount of product would be able to be produced at our current facility. To even make the product available for more than maybe 10 people a month, we would need to raise the funds to purchase the space and scaled equipment to be able to set up a facility that will allow us to produce such a product.
Something else to be aware of is that any Shilajit product you buy should be sourced from pristine ore, something with red or gold tones. A lot of companies will end up sourcing their Shilajit from a lower quality ore, and simply grinding up the raw material without purifying it, and simply turning the raw ore into a powder. This is actually quite dangerous because there are tons of impurities in the raw Shilajit ore and it is not safe to consume as such. To make proper Shilajit pitch, it needs to go through a water extraction process, be filtered multiple times, and ideally always sent off to a 3rd party lab for purity verification. Yet these companies simply powder raw Shilajit ore, mix it with maltodextrin, and then soak the product in humic acid so it resembles the earthy taste of Shilajit. Sometimes these powdered products contain as little as 5% actual Shilajit, with the highest ever being tested only at 30%. So we want to let the public know that unless you have vetted the company and have found an exception to this rule, if you are taking any sort of powdered Shilajit it is a huge sham and please stay far away.
Something else to realize just like any industry, is that unless you are paying fair trade wages, there are people and habitats getting screwed. In Russia there are slave gangs that hike up the mountains to harvest raw Shilajit ore and end up raping the mountains of a miraculous substance that in some cases carbon dates up to 4 million years old! The earth at this time only has a limited supply of Shilajit ore and if we are not careful, it can be really easy to over harvest the ore, depriving any future human and animal generations of this valuable medicine.
We, at the Phoenix Aurelius Research Academy, want to set a new standard for Shilajit because we actually have an entirely upleveled product compared to most of the rest of the world. First of all, we are some of the only suppliers in the world carrying Shilajit sourced from our very own American Rocky Mountains. (We actually want to create a unique name for this product, as it does differ slightly in certain energetics and properties compared to Himilayan Shilajit and Altai Mumiyo.) We are dealing with a unique combination of minerals and organic substances that was formed from decomposed forests that got buried underground millions of years ago. When the Rocky Mountain ranges formed, it ended up pushing this decomposed earth/forest matter into the high elevations. So now millions of years later, there is naturally a finite amount of Shilajit ore. It is so impeccably important to work sustainably with Shilajit in order to maintain the delicate balance of the entire ecosystem.
Our personal supplier of our raw, pure, Shilajit pitch, has a deep spiritual connection with the Shilajit ore, and always makes sure to harvest his ore sustainably. He is committed to preserving the quantities that are around so that future generations can harvest from certain locations hundreds of years from now. It is important to realize that the reason Shilajit has always been so rare and hard to come by is because it is actually hard to procure a good quantity from, even harder when you are trying to do it sustainably for larger groups of people. This is why our supplier will only ever have a set amount of Shilajit pitch for sale, and he only sells to small businesses/distributors who won’t wipe him out of the product. Therefore, our prices are higher because we are paying fair-trade living wages to our supplier who happens to also harvest and process his own ore. He has a very strict manufacturing process which includes cold extraction, filtration, slow evaporation, and always ensuring the purity of his product by getting a sample of each batch tested by a 3rd party lab. You truly do get what you pay for with this product, as our Shilajit is truly some of the very best in the world. When purchasing Shilajit from us, or other reputable sources, you can rest easy knowing that your money is going towards fair wages, sustainability of the ore, high quality extraction, and of course ensuring when you take it, you feel amazing!
Stay tuned for future projects from the Phoenix Aurelius Research Academy, including: the eventual release of our freeze-dried Shilajit powder, as well as a renaming of Rocky Mountain Mumiyo and North American Shilajit to distinguish it from both Shilajit and Mumiyo.
To purchase our very own Rocky Mountain Mumiyo/Shilajit go here.