Can Shilajit help trekkers overcome fatigue and altitude sickness?

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If ever, the near Immortal Superman sought an anti-kryptonite boost, Shilajit would be his elixir of life. Speaking of the real world, we trekkers are only mere mortal, susceptible to fatigue and sickness. So can this Himalayan wonder herb help trekkers overcome common ailments? Read more.

At the first glance, a black colored Himalayan exudate looks no different than an ordinary rock pitch. What lies inside its complex organic form is a vast number of minerals, nutrients that can boost your core energy and build immunity.

What is Shilajit?

Shilajit (or black asphaltum) is a Himalayan wonder herb that has been used by ayurvedic practitioners for centuries. It’s Sanskrit meaning is “conqueror of mountains and destroyer of weakness.” The concept of intaking a superfood derived from the mineral rich soil hidden on Himalayan rock crevices is not uncommon in Indian Subcontinent.

It is extracted from Himalayan cracks where it mixes with organic matter that ferments into a solidified form. It is scraped off the rock and then processed to remove impurities.

It appears like a homogeneous black (or brown) colored paste-like tar. It tastes bitter and smells like bitumen. Baba Ramdev mentions having Shilajit is like having Coffee, both taste similar.

Shilajit has natural theopathic effects of ayurvedic herbs when used correctly can help trekkers with many ailments.

We list 5 benefits of taking a prescribed dose of Shilajit for trekkers.

1. Shilajit can provide that extra boost of energy for the tired, lethargic state trekkers often complain about. It has a rich presence of the fulvic and humic acid which helps stimulate blood formation and energy production. Fulvic acid is known to assist in the faster transportation of essential nutrients to human tissues. It helps in a better absorption of iron in the body. Those taking a regular dose can expect to be in a better physical condition while trekking.

2. Shilajit can help in addressing the general symptoms of AMS like a headache, dizziness etc. By improving better blood circulation and its diffusion into tissues, it enhances the oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood. This can help trekkers in being better acclimatized.

3. Shilajit can help in keeping an alert and stress-free mind.  With its rich composition of up to 85 minerals, it makes for an excellent detoxifier of body toxins.

4. Shilajit helps in the digestion and absorption of food in the gastrointestinal tract. It helps in managing the lack of appetite and other common tummy trouble’s experienced by trekkers.

5. Shilajit helps in building immunity to cold and other common allergies. A regular prescription of Shilajit can activate macrophages and splenocytes that increase body’s immunity. A trekker can benefit in being better prepared to bear the extreme exposure to cold while trekking.

Few things to keep in mind while taking Shilajit

1. Finding an authentic and properly processed Shilajit is very important. Poorly processed Shilajit may have traces of Mercury, Lead, Arsenic, and Cadmium. A pure quality Shilajit would dissolve naturally in water. Also, a genuine Shilajit will melt easily when heated.

2. Ideal Dosage of Shilajit is 80-100 mg that can be taken twice a day. Shilajit comes in pure mineral pitch and powder form. The mineral pitch is more effective. Mixing it with Milk is a good option. The pure form is more potent and hence first-time users should start with a small dose and gradually increase it to 80 mg. Trekkers who do strenuous physical training may take 100 mg twice a day.

3. It is always advisable to consult a Doctor before starting a dose of Shilajit. Consult with a Qualified Ayurvedic Practioner to get the right dose and quality of Shilajit.

4.  Shilajit should not be taken by those who take Iron supplements. Since it is rich in Iron, a complication may occur due to an overdose of Iron.

5. Shilajit may increase uric acid levels. People who have Gout should avoid having it.

6. Shilajit should not be taken during pregnancy.

7. Shilajit has not been fully validated by Western Medicine Research. It has not been tested or approved by FDI. it remains the most potent herb in Ayurvedic medicine. Any experimentation of Shilajit should strictly be done with supervision and prescription of a Doctor or Ayurvedic Practioner. It is a form of holistic healing and requires a lot of research and thorough understanding.

Further reading and research

Shilajit: A panacea for high-altitude problems. International Journal for Ayurveda Research, 2010.

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5 thoughts on “Can Shilajit help trekkers overcome fatigue and altitude sickness?

    1. Shilajit is both a herb and a mineral. It is formed by the fermentation and mixing of dead plant based organic matter with metabolite’s and seeping minerals on the mountain cracks where it is formed. It is one of the most potent ayurvedic herbs that is consumed after a careful refining process where metal based impurities are removed making it safe for consumption.

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