The safest, most effective therapies for optimal health!
by Ellen Landauer
Is shilajit good for you?
Like many, I had the notion that if the product came from a 'pristine, high altitude thousands-year-old mountain in the Himalayas,' and if the owner of the company that makes it 'sat down with healthy 100-year-old natives who told them the secret of their longevity and vitality,' it HAD to be beneficial!
If you believe what is said on the websites, you are in very good company - awhile back, I researched 'is shilajit good for you,' in the sincere hope that their claims were valid - like you, I was looking for the ultimate panacea.
Benefits on sites where you can buy it include: rejuvenator - anti-aging compound, 'destroyer of weakness' - who thought that one up?, completely free you of all sexual dysfunction and diseases, regulate womens' menstruals, boost testosterone (so many 'exotic' herbals make this claim), boost libido, 'energize' kidneys, increase sexual endurance and cure premature ejaculation, heart tonic, maintain healthy joints and strong bones, reduce stress and anxiety, increase mitochondrial function, collagen synthesis, better skin, weight loss, 'spiritual' benefits - 'unlock' the chakras, achieving enlightenment...anything else??!! Yes, all these claims are out there!
If you believe in such fiction, please rest assured I am NOT berating you - years ago, I wanted to believe all of it. My purpose in sharing is to relieve you of the burden of believing in online fairy tales that are a dime a dozen.
I was inspired to write this article by a coaching client in a distant country who sent me a photo of all the supplements he is taking and asked me to discuss any that might be harming him. The question 'is shilajit good for you' popped up when I saw it among the supplements - especially since I had previously had an interest in it. What I learned got me so incensed I had to thoroughly research it and write about it.
Many of us have a fascination with ancient cultures and far places - as though they were superior to us. For years, I felt that way.
Yet, along with the advantages of living off the land in a world with no environmental pollution, cell towers, junk foods, etc., there were some very negative aspects to many cultures, including patrist leanings that harmed women and children - and certain potions that they used. It wasn't all butterflies and roses. Yet that 'Shangri-La' that lives in our minds yearns for a better world - so we want to believe when the language on a website triggers that yearning.
Such phrases as, 'Shilajit is an amazing substance and full of benefits for all living beings. It has arisen from the 'sophisticated craftsmanship of nature'.'
(Lacking solid ground, poetic license runs rampant).
Reviews addressing the question: Is shilajit good for you?
Below, some links to articles, some from medical sources, that provide some intelligent discussion:
Clinical features: A 37-year-old man presented with a history of abdominal pain, anorexia and malaise. He had recently returned from a trip to India where he had been taking two different herbal tonics. Investigation revealed low-grade hepatitis and normocytic anaemia with prominent basophilic stippling. The blood lead concentration was high, and analysis of the herbal tablets revealed a very high lead content.
'Canada bans ayurvedic drugs' (Shilajit is considered an Ayurvedic drug. This ban likely was lifted - as it appears there are Canadian companies selling it).
'Lead, Mercury, and Arsenic in US- and Indian-Manufactured Ayurvedic Medicines Sold via the Internet'
Robert B. Saper, MD, MPH,1 Russell S. Phillips, MD,2,3 Anusha Sehgal, MD(Ayurveda),1 Nadia Khouri, MPH,1 Roger B. Davis, ScD,2,3 Janet Paquin, PhD,5 Venkatesh Thuppil, PhD,6 and Stefanos N. Kales, MD, MPH4,7
"In a random sample of commercially prepared Ayurvedic medicines purchased via the Internet, we found that nearly 21% contained detectable levels of lead, mercury, and/or arsenic, and the prevalence of these potentially toxic metals did not differ by country of manufacture; ie, United States vs India. Rasa shastra medicines were more than twice as likely as non–rasa shastra products to contain detectable metals. All metal-containing products exceeded 1 or more standards for acceptable daily metal intake. Several Indian-manufactured rasa shastra medicines could result in lead and/or mercury ingestions 100 to 10 000 times greater than acceptable limits"
Last but not least, some comments by the venerable Dr. Andrew Weil - NOTE: Fulvic acid is a common component of shilajit:
Dr. Weil says:
"Fulvic acid is a compound found in soil that is used in gardening and landscaping to improve plant growth. It is also being promoted in supplement form by marketers who claim that it offers many health benefits including detoxification, better mineral absorption, anti-aging effects, and immune enhancement. I’ve seen nothing that indicates a scientific basis for any of this."
NOTE: Some sites offer COA (Certificate of Analysis) - be warned that it is very easy to fake a COA.
Below, some claims from various sites ("in quotes" - and my resounding rejoinders (in parentheses):
"Shilajit is very similar to other humic substances found in soil because it is composed of about 60-80 percent humus – however, after thousands of years and under exact conditions found at high altitudes, these substances undergo a profound change, transforming into the wonderful pure product ready for human consumption that we all know and love today."
(Exotic is good - right - and you should pay lots of money for compressed moldy plant matter that has been languishing in the exotic environment of high altitudes for thousands of years. It undergoes a 'profound change,' transforming into a 'wonderful, pure product ready for human consumption...'
But no indication of the exact nature of that 'profound change,' OR of what is 'wonderful and pure' about it - and is a 'product for human consumption we all know and love today'..??? FAIRY TALE)!
"Live Resin, a low temperature purified mineral pitch for human consumption"
('Live Resin' - what makes it 'alive' - active molds)??
(Mineral 'pitch' - 'pitch' is another word for tar)!
"Shilajit is a bituminous substance which is compact mass of vegetables matter composed of dark, red, gummy matrix interspersed with vegetable fibres, sand and earthy matter"
(Who in their right mind would eat something of that description)?
"Shilajit is formed by the disintegration of plants due to microorganisms. It is a consolidation of numerous decomposed plants, herbs, minerals, and nutritive elements that are incorporated from the soil. Shilajit is segregated among Ayurvedic herbs, as being a 'Rasayana' or a tonic for improving immunity and stress."
humus - definition
(NOTE: Aspergillis mold toxic to humans has been found in shilajit)!
Humus is that portion of the soil formed by the decomposition of animal or vegetable matter. It is a valuable constituent of soils
(Humus is great food for plants - NOT for humans! To sell you a supplement made primarily from moldy plant matter, humus is now called 'humic acid' - a rare and precious human-grade nutrient - NOT)!
"Shilajit doesn’t have a standard chemical formula as of yet."
"Since the composition of all of the minerals differs from area to area, it is troublesome to create a common equation. To not point out, the fulvic acid portion of Shilajit makes it nearly inconceivable, as no one may inform you what the chemical system for fulvic acid itself is!"
(No 'standard chemical formula,' = "we don't really know what's in it."
'Composition of all the minerals differs from area to area' i.e. "we REALLY don't know what's in it."
'It is 'troublesome' to create a common equation' i.e. "we aren't going to subject this magic potion to a real laboratory analysis so you KNOW what's in it!')
(I have a suggestion to anyone who STILL believes thousand-year compressed moldy plants (the magic fulvic and humic acids) are a viable dietary supplement idea...
(If you have an organic garden with humus-rich soil, just take a bucket full of the soil, pour hot water into it, strain and drink the liquid part.
There - I just saved you $500.00 on 210 grams of 'gold-enhanced' pure resin - that 'special gift from Mother Nature')!
Below, a full list of elements and organic products present in this scam product - with clarifications and scientific reference links - toxic elements indicated with bold text. Note that this list is from a site that sells this product):
Alumina - TOXIC!
Any of several forms of aluminum oxide, Al2O3, occurring naturally as corundum, in a hydrated form in bauxite, and with various impurities as ruby, sapphire, and emery, used in aluminum production and in abrasives, refractories, ceramics, and electrical insulation.
The oxide of aluminium, Al2O3, the most abundant of the earth elements.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7071840/ "Aluminium toxicosis: a review of toxic actions and effects'
The Al ion has no physiological role in metabolic processes (Exley and House, 2011) but it can be a metallic toxicant to humans and animals (Becaria et al., 2002) when there is high body burden of the metal after natural or unnatural exposure (Exley, 2013). Al was considered unsafe to humans after the discovery of increased levels of Al in brain tissues of patients with encephalopathy"
The toxicity of aluminium in humans
"Aluminium's free metal cation, Alaq(3+), is highly biologically reactive and biologically available aluminium is non-essential and essentially toxic."
Amino acids (cysteine, lysine, alanine, histidine, arginine, aspartic acid, glycine, glutamic acid, serine, tyronine, threonine, proline, tyrosine, methionine, leucine, valine)
Barium - TOXIC METAL!
(Barium weakens arteries, joints,bones, muscles, causes irritation/inflammation)! https://myersdetox.com/barium-toxicity/
Benzoic and fatty acids
Beryllium - is a TOXIC METAL!
"Beryllium when ingested can occupy sites that are meant to receive magnesium; fortunately beryllium is not easily absorbed."
Bismuth - is a TOXIC METAL!
??Dibenzo-alpha-pyrones - dubious - not enough known...
Gallium - TOXIC METAL!
Gold - TOXIC!
Another dubious compound
These links discuss the hazards of colloidal gold nanoparticles (nano-anything is a BAD idea - subject for another article):
Humic and fulvic acids - plant food only!
Hydro-oxidized primary and secondary amide peptide bonds
Iron - iron from mineral and plant sources is toxic to humans; heme iron from animal-sourced foods like liver and beef is not.
Lead - TOXIC!
I didn't feel a need to post links for this one - we all know lead is toxic!
Nickel - TOXIC!
'In this review, we address the acute, subchronic and chronic nickel toxicities in both human and experimental animals. We have also discussed nickel-induced genotoxicity, carcinogenicity, immunotoxicity and toxicity in various other metabolically active tissues. This review specifically highlighted nickel-induced oxidative stress and possible cell signaling mechanisms as well.'
Phenolic steroids and pregnane steroids
Phosphoric anhydride - DANGEROUS!
Resins and plant remains - not for human consumption
Silicate groups of silicon dioxide
Silver - TOXIC!
"People often wonder is silver a toxic heavy metal, while silver is not classed as a “heavy metal” it is a metal and yes you can become toxic from it. Silver is capable of causing you serious health problems and toxicity of silver is becoming wide-spread through its numerous uses in society. Silver toxicity is not commonly considered as a problem and is often overlooked as being the cause of illness or disease due to its use as an antibacterial agent and it’s medicinal claims. Silver, like gold and platinum are considered “inert” meaning that they do not corrode or seep but this is simply not true, silver does in fact seep, leach and ends up in your body.
"Silver is however a toxic metal to humans capable of causing hemorrhage, bone marrow suppression (lowering immunity), pulmonary edema (fluid on the lungs caused by congestive heart failure), Hepatorenal syndrome (a life-threatening medical condition that consists of rapid deterioration in kidney function in individuals with cirrhosis or fulminant liver failure) and argyria (blue-grey discoloration of skin,
'Small quantities' of strontium oxide - toxic!
Tin - TOXIC!
Titanium - TOXIC!
Instead of searching for the 'golden fleece' - a single item that will do everything - rather - YOU do everything to optimize as many aspects of your life as possible in a multifaceted approach.
You don't have to do it all at once! Just keep moving forward and before you know it, you will have revamped your whole self-care program!
Here's a place to start to organize your strategy:
Ellen Landauer is an expert with over 40 years in-depth study and experience of the safe and effective use of nutritional supplements, botanical extracts and detoxification methods.
She is Certified as an Advanced Practitioner of Structural Integration body therapy developed by Dr. Ida P. Rolf - also known as Rolfing. This hands-on therapy is the deepest, most comprehensive body alignment therapy.
Ellen Landauer is also a PUBLISHED AUTHOR!
To learn more about Ellen Landauer, see her detailed bio HERE
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