Shilajit: A review

Department of Pharmaceutics, Jamia Hamdard University, New Dilli, NCT, India
Phytotherapy Research (Impact Factor: 2.66). 05/2007; 21(5):401-5. DOI: 10.1002/ptr.2100
Source: PubMed


Shilajit is a pale-brown to blackish-brown exudation, of variable consistency, exuding from layers of rocks in many mountain ranges of the world, especially the Himalayas and Hindukush ranges of the Indian subcontinent. It has been found to consist of a complex mixture of organic humic substances and plant and microbial metabolites occurring in the rock rhizospheres of its natural habitat. Shilajit has been used as a rejuvenator and an adaptogen for thousands of years, in one form or another, as part of traditional systems of medicine in a number of countries. Many therapeutic properties have been ascribed to it, a number of which have been verified by modern scientific evaluation. Shilajit has been attributed with many miraculous healing properties.

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    • "In spite of the fact that shilajit (moomiyo, mummiyo, and mumie) has been used in folk medicine in India and Northern Asia for thousands of years (Schepetkin et al., 2002; Agarwal et al., 2007; Wilson et al., 2011), and in performance enhancement in the former USSR for many years, few published, peer-reviewed scholarly publications exist in the scientific literature involving human subjects. Much of the early literature involves anecdotal reports, poorly controlled studies with products of unknown composition, and publication in obscure journals (Schepetkin et al., 2002; Goshal, 2006; Agarwal et al., 2007; Wilson et al., 2011). Furthermore, in the former USSR, most research regarding moomiyo (mumie, shilajit) has been classified and has not been published. "
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    ABSTRACT: Shilajit (mumie; moomiyo, mummiyo) has been used for a wide variety of illnesses and conditions for many years. However, relatively few well-controlled human studies have been conducted on the effects of shiliajit, although a growing number of studies have been published in recent years involving animal and in vitro systems. The safety of shilajit is well documented based on animal and human studies. Various research studies indicate that shilajit exhibits antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, adaptogenic, immunomodulatory, and anti-dyslipidemic properties. Animal and human studies indicate that shilajit enhances spermatogenesis. Furthermore, animal and human data support its use as a 'revitalizer', enhancing physical performance and relieving fatigue with enhanced production of ATP. Key constituents in shilajit responsible for these effects appear to be dibenzo-α-pyrones and fulvic acid and their derivatives. Various mechanistic studies provide support for the above observed effects. Additional well-controlled human and animal studies involving the use of standardized products are needed. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
    Phytotherapy Research 04/2014; 28(4). DOI:10.1002/ptr.5018 · 2.66 Impact Factor
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    • "The composition of biologically active component, disclosed in the US Patent (No. 6,440,436), indicates 0.3% by the weight of oxygenated dibenzo-a-pyrone, and 60% by the weight of fulvic acid. Fulvic acid has been used externally to treat hematoma, phlebitis, desmorrhexis, myogelosis, arthrosis, polyarthritis, osteoarthritis and osteochondrosis (Schepetkin et al., 2009), and is taken orally as a therapy for gastritis, diarrhea, stomach ulcer, dysentery, colitis and diabetes mellitus (Agarwal et al., 2007; Ghosal et al., 1988; Schepetkin et al., 2002). The humic substance/fulvic acid isolated from soil and water reservoirs has been reported to stimulate neutrophils and lymphocyte immune function (Joone & Schepetkin, 2003). "
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    ABSTRACT: Abstract Context: Mineral pitch (MP), a traditional medicine, is proposed to boost immunity in conditions that suppress Th1 cytokines such as AIDS/HIV, tuberculosis, leishmaniasis and cancer. Objective: This study investigates the immunoregulatory mechanisms of MP in innate, humoral and cell-mediated immunity. Materials and methods: Mice given MP (100, 200, 300 or 400 mg/kg, orally) for 10 consecutive days were immunized intravenously with goat RBC or ovalbumin, and investigated for plaque-forming cells (PFC), hemagglutination titer, hypersensitivity response, lymphocyte proliferation and macrophage function. Results: MP increased PFC (330.2 versus 182.2/10(6) splenocytes) in mice immunized with goat RBC and elicited ovalbumin-specific IgG titer at 400 mg/kg. Increase in Th1 immunity was correlated with the increased level of IFN-γ (724 versus 470 pg/ml) and decreased IL-4 (96 versus 178 pg/ml). CD4(+)/CD3(+) ratio and delayed-type hypersensitivity response also increased to, respectively, 20.62 ± 0.59 (versus 16.47 ± 0.72) and 1.59 ± 0.12 (versus 0.87 ± 0.10 mm) in MP-treated mice. MP increased lymphocyte proliferation (11.14 ± 0.60 versus 5.81 ± 0.40 SI) and macrophage phagocyte response (0.24 ± 0.02 versus 0.15 ± 0.009), expressed as absorbance at 570 nm, but decreased nitrite production (17.4 ± 1.10 versus 24.3 ± 1.30 µM/10(6) cells). We also observed an increased bone marrow cellularity (24.5 ± 1.10 versus 17.10 ± 0.70 cells/femur) and WBC count (12 667 ± 377 versus 9178 ± 213 cells/mm(3)) following MP treatment. There was no sign of toxicity at 400 mg/kg, 1/12th of reported LD50. Conclusion: MP elicits a dose-dependent Th1 immune response.
    Pharmaceutical Biology 06/2013; 51(8). DOI:10.3109/13880209.2013.774027 · 1.24 Impact Factor
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    • "Hingwastika has been reported to only contain herbs, one sample of which was found to have 37 μg/g Hg [19]. Shilajit has been reported to be an exudate from rocks in the Himalaya mountains and it contains mostly paleohumus and organic compounds from fossilized plants [20]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Mercury has been determined in Ayurvedic dietary supplements (Trifala, Trifala Guggulu, Turmeric, Mahasudarshan, Yograj, Shatawari, Hingwastika, Shatavari, and Shilajit) by inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) and direct mercury analysis using the Hydra-C direct mercury analyzer (Teledyne Leeman Labs Hudson, NH, USA). Similar results were obtained from the two methods, but the direct mercury analysis method was much faster and safer and required no microwave digestion (unlike ICP-MS). Levels of mercury ranged from 0.002 to 56 μ g/g in samples of dietary supplements. Standard reference materials Ephedra 3240 and tomato leaves that were from the National Institute of Standard and Technology (NIST) and dogfish liver (DOLT3) that was from the Canadian Research Council were analyzed using Hydra-C method. Average mercury recoveries were 102% (RSD% 0.0018), 100% (RSD% 0.0009), and 101% (RSD% 0.0729), respectively. Hydra-C method Limit Of Quantitation was 0.5 ng.
    International Journal of Analytical Chemistry 04/2013; 2013(14):628397. DOI:10.1155/2013/628397 · 1.00 Impact Factor
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