Shilajit is considered as one of the excellent medicines in Ayurveda. Since, ayurveda is the ancient medical system in India for the prescription of natural and herbal products; various ailments have been successfully treated upon. Shilajit is neither a plant nor animal product. Rather, it is a sort of mineral that oozes from the rocks of the Himalayas in summer months. Some earlier reports suggested that shilajit is mainly composed of humus which is the characteristic organic constituent of soils. The controversy about the origin of shilajit hanged fire till 1980, but it was found to be of plant origin in the same year i.e. 1980. Scientists at Banaras Hindu University in India performed chemical analysis of shilajit and observed the presence of biphenyl metabolites, among other compounds in it.
By the end of year 1980, several research scientists had begun to take the claims for the outstanding medicinal powers of shilajit. Infact, Banaras Hindu University research fellows collected shilajit from different areas of Badakstan and Afghanistan (altitude of 2800 m). They prepared aqueous solutions to investigate its pharmacological action on the CNS, cardiovascular systems, skeletal muscles and gastric secretions and inflammation in albino rats. The observations revealed that the simple aqueous solutions were biologically active. The anti-inflammatory activity of shilajit is comparable to that of betamethasone (a glucocorticoid). On the basis of these findings, shilajit was suggested to have a role in treating rheumatism. Shilajit was also proposed to be an analgesic and a possible anti-ulcer agent.
In the year 1990s, some problems emerged with the use of crude shilajit. This fact was published in a research paper by some scientists in India. It was further concluded that shilajit samples collected from different regions of the world may possess different physiological properties. For example, in an experiment on rats with stress-induced gastric ulcers, samples of shilajit from India and Nepal were observed to decrease the volume of gastric secretion; whereas samples from Pakistan and Russia did not produced that effect. It was therefore predicted that for the treatment of human ulcers, the geographical origin of the shilajit plays an important role. People buying shilajit from the wrong region would obviously gain no benefit, but those of Indian origin are most effective. Shilajit was found for the first time in modern British explorer Sir Martin Edward Stanley in the year 1870. At that time, the said regime was in India and Nepal as part of the British Empire.
It is now widely accepted that shilajit is most valuable in ayurvedic system of medicine. The best way is to formulate drugs using the active constituents, instead of using crude shilajit. Shilajit is an important ayurvedic compound and it contains more than 85 minerals in ionic form, such as fulvic acid, humic acid, hippuric acid and benzopyrones etc. It is extensively used for the treatment of diabetes and a variety of urological problems. It is also used in combination with other herbs to enhance its effect. The benefits of shilajit are numerous; such as it rejuvenates the whole body, boost immunity, reduce fatigue, weakness and oxidative stress. Shilajit is a powerful anti-oxidant. It slows down the aging process and keeps the youthful life for a longer period of time. It is a powerful sex-stimulant and helps regain vigor and vitality.