Physical Health

Experts Agree: This Weird Supplement Is The Best Thing to Add to Your Morning Routine

“nature’s most powerful life force”
shilajit supplement morning routine"
shilajit supplement morning routine
Graphics by: Aryana Johnson
Graphics by: Aryana Johnson

It seems there’s a supplement to address every health concern under the sun: low energy, suppressed immunity, stress, bloating… I could go on and on (and I have an overflowing cabinet that’s proof). But with the convenience comes having to navigate the oversaturated health and wellness aisle lined with supplement after supplement, leaving you overwhelmed and feeling like you need to add them all to your cart. But why take the more-the-better approach and spend a lot of your hard-earned money on filling your pill organizer when you can add just one supplement that checks off multiple boxes? Shilajit, a tar-like substance primarily found in the rocks of the Himalayas, could be the one-and-done superfood we never knew we needed. But what is shilajit exactly, what is shilajit used for, and what are shilajit benefits? I’ve asked the pros to school us on shilajit 101.

What is shilajit?

“Shilajit is a thick, blackish-brown, sticky substance that exudes from the rocks of the Himalayas and other mountainous regions during the heat of summer,” explained Anit Hora, an Ayurvedic expert and herbalist. “It was traditionally sourced in India and Tibet, though it is now found in many other countries, including Russia and Chile. It has been used for thousands of years in various traditional medicine systems, including Ayurvedic medicine.” Kimberly SnyderNew York Times bestselling author, holistic nutritionist, and founder of Solluna®, added that the unique environment that shilajit originates from contributes to its purity and potency, making it a cherished natural remedy in traditional healing practices.

Formed over centuries from the decomposition of plant matter, it’s packed with mineral content, including silica, iron, calcium, copper, lithium, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, sodium, and zinc (your body uses minerals for many different functions, including keeping your bones, muscles, heart, and brain working properly). The primary and most notable active component is fulvic acid, accounting for 60-80 percent of its nutraceutical components. “Due to its extreme richness in humic/fulvic acid, nutrients, and minerals, it is considered to be nature’s most powerful life force and energy-giving substance,” Hora explained. As you’ll see below, almost every benefit is due, in part, to the humic/fulvic acid.

“It is considered to be nature’s most powerful life force and energy-giving substance.”

What are its health benefits?

According to Dr. Reuben Chen, MD, a sports medicine physician and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) herbalist, clinical research on the effects of shilajit is somewhat limited and ongoing. That said, shilajit is believed to have various health benefits, mainly due to its high concentration of fulvic acid, which acts as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compound, and other essential minerals. Ahead, our experts point to five potential advantages of the supplement.

Reduces inflammation

Chronic inflammation is linked to stress and is the root cause of many diseases. Enter: shilajit. “Shilajit’s potent antioxidant properties help combat oxidative stress, a major cause of inflammation and associated chronic diseases,” explained Dr. Jenelle Kim, DACM, L.Ac, founder and lead formulator of JBK Wellness Labs. “By neutralizing free radicals, shilajit helps protect cells from damage and reduces inflammation, aiding in the relief of conditions such as arthritis and reducing the risk of chronic health issues.”

Boosts energy

“Shilajit is packed with over 85 minerals and fulvic acid, which work together to improve your body’s cellular energy production,” Snyder elaborated on her Solluna blog. “One of the remarkable aspects of shilajit is its ability to increase the efficiency of your body’s energy metabolism. This means you can enjoy a more stable and long-lasting energy boost without the jitters or crashes associated with caffeine and other stimulants.” It can also improve physical strength and performance, stamina, and recovery times, making it popular among athletes and those seeking to boost their overall energy levels, Dr. Kim shared.

“Shilajit also supports mitochondrial function—the powerhouse of your cells,” Snyder continued. “By enhancing mitochondrial activity, shilajit helps your body convert nutrients into energy more effectively, giving you a natural lift that feels grounded and sustained throughout the day.”

Strengthens the immune system

The immune system is intricately intertwined with every other system in the body. It protects you from millions of harmful bacteria, microbes, viruses, toxins, and parasites, but when it fails, you’re left without any natural protection against illness. The good news? “The fulvic acid in shilajit acts as a potent antioxidant, helping to neutralize free radicals and protect against cellular damage,” Dr. Kim said. “This, in turn, supports the body’s natural immune response. Shilajit also contains significant amounts of trace minerals and nutrients which are crucial for maintaining a healthy immune system.”

Slows aging

Shilajit has been used for centuries in Ayurvedic medicine as a rejuvenator and an anti-aging compound. “Often recognized as a panacea of health, shilajit promotes health, longevity, and a youthful glow,” Hora affirmed. As Dr. Kim cited, shilajit can protect against free radicals and cellular damage thanks to its fulvic acid makeup. As a result, regular use of shilajit may contribute to longevity and a slower aging process.

Promotes cognitive health

Brain health often doesn’t get enough buzz; it’s not just worth supporting cognitive health for prevention (although, according to the World Health Organization, neurological conditions such as Alzheimer’s, depression, and anxiety are the leading cause of ill health worldwide). Your brain health is a key part of your overall health that can affect mood, performance, creativity, memory, concentration, and more. And shilajit has some major brain health benefits, too. “Shilajit has been shown to promote brain health by enhancing the processes involved in memory and cognition,” Dr. Kim explained. “This is partly due to its high levels of fulvic acid, which helps reduce tau protein buildup, mitigating cognitive impairments. Additionally, the bioactive compounds in shilajit can help cognitive function, enhancing memory and mental clarity.”


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♬ original sound – thewellnesspharm

How is it used?

Dr. Chen noted that shilajit can be found in capsule, powder, and resin form, but the most common way it’s taken is by swallowing it as a pill, with a dosage of 100-250 milligrams per day taken with water. Although capsules or powders may be more convenient and widely available, Hora expressed that most traditional practitioners agree that resin is the purest form. But with its very distinct taste and smell, she agreed that most people may find it easier to take it in a pill or powder form. Take a cue from “the Internet’s biohacking bestie” Aggie Lal, and have your shilajit with hot water with a pinch of salt first thing in the morning (listen to The Everygirl Podcast episode where she discusses shilajit and her other morning ritual here).

Dr. Kim stated that the exact dosage can vary based on the individual’s specific health needs and the form and potency of shilajit being used. “It’s always important to start with a smaller dose to assess tolerance and, most importantly, to consult with a healthcare provider before starting any new supplement regimen,” Dr. Kim recommended. “This ensures that it aligns with your personal health circumstances and doesn’t interfere with other treatments or conditions.” Hora agreed that most products come with a recommended dosage, but it’s best to start small and work your way up to it. For example, if the product label says to take two capsules daily, start with one first and monitor how you feel before increasing your intake.

Is shilajit safe?

While shilajit is natural and generally considered safe, it’s not regulated by the FDA, so it’s important to purchase shilajit from a trusted source. Hora advised considering the quality and purity of a shilajit product and ensuring it’s free from contaminants such as heavy metals, fungus, and bacteria. Try to find shilajit with a fulvic acid percentage of around 60 percent, which indicates the quality, potency, and efficacy of the product. Also, avoid raw, unprocessed shilajit, as it could be contaminated, and instead, make sure the product has been purified.

Dr. Kim also cautioned about possible shilajit side effects, including reduced blood pressure, allergic reactions (from skin rashes or itchiness to severe cases such as anaphylaxis), and gastrointestinal conditions like diarrhea or vomiting. Bottom line: Opt for a high-quality shilajit supplement from a reputable supplier that has undergone purification and has been tested by a third party (look for seals from organizations like NSF International, Consumer Lab, and U.S. Pharmacopeia on the packaging), and be sure to talk to your healthcare provider before taking shilajit.

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Please consult a doctor or a mental health professional before beginning any treatments. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical or mental health condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read in this article.