An amazing herb I’d like to tell you all about, I call Mountain Marrow
Known by some as “the nectar of the gods,” and by others as “the destroyer of weakness”, Shilajit is an herb that has been used for thousands of years by Buddhists and Sherpa’s as a daily dietary supplement. It is said to increase stamina, strengthen and detoxify the body while it decalcifies the pineal gland for increased awareness. This well kept secret has broken the surface of mainstream media where people are wondering, what is this herb and where does it come from?
Well, hidden away deep inside the Himalayan Mountains near Nepal, Tibet and Bhutan, this herb is a mineral substance preserved inside the rock that oozes out of the mountains, looking much like tar seeping from cracks along cliff faces. The color ranges from yellowish brown to pitch black; the blacker varieties have stronger potency. It is made of decomposed plant matter from centuries before. It is extruded from the rock due to geothermal pressure during the warmer weather. This ‘rock sweat’ or ‘mineral sweat’ has many ancient legends. One story says that it was discovered first by Tibetan monks high in the mountains. While they worked and wild crafted herbs, daily they watched the monkeys eat this semi-soft substance seeping out of the rock. They noticed the monkeys were healthy and had incredible energy, strength, longevity and wisdom. They then started to dry it out and consume it daily, these practices continue to present day. One ancient Ayurvedic texts, called the Charaka Samhita says, “there is no curable disease in the universe, which is not effectively cured by shilajit when it is administered at the appropriate time.” Some folklore say it has been used for longer then any one known substance dating back 10,000 years.
This mineral rich paste is dense with nutrients that have been preserved from ancient pristine ecosystems, (mostly plant matter), that existed 50 million years ago. Many of the minerals found in Shilajit are currently depleted in our soils today.
In it’s dried form, it is said to contain over 80 trace minerals. It has a very high concentration of folvic acid and contains lower levels of humic acids along with vitamins A, B, C and P (citrines). Folvic acid occurs naturally in healthy soils and it is one of the key elements that make nutrients easily absorbable by plants and other organisms within the earth. All three of these minerals are said to help cleanse and nourish the body while helping the uptake of nutrients from our diet.
Furthermore, fulvic acid is known to be a detoxifier and neutralizer of environmental pollutants; we are constantly being exposed to chemicals, pesticides, plastic byproducts and unhealthy metals exc. through food, water and even the air we breath. Not only does fulvic acid help neutralize the effects pollutants, it also is one of the most powerful natural free radical scavengers and antioxidants known.
Shilijit is the most common herb used in Ayurevedic medicine. In this Indian medicine, it is prescribed for a broad spectrum of problems including, increasing sex drive, improving diabetes, reducing allergies, increasing memory and cognition. It is prescribed for overall quality of life and they say that it seems to “cure all diseases”. When prescribed as a tonic, it increases energy but also works to boost the effects of other herbs and nutrients such as Ashwagandha, macca and CoQ10. Additionally, it promotes the absorption of other minerals especially phosphorous, calcium and magnesium into the tissue, muscle and bones. In comparison, fulvic acid has the same effect on plants as it enhances the availability of nutrients and it allows them to be more easily absorbed.
The only extensive clinical research that has been done are Animal studies on rats revealing it may regulate blood sugar levels, stabilize diabetes, strengthen the immune system, reduce Alzheimer’s symptoms, increase testosterone levels, support male fertility, increase healthy red blood cells, improve recovery time after exercise and helps weakness and fatigue. Additionally, it is believed to purify the blood, improve functioning of the pancreas and strengthens the digestion.
The small endocrine gland known as the pineal gland is about the size of a grain of rice 5-8mm. It is located near the center of the brain wedged between the two cerebral hemispheres in a groove between the two thalamic bodies in the diencephalon. The gland is shaped much like a pinecone and produces the serotonin derivative melatonin. Dimethyltryptamine (DMT) is a naturally occurring psychedelic compound in the tryptamine family found widespread in the plant kingdom as well as in mammals. In humans, it is produced for the first 28 days of life in the brain stem and is released at the end of life when one dies naturally. Some research states that the pineal gland also produces DMT in smaller quantities. There is ongoing scientific debate and research currently in progress on the process of DMT in the body. Interestingly, the pineal gland is referred to as the “third eye” and has been called the “principle seat of the soul.”
It is well known that while aging and being exposed to toxins such as fluoride, artificial substances, processed foods and artificial sweeteners, the pineal gland becomes heavily calcified . This can be seen in MRI scans and the calcified pineal gland allows for technicians to easily locate areas of the brain. Although there is no concrete research to back this, shilajit is commonly known to decalcify the pineal gland due to the high levels of minerals and fulvic acid it contains.
Listed below are some of the conditions and health benefits that people claimed it has helped them with: Epilepsy, anxiety, skin diseases, thyroid dysfunction, edema, cancer, Alzheimer’s, bronchitis, obesity, urinary tract infection, allergies, inflammatory conditions, auto-immune disorders. altitude sickness, diabetes, low energy, endometriosis, weakened immune system and ulcers.
In Sanskrit, the word Shilajit literally means, “rock like”. Furthermore this is translated to “the powder to make our bodies like a rock, enabling it to withstand the ravages of time with unmatched powers that reverse the aging process and promote longevity.”
Today, shilajit is ground up and most people consume it in a powdered form adding it to other foods or drinking it alone with hot water. It is recommended people start with a quarter teaspoon and work up to a half teaspoon daily. Additional foods that work to detoxify and activate the pineal gland are raw cacao, goji berries, cilantro, seaweed and noni juice.
In my perspective, a concern is the small abundance of this incredible natural resource found bleeding from the earth’s surface. I believe this substance it is the marrow of the mountains and as long as it is wild crafted, only as its readily available and not mined; those who want to connect and open their third eye to the spirit worlds should utilize it. In my own practice I have been adding it to my morning drink blend of 100% pure cacao with Guatemalan chili pepper, maca and honey. I feel incredible energy, awareness and cognitive improvements. To me it seems that lava formed inside the earth is the yang aspect of prenatal essence and that Shilajit is the yin aspect of postnatal essence, seeping out of the earth like marrow trickling from the mountains.
By Flora Freeauf L.Ac.
Dakine Hands Acupuncture
Kilauea & Hanalei North Shore Kauai