Shilajit, Part III

Posted to Subscribers on 17 March 2019


See Part I

Dear Subscribers,

Sunday! The sun is also shining and I am thawing after a very cold and uncomfortable winter. Oh, spring!

So, mentioning Sunday means you will expect something to ponder. In my school days, I do not remember ever hearing about Pangaea . . . and who knows where the ideas we had then or the ones we have now came from, maybe science fiction writers in academia. That is not too extreme a possibility if one considers that The Da Vinci Code is a mixture of history, fiction, speculation, imagination, and entertainment. . . or we could argue that Hollywood tends to get the story a few years before CNN and other alleged news outlets.

This said, the idea of Pangaea seems today to be accepted, not fringe. The theory is that the continents were "assembled" in the Paleozoic Era and began to break apart in the Mesozoic Era. The name Pangaea says it "all": the Mother, who is always referred to in my channelings as Lady Gaia, was once upon a time more whole. The concept was proposed a century ago along with the theory of continental drift. Please keep in mind, this is a theory that appears to be mainstream at the moment, but who knows how the theory will be viewed in the future. The map below helps those who are visual to imagine a time when the continents were not separated by oceans. Note: India is a sort wine red color and Eurasia in red.

Image Credit: | Dreamstime

It goes without saying that the concepts of tectonic plates, earthquakes, and much more are affected by the theory, but the only point I want to make is that the theory of Pangaea explains how sea shells made it to mountain tops, not just in the Himalayas but elsewhere also. They are found in geological strata and there are, of course, many theories for this as well. There is also lots of controversy around the accuracy of dating as well as whether or not more advanced civilizations existed in historic times. Archaeological evidence certainly seems to suggest this, My sole comment on such matters is that when people try to find the truth, there are often many competing theories. This is true in the interpretations of history, i.e., the victor writes the tales, but also in very serious scientific matters, such as medicine. Sometimes theories have a heyday and then are rejected, but sometimes they stick for centuries.

The purpose for this wild introduction is to discuss shilajit. It plays a very special role in Ayurvedic medicine, but very little is actually understood about it. I am going to create another cliffhanger and not discuss what I believe but rather address the story.

Shilajit is described in ancient Ayurveda texts as a sticky substance that exudes from rocks when the sun warms the rocks. Ayurveda places great emphasis on longevity, and all substances that promote longevity are revered, however, shilajit holds the supreme position as the greatest of all rasayanas. Every batch of shilajit is different so even if one likes a particular brand, there will never be anything like product consistency.

Here is why. The shilajit comes from rocks. Try to imagine two continents colliding and breaking land masses to pieces and creating the Himalayas as well as endless crushed rock, mud, sediment, plant and animal material, and so on and so forth. The organic materials become fossils but every rock is a bit different as was the vegetation in forgotten geologic eras. One can therefore do a chemical analysis but it will always be of a single batch, not the next and the next and the next batch. There is nothing odd about this when you think of vintage wines or changes in taste of plants during the season. Young leaves are tender and sweeter but the leaves become tougher and more bitter as the sun beats down on the plants.

For centuries, it has been assumed that shilajit is essentially a plant material that has absorbed a lot of minerals on account of being embedded in rock for eons. Try to imagine the difference between supermarket table salt and Himalayan rock salt and the point becomes clear. Sea salt used to be prized, but with so much plastic and nuclear waste going into the sea, it seems wiser to rely on rock salt, but there will be traces of troubling constituents as well as many much needed minerals and perhaps some rare elements. For example, we may find rich sources of magnesium and phosphorus but also traces of arsenic and aluminum . . . because these are found in nature, and they are inescapable, especially with the disturbances discussed in many posts over the years: bulldozing, mining, drilling, fracking . . . and the uses of herbicides and pesticides. Even organic plants may suffer from contaminated water and air pollution, like chemtrails. Heaven help us, please!

"Pristine" is thus a relative term and it refers to areas that are remote and hence relatively less contaminated but "relatively" is the operative word. Nature has a tendency towards balance. Humans might also but on a policy level, this is seldom the case. We have plundered just about everything that is even remotely accessible. I watched a video on the Congo a few days ago and realized that the desire for minerals was so intense that immense obstacles were overcome . . . with tragic consequences for millions of people and Nature.

Shilajit is not harvested by mining. It is manually collected from very high elevations, and the word itself means something like "mountain sap" though some say tar, resin, gum, juice, or just sticky substance. The English versions include words like bitumen, mineral pitch, and asphalt, none of which are absolutely correct because there is organic matter in shilajit as well as about 85 minerals.

I want to focus on the minerals. This is a controversial area of natural medicine. We all have mineral requirements, but we are deficient due to environmental degradation that has resulted in a food supply that doesnot meet our physiological needs. There are mineral supplements, and I have recommended some of these for decades, but we really need to take the supplements regularly and to make sure the soil is also getting minerals. We know that minerals are vitally needed for healthy bones, pH and electrolyte balance, and nerve synapses so my theory of why shilajit is the king of supplements is that it supplies not just the minerals but by correct purification and processing improves cellular communication.

If you go online to see what is said about shilajit, you will see very little that refers to the traditional uses. Everything is about marketing and market hype, with most of the emphasis being on virility. I think this is due to the herbs used during the purification process, not the the shilajit itself. People make claims for the fulvic acid content and may be adding this to support their claims. What it means is that the shilajit itself was processed using ingredients that aided the set goal for marketing. Science loves standardized products, but that is anathema to Nature. She loves variety and adjustments so She needs to make the rules.

In Ayurveda, shilajit is not usually a standalone product. It is added to the overall protocol to improve the outcome. As such it has mystical properties that are alchemical in nature. Confidence in this benefit has resulted in very high use of shilajit among Russian athletes and probably also astronauts and others where performance is critical. Russian mumiyo is different from Ayurvedic shilajit even if the raw materials are claimed to be similar. It is also not processed using Ayurvedic procedures.

So, I have an announcement. The first major research project for the Institute will be on shilajit. I have many ideas but will keep them to myself for the time being.

For now, I would like to address some of the issues people have had with shilajit. It is, as noted, sticky. If ordering the 30 gram size, enough for a month, put the pouch in the refrigerator and when it is cold, cut it into pieces. Then, put the pieces back into the refrigerator. You can try something as creative as wrapping each individual piece in a small leaf, like holy basil. Remove one piece each day and dissolve that piece in pure water. It will not dissolve in alcohol, but dissolves relatively easily in water. The paste form takes much longer to dissolve than the powdered form (which is mixed with herbs or it would not be possible to make the powder). The taste of shilajit paste is not very pleasant. It is bitter but once dissolved in water, there is hardly any taste at all. It may take 20-30 minutes to dissolve. Then, the water can be sipped throughout the day which is why I recommend having a carafe or special bottle just for the shilajit. Those who are fanatical about water may want to use some specially designed carafe.

What you should expect with the use of shilajit is that it will make the other remedies you are taking work more effectively and efficiently. For some people, shilajit is too pricey. I do not know how to nake it more affordable. Those who collect the shilajit spend days at high altitudes using ropes and ladders to gather the raw shilajit. They carry it down slippery slopes and sell it to processors who spend at least a week or two filtering out small pebbles and rinsing the raw material. It is then either dried to evaporate out the water or further processed. As an alchemical substance, this processing could be quite elaborate. The ultimate cost for a daily dose is about half that of a cup of coffee so is it expensive or not?


Copyright by Ingrid Naiman 2019


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