Deep within the rocks of the Caucasus, Tibetan, Himalayan, Karakorum, and Atlas mountains, is a thick dark brown resin known as Shilajit. The resin oozes from rocks in response to the warm temperatures outside the rock surface. The oral history of the discovery and consumption of Shilajit is centered on a small village in the Himalayas. During summer, villagers would watch large troops of white monkeys migrate to the mountains to feed on the soft tar-like substance flowing between layers of rock. They realized that monkeys that feed on the substance appeared healthy and of bigger sizes as compared to those that did not feed. The villagers then started consuming the resin and reported a spectrum improvement in their health. Shilajit is also known as "Nectar of God."
Shilajit comprises of humus and organic plant material that has been compressed by layers of rock. The humus is formed through decomposition of plant and animal matter by microorganism’s found in the soil to elements that can be used by plants. 200 million years ago, India was a large island off the coast of Australia separated from Eurasia by the Tethys Sea. The Indian continent then drifted gradually at 9 meters each century leading to the disappearance of the Tethys Sea. In about 40 million years, the Indian continent collided with the Asian continent leading to the rise of the former Tethys Sea to form the Himalayas. During this transition, the fertile mineral rich soils of the seabed gave rise to a lush and dense tropical jungle whose plants were trapped in the layers of rocks. Due to microbial action and pressure from the rising mountain ranges, the plants decomposed to form humus which later transformed to a dense, viscous, mineral-rich mass known as Shilajit.
Since its discovery, Shilajit has been used a natural ayurvedic due to its high mineral content. It contains trace elements such as magnesium and zinc, amino acids, vitamins, and over 85 minerals in natural ionic form. These compounds are crucial in the body as they help to increase the body’s ability to rejuvenate tissues, increase metabolism, promote a healthy digestive system, boost immunity and support a healthy nervous system. It also contains high contents of humic and fulvic acid that act as an octane booster and help the body’s ability to absorb more nutrients and oxidize harmful compounds from the body. Scientific study on Shilajit has shown that it is the most nutrient-dense substance in the world. As a general body toner, Shilajit is an anti-inflammatory, anti-aging, and antioxidants whose health benefits surpass any other substance in the world.
The health benefits of Shilajit are widely documented leading to an increased global demand for the product. Over the years, its occurrence in the mountains has declined due to constant harvesting. Due to its limited availability, different companies have come up with tar-like resin substances which they claim to be Shilajit, which is not the case. Since the naturally harvested resin cannot meet market demand, it is mixed with chemical supplements which decline its nutritional value.