What is Shilajit anyways?
Shilajit is a thick, tar-like substance which found in the Himalayan mountains. The name ‘Shilajit’ is derived from a word which means “rock-conqueror”, a fitting name as this stuff seeps out from between crevices and cracks in the mountains.
Studies show that it increases testosterone levels which in turn better increase energy and mood, protects the heart from damage and improves memory. Furthermore, like many other superfoods, it is plentiful in those wonderful antioxidants.
The black jar.
I have just received my 25g bottle of a thick, mysterious pitch-black extract from the Gilgit mountains (home to K2, the second biggest mountain in the world), often referred to as the Mountain Sweat. Sounds pretty impressive so far.
Not being the type to try out something without researching it first, I find out that this stuff has been used for many generations for a wide-range of benefits, from it’s positive impact on mood to increased metabolism and lots of energy. Friends and family tell me how it’s primarily used as a potent aphrodisiac and I hear a family member almost managed to patent the stuff at its source almost 20 years ago!
Not wanting to dely a moment longer, I make myself a nice strong cup of coffee the next morning, and scoop out a little sliver of shilajit. It dissolves really quickly, leaving trails of rich minerals in the milky coffee as I hold the spoon still whilst the coffee swirled from prior mixing. I give the coffee a sniff, and find a earthy smell rising from my coffee. Yes yes, I know my coffee beans were grounded not long ago. But really, you wouldn’t expect such a little amount of something to have such a strong effect on the smell of coffee, I mean; it’s not as if coffee is particularly weak in smell or flavour. My old history teacher would breathe out coffee with every single breath!
The coffee has a slight musky taste to it. Thankfully, the shilajit didn’t make it taste unpleasant. It adds to the full-bodied flavour of the coffee, tasting almost like an ethnic variant of some expensive coffee beans. Within minutes, I feel the lethargy slip away, and I notice my mind slowly clearing too. I’m fairly good at clearing my mind, but it’s something I generally practice at night – not when I just wake up. And so, finding my mind clear, I’m ready to start the day.
I didn’t feel much difference initially. I was being cautious, aware that a lot of what I might be feeling could be a result of placebo. But what I did have that I knew was more than placebo, was this surge of energy rising from my belly. I wanted to do something, and do it fast. I dropped down and did press ups.
Now it is important to note, that I have been living a very, very sedentry lifestyle, revising for important exams and spending my free time also sitting. I hadn’t done any press ups in literal months. And the most I’d do in one go would be 20. So you can imagine my surprise when I counted past 25. 27,28,29 and for the final… 30! My all-time new record. Thirty press-ups in one go. Now it’s not as if that I had gotten magic powers from shilajit or anything, but I found that I was able to push myself more without my arms and chest feeling like they had run out of energy. I wonder if being able to push yourself is related to the testosterone levels in your bloodstream (later I found out that this is in fact, true). So from that moment, I found myself growing quite fond of this silky black matter.
The rest of the day was fairly uneventful. I found my overall temperament to be quite calm, which no doubt many of other shilajit users will be reporting too, and sleep came easy that night. Will continue to take the substance, whilst continuing to document my experience.