A libido as unwavering as the Himalayas? With the help of shilajit, perhaps!
Let's face it, when people think about Valentine's Day they think of sex. But rather than write about aphrodisiacs, I want to discuss a fabulous herb to nourish the kidneys, the root of sexual energy and power '“ shilajit (pronounced, she-la-jeet).
Shilajit isn't actually a single herb; it's actually a medicinal organic substance. Composed of humus and organic plant material, shilajit is an exudate that's pressed out of layers of rock in Nepal and other high mountains. Think of India as an island millions of years ago as it bumps into the Eurasian continent to form the Himalalyan mountains. As the land collides and the seabed pushes upward, it produces lush jungles that become trapped by layers of rock and soil. Gradually this transforms into humus, a dense, viscous and mineral-rich organic mass that becomes food for new plant life. This is shilajit.
Over time the shilajit is exposed to freezing winters, hot summers and erosion from monsoon rains. In summer the shilajit 'flows' out from between the cracks of layered rocks and the Nepali people repel down cliffs at 10-12,000 feet to collect it (in fact, it's getting harder to find so people have to climb higher and higher as supplies are being exhausted at normal locations). Supposedly, it was discovered by observing white monkeys migrate there to chew on it during the summer months.
If you're thinking of petroleum now, you are not far off. Michael and I both remember watching trucks tar the streets when we were young and we'd see kids follow them to pick up asphalt bits to chew. In fact, its English name is 'asphalt' and its odor and taste are strongly reminiscent of that and those days.
It's been said that 'There is no disease on earth which cannot be cured by shilajit.' In fact, the word "shilajit" means 'destroyer of weakness.' Certainly it is an adaptogen beneficial for memory and cognition, an immune support and anti-ulcer, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. Its main indications are for the kidneys, genito-urinary tract and diabetes (it stabilizes blood sugar). As well, it potentiates the actions of other herbs with which it is taken.
And in fact, it has traditionally been taken with milk for libido and sexual power '“ voila! The Valentine's Day connection!
Recently, Michael found a pure brand of shilajit and all of us taking it noticed increased energy. One person's ear ringing disappeared, while another experienced improved kidney function. Try Tattva or Banyan Botanicals as sources for obtaining it.
In Traditional Chinese medical terms, shilajit, as a Kidney tonic and probably an Essence (Yin,Yang and Blood) tonic '“ supports Kidney functions such as improved short term memory, reduced tinnitus, increased sexual drive and endurance, strong bones and so on. And because strong Kidney energy supports good lung function, it's been reported to improve bronchial symptoms as well. It has a slightly warming energy, although it seems fine for use in those with yin deficiency and yin deficiency fire.
The key about shilajit is only using the highest quality. The processing of raw shilajit is very important; otherwise it contains free radicals and possible mycotoxins and fungal toxins. Further, it needs to be a standardized extract containing at least 50% fulvic acids (its primary active ingredient) and 1% Dibenzo-alpha-Pyrones. Where shilajit is obtained also indicates its potency as it reflects the plants of that area. Some include abundant white clover, which makes it beneficial for the skin.
Dosage is 300-500 mg per day, although some have reported taking 1,000 mg per day with excellent results. Since it stays in the blood for 12-14 hours, taking it twice a day is sufficient. If you experience detox reactions, usually loose stools or mild diarrhea, fatigue, headaches and skin rashes, then consume lots of water and decrease the dose until the symptoms disappear; after, gradually increase the dose again.
Supposedly, shilajit needs to be taken for two months before realizing full results (and Valentine's Day is only three weeks away), but those of us who recently tried it, experienced immediate improvement of symptoms along with increased energy. Imagine what will happen after two months! So get started on your shilajit today and have an even better Valentine's Day!