What is thick, dark, sticky, and may make your hair curl? No, the answer is neither molasses nor guar gum. Could it be tar? You are getting closer. Actually, it is shilajit, a product taken from the sides of different Asian mountain ranges. It is touted as this amazing product containing many minerals to improve your health and energy levels. As much as you want to try it, you may also be wary. More information is necessary to make a decision and then make a purchase. That info is as follows.
The Origins of Shilajit
Ancient Indian culture claimed that shilajit was either "god sweat" or "god excrement." Neither of those phrases made this product sound appetizing. Since everyone knows that gods/goddesses are supernatural and have neither need nor use for sweating or defecation, using those descriptions went out of fashion centuries ago. Also, since shilajit is a completely natural substance, it cannot be supernatural in origin. Hence, Asian cultures looked for and found a slightly different marketing approach for this natural health product.
What It Is and How It Tastes
Shilajit is a mineral resin. In its natural state, it looks and feels just like the tar in asphalt. It has been used as pitch for building and waterproofing, which begs the question on why anyone would consume it. Its many supposed benefits often do opposite things, such as provide you with more energy, while helping you sleep better. While it is certainly true that this mineral resin contains many minerals that the body needs, a majority of those minerals are lost during the typical preparation to consume the product. (Modern cold water preparations preserve most of the minerals.)
Typically, purified, dried, and ground shilajit is prepared like a tea, steeped in hot water for a few minutes and then you drink it. Westerners (Canadians, Americans, etc.) often report that it tastes like an overpowering black herbal tea the first time they try it. Easterners (Asians, Indians, etc.) are accustomed to strong herbal medicines, and therefore report nothing out of the ordinary with the taste at all.
Does It Deliver on Its Promises?
It depends on how you look at it. The many natural minerals present in the product could improve your overall health if your body is already deficient in these minerals. Then you would notice a difference in how you feel, your energy levels, your ability to think clearly, etc..
Some scientists though have done some reasearch on shilajit and claim it has no health benefits. However, that has not stopped the sales of shilajit in Russia, Asia, and India, where it is still promoted as giving you superhuman immune system abilities and is used for everything from fatigue to impotence. The good news is that it will not hurt you, if you would like to try it. Contact a local natural health store like Lotus Blooming Herbs for more information or to make a purchase.