Shilajit is remarkable nature substance found predominantly in the mountains of the Himalayas, Altai, Caucasus, and other mountain ranges, and has been recognised for centuries for its potential health benefits.
In traditional Ayurvedic medicine, shilajit is revered as a potent rejuvenator and an adaptogen, meaning it helps the body adapt to stressors and restore balance. While there are many potential benefits associated with Shilajit, one of the most intriguing is its potential impact on the body's immune system.
In this article we’re going to talk about shilajit and its potential immune boosting properties, but first, let’s discuss the immune system and why it matters.
What is the immune system?
The immune system is a complex network of cells, tissues, and organs within the human body that works together to defend the body against harmful substances and invading pathogens such as viruses, bacteria, fungi, and parasites.
Its primary function is to identify and eliminate these foreign invaders while also distinguishing them from the body's own healthy cells and tissues.
Why is the immune system important?
You probably have heard numerous times that it’s important to keep your immune system strong and healthy – here are several reasons why:
It’s the defence system against pathogens
One of its main roles of the immune system is to recognise and neutralise pathogens that could potentially cause diseases. This involves various immune cells, such as white blood cells, antibodies, and immune proteins, which work together to target and destroy these pathogens.
It remembers and adapts to illnesses and risks
The immune system has the ability to "remember" past encounters with pathogens. When the body is exposed to a particular pathogen for the first time, the immune system mounts a response. If the same pathogen is encountered again, the immune system's memory cells quickly recognise it and mount a faster and more efficient response helping you to avoid illness.
It protects tissue
The immune system also plays a role in tissue repair and protection. Immune cells help remove dead or damaged cells from the body and promote healing and regeneration.
It performs cell surveillance
The immune system can identify and destroy abnormal cells, helping us to avoid illnesses. Immune cells constantly monitor the body for cells that have undergone mutations and could potentially become cancerous. If detected, these cells are targeted for destruction.
These are only some of the functions the immune system performs. For more information, you can learn more about the immune system (and immune boosting superfoods) here.
What is shilajit?
Before delving into its effects on the immune system, it's essential to understand the composition of shilajit. Shilajit is formed over centuries through the decomposition of plant and microbial matter in the mountains. It is a complex mixture containing various organic and inorganic compounds, including fulvic acid, humic acid, minerals, trace elements, vitamins, amino acids, and other bioactive compounds.
How could shilajit impact the immune system?
Shilajit's impact on the immune system primarily stems from its immunomodulatory properties. Immunomodulation refers to the ability of a substance to regulate the immune response, either enhancing or suppressing it as needed. Shilajit appears to exert a balancing effect on the immune system, helping it function optimally.
Here’s some of the impacts that shilajit could have on your immune system:
Shilajit contains active components with anti-inflammatory properties. Chronic inflammation is often associated with a weakened immune system and various diseases. By reducing inflammation, shilajit may indirectly support the immune system by preventing excessive immune responses that can lead to tissue damage and autoimmune conditions.
Another way shilajit may impact the immune system is through its potent antioxidant activity. Oxidative stress, caused by an imbalance between free radicals and antioxidants in the body, can compromise immune function. The antioxidants present in shilajit help neutralize harmful free radicals, reducing oxidative stress and potentially supporting immune cell function.
Immune cell activation
Shilajit may also play a role in enhancing the activity of immune cells. Research suggests that certain compounds in shilajit can stimulate the production and activity of immune cells such as macrophages and lymphocytes. These cells play a crucial role in identifying and neutralising pathogens, contributing to a robust immune response.
Regulation of cytokines
Cytokines are signaling molecules that facilitate communication between immune cells. Shilajit's bioactive components may influence cytokine production and balance. By regulating cytokines, shilajit could help modulate the immune response, preventing it from becoming either overly aggressive or inadequate.
Immune system adaptation
Shilajit's adaptogenic properties could extend to the immune system. Adaptogens are known for their ability to enhance the body's resilience to stressors. By helping the body adapt to stress, shilajit might indirectly support the immune system, as chronic stress can weaken immune responses.
How to add shilajit to your routine
Incorporating shilajit into your wellness regimen, alongside a balanced diet, regular exercise, and other healthy lifestyle practices, could contribute to a comprehensive approach to supporting your immune system and overall vitality. As scientific knowledge advances, shilajit may emerge as a valuable tool in the pursuit of robust immune function and long-lasting wellness.
Adding shilajit to your routine is a simple as adding this superfood to liquid for a quick tonic elixir. At Superfoods Australia, we offer a variety of shilajit products, including in a resin oil form and a tincture.
If you choose the resin oil, we recommend using a small, pea size amount and adding to hot water or milk/mylk to dissolve the shilajit fast and effectively.
If you opt for the tincture, you can simply add the drops to any liquid of your choice.
We’re here to answer any of your questions about shilajit too.
As leading suppliers of superfoods in Australia, we pride ourselves on our knowledge and ethical sourcing of superfoods. When you choose us, you’re choosing the highest quality shilajit products in Australia.Shop for shilajit at Superfoods Australia today.