Shilajit Safety: Side Effects & Interactions

Shilajit is a unique natural substance, which is growing in popularity due to its potential health benefits for energy, hormonal health, brain function, and more. However, it’s important to understand …

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Written by: Daniel Powers, MS
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Shilajit is a unique natural substance, which is growing in popularity due to its potential health benefits for energy, hormonal health, brain function, and more.

However, it’s important to understand the shilajit safety to ensure that individuals don’t have any issues when supplementing with this compound.

In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about the safety and side effects of shilajit, including what forms to take, how to properly dose it, and any concerns you should be aware of.

shilajit safety and side effects

Shilajit Overview:

Shilajit is a natural substance found in the Himalayas and other mountain regions. It is formed over millions of years from the microbial decomposition of plant and organic matter, which results in a very high mineral content.

One can identify shilajit by its black color and tar-like consistency, usually seeping out from the rocks in the mountains. 

Shilajit was used for many years in traditional medicinal systems to boost energy, fight high altitude sickness, improve cognitive function, rejuvenate the body, promote hair growth, and benefit skin health.

Modern research shows that shilajit is rich in a number of important bioactive compounds, including:

  • Fulvic acid
  • Dibenzo-alpha-pyrones
  • Humic acids
  • Dozens of bioavailable minerals
  • Various antioxidants

Fulvic acid has gained the most attention out of all of these, but all compounds seem to have at least some beneficial effect.

Although commonly used for supporting men’s health, shilajit is a versatile herb that can also be used to promote women’s health as well.

Shilajit Safety:

Yes, processed shilajit is safe to consume and poses little to no risk for toxicity when consumed in the recommended amounts, according to current research and available data.

However, it is important to only use shilajit that has been properly processed and purified. Unpurified supplements may contain mycotoxins, heavy metals, and other potentially harmful compounds that may damage the body. 

Therefore, it is essential to choose shilajit supplements from established, well-trusted brands. They should ideally have third-party testing from verified, accredited labs, along with available Certificates of Analysis (CoA) for consumers to view.

Click here to learn more about the best shilajit supplements and brands.

Also, it’s important to consult your doctor or healthcare provider before taking shilajit, even when using the purified forms, since supplements affect everyone differently.

Is Shilajit Safe?

Yes, purified Shilajit is safe for most consumers when taken in recommended amounts.

What Medications Should Not Be Taken With Shilajit?

There aren’t any established drug interactions with shilajit in literature. But based on shilajit’s effects in the body, there are theoretical medication interactions that one should be aware of.

For one, shilajit may increase how quickly blood clots, so it may decrease the efficacy of medications that slow blood clotting, such as:

  • Plavix
  • Voltaren
  • Advil
  • Coumadin

Additionally, shilajit has been shown to increase immune system activity. Therefore, it may lower the effectiveness of immunosuppressants, which include (but aren’t limited to):

  • Imuran
  • Simulect
  • Zenapax
  • Rapamune
  • Glucocorticoids

Lastly, shilajit was shown in some instances to decrease blood sugar levels. Thus, shilajit may interact with hypoglycemic agents or other anti-diabetic medications, such as:

  • Metformin
  • Januvia
  • Trulicity
  • Ozempic
  • Jardiance

Be sure to speak with your doctor before taking shilajit, especially if you take any of these medications or have any chronic health conditions. 

Shilajit Side Effects:

Shilajit has a few possible side effects, including:

  • Upset stomach
  • Heartburn
  • Headache
  • Toxicity (if consuming an impure, unprocessed shilajit form)
  • Dizziness

Shilajit has also been shown in some cases to lower blood sugar, so individuals with hypoglycemia should be cautious when using shilajit. 

Additionally, individuals with auto-immune conditions may experience exacerbated issues given that shilajit can stimulate the immune system. However, there hasn’t been any direct research in this context.

How Much Shilajit Should I Take?

According to research, a generally safe, efficacious dose of shilajit is 250 to 1,000mg daily. It may be best to start on the lower end of this range and analyze how you react before increasing the dosage. 

Shilajit generally comes as a powder, resin, or solid form. 

Here is what 250 to 1,000mg looks like for each form:

  • Powder: ⅛ to ½ teaspoon
  • Resin: Size of ½ pea up to 2 peas
  • Solid: Size of ½ pea up to 2 peas

Shilajit Dosage:

Research indicates that taking between 250mg and 1,000mg of Shilajit is an effective daily dosage.

When Should I Take Shilajit?

The best time to take shilajit depends on your exact needs, but it’s ideal to take it twice daily, because shilajit has a peak bioavailability of 12 to 14 hours. Thus, taking it twice daily allows for optimal absorption over the course of the entire day.

As mentioned, the exact time depends on your needs. This is because shilajit is an adaptogen, which means it can provide energizing effects or relaxing effects depending on the body’s needs. Therefore, if shilajit is energizing for you, it’s best to take it during the morning and afternoon, whereas if it’s relaxing, one may find better results with evening and night doses.

Click here for additional information regarding the best time of day to take shilajit.

Additionally, it is important to note that research shows that taking this herb once per day is still thought to provide numerous health benefits.

Should I Cycle Shilajit?

It isn’t necessary to cycle shilajit, but one can certainly do so. There isn’t any research detailing how to implement a shilajit cycle, or even if one is effective.

But based on the general idea that the body adapts to what it’s given – even with natural substances – it may be wise to cycle with shilajit.

To do so, one can implement smaller cycles within a week, such as a 5 days on, 2 days off approach; or a longer cycle, such as 4 weeks on, 1 week off. 

Again, this hasn’t been proven to be necessary, but it is potentially worth experimenting with.

How Long Does it Take for Shilajit to Work?

Shilajit generally takes several weeks to a few months to provide maximum benefits. One may start to notice the first effects much sooner, but research generally shows that it takes roughly 8 to 12 weeks (2 to 3 months) to exert the greatest health benefits of shilajit.

As more clinical research is conducted, it will be easier to say exactly how long it takes for shilajit to work. It would be particularly interesting to see if shorter duration studies (such as 3 to 4 weeks) still provide the same magnitude of benefits as the longer studies. But as of now, those studies have not been completed.

Lastly, several individual factors may influence how long it takes for shilajit to work, such as one’s medical history and current medical conditions, diet, stress levels, and other lifestyle factors. 

Summary:

Daily supplementation with Shilajit is thought to begin displaying health benefits in as soon as 8 to 12 weeks.

Conclusion:

Shilajit is an intriguing natural substance with many possible health benefits, especially for hormonal health, fertility, energy, and brain function. Research indicates that shilajit is generally safe and non-toxic when consumed in appropriate doses from purified products. 

However, consuming shilajit that is impure may be toxic. And there are also other possible side effects of shilajit, even when using purified forms, that users should be aware of.

Therefore, one should always consult his or her doctor or healthcare provider before taking shilajit, and use a purified, standardized dietary supplement from a reputable company. 

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About Daniel Powers, MS

Daniel has a master's degree in herbal science from the Maryland University of Integrative Health. He has a passion for herbal medicine and how it can be used to support everyday health & wellness.