Shilajit vs. Ashwagandha: Differences Explained

Ashwagandha and shilajit are adaptogenic herbs that are frequently compared due to their similar health benefits. However, there are several differences between these plants that you should be aware of …

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Written by: Daniel Powers, MS
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Ashwagandha and shilajit are adaptogenic herbs that are frequently compared due to their similar health benefits.

However, there are several differences between these plants that you should be aware of before making a selection.

In this article, we’ll compare the differences of shilajit vs. ashwagandha, as well as their similarities.

health benefits of shilajit vs. ashwagandha

Ashwagandha Benefits & Uses:

Ashwagandha is a well-known Ayurvedic herb with adaptogenic properties.

This plant has been used for thousands of years in India to help with a variety of health complaints. This includes inflammation, bronchitis, insomnia, ulcers, and asthma.

It was also used to aid in healthy aging.

While ashwagandha has a long history of traditional use, new research is catching up. New research shows that ashwagandha may help relieve mild anxiety, enhance sleep quality, and promote overall stress resilience.

shilajit vs. ashwagandha - ashwagandha health benefits

1. May Decrease Stress

Ashwagandha has been found to have adaptogenic anti-stress properties, suggesting that it may aid in stress management.

A human clinical trial consisting of stressed individuals showed that ashwagandha helped to reduce perceived levels of stress.

This study, along with other research, shows that ashwagandha is an effective support for stress management.

2. May Promote Better Sleep

Clinical research shows that ashwagandha may help improve sleep quality and reduce insomnia.

Researchers studied the impact of ashwagandha on sleep and discovered that it improved numerous indicators of sleep quality in people who had previously reported experiencing difficulties sleeping.

3. May Help With Mild Anxiety

Ashwagandha has been found in clinical trials to help with anxiety and overall mental health.

In a human clinical study, 300mg of ashwagandha root extract daily was found to reduce self-reported stress in the study participants.

Another study showed that ashwagandha extract was shown to reduce anxiety, as measured by various anxiety indexes.

Click here to read our full article on the benefits of ashwagandha

Shilajit Benefits & Uses:

Shilajit is a tar-like material derived from decaying plants. It’s often found coming out of rocks found high in the Himalayan mountains.

Traditional healers discovered this mysterious substance and subsequently found that it can provide a variety of health benefits.

New research shows that shilajit may have effects on a variety of different health conditions.

shilajit vs. ashwagandha - shilajit health benefits

1. May Increase Testosterone

Shilajit is one of the best herbs for increasing testosterone production and has been studied in clinical trials for men’s health.

A recent study showed that men (between the ages of 45 and 55) who took purified shilajit had an increase in total testosterone, free testosterone, and dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEAS).

The researchers who conducted the trial also noted that gonadotropic hormones levels were well maintained.

2. May Support Brain Health

Researchers think that shilajit may be helpful for individuals struggling with Alzheimer’s disease.

It’s thought that the molecular composition of shilajit may prevent or slow the progression of Alzheimer’s.

Shilajit is rich in an antioxidant called fulvic acid. This powerful antioxidant is thought to contribute to cognitive health by preventing the build-up of tau proteins in the brain (a major contributor to brain dysfunction).

This was fleshed out by an in vitro study that showed that fulvic acid worked to break down tau proteins.

3. May Treat Altitude Sickness

One of the traditional uses for shilajit was as an aid to help with altitude sickness.

Acute mountain sickness is caused by physical strain resulting from the inability to adapt to increased oxygen pressure at high altitudes.

Researchers have shown that shilajit can help to remedy altitude sickness. Shilajit’s high mineral content, as well as antioxidant and anti-inflammatory features, are thought to contribute to its altitude sickness-preventing qualities.

You can read our in-depth article on shilajit here.

Shilajit vs. Ashwagandha: Similarities & Differences

Ashwagandha and shilajit are both adaptogens, which means they have the ability to aid the body in adapting to both physiological and psychological stress.

Despite the fact that both adaptogenic herbs have similar physiological benefits, they function differently in the body.

Ashwagandha is a calming herb that helps to foster long-term mental and physical resilience.

Additionally, ashwagandha has a relaxing effect that can improve sleep quality.

Shilajit is a nutrient-dense substance that helps to nourish the body. It is especially rich in minerals, it contains over 80 different minerals.

Shilajit doesn’t have the relaxing cognitive benefits of ashwagandha, but it does help to support overall brain health and longevity.

Shilajit is especially helpful for men as it works to increase testosterone levels. It’s also helpful for those who are dealing with altitude sickness.

Shilajit vs. Ashwagandha: Can You Take Them Together?

In short, yes, you can take both shilajit and ashwagandha together. These herbs don’t have any known negative interactions with each other.

Both of these adaptogens will work to improve your body’s natural stress response and improve your brain function.

Both herbs are generally considered safe to take in combination with each other. Some supplements contain both ashwagandha and shilajit together for maximum synergistic effects.

Shilajit vs. Ashwagandha: Which is right for you?

Finding the best supplement for you largely depends on what your personal needs are.

If you’re looking for cognitive-enhancing effects, ashwagandha may be your best option. Ashwagandha is thought to increase focus while reducing mental fatigue.

On the other hand, if you’re an active man who’s looking to increase testosterone levels, shilajit might just be the adaptogen for you.

Aswagandha Might Be Right For You If:

•You need deep, relaxed focus

•You occasionally have anxious thoughts

•You struggle with insomnia

Shilajit Might Be Right For You If:

•You tend to be over-stressed and feel depleted

•You struggle with low testosterone levels

•You want to maintain your brain health as you age

•You tend to be low in minerals and various other nutrients

Potential Side Effects & Interactions:

Ashwagandha is a safe herb that is typically well-tolerated.

According to researchers, moderate doses of ashwagandha root extract (around 300mg daily) do not appear to be associated with any major side effects or adverse reactions.

Research shows that shilajit is generally well tolerated and safe to take.

However, buying from a reputable supplier is key. There are many low-quality shilajit dupes on the market. These low-end products may be laced with toxic metals and fungus.

Conclusion:

If you are looking for an adaptogen to support your body against stress, shilajit and ashwagandha are both great options.

Ashwagandha has a host of calming cognitive adaptogenic effects while shilajit nourishes the body and helps to boost testosterone levels.

Both herbs are generally well tolerated and safe to take, but there may be some differences in how they affect you personally.

Try both herbs either together or separately to see how they impact your body.

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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.

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