Shilajit or Ashwagandha? Stuck between choosing the best herbal supplement for you? First, you need to understand the herbal substances at their core.
Shilajit and Ashwagandha both have a rich Ayurvedic history. We are talking about ages ago, when people would use it for health gain. However, people began forgetting their nutritional benefits.
Sadly, only a few people know about these Ayurvedic gems. To decide what works for you, it’s ideal to compare their benefits, compositions, and tastes.
Shilajit in Ayurveda
Shilajit, deriving its name from the Sanskrit term meaning “rock invincible,” occupies a special and revered position within Ayurveda, the ancient Indian system of medicine.
With origins in ancient Ayurvedic texts, Shilajit is recognised as a powerful adaptogen. It’s praised for its ability to refresh both mental and physical health, making it highly valued in Ayurveda as an impressive remedy.
The historical importance and cultural respect for this special substance have solidified its position as a treasured element in traditional medicine.
Using it can lead to better stamina, more endurance during activities, and increased energy. Traditional healers believe Shilajit is packed with minerals, trace elements, and antioxidants that provide the body with nourishing elements for vigour and vitality.
It’s said to make bones and muscles stronger and support sexual and reproductive health. Another essential part of Shilajit is how it can make you feel more youthful. It’s thought to help tissues heal, improve cells, and slow down ageing.
Ashwagandha in Ayurveda
Long ago, in the ancient Sanskrit language, a plant was named “Ashwagandha.” This name comes from two words: “ashwa,” which means horse, and “gandha,” which means smell. It’s because the plant’s crushed roots smell like horses.
The Ashwagandha plant is small, with yellow flowers and red-orange berries that have seeds inside. People know Ashwagandha because it’s good at helping the body handle different kinds of stress and find balance. They even call it “Indian ginseng” because it helps the body deal with stress.
In the world of Ayurveda, Ashwagandha plays an important role. It’s used to help with stress, when you feel unsure, and when your immune system needs a boost. Families have shared lots of different ways to use this plant for a very long time.
Also, in Ayurveda, Ashwagandha is like a special remedy called a Rasayana. This means it can help the body feel better and live longer. It’s like a friend to the body because it helps it handle stress—the kind that comes from being tired, worried, or feeling down.
By working with the body’s stress hormones and helping it relax, Ashwagandha might help your feelings and thoughts stay healthy. This plant has been important for a really long time and is a special part of Ayurvedic traditions.
Shilajit vs. Ashwagandha: Which is Better for You?
Comparison of Shilajit and Ashwagandha
|Resinous substance from the Himalayas, Altai, and Caucasus mountains
|Small shrub native to India, Middle East, and parts of Africa
|Fulvic acid, humic acid, minerals
|Resin or powder
|Root powder or extract
|Potential Side Effects
|Headaches, dizziness, and an upset stomach in some people. Not recommended for pregnant/nursing women, gout, iron deficiency anaemia,
|May cause drowsiness and interact with certain medications.
Not recommended for pregnant or nursing women, autoimmune diseases, thyroid problems
|100-500 mg per day
|300–500 mg per day (root powder), 600–1200 mg per day (extract)
|Energy-boosting, testosterone-boosting properties
|Stress-reducing, cognitive-enhancing effects
Shilajit: Composition and Nutritional Profile
This powerful substance holds a bunch of different minerals, including things like fulvic acid, humic acid, iron, zinc, copper, manganese, magnesium, potassium, and calcium.
These minerals are super important for our body’s functioning, like helping enzymes work, keeping our bones strong, helping our immune system, and giving us energy.
Shilajit also has antioxidants, amino acids (the building blocks of proteins), fatty acids (the healthy fats), and other things that do cool stuff in our body. These things make it useful for things like helping our cells grow back, keeping our brains sharp, and giving us more energy.
Also read: How Long Does It Take for Shilajit To Work?
Side Effects and Precautions
Side Effects: Shilajit is generally safe in proper doses, but a few people might experience issues like stomach problems, nausea, or allergies. Starting with a small amount and watching how your body reacts is important.
Precautions: If you have certain conditions, like gout or kidney stones, be careful with Shilajit. It’s not advised during pregnancy or breastfeeding. Since Shilajit can interact with some medicines, talking to a doctor before using them is crucial.
Ashwagandha: Composition, and Nutritional Profile
Ashwagandha contains bioactive compounds. Plus, it has alkaloids, withanolides, and steroidal lactones, which are thought to be why it’s good for us.
The bioactive compounds help fight swelling, keep our cells safe, give our immune system a boost, and take care of our brain. Those mitanolides are also really important.
They’re the star players in Ashwagandha who make it work its magic. And guess what? Ashwagandha also has all those important minerals and vitamins our body needs!
It’s got vitamin C, vitamin E, and different B vitamins like thiamine, riboflavin, and niacin. It’s like a power pack of calcium, iron, magnesium, and potassium too.
Side Effects and Precautions
Side Effects: Ashwagandha is usually fine, but a few might have mild effects like stomach discomfort, sleepiness, or headaches. These are rare and usually short-term.
Precautions: Ashwagandha might make you sleepy, so be careful with machinery or driving. If you have autoimmune issues, thyroid problems, or diabetes, ask your doctor before using it.
Choosing Between Shilajit and Ashwagandha
1. Identify Your Health Goals: Start by figuring out what you want to achieve with these herbs. Do you need more energy, stress relief, cognitive support, an immune system boost, or vitality? Knowing your goals will guide your decision.
2. Consider Trying Both (If Time Allows): If you can, experiment with both herbs. Keep track of how they affect your body in terms of various health aspects. Be patient, as natural remedies take time to show results.
3. Match Goals with Properties: If you’re looking for vitality, cognitive support, and anti-inflammatory effects, Shilajit might be your pick. For stress reduction, energy enhancement, and overall well-being, Ashwagandha might suit you better.
4. Do Thorough Research: Before adding any supplement to your routine, research extensively. Look into benefits, side effects, and proper dosages. Reliable websites and scientific studies are valuable sources.
5. Seek Professional Advice: Consult healthcare experts like doctors or naturopaths. They’ll consider your medical history, current health, and medications to recommend the right choice. They can also help you avoid potential interactions or risks.
6. Remember Individual Differences: Keep in mind that everyone’s body is unique. What works for one person might not work for you, and vice versa. Be open to trying different options if needed.