“This was in 1985. I thought what is this Shilajit that people use a little bit. I should drink one cup and see. Well, I drank one cup but then suddenly I started feeling unconscious. I immediately Poured a bucket of water on top and ran towards the doctor. I told him that I had drunk a cup of Shilajit. Saying this, I fell down. After four hours I regained consciousness and the doctor slapped me hard and told me not to do this again. to do.”
This story is of Karimuddin, a resident of the Aliabad area of Hunza Valley, who has been doing the business of making Shilajit with his father since 1980. I met him on the terrace of his house where Shilajit is dried.
What is Shilajit and how is it made?
Shilajit is found in the mountains of Central Asia and in Pakistan it is mostly extracted from the mountains of Gilgit-Baltistan. Karimuddin explains that Shilajit is made up of metals and plant components present in the caves of various mountains for many years. After which it is taken out at a certain time.
But the task of finding it is not as easy as it is thought. Karimuddin’s artisans go to the mountains before sunrise to find Shilajit through dangerous and difficult paths in the high-rise mountains. Often it takes several days to search for Shilajit.
Shilajit has to pass through two important stages to reach its final stage.
- Searching for him in the skyscrapers
- Cleaning or filtering Shilajit
Search for Shilajit
If you go to the mountain peaks and see with your own eyes how Shilajit is extracted and you don’t get goosebumps, then I will praise your courage. I was also in a similar situation when after traveling for a few hours, we reached the top of that mountain from where you can see the snow-covered Rakaposhi peak but also the Hunza valley between you and Rakaposhi. A beautiful view is also visible.
In Hunza Valley, there are experienced people who know every nook and corner of the area to find and extract Shilajit from the mountains. Ghazi Karim, who has been doing this work for the last 15 years, says, “For Shilajit, we travel from a few hours to several days.”
And then this raw material, which they find from the mountains, comes back to the city and sells it to special shopkeepers who, after cleaning it specially, sell it further.
These people often travel in groups of four to five people, one of whom is responsible for preparing tea and food. While the rest of the people tie the rope firmly on the top and hold it. And then a person descends inside the cave from where there is a possibility of finding Shilajit.
Ghazi explains “We look into the caves through binoculars so that we can see it. When we go closer, we come to know about it by its special kind of smell.”
During this, Ghazi skillfully started descending from the top of the mountain using a rope at an angle of 90. And then sometime after descending inside the cave, Ghazi called out to his friends that Shilajit had been found.
Ghazi says about this whole process “When a person descends into the cave, there is a place for him to sit below. After taking out the Shilajit, we put it in a sack and then first send the sacks up and after that, we go back to the same place.” Go up using the rope.”
This entire process took about half an hour, but about that half an hour he says, “If someone has not tied the knot properly while tying the rope or the safety belt has not been tied properly, then there is a high possibility of the rope getting untied. .”
But Ghazi said that thankfully no such incident has happened to him till date.
In this search, he finds different quantities of Shilajit. He says, “The maximum quantity that they have taken out till date is 20 maunds. Sometimes it also happens that nothing comes out of the cave and they come back empty-handed.”
Shilajit filtering process
Till that time Shilajit is present inside the stone as a special component. These artisans go to the city and sell it to shopkeepers who clean and filter it.
Karimuddin has been doing this work since 1980. He says that his father started filtering sunlight. Which he named ‘Aftabi Shilajit’.
In this process, the big stones, which are brought from the mountain, are cut into small pieces and put inside a big bucket, a certain amount of water is added and stirred with a big spoon so that Shilajit dissolves well in that water. Go.
Then after a few hours, the dirt is removed from the surface of the water.
Karimuddin says, “We keep this water like this for a week. During this time the color of the water has become completely black, which means that now Shilajit has completely dissolved in the water along with the stones.”
He says that this is an important stage in which harmful particles have to be separated from the water containing Shilajit.
“Generally, out of greed, haste and to earn money, people just filter this water through a cloth and boil it for three to four hours due to which it thickens quickly and thus this Shilajit is prepared. But “It has less benefits and more harm.”
Karimuddin says that it has two major disadvantages. The first is that by filtering through cloth and mesh, harmful elements remain in it. Secondly, by boiling Shilajit in water and thickening it, all its mineral elements are lost, which is of no benefit.
Karimuddin completes this process in thirty to forty days. In which he uses a special machine for filtration. He has kept this machine hidden from his competitors which he has imported from abroad.
According to him, “The secret of our success is that we make pure Shilajit.”
The last stage of making Shilajit
After filtration, the Shilajit water is kept in a container made of glass and the water keeps drying for about a month, during which time he keeps adding more Shilajit water to the container so that it gets filled. This is how Aftabi Shilajit is prepared, which is supplied to shopkeepers after packing.
Karimuddin says that he also sends every consignment of Shilajit for medical tests and that certificate is the proof of the purity of Shilajit. In which it is recorded that 86 types of mineral elements are present in it.
Karimuddin says that he sells 10 grams of Shilajit for Rs 300 to Rs 600. The price of Shilajit is decided based on its demand and availability. “But the shopkeepers sell it at whatever price they want.”
Identification of real and fake Shilajit
Karimuddin says that often shopkeepers identify Shilajit by the special smell coming from it but according to him, it is not so.
“People often use flour etc. in it to increase its quantity. And if a small amount of Shilajit is added to it, then it will also have the same smell as the real Shilajit.”
He says, “The easy solution is to ask the shopkeeper about his medical test and confirm that it contains 86 types of minerals.”
Shilajit does not work like Viagra but what are its benefits?
Karimuddin says that people have many misconceptions about Shilajit. Actually, the mineral elements present in it fulfill the deficiency of the body, “due to which blood circulation becomes faster due to increase in body heat. But it does not work like Viagra.”
Dr. Waheed Meraj, a resident of Islamabad, says, “More than 85 mineral elements including iron, zinc, and magnesium are found in it. Due to all these mineral elements, blood circulation in the human body increases, and immunity increases. it occurs.”
He further says, “Its use also helps in keeping the human nervous system healthy, due to which it is beneficial for Alzheimer’s, depression, and the brain.”
Dr. Meraj says “Tests conducted on rats have shown positive effects on their sugar levels, hence it is also helpful in the treatment of diabetes.”
Apart from this, he says that it is also very beneficial for bones and joints.
Regarding the harm of Shilajit, he also says “Not being properly filtered increases its harm. Its excessive use is also harmful to health.”
Correct use of Shilajit
Karimuddin says, “It should be taken in the amount equal to dry gram and mixed with warm milk. People above 50 years of age can use it daily for two-three months. Young people should not use it more than two days a week. Do it.”
He further says that blood pressure patients should not use it at all.
“When 86 mineral elements go inside the stomach, the blood pressure increases slightly. Therefore, those who already have high blood pressure should not use it at all.”
According to them, apart from this, heart patients should not use it.