Shilajit and Ashwagandha are two natural remedies widely used in Ayurvedic medicine. These herbal solutions have garnered significant attention for their potential to enhance overall health and well-being. 

In this article, we will compare Shilajit and Ashwagandha to provide a detailed analysis of their similarities and differences. Our ultimate goal is to establish which herbal remedies might be superior in promoting well-being.

What is Ashwagandha?

Ashwagandha Vs. Shilajit
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Ashwagandha is a plant native to India, also known as Indian ginseng or winter cherry. It is highly valued in Ayurvedic medicine due to its therapeutic properties. 

The plant’s root is renowned for its ability to alleviate a wide range of health conditions, such as stress, anxiety, and fatigue [1]. 

Not only that, but Ashwagandha also possesses anti-inflammatory properties and can help strengthen the immune system [2].

What is Shilajit?

Ashwagandha Vs. Shilajit
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Shilajit is a tar-like substance created in the Himalayas through the decomposition of plant and organic matter. It is widely recognized for its numerous health benefits, mainly due to its high mineral and trace element content [3]. 

This ancient substance has been an essential part of Ayurvedic medicine for centuries and is often called as ‘the destroyer of weakness.’

Which is Better: Ashwagandha Vs. Shilajit

Ashwagandha Vs. Shilajit
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Shilajit and Ashwagandha are natural supplements with unique nutritional profiles and various potential health benefits. 

Shilajit is known for its high mineral and antioxidant content, containing over 80 minerals and trace elements, including essential ones like iron, copper, and zinc [3]. 

These minerals are crucial in many bodily functions, such as regulating the immune system and producing red blood cells. Moreover, Shilajit acts as a strong antioxidant that protects the body against oxidative stress and the harmful effects of free radicals [3].

On the other hand, Ashwagandha is rich in essential amino acids, including tryptophan, lysine, and tyrosine [1]. 

These amino acids are the building blocks for proteins and are essential for tissue growth, repair, and synthesizing critical enzymes and hormones. Additionally, Ashwagandha has adaptogenic properties that can help the body manage stress and anxiety [1,2].

Ashwagandha Vs. Shilajit Active Ingredients

Ashwagandha Vs. Shilajit
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Shilajit and Ashwagandha are two natural ingredients that offer unique health benefits due to their distinct active components. Shilajit contains fulvic acid and humic acid alongside minerals like iron, magnesium, and zinc, which are known for their antioxidant properties [4]. 

Fulvic acid and humic acid help neutralize harmful free radicals, which can damage cells and cause oxidative stress. These compounds are responsible for Shilajit’s potential health benefits, which may include cellular rejuvenation [3]. 

On the other hand, Ashwagandha contains alkaloids, lactones, and withanolides, which are bioactive compounds that may help reduce inflammation and regulate the immune system [1,2]. 

These compounds make Ashwagandha a potential herb for those looking for anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory effects. Ashwagandha may contribute to overall health and well-being by regulating the immune system and reducing inflammation.

Health Benefits of Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha Vs. Shilajit
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Possible benefits of Ashwagandha include enhancements to both athletic performance and quality of sleep. There is preliminary evidence suggesting that this herb may be beneficial for the treatment of anxiety as well as infertility; however, more research is required. 

Based on the findings of certain research, Ashwagandha may offer the following benefits.

Reduced Stress and Anxiety

Extensive research has been conducted on Ashwagandha to determine its effectiveness in reducing stress and anxiety [5,6]. 

One study showed that Ashwagandha supplements significantly lowered cortisol levels in adults who suffered from chronic stress [7]. Furthermore, it has been found to potentially improve the quality of sleep, making it a promising remedy for individuals with insomnia.

Improved Brain Function

Research indicates that Ashwagandha may positively affect brain function and memory. A study published in the Journal of Dietary Supplements demonstrated its benefits for cognitive function, reaction time, and task performance in healthy adults [8].

Reduced Inflammation

Ashwagandha has anti-inflammatory properties. A study in the Journal of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine found that Ashwagandha supplementation reduced inflammation markers in rheumatoid arthritis and COVID-19 patients [9].

Increased Muscle Mass and Strength

Studies have demonstrated that taking Ashwagandha supplements can significantly increase muscle mass and strength, particularly in men [10,11]. 

A recent research published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition revealed that young and healthy men who consumed Ashwagandha experienced muscle mass and strength advancements [12].

Lowered Cholesterol and Triglyceride Levels

Several studies prove that Ashwagandha effectively lowers cholesterol and triglyceride levels [13,14]. 

One study published in the Journal of Dietary Supplements demonstrated that Ashwagandha supplementation reduced cholesterol and triglyceride levels in patients with type 2 diabetes [15].

Potential Anti-Cancer Properties

It’s been suggested that Ashwagandha may have anti-cancer properties, but it’s important to emphasize that further research is needed to confirm this [16]. 

A study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine reported that ashwagandha extract induced cell death in cancer cells, which is an encouraging finding that warrants more investigation [17].

Health Benefits of Shilajit

Ashwagandha Vs. Shilajit
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Shilajit is an antioxidant-rich substance, it may be beneficial to the health of people who suffer from certain medical conditions. but there is a need for additional research.

Here’s a look at the research-backed benefits of Shilajit.

Anti-Aging Properties

Shilajit contains both fulvic and humic acid, potent antioxidants neutralizing free radicals that harm cells and contribute to aging [18].

Improved Cognitive Function

Recent research suggests that Shilajit may have potential benefits for cognitive function and memory. A study showed that Shilajit supplements could provide neuroprotective effects against Alzheimer’s disease, resulting in improved cognitive function in healthy adults [19].

Enhanced Athletic Performance

Shilajit has shown promise in enhancing athletic performance by improving oxygen uptake and endurance [3]. A study in the Journal of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine demonstrated improved physical performance in healthy volunteers who supplemented with Shilajit.

Increased Testosterone Levels

Studies have confirmed that Shilajit can increase testosterone levels in men, an essential hormone that helps in muscle growth, bone density, and sexual function. According to a study published in the Journal of Andrology, infertile men taking Shilajit supplements experienced higher testosterone levels [20].

Improved Immune Function

Shilajit is a natural substance that contains immune-boosting compounds such as fulvic acid and dibenzo-pyrones. These constituents are well known for their ability to enhance the immune system and protect against infections [3].

Reduced Inflammation

Studies have shown that Shilajit possesses anti-inflammatory properties that can help alleviate inflammation in the body. It’s worth noting that chronic ailments, such as arthritis, heart disease, and cancer, can be aggravated by inflammation [3].

Improved Heart Health

Some studies have shown that shilajit may positively affect heart health by reducing blood pressure and cholesterol levels [21]. 

A paper published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology reported that shilajit supplementation improved cardiovascular health in rats, further supporting its potential for benefit in this area.

Ashwagandha Vs. Shilajit Health Benefits

Ashwagandha Vs. Shilajit
Source: Canva

Shilajit and Ashwagandha are two popular supplements in Ayurvedic medicine, each offering potential health benefits that make them appealing to many. 

Shilajit is known for its energy-boosting properties, cognitive function enhancement, and immune system support. 

At the same time, Ashwagandha is popular for its stress and anxiety-relieving effects, improvements in sleep quality, and cognitive function enhancement. It’s important to remember that these supplements’ effectiveness can vary depending on individual health conditions, and optimal dosages may differ. 

Recent studies suggest that Shilajit can benefit individuals with diabetes, as it enhances insulin sensitivity and regulates blood sugar levels. Additionally, its potential anti-inflammatory properties make it a viable dietary supplement for those managing conditions characterized by inflammation, such as arthritis. 

On the other hand, Ashwagandha has been studied for its potential role in improving both male and female fertility and reproductive health. 

Preliminary research indicates its inhibitory effect on the growth of cancer cells in laboratory settings and animal studies, suggesting potential anti-cancer properties. However, further research is needed to determine its efficacy in human applications.

Ashwagandha Vs. Shilajit Potential Side Effects

Although Shilajit and Ashwagandha are generally safe for most people, it is crucial to be aware of potential side effects. 

Shilajit can sometimes cause nausea or digestive problems, while Ashwagandha may cause drowsiness or a drop in blood pressure. Therefore, before adding any new supplement to your daily routine, it is advisable to consult with a healthcare professional, particularly if you have underlying medical conditions.

Moreover, it is essential to note that Shilajit and Ashwagandha can interact with certain medications. For instance, Ashwagandha can increase the effects of sedatives, anti-anxiety medications, or antidepressants. 

To avoid any potential interactions, it is crucial to inform your healthcare provider about all the supplements and medications you are currently using. This will help ensure your safety and the effectiveness of your treatment plan.

Bottomline 

Shilajit and Ashwagandha are two popular Ayurvedic supplements that offer various health benefits. Although they share a foundation in Ayurveda, their nutritional profiles, active components, and potential side effects differ. 

When deciding which supplement to take, it’s important to consider individual needs and goals and seek guidance from a qualified healthcare professional. By understanding the advantages and potential risks associated with each supplement, people can make informed decisions about incorporating Shilajit, Ashwagandha, or both into their daily routines.

FAQs

The two can be taken together, as they are often taken together with other herbs and supplements.
Although preliminary evidence suggests that shilajit and ashwagandha may have anti-cancer effects, more study is required to draw firm conclusions.
When used appropriately, shilajit and ashwagandha are generally well tolerated, though they can potentially cause side effects in some individuals.

Disclaimer: This article is only a guide. It does not substitute the advice given by your healthcare professional. Before making any health-related decision, consult your healthcare professional.

Editorial References And Fact-Checking

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  2. Logie, E., & Vanden Berghe, W. (2020). Tackling Chronic Inflammation with Withanolide Phytochemicals-A Withaferin a Perspective. Antioxidants (Basel, Switzerland), 9(11), 1107. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33182809/
  3. Carrasco-Gallardo, C., Guzmán, L., & Maccioni, R. B. (2012). Shilajit: a natural phytocomplex with potential procognitive activity. International journal of Alzheimer’s disease, 2012, 674142. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22482077/
  4. Agarwal, S. P., Khanna, R., Karmarkar, R., Anwer, M. K., & Khar, R. K. (2007). Shilajit: a review. Phytotherapy research : PTR, 21(5), 401–405. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17295385/
  5. Salve, J., Pate, S., Debnath, K., & Langade, D. (2019). Adaptogenic and Anxiolytic Effects of Ashwagandha Root Extract in Healthy Adults: A Double-blind, Randomized, Placebo-controlled Clinical Study. Cureus, 11(12), e6466. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32021735/
  6. Lopresti, A. L., Smith, S. J., Malvi, H., & Kodgule, R. (2019). An investigation into the stress-relieving and pharmacological actions of an ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) extract: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Medicine, 98(37), e17186. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31517876/
  7. Ng, Q. X., Loke, W., Foo, N. X., Tan, W. J., Chan, H. W., Lim, D. Y., & Yeo, W. S. (2020). A systematic review of the clinical use of Withania somnifera (Ashwagandha) to ameliorate cognitive dysfunction. Phytotherapy research : PTR, 34(3), 583–590. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31742775/
  8. Devpura, G., Tomar, B. S., Nathiya, D., Sharma, A., Bhandari, D., Haldar, S., Balkrishna, A., & Varshney, A. (2021). Randomized placebo-controlled pilot clinical trial on the efficacy of ayurvedic treatment regime on COVID-19 positive patients. Phytomedicine : international journal of phytotherapy and phytopharmacology, 84, 153494. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33596494/
  9. Bonilla, D. A., Moreno, Y., Gho, C., Petro, J. L., Odriozola-Martínez, A., & Kreider, R. B. (2021). Effects of Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) on Physical Performance: Systematic Review and Bayesian Meta-Analysis. Journal of functional morphology and kinesiology, 6(1), 20. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33670194/
  10. Pérez-Gómez, J., Villafaina, S., Adsuar, J. C., Merellano-Navarro, E., & Collado-Mateo, D. (2020). Effects of Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) on VO2max: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Nutrients, 12(4), 1119. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32316411/
  11. Wankhede, S., Langade, D., Joshi, K., Sinha, S. R., & Bhattacharyya, S. (2015). Examining the effect of Withania somnifera supplementation on muscle strength and recovery: a randomized controlled trial. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 12, 43. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26609282/
  12. Durg, S., Bavage, S., & Shivaram, S. B. (2020). Withania somnifera (Indian ginseng) in diabetes mellitus: A systematic review and meta-analysis of scientific evidence from experimental research to clinical application. Phytotherapy research : PTR, 34(5), 1041–1059. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31975514/
  13. Gorelick, J., Rosenberg, R., Smotrich, A., Hanuš, L., & Bernstein, N. (2015). Hypoglycemic activity of withanolides and elicitated Withania somnifera. Phytochemistry, 116, 283–289. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25796090/
  14. Mandlik Ingawale, D. S., & Namdeo, A. G. (2021). Pharmacological evaluation of Ashwagandha highlighting its healthcare claims, safety, and toxicity aspects. Journal of dietary supplements, 18(2), 183–226. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32242751/
  15. Wadhwa, R., Singh, R., Gao, R., Shah, N., Widodo, N., Nakamoto, T., Ishida, Y., Terao, K., & Kaul, S. C. (2013). Water extract of Ashwagandha leaves has anticancer activity: identification of an active component and its mechanism of action. PloS one, 8(10), e77189. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24130852/
  16. Mikulska, P., Malinowska, M., Ignacyk, M., Szustowski, P., Nowak, J., Pesta, K., Szeląg, M., Szklanny, D., Judasz, E., Kaczmarek, G., Ejiohuo, O. P., Paczkowska-Walendowska, M., Gościniak, A., & Cielecka-Piontek, J. (2023). Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera)-Current Research on the Health-Promoting Activities: A Narrative Review. Pharmaceutics, 15(4), 1057. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/37111543/
  17. Biswas, T. K., Pandit, S., Mondal, S., Biswas, S. K., Jana, U., Ghosh, T., Tripathi, P. C., Debnath, P. K., Auddy, R. G., & Auddy, B. (2010). Clinical evaluation of spermatogenic activity of processed Shilajit in oligospermia. Andrologia, 42(1), 48–56. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20078516/
  18. Joukar, S., Najafipour, H., Dabiri, S., Sheibani, M., & Sharokhi, N. (2014). Cardioprotective effect of mumie (shilajit) on experimentally induced myocardial injury. Cardiovascular toxicology, 14(3), 214–221. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24448712/
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Dr Faisal Rasheed, M.D.

Dr Faisal is a certified Medical Doctor currently carrying the role of a Senior Medical Officer in the Orthopaedic Surgery Department of his local hospital. With his vast experience and knowledge in the medical field, Dr Faisal is well-equipped to share educational content that helps readers improve their health and wellness. During his hospital shifts, he diligently cares for and treats patients under him. And during his spare time, he enjoys crafting health and wellness content that inspires readers to make positive changes. LinkedIn

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  • Dr Faisal is a certified Medical Doctor currently carrying the role of a Senior Medical Officer in the Orthopaedic Surgery Department of his local hospital. With his vast experience and knowledge in the medical field, Dr Faisal is well-equipped to share educational content that helps readers improve their health and wellness. During his hospital shifts, he diligently cares for and treats patients under him. And during his spare time, he enjoys crafting health and wellness content that inspires readers to make positive changes. LinkedIn

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Dr Faisal is a certified Medical Doctor currently carrying the role of a Senior Medical Officer in the Orthopaedic Surgery Department of his local hospital. With his vast experience and knowledge in the medical field, Dr Faisal is well-equipped to share educational content that helps readers improve their health and wellness. During his hospital shifts, he diligently cares for and treats patients under him. And during his spare time, he enjoys crafting health and wellness content that inspires readers to make positive changes. LinkedIn