Can You Use Shilajit as Part of an Addiction Recovery Program?
*Note: This is a contributing author article. More about him below*
Drug addiction recovery often takes on many different forms and provides a wide range of care options. For example, many types of supplements may be used to support a person’s health.
Some addiction rehab centers are trying out Shilajit, a treatment mainly used for high-altitude sickness that may provide unique advantages. However, some concerns must be addressed before trying it out.
What is Shilajit?
Shilajit is a natural substance that has been used for centuries in India and other Middle Asian countries, particularly in mountainous regions such as the Himalayas. The exact origin of Shilajit is actually unknown because its creation started millions of years ago. If you want to learn more about the origins of shilajit click here.
Shilajit is a blackish-brown powder that—once it has been purified—can be mixed into drinks, cooked with food, taken in pill form, or ingested as is.
Raw Shilajit should never be consumed before purification because it is heavy in various types of metals that may be harmful to the body. When correctly prepared, Shilajit is known as a phytocomplex or a substance that is rich in various types of chemicals and nutrients.
For example, Shilajit contains:
- Fulvic acid, which aids in the absorption of iron, the formation of blood, and the production of energy.
- Selenium, which may help prevent or treat cognitive decline.
- Nutraceutical substances, food products that claim or demonstrate medical or other health benefits in addition to their nutritional value.
- Antioxidants, in even greater quantities than super antioxidants such as blueberries.
Research has found that Shilajit can be produced from many types of plants—including the moss Barbula, the alga Minium, and the liverwort Asterella—and even molds.
While Shilajit has been used for hundreds if not thousands of years in Asian countries, it has only recently made its way west. Now scientists and doctors here have been analyzing its properties to determine what kind of benefits, if any, it may have on health.
Among its powerful pharmaceutical effects, some may be useful for addiction rehab and recovery.
What are the Benefits of Shilajit?
Multiple studies have found that Shilajit may have a variety of unique benefits. For example, it has been shown to help with some Alzheimer’s symptoms and manage some age-related signs, such as wrinkles. As for benefits related to rehab, further research is needed. A handful may improve recovery.
Among Shilajit’s possible rehab benefits are:
- To increase testosterone levels in men. Drug abuse may decrease men’s testosterone levels and leave them with a low sex drive, a high level of fatigue, anxiety, and emotional confusion. More testosterone may decrease these symptoms, helping a man in rehab feel stronger and more capable of recovery.
- To help with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). This disease may make addiction recovery more difficult by robbing a person of vital energy. By increasing energy production on a cellular level, Shilajit may help decrease these symptoms and make it easier for a person of any gender to focus on their recovery with the proper attention.
- To improve heart health. At least, it did in some rat-based trials. If it does the same for humans, it could help those in rehab who have suffered from cardiac issues related to their former substance abuse.
However, it is essential to note that the FDA does not monitor Shilajit as a drug. It is regulated as with other dietary supplements and they have yet to approve it for drug addiction treatment, meaning it is critical to examine whether this option is right for you.
Should I Use Shilajit for Drug Addiction?
Deciding to use a supplemental treatment option, like Shilajit, for drug addiction therapy is often complex.
Though its side effects are relatively minor, some may experience confusion, anxiety, or other emotional effects when taking Shilajit. This anxiety may complicate addiction recovery and make it hard for a person to remain sober.
If a person uses Shilajit that hasn’t been carefully purified by the manufacturer, it may cause damage to their physical health. This type of damage to the body may contribute to other addiction-related health issues and cause serious complications. Though rare, it is possible.
And some treatment facilities may also balk at using this substance because they
- Have no experience with it.
- Do not believe that is useful.
- Don’t want to cause harm.
Though rehab centers tailor their treatment to the needs of an individual, they also don’t do anything likely to cause harm. If they don’t feel comfortable providing a treatment option like Shilajit, they may refuse to do so.
Some facilities that focus on holistic care may be more interested in including this compound as a supplemental care option, alongside more traditional rehab treatments. They carefully research the types available on the market to ensure that the manufacturers purify Shilajit properly.
If Shilajit has benefits for individuals with addictions and mental health disorders such as anxiety, it may also have benefits for when the two conditions co-occur, also known as dual diagnosis.
The benefits of Shilajit for dual diagnosis rehab treatment have not been confirmed by studies, but the unique care method may make treatment more comfortable for some individuals.
Author Bio: Patrick Bailey is a professional writer mainly in the fields of mental health, addiction, and living in recovery. He attempts to stay on top of the latest news in the addiction and the mental health world and enjoy writing about these topics to break the stigma associated with them.