Phytochemical Screening and Biological Studies of Shilajit (Asphaltum)

Shahid Aziz, Sidra Khaliq, Habib ur-Rehman, Kh. Shakeel Ghani, Muhammad Irshad, Ivan R Green, Hidayat Hussain



Shilajit (asphaltum)  is produced  by the long term humification  of dead plant material  and organic vegetable matter  by different micro-organisms and has great potential for the treatment of a variety of human conditions.  This treatise reviews its origin, sources, chemical composition, biological  and  commercial importance. Phytochemical analysis was done by standard methods to evaluate  different Shilajit (asphaltum) classes of compounds in different samples of shilajit  which are responsible for their  biological activity.  Shilajit`s anti-microbial activity has been evaluated  against four different bacterial strains viz., Escherichia coli, Psuedomonas aeuroginosa, Klebisella pneumonia and Staphylococcus aureus. Phytochemical analysis illustrated  that shilajit contains  terpenoids, cardiac glycosides, saponins and reducing sugars. Surprisingly,  some classes of compounds are absent in shilajit  viz., alkaloids, flavonoids, tannins and anthraquinones. . Shilajit showed no response towards halophytic bacteria and  negligible activity was shown towards other strains of bacteria. Since   anti-microbial activity is based on environmental factors  its activity varied  between locations.


Shilajit, phytochemical screening, anti-microbial activity

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