Feature Stories - March 13, 2021

Shilajit efficiency to cure Covid-19 unproven

KABUL (Pajhwok): A number of residents of capital Kabul and Facebook users believe that shilajit cures Covid-19 infection but health professionals reject the belief as unproven.

Claim: Shilajit weakens the possibility of Covid-19 infection and restores patient’s health damaged by the virus.

Verdict: The claim that Shilajit can weaken the possibility of Covid-19 infection and it restores the patient’s damaged health has not been proven.

Shilajit is a chemical found in the cracks of mountain rocks. Some traditional pharmacists believe that the Shilajit is sourced from some plants.

Pajhwok Afghan News talked with a number of people, traditional pharmacists and pharmacologists who say the Shilajit trade has soared for its effectiveness in Covid-19 treatment.

Facebook users: Shilajit is effective for curing

A number of Facebook users recently published topics that Shilajit is effective in curing Covid-19.

Azam Amanpor, a Facebook user, has published information in a post that says that using Shilajit can reduce the possibility of infection with Covid-19.

“Shilajit is a gift from God sent to humans through mountains, it is a cure for thousands types of diseases, it reduces the possibility of being infected with Covid-19 and can restore the lost strength of an infected person,” he said.

He believes that the sticky black substance can cure respiratory diseases, tuberculosis, constipation, paralysis, back pain, joint pain, hemorrhoids and many other diseases.

But unfair use of the substance can cause loss of sleep, sudden change in blood pressure and some sensitivities in the body, Amanpor said, adding that the shilajit was not preferred for pregnant women and those who breastfeed their babies as well as people with cancer disease.

This post of Amanpor is shared and commented by dozens of people while many other people have liked it.

People: Shilajit is a strong drug that can empower body’s immune system and prevent infection with Covid-19

Zia Gul, 70, a resident of Taimani area of Kabul city, about the benefits of Shilajit, said, “We in our family always use Shilajit, my mother, God bless her, was usually giving us the medicine in a cup of tea once or two times in a week, she would tell us that the drug is cure for a hundred pains, I also give it to my children and advise them to use the Shilajit.”

She said that after the outbreak of Covid-19, she advised all people around her to consume Shilajit for curing the disease.

“Shilajit is a strong drug, I think it is hundred percent effective for curing Covid-19,” she said.

Omaid, another resident of Kabul, also said that using Shilajit was good for various types of diseases and that his family usually used the drug for curing different pains.

“My grandmother would say Shilajit is very strong drug and it can improve the body’s strength, when the body’s strength is improved, it can defend against Covid-19, that is the reason we consume the drug on a daily basis with morning breakfast,” he added.

Qudos, 66, a resident of second police district of Faizabad, capital of Badakhshan province, said that he used the drug every morning since last 20 years which improved his immune system.

He said many people feared Covid-19, but he advised them to use Shilajit as a cure.

Fazil Batashi, another resident of Faizabad city, said that he was doing business of Shilajit since last 42 years in Faizabad city.

He said that after the Covid-19 outbreak, many people of the province, mostly elders, brought the drug from him. Besides the residents of Badakhshan, people of other provinces and even foreigners purchased the drug for treatment of Covid-19, he added.

Batashi believes that Shilajit is a strong drug that can improve the immune system and prevents infection by Covid-19.

Mohammad Ewaz, a traditional pharmacist in Dahan-i-Bagh area of Kabul, also emphasized on using Shilajit for treatment of Covid-19 and said that many people used it in Kabul at the peak of the outbreak.

Besides Shilajit, the business of other traditional drugs also increased after the outbreak of Covid-19, he added.

Amanullah, another traditional pharmacist in Taimani area of Kabul, said that the drug was found in mountain tops and from the cracks of stones. He said the drug is very strong and effective.

He called the drug very effective for strengthening body and said that using the medicine could cure many diseases in addition to Covid-19. The sale of Shilajit doubled with Covid-19 outbreak, he said.

Fact checking

Health experts: Shilajit being effective a superstition, health guidelines should be followed

Associate professor of heart and respiratory diseases in Rabia Balkhi Hospital in Kabul, Dr. Nabil Paktin, told Pajhwok that topics published about the effectiveness of Shilajit were only a superstition.

He said no researches had been done to prove Shilajit’s efficiency but global efforts were on for treatment and prevention of Covid-19.

Dr. Baz Mohammad Shirzad, another health expert, said that scientific researches about treatment of Covid-19 were underway in the world but a hundred percent cure was yet to be found for the virus.

He said no researches had been performed about Shilajit to prove whether it was effective or not, and currently only the vaccine was proved to be helpful for curing the disease.

Masuma Jaafari, deputy spokesperson of the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH), said that it was not scientifically proved in the world to show that Shilajit is effective for curing Covid-19.

She said no any treatment except vaccine was created to cure the virus.

Conclusion: Considering the statements above, no researches had been done to prove whether Shilajit is effective to cure Covid-19 and restore the lost strength of a person as result of the disease.

Verdict: The claim that Shilajit can weaken the possibility of Covid-19 infection and restores the patient’s damaged health by the virus, has not been proven.

Azizullah Hamdard

“This Investigative Report was produced with the financial support of the European Union. Its contents are the sole responsibility of Pajhwok and do not necessarily reflect the views of the European Union.”

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