Effect of shilajit on the heart of Daphnia: A preliminary study

J Ayurveda Integr Med. 2012 Jan;3(1):3-5. doi: 10.4103/0975-9476.93938.


Shilajit is a mineral-rich complex organic compound used in the traditional system of Ayurvedic medicine for treating hypertension and improving the cardiac function with many herbomineral preparations. However, very little experimental evidence is available about its effect on the cardiac function. We used Daphnia as a model organism for observing the effect of shilajit on its heart due to its myogenic properties and its response to number of cardioactive drugs that are known to affect human heart function. Genome of Daphnia shows the strongest homology with the human genome. These characteristics of Daphnia make it an ideal organism for biomedical research. Our results suggest that this complex organic compound lowers the heart beats as its concentration increases from 1.0 to 100 ppm. The beats come to near normal condition at 1000 ppm. Above 1000 ppm, the beats are very fast and impossible to count. These results indicate a negative chronotropic effect on the Daphnia heart at low concentrations and a positive chronotropic effect to arrhythmia and finally failure at increasing higher concentrations of shilajit.

Keywords: Chronotropic effect; Daphnia; shilajit.