Parasympathomimetic effect of shilajit accounts for relaxation of rat corpus cavernosum

Am J Mens Health. 2013 Mar;7(2):119-27. doi: 10.1177/1557988312462738. Epub 2012 Oct 11.


Previous studies have reported an enhancement of central cholinergic signal cascade by shilajit. For the present study, it was hypothesized that parasympathomimetic effect of shilajit accounting for relaxation of rat corpus cavernosum may be one of the major mechanisms attributing to its traditional role as an aphrodisiac. To test this hypothesis, the acute peripheral effect of standard acetylcholine (ACh), shilajit, and their combination was evaluated on cardiorespiratory parameters such as mean arterial blood pressure (MABP), heart rate (HR), respiratory rate (RR), and neuromuscular transmission (NMT). Furthermore, in vitro effect of standard ACh, shilajit, and their combination was tested on the rat corpus cavernosum. Six groups were used for the in vivo study (N = 5): Group I (control-saline), Group II (ACh), Group III (Sh), Group IV (Sh followed by ACh), Group V (Atropine followed by ACh), and Group VI (Atropine followed by Sh). The in vitro study included four groups: Group I (control-saline), Group II (ACh), Group III (Sh), and Group IV (Sh followed by ACh). The results of the in vivo study confirmed the peripheral parasympathomimetic effect of shilajit (400 µg/mL). The in vitro results revealed that shilajit (400 and 800 µg/mL) relaxed cavernous strips' concentration dependently and enhanced ACh-mediated relaxations. The peripheral parasympathomimetic effects of shilajit were confirmed by blockade of shilajit-induced relaxations (in vitro) and shilajit-induced lowering of MABP and HR (in vivo) by atropine.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acetylcholine / pharmacology
  • Animals
  • Aphrodisiacs / pharmacology
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Erectile Dysfunction / drug therapy
  • Male
  • Minerals / pharmacology*
  • Models, Animal
  • Muscle Relaxation / drug effects
  • Parasympathomimetics / pharmacology*
  • Penis / drug effects*
  • Phytotherapy
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Resins, Plant / pharmacology*


  • Aphrodisiacs
  • Minerals
  • Parasympathomimetics
  • Plant Extracts
  • Resins, Plant
  • mumie
  • Acetylcholine