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What Does Shilajit Taste and Smell Like?

by Jason | Last Updated: December 8, 2021

Shilajit is a mysterious, thick, sticky tar-like substance that oozes from the mountains of the Himalayas.

Because it has been in use for centuries in Ayurvedic medicine in India, people in the West are becoming more aware of its health benefits. It is also known as nature’s most potent adaptogen. Adaptogens are natural substances that help the body better cope with stress.

The smell and taste of Shilajit is quite unique. It can smell like a forest after a rainfall and taste like a combination of dirt and tar. The smell and taste of Shilajit can be off putting to many. The taste and smell of Shilajit is often described as bitter, musky, and pungent, but its intensity can really vary depending who you ask.

This guide will help you learn what to expect from the substance, and how to work with its strong features.

What Does Shilajit Taste and Smell Like?

Shilajit is a tar-like substance that is produced in many forms around the world as a health supplement.

Shilajit certainly is earthy, since it is extracted from rocks and roots around the Himalaya mountains. Thankfully, there are plenty of beverages and foods that Shilajit mixes well into to mask its strong flavor.

Does It Taste Good Or Bad?

In general, Shilajit is thought to taste bitter or pungent, but a specific taste for this herb will vary from person to person. Some people say that the taste is not that bad and that it tastes like tar or dirt that has been “lightly sweetened”. Many say that the taste is bitter but not offensive. The taste of Shilajit is largely subjective. Others report that it tastes like dirt and some say that it tastes like nothing. 

As you can tell, there isn’t an overwhelming consensus around the taste of Shilajit. The safest bet is that you’ll find it somewhere between pleasant and unpleasant.

Because of the health benefits that it has to offer, many people tolerate it in their daily regimen. 

Does It Smell Good or Bad?

The smell of Shilajit is described as “pungent,” “strong,” and “earthy”. It is said to smell like dirt, tar, or some type of oily substance. The substance also gets labeled as “musky” or “vegetable-like”. Some compare it to the smell of moss. Like the taste, the smell of Shilajit is largely subjective and will vary from person to person. 

The great thing about Shilajit is that it comes in many forms, and can be consumed without having to interact with the smell or taste.

If the smell is too strong, you can consider taking your Shilajit as a capsule as opposed to a powder or resin form.

In general, most people live with the smell of Shilajit due to its numerous health benefits. 

Why Does It Taste and Smell This Way?

If you know the origins of raw Shilajit, it’s pretty easy to understand why it has a somewhat unpleasant taste and aroma. Shilajit is a tar-like substance that is scraped from the rocks of the mountains of the Himalayas, where it has been collecting for millions of years.

It is formed by pyrite and decomposed organic matter, and its most active compounds actually come from the roots of the Shilajit tree. It is believed that Shilajit collects in pockets of sandy stones that are rich in organic matter, which attract algae and bacteria. 

Shilajit is typically produced in the hilly regions of the Himalayas and the root zones of the Indian subcontinent’s numerous evergreen forests.

As a result of this formation process, it has a very thick, tar-like consistency and a very pungent odor. This also leads to an earthy and complex flavor profile, which ranges in severity from person to person.

How to Improve The Taste of Shilajit?

One sign of authentic Shilajit is its strong and robust flavor and aroma profile. Although this can be deterring, it really is an indication of legitimate Shilajit.

The best approach to starting off with Shilajit is to first try it on its own first. If you find the taste to be too strong or undesirable, mix it into a beverage that can help mask the flavor.

Consider adding milk, honey, or another sweetener to the drink to further improve the taste. 

If Shilajit is tough for you to get down in a simple beverage, the next recommendation would be to add it to a smoothie or meal.

The smoothie is easy – add a serving of Shilajit powder, resin, or liquid drop to the blender and mix it with your daily smoothie. This should be very effective in covering the unwanted taste. If you’re adding it to food, you can come up with unique ways to mix it in. This could be in a soup, salad dressing, or even into a veggie dish. 

Hopefully one of these approaches get you on track to consuming Shilajit stress-free on a regular basis. If none of these work right away, consider increasing your dose amount slowly until you’re better able to tolerate the smell and taste.