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Barley - Yaks - Salt - Shilajit


Since the TAR (Tibet Autonomous Region) includes most of the larger Tibetan cities, let's look at their economy rather than the entire Tibetan area which now makes up more than half of the China land mass and is mostly nomadic.

The common staple, Tsampa, a roasted barley flour, is found in every Tibetan household. Not only is it mixed with yak butter to make a food treat it is also shaped into cones as sacrificial donations for the monastery.

Tibet (TAR) is a land of minimal rainfall and has a short growing season. The only extensive agricultural region is the Yarlung Zangbo valley, where barley, wheat, potatoes, millet, rye, buckwheat, turnips and various fruits and vegetables are grown. In this valley as well are nearly all the large cities, including Lhasa, Xigazę (Shigatse), and Gyangzę (Gyangtse).

Cotton, soybeans, and hemp are grown as commercial crops. Some coal is mined. Most businesses are owned and operated by Han Chinese who have migrated to the "TAR" since the Chinese invasion in 1949. Manufacturing, such as textiles, has expanded but remains limited to a relatively few small-scale enterprises. Tourism is a growing industry and some lucky Tibetans are finding a vehicle to success through tourism.

Pastoral agriculture still makes up most of the economic activities of the Tibetan populace. Most rural areas of Tibet are suited only for grazing; yaks, which can withstand the intense cold, are the principal domesticated animals. Livestock raising is the primary economic structure of the Northern Plateau. Yaks (cattle with very long hair/fur) are seen almost everywhere in Tibetan regions. More information on yaks can be found on Wikipedia. In addition to sheep, cattle, and goats, the herds include camels, horses, and other beasts of burden. Arable land is limited in density, concentrated mostly in the river valleys.


Traditionally, traded goods, particularly foreign trade, were carried by pack trains (yaks, mules, and horses) across the windswept high plateau and over difficult mountain passes. In exchange for hides, wool, and salt they accepted tea and silk from China and manufactured goods from India.
Roads now connect Lhasa with Qamdo (Chamdo) in Eastern Tibet and with Xigazę and Gyangzę in the Yarlung Zangbo area and link Gar (Gartok) in Western Tibet to the northern regions. A major highway runs from Tibet (TAR) to Chengdu, in Sichuan province, providing a link to some Chinese cities in the east. Tibet (TAR) is also connected by highway with Xinjiang and Qinghai in Western China. A rail link to Qinghai province was opened in 2006.
Train to Tibet

In addition to vast salt reserves, Tibet has large deposits of gold, copper, and radioactive ores. Chinese media reports say more than one hundred minerals have been found in Tibet, and that it has the largest copper and chromium reserves in China. Tibet is rich in mineral resources. Gold has been found in many areas, and significant deposits of iron ore, coal, salt, and borax are also present. Other known mineral resources include oil shale, manganese, lead, zinc, quartz, and graphite. Jade, lapis lazuli, and other precious and semiprecious stones have also been discovered. Mining in Tibet has become more commercially feasible with the opening of a railway linking it to the rest of the country in 2006. The increased mineral extraction activities and exploitation of Tibet's non-renewable resources such as gold are politically controversial. Himalayan Salt is the purest and most healthy salt available. Millions of years ago, a primordial sea was evaporated by the sun, leaving utterly pristine crystalline salt. Today, this crystal salt, buried deep in the Himalayan Mountains, is mined and processed gently by hand. The moment it again touches water, this special salt comes alive, and sets free its inherent, stored healing energy properties that can benefit human and likely animal entities.

For over 250 million years Himalayan rose-colored crystal salt remained untouched...until now. This salt comes from a time when the planet Earth was a pristine ecosystem. Containing the 84 minerals essential to human life, this salt is truly an ocean of energy! The degree of compression within this mountain range was so extreme that it created perfectly structured crystal grids within the salt. It has plenty of health benefits and is used in natural cures and alternative medicine for many ailments.

If you're really interested in the nomads of Tibet, here's a very interesting film. Shot under extreme conditions in one of the world’s most remote and beautiful locations, THE SALTMEN OF TIBET documents the ancient traditions and daily rituals of a Tibetan nomadic community and transports us into a realm untainted by the tides of foreign invasion or encroaching modernity. Step by step follow the unforgettable, annual three-month pilgrimage to the holy salt lakes of northern Tibet. This is not a fast-paced thriller, for sure, but if you are really interested in "knowing" the life of this fascinating people, this movie is worth a watch. So what's all the hype? The body must have salt to live. Without salt your cells cannot absorb the water you drink. Table salt is chemically extracted sodium, only ONE of the 84 minerals found in real salt.
  • Re-mineralizing the body with 84 minerals and trace elements essential to health
  • Replenishing electrolytes
  • Balancing the body's pH
  • Improving respiratory, circulatory, organ, connectivity tissue and nervous system functions.
  • Assisting in the cellular absorption of nutrients.
Shilajit, found in the Tibetan Himalayas between 1000 and 10,000 feet as well as other areas of the Himalayas is used in Ayurveda, the traditional Indian system of medicine. Collected by nomads around Tibetan high altitude plateaus and sold to agents who market to the anti-aging marketplace around the world, this product supports a small portion of the Tibetan population. The rediscovery of the power of shilajit is said to have been made by Himalayan villagers observing large white monkeys migrate to the mountains in the warm summer months. The monkeys were seen to be chewing a semi-soft substance that flowed from between layers of rock. The villagers attributed the monkey’s great strength, longevity and wisdom to the strange substance. They began to consume it themselves and reported a broad spectrum of improvements in health. It seemed to give them more energy, relieve digestive problems, Increase sex drive, improve memory and cognition, improve diabetes, reduce allergies, improve the quality and quantity of life and it seemed to cure all diseases. They stay healthy and live for a long time with regular consumption of this exudate. Shilajit is a rasayana herb and is an adaptogen. Shilajit contains at least 85 minerals in Ionic form as well as humic acid and fulvic acid. As everyone knows, aging is one of the bitter facts of life which leaves no one untouched, neither the strong, healthy or wealthy. But aging is not necessarily inevitable, at least not like we know it today. Indian Yogis had always known of a certain elixir from Himalayan mountains known as Shilajit which could go a long way in arresting and reversing the aging process. Shilajit is a Sanskrit word meaning "conqueror of mountains and destroyer of weakness". Shilajit, found in the higher altitudes of the Himalayas, is collected during the summer months after the ice thaws, and Shilajeet lumps are sometimes spotted and collected from crannies in rocks and precipices. Check out this photo of Shilajit taken in Yushu, being held by nomads trying to sell their collection for a VERY HIGH price (comparative to costs in this area).

‘Charaka Samhita’ describes that "there is hardly any curable disease which cannot be controlled or cured with the application of Shilajit. Shilajit is described as an effective tonic for anemia and general debility. It regulates uterine contractions and promotes expulsion of the fetus. It is used like an antiseptic in parasitic diseases of the skin in the form of paste is locally applied to relieve rheumatic pain in joints and to strengthen muscles in the cases of paralysis. Shilajit is markedly effective in the treatment of various complications arising from diabetes. In Ayurveda it is indicated for use as alterative, anodyne, antiphlogistic, antiseptic, aphrodisiac, cholagogue, disinfectant, diuretic, expectorant, intestinal antiseptic, mildly laxative, parasiticide, rejuvenative, respiratory stimulant and as general tonic. Improves immunity and protects heart, brain and other vital organs of body


The following health properties are found in Shilajit:
  • Helps accelerate processes of protein and nucleic acid metabolism and stimulates energy providing reactions.
  • Counteracts Diabetes and regulates the blood sugar level.
  • Purifies blood, improves functioning of pancreas and strengthens digestion.
  • Reduces fat, dissolves tumors, and counteracts thirst.
  • Promotes the movement of minerals, especially calcium, phosphorous, and magnesium into muscle tissue and bone.
  • Stimulates the immune system and improves restoration (recovery) after exercise.
  • Increases levels of growth hormone in diabetic patients and is a potent anti-ulcer agent.

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Shilajit is processed by several drug manufacturers and presented in capsule form for human consumption. In Sanskrit the literal meaning of Shilajit is " Rock Like " - the power to make our body like a rock enabling it to withstand the ravages of time. MORE























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