If you’ve never heard of shungite, you’re not alone. This rare mineral compound only comes from Russia. First found near the village of Shunga, in the region of Karelia, Russia, the largest known deposit is in the Lake Onega area. Two other finds, in the same region of Russia contain the mineraloid. Considering that this territory was part of the now-defunct Soviet Union for the bulk of the last century, it’s not surprising that it is not widely known.
This mineraloid (a naturally occurring mineral substance, that doesn’t have a crystalline structure) is made up of 98 percent carbon, by weight, which probably explains its properties. In addition to the carbon, shungite is reported to contain most of the elements in the Periodic Table, in trace amounts.
Probably the most interesting fact about this mineraloid, from a scientific viewpoint, is that it is reported to contain fullerenes, a fairly rare carbon form or “allotrope”.
A fullerene is a sphere, roughly resembling a soccer ball, made of at least 60 carbon atoms connected together by single and double atomic bonds. These form a partially closed mesh, hollow on the inside. Perhaps it is this molecular structure which gives shungite its ability to purify water.
Related: Does Water Really Expire?
Various Uses of Shungite
Shungite is a definite part of folk healing, specifically the area of healing with minerals and crystals.
It has apparently been in use for thousands of years as a healing crystal, even though it isn’t a crystal.
Those who move in this area have made many claims about the healing properties of shungite, although the scientific testing to prove these claims has not been undertaken.
This hasn’t stopped it from being used though. Shungite has been in use since the time of Ivan the Terrible, who used to take baths in the water of Lake Onega, reportedly receiving benefits from the shungite infused waters. Peter the Great was so impressed with it that he built the first spa in Russia to take advantage of the healing properties.
Shungite has also been used in the cosmetics industry and as a pigment for paint, sold under the name “carbon black”. But probably the most unusual use of shungite has been as a shield for EMF (electromagnetic field, which all electronic devices have).
There has been much fear mongering, possibly with some basis in fact, that EMF is as dangerous to us as atomic radiation. While there is no scientific proof of this yet, supposedly shields of shungite can be used to protect you from the EMF produced by your cell phone and personal computer.
Related: The Safe Zones After an EMP
Using Shungite to Purify Water
The one scientifically proven use for shungite is for the treatment and purification of water.
I’m not sure of this, but apparently the fullerenes in the shungite work much like activated carbon to purify water.
With activated carbon (or activated charcoal) it is the huge large surface area, broken into thousands of facts and exceeding 3,000 m2 per gram, which captures bacteria, protozoa and other microbes.
Fullerenes provide a similar sort of surface area, which could explain the mechanism by which shungite purifies water. It is known that fullerenes work as an antiviral agent.
But whether that is true or not, this property of purifying water has been proven through scientific testing. But not only does shungite remove microscopic pathogens from the water, it also removes almost all metals, nitrates, pesticides, volatile organics, pharmaceuticals, chlorine and fluoride. However, it is not a very effective fluoride filter, as the fluoride fills the pores in the shungite quickly, just as it does with activated carbon.
In addition, water infused with shungite has been shown to smooth wrinkles and eliminate skin irritations, such as itching and rashes. This has not yet been proven scientifically though.
To treat water with shungite, a ratio of 100g of shungite per liter of water should be used. Before use, rinse the shungite to remove any dust particles, just as you would with activated carbon. Then place the shungite in the water and allow to sit for 30 minutes.
That’s enough time to remove microscopic pathogens and make the water safe to drink. If you want to experiment with using the water for any of the healing properties mentioned above, you’ll need to leave the shungite in it for eight to ten hours.
The shungite is not used up by this action and can be reused many times over. It is recommended to air dry the shungite in direct sunlight once every month and replace it after six months of use.
When It’s Time to Survive
Since shungite only comes from one region of Russia, you’re obviously not going to be able to find it locally, or order it online in a post-disaster world. You would need to buy it and store it now, as part of your survival stockpile. However, be aware that shungite is not very cheap, probably due to its rarity. Don’t expect to buy it for the same price as activated carbon.
The good thing is that shungite doesn’t have a shelf life. So if you buy it and add it to your stockpile, it will be just as good when you go back looking for it, as it is today.
You will probably want to set up some sort of filtering container for using the shungite. This could be easily done with one of the glass beverage servers you see people using at parties in their homes. A plastic one might be better, to avoid the risk of it breaking.
Shungite should not be used like activated carbon, where the water is just poured through it, as the last stage of a bio-filter. While you could use the gravel and sand as early filtration stages to eliminate larger items in the water, you need to allow the water to stand in the portion that contains the shungite, not just flow through it. As I mentioned earlier, it needs 30 minutes to react with the water and purify it.
You may also like: