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All About Shungite: Fact, Fiction, and Fullerene

As I write this post, a polished piece of shungite sits on my keyboard, covering up a 'MacBook Air' logo. When I bought the piece the woman at my local crystal shop recommended I put it around my devices, but we didn't get a chance to talk about why.

This was after the pandemic started, and the little store was at capacity with six people inside and a line outside. Everyone seemed to be looking to improve their health, and to protect themselves from getting sick. Months later, I've kept the habit of keeping shungite close-by, but now I've started to wonder about it. There has to be a deeper story, I thought. And there is. One that starts about two billion years ago.

It's slightly misleading to find shungite beside amethysts, quartz and citrine crystals. Compared to the other stones, it is a little different. At first glance you might mistake some types of shungite for onyx, black tourmaline or obsidian, but dig a little deeper into what this stone is and what it does, and you'll quickly discover how much of a powerhouse is contained within.

In this article, we'll go over what shungite stone is, how its use has evolved over the past 300 years, why it's used today, and how you can start working with this stone in your daily life to protect your energy and heal your body.

 

Table of Contents

The History

Shungite Stone 300 Years Ago 

Peter the Great, a ruler of Russia in the 1700s, is the first record we have of royalty using the stone for health-related benefits. He is specifically reported to have used shungite for water purification, and is said to have demanded soldiers in the Great Northern War between Russia and Sweden (really, Sweden?).

Even though there are many who don't know about or use shungite today, as you can tell, it's been around for a while and its benefits have been known for generations.

Shungite Today 

Fast forward to today, and people around the world use shungite stone for more than water purification: protection from the harmful effects of human contact with electromagnetic fields. Peter the Great and his soldiers in Russia would have had no idea the little black stones they were carrying around would mean so much to us years later.

Today shungite stones are still recognized for their purification properties, and for their grounding, stabilizing energy.

The methods to using shungite are almost deceptively simple, but have been found to be effective.

 

What is Shungite Stone?

The origin of the name 'shungite' is simple enough; it's literally derived from the place the stone was first found. A village where you can probably imagine this discovery was the most exciting thing to ever happen, in Shun'ga, Karelia (a republic of Russia).

Picture of a village in Karelia, Russia. Photo by Tetiana SHYSHKINA on Unsplash.

Picture of a village in Karelia, Russia. Photo by Tetiana SHYSHKINA on Unsplash.

Back in the 1700s, shungite was described as less a 'stone' and more a 'mineraloid' that was made up of 98% carbon.

Shungite stones and accessories readily available today have a much lower concentration of carbon, and are often mixed with other elements.

Shungite Stone Types

Shungite stone is available in three types: type I, which is delicate and silver in color, and has the highest concentration of carbon (90% or more). Other names for this type of shungite stone are ‘elite’ or ‘noble’. It is also very rare and very fragile.

Type II is sturdy enough to be shaped, and has a carbon concentration of 50 to 70%. This type is also known as ‘Petrovsky’ shungite. It is often a dark grey color or black, and is sturdy enough to be carved and polished.

Last is type III, called ‘regular’ shungite, and is also black. It has the lowest carbon concentration at 30 to 50% and is also easily shaped.

There are also other types of shungite, sometimes called ‘shungite rock’, that have even lower concentrations of carbon.

Examples of shungite stones, type I, II, and III. Type one is shiny and looks grey-silver. Types two and three are black, and could have a fine dust.

Examples of shungite stones, type I, II, and III.

 

The Science on Electromagnetic Frequencies (EMFs)

There is science that proves the electronics we use every day are affecting our health. At the very least, we know that everything in our environment affects us. We're affected by the shows we watch, the music we listen to, even the quiet hum of an electric fan.

Our bodies and energy can pick up on subtle changes in our physical environments, so it's no wonder that the invisible networks that power our devices would affect us too. The only issue is how.

What Are EMFs?

Our computers, cell phones, televisions, baby monitors, modems, connected cars and devices all emit frequencies that are undetected to the human eye. These are electromagnetic frequencies, commonly called ‘EMFs’.

Just because EMFs are undetectable doesn't mean our bodies aren’t affected by these emissions.

To the casual observer, it doesn't look like there's any danger from using our phones or wifi connected devices. But, if you'll allow me to go all Neil-deGrasse-Tyson for a moment, considering the history of human life on planet earth, we haven't had this technology for that long.

In a larger context, considering billions of years of life on planet earth, the internet has not been around for a long time.

If our ancestors had cell phones and computers and wifi and 5G, maybe we'd have more information about what the effects are on our physical bodies. The truth is, despite 25,000 studies being published on the topic (according to the World Health Organization), the effect of EMFs on humans is not considered common knowledge just yet. We're still learning.

Every Day EMF

The real issue is with low-levels of EMF exposure. It's easier to see what the impact is for high level exposure. But what happens when we're exposed over long periods of time to EMF from our devices, being in wired cities, or even electrical outlets?

Electromagnetic frequencies have been around for a while, and they are a part of everyday life for millions of people. Photo by Christian Lue on Unsplash.

Electromagnetic frequencies have been around for a while, and they are a part of everyday life for millions of people. Photo by Christian Lue on Unsplash.

What the Studies Say (So Far)

According to the WHO: "Despite the feeling of some people that more research needs to be done, scientific knowledge in this area is now more extensive than for most chemicals. Based on a recent in-depth review of the scientific literature, the WHO concluded that current evidence does not confirm the existence of any health consequences from exposure to low level electromagnetic fields. However, some gaps in knowledge about biological effects exist and need further research."

The WHO goes on to further admit that "[s]ome members of the public have attributed a diffuse collection of symptoms to low levels of exposure to electromagnetic fields at home. Reported symptoms include headaches, anxiety, suicide and depression, nausea, fatigue and loss of libido. To date, scientific evidence does not support a link between these symptoms and exposure to electromagnetic fields."

What the Studies Don't Say

But the WHO is a multinational organization, one that some would say has an interest in not sharing all of the facts.

In an article on the benefits of shungite, health writer Valerie Burke (who has a background in allopathic and integrative medicine, and a master's degree in nursing science, according to their bio) points to numerous studies that outline exactly how EMFs affect the human body. One study found low-level EMFs put stress on humans on a cellular level.

Then there are studies that show EMFs can increase the concentration of free radicals. According to Burke, "[f]ree radical damage is linked to anxiety, dementia, autism, ADHD, cardiac arrhythmias, depression, and infertility." As you can see, much of the damage caused to the body by free radicals sound similar to what the WHO calls those 'diffuse collection of symptoms.'

The good news is, science shows there are a few ways to mitigate the effects of free radicals and other harm from EMFs.

 

Why Shungite?

Full of Fullerene

What gives shungite stone its power is a part of it's carbon composition, specifically a molecule called fullerene. These molecules are shaped and look kind of like soccer balls (which is why they're also called 'buckeyballs').

The reason they're special in the context of shungite is because these are the molecules that are said to give the stone its healing and protective properties. Fullerenes act like a sponge for free radicals. So the more carbon shungite has, the more fullerene, and the stronger its ability to heal and protect.

Model of a fullerene molecule.

Model of a fullerene molecule. Unaltered image from Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0.

Shungite Stone Power

Regina Martino literally wrote the book on shungite. A geobiologist and bioenergy expert, Martino specializes in stones and crystals, and has been studying the effect of shungite on the body for over ten years.

When they first encountered shungite in 2006, they were studying how crystals—not just shungite—have the ability to change human energy fields when placed nearby and worn on the body. Working on a team of researchers, Martino says they discovered that shungite was a natural source of protection for human life.

According to Martino and other experts, shungite can neutralize EMFs. The stone is able to convert the radiation from our devices into energy that is not harmful to our energy and bodies.

 

Shungite Stones for Purification, Healing and Protection

There are two common ways you can purchase shungite. It can come as chips in a small bag, or more polished in different shapes, either for jewelry or for your space. The last type of shungite is often type II or or type III. Although it has a lower carbon concentration than type I, it has been found to still provide protective benefits.

Generally, there are three ways of using shungite that are most common.

Shungite in Water

The first: placing in water. Thanks to billions of years of history, and Peter the Great, we know that simply placing some shungite in water for 48 hours is sufficient for purification.

A study from 2017 showed that when placed in water, shungite is able to absorb bacteria, viruses, and pathogens. The study further found that the surface of shungite is able to absorb up to 95% of of contaminants in water. In the results of the study, they found the qualities of shungite made it “... an effective filter material for wastewater treatment and purification from organic and chlorinated organic substances (oil, pesticides, phenols, surfactants, dioxins, etc.).”

This all means that you can basically place some shungite in water and with time, your water will be pure of most of the stuff you don’t want in it.

When looking for shungite, you have to know what you’re looking for. Shungite for water purification looks very different than jewelry or for in your home (which we’ll get into later).

Types II and III often come with a fine black dust that you'll need to rinse off before using it. Elite shungite can be used in water and might need a little rinsing, but because of how it’s formed, it generally does not have the same dust.

Usually you can use a jug of water and just place the stones in side. If you’re using the type of stones that have black dust, rinse the stones before placing in the water you intend to use.

You can use the same stones for some time; some sources say you can use the same stones for purification for a year. Other sources say you never need to replace shungite chips for water.

According to an article published on Healthline, ingesting shungite water could help you with everything from allergies, sore throats and asthma, to chronic fatigue, autoimmune disorders, arthritis, and problems with the liver, kidney, and gallbladder. This, however, is based on theory. Because of shungite’s properties, its believed water purified with shungite could help with a variety of ailments.

Aside from being ingested, shungite and shungite water can also be used on the skin. There are many ways to use shungite cosmetically, such as taking a bath using water or using shungite powder for a facial mask or scrub.

Shungite stones in water.

Shungite stones in water.

Pro tip: Once you’re ready to change your water purification stones, don’t throw them out! Once you’re ready to change your shungite stones, take the old chips and use them in your garden or potted plants. Just place the stones in the soil and let them do their work.

Wearing Shungite

Types II and III shungite could be called 'fun shungite' because they can be molded into nearly any shape, large or small, which means you can readily find shungite jewelry in the form of bracelets, necklaces, rings, pendants, and more.

Some people report an immediate shift in their energy on holding or touching a shungite piece. In Shungite: Protection, Healing, and Detoxification, author Martino describes what it was like the first time their team handled shungite.

“The first sensation we felt was that of a lightning-fast impact that spread up through the body, followed by a great expansion of life energy along with a beautiful feeling of substantiality or energetic density...”.

Martino’s team has conducted studies on what happens when crystals are near the body, and found that compared to other stones, shungite expands the vital field the most. It also had the effect of ‘significant’ expansion of the first (or root) chakra.

Photo by Sirio on Unsplash.
Shungite stone is available in countless styles as jewelry. Photo by Sirio on Unsplash.

Not only did they notice this stone was able to balance all of the chakras, but the stone was also able to ground overall energies, specifically the body’s energetic field that is impacted by EMFs.

Martino and other researchers say that EMFs impact an energy called a ‘torsion field’. As a disclaimer, this phenomenon is not widely accepted by scientific experts. Nonetheless, those who say they have studied torsion fields note that a healthy field turns to the right, while unhealthy torsion fields turn to the left. EMFs, according to them, force torsion fields to the left.

Shungite, Martino says, helps protect the body against the negative effects of left-turning torsion fields.

This is one of the reasons why shungite is thought to be a highly protective stone. Not only is it said to protect human energy fields from the harmful effects of EMF, but because it’s a grounding stone it can help with building a secure and protected energy.

Wearing a piece of shungite or at least carrying a small piece in a pocket or bag during the day is one way to that many people protect and strengthen their energetic field. 

Placebo or no Placebo?

How much of what people report experiencing with shungite stone could be explained by the placebo effect?

There are many doctors and scientists who discuss the human energy field but don’t seem to be as enthusiastic about shungite as Martino and other shungite stans.

It could lead us to wonder: if shungite is as powerful as some say it is, why isn’t it more widely accepted? 

We also know how long it can take for science to catch up to what we already know. For years, meditation was considered “woo-woo”, to take a term from Oprah. These days it’s widely accepted that meditation is key to inner peace and focus.

When it comes to your body and your health, the experts don’t know everything. While there might be some placebo effect, this points to the reason I call types II and II shungite ‘fun’. If you’ve never had a piece of shungite jewelry and find one you like, you can always try it and see how you feel with the piece in your hands or on your body.

Like Martino, you might feel an impact and expansion right away, and if you feel more grounded and aligned with shungite stone, there’s nothing an expert can say that will change that experience for you.

Decorating with Shungite

In addition to jewelry, shungite is available in some very cool structures and toys. The stone itself has a distinct look, as if it’s keeping secrets. Whose secrets, no one knows. And when a little creativity is applied, the stark, black color with just slight hints of brown, white, and metallics, and solid weight of a type II or III shungite gives it a vibe that is equally as mysterious as it is magical.

So it makes the perfect addition to your home decor since whatever your style, you can probably find a shungite stone that fits. Solid skulls, pyramids, cones, cubes, and spheres of all sizes are common. As are more complicated geometric shapes like obelisks. There are shungite statues and figurines, dishes and plateware. You can even find massage mats with shungite cones installed. And if you already collect stones and crystals, you might think adding shungite to your collection is a no-brainer.

Crystals such as amethyst, citrine, and pyrite are often used alon

Crystals such as amethyst, citrine, and pyrite are often used alongside shungite for their healing properties. Photo by Emily Karakis on Unsplash.

But what’s the point of all this?

As mentioned previously, some scientists have discovered shungite has a natural ability to neutralize the destabalizing impact of EMFs in the energy around us. This then creates a compelling argument for placing EMF slates or tiles under or around the places in your home that emit the highest concetration of frequencies, like having a disc that you put your phone on.

The research and experts suggest that just having shungite near devices can help neutralize EMF radiation, so placing a large tile under your modem, or a pyramid on your computer desk would be enough to protect your environment. Some experts say it’s fine to place a large pyramid or figurine somewhere central to protect a space.

Some shungite discs are made as an adhesive, which makes it easy to place on the back of a laptop or smartphone.

Manifesting with Shungite

There’s another way you can use shungite that deserves at least a mention: for clearing, protecting and healing your energy.

We’ve discussed how shungite has been found to be an excellent grounding and centering stone. If you keep a piece in your home office or around your computer, you can meditate using the stone with an intention for being focused and centered at work, or whatever conditions you want to create.

Getting a stone that is shaped in a way that means something to you is a great way to strengthen this practice. A shungite egg, for example, might represent fertility and the birthing of new ideas to make more money.

Simply hold the stone and repeat a mantra a few times, while concentrating on the condition you want. Or you can hold the stone and meditate. You can picture the stone’s energy going into you or the work you’re doing and imagine yourself focused throughout the day.

Photo by Darius Bashar on Unsplash.

Photo by Darius Bashar on Unsplash.

 

How To Know If Your Shungite Stones Are Real

Shungite has become more and more popular in recent years. With the recent boom in online shopping, anyone in the market for shungite needs to be aware that the fakes are out there.

To really know if the stone you have is real, you’d have to get some high tech equipment. And if you don’t use or have those already, getting an authentic piece may require some trust and a little research (though you’re reading this, so you already have a head start).

1. The Look. As discussed, types II and III of this stone can be polished, though the stone is not solid black. This might be hard to see if you’re shopping online, but shungite stones will often have barely noticeable lines and specs on their surface. Types II and III shungite for water will most likely come in a bag, and as mentioned before, will have a fine black dust.

If you’re in the market for elite shungite, keep in mind this stone is fragile. It’s not possible to shape elite shungite into pyramids or skulls. Type I shungite should appear ‘raw’, meaning not shaped or polished in any way, and be handled with care. An elite shungite stone in the shape of a pyramid is probably not the good energy stone you’re looking for. It’s a red flag.

2. The Feel. Polished shungite does not really respond to being scratched, so trying to damage the surface will not permanently alter the look of the stone. If you scratch your piece and black paint comes off… Well it’s not good news.

If you have a shungite piece in the shape of a wand, you could try using it on your smartphone. Shungite is a conductor, and its unique material makes it capable of interacting with touch devices. Instead of using your fingers, you could type out a text message using a wand or other shungite piece that’s easy to handle. This video below demonstrates an easy and effective way to determine if your shungite is real with a flashlight.

 

Protecting Yourself and Your Family From EMFs

Having shungite stones in your home and wearing a piece can help to neutralize the impact of EMFs, but there's more you can do to reduce your exposure to harmful radiation. Here are a few ideas:

  1. Turn off wifi when you're not using it; especially while sleeping.
  2. Get outside in nature as much as possible, and if the weather allows, try grounding.
  3. Support your body's immune system by eating healthy, getting a lot of water and optimizing your sleep (meaning: keep your phone away from your bed).

Key Takeaways

Ask anyone about the effects of electromagnetic radiation, and the topic of shungite may or may not come up. Available in esoteric and crystal shops across North America, the material is not quite a crystal, but its purported benefits rival that of any amethyst, moldavite, or citrine. Yet, it still remains a secret to thousands of people.

Some sources say the stone is pretty close to a cure-all.

It's been connected to helping with both physical to non-physical ailments. Perhaps the most interesting and unique of its healing and protective properties is the ability to cancel out the negative effects of electromagnetic frequencies, or EMFs.

There are many things we can do to protect our bodies, minds, and energies from the EMFs in the air all around us. Studies on shungite stones show that this ancient mineral can cleanse water, balance our chakras, and protect us from harmful radiation.

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