Shungite is primarily found in Russia, and the main deposit is in the Lake Onega area of Karelia, at Zazhoginskoye, near Shunga, from which it received its name. It has a biogenic origin (meaning it was produced by living organisms) and is an elementary, non-crystalline carbon being almost pure at about 98% carbon make up. It is a relatively ‘soft’ stone, and geologists have found that its origins date back around two billion years.
It should be noted that Shungite is one of the only known natural sources of fullerenes, which has made the scientists who have been testing it extremely interested in not only its properties, but how mankind may be able to use it.
What are fullerenes? Carbon nanotubes were originally discovered and synthesized in 1991. After their discovery, tiny quantities of fullerenes were found to be produced in sooty flames, and by lightning discharges in the atmosphere. Then, in 1992, fullerenes were found in the family of minerals known as Shungites. Fullerenes are active molecules that can be used as an antioxidant because they easily react with radicals due to the high affinity of its electron. They are also being used as an anti-aging and anti-damage agent in the cosmetic sector, and there are some claims of use as antiviral agents.
Because of its high concentration of fullerenes, there is a lot of discussion right now as to Shungite’s antiviral qualities. In light of the current world-wide pandemic, please understand there is NO SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE suggesting this. NONE. While there has been discovery of certain beneficial healing properties, and it is being looked at for a future aid to allergic conditions, including asthma, that is the extent of provable scientific exploration to date.
While we would all love to have this magic bullet at our fingertips to fight Covid-19, again, there is NO SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE that Shungite has that power. It DOES have good anti-bacterial qualities, which has been proven in water filtering tests, and has been used by many to filter water since the 1990’s.