In recent years, healing crystals have become increasingly popular. These stones are believed to possess qualities that can enhance the health of your mind, body, and soul in various ways.

Healing crystals are generally used as a form of complementary and alternative medicine. Complementary medicine is a practice that’s used in combination with standard therapies, while alternative medicine is used instead of it.

There are many types of healing crystals, but some are exceptionally unique. One example is shungite, a rare stone that’s said to work against pollutants, free radicals, and harmful germs. There are also claims that it may help shield you from electromagnetic field exposure.

Let’s take a closer look at shungite and its uses. We’ll also explore what the science says about this stone, plus how it’s traditionally used.

Shungite is a rare black stone made of up to 99 percent carbon. It’s mainly found in Shunga, a village in Karelia, Russia.

The stone has a unique composition. It contains fullerenes, or 3-D spherical molecules made of 60 carbon atoms. These molecules are hollow and sometimes called buckyballs.

Along with fullerenes, shungite consists of nearly all the minerals on the periodic table.

The origin of shungite is a mystery. Typically, materials made of carbon come from decayed organic substances like old forests. But the stone is thought to be at least 2 billion years old. This is before organic life existed on the planet.

Some theories of shungite’s origins include:

  • a large meteorite collided into Earth and deposited shungite into the ground
  • shungite formed due to microorganisms in nearby water
  • the composition of organic matter in sedimentary rocks changed over time

Although scientists are unsure of how shungite was formed or where it came from, they attribute the stone’s potential benefits to its fullerene content.

To date, there’s little scientific evidence on the benefits of shungite — many are anecdotal or need more solid research. We outline the purported benefits of shungite below.

Kills bacteria and viruses

Fullerenes, which are found in shungite, are a type of carbon nanostructure (CNS). CNSs are different physical forms of carbon.

According to a 2017 review of studies, CNSs can destroy harmful pathogens. They reportedly work by damaging the cell walls of bacteria and viruses. Additionally, when CNSs interact with microbes, the microbes lose electrons and die.

However, it’s unclear what this means for human disease. More studies are needed to understand how the fullerenes in shungite can specifically affect pathogens.

Purifies water

Since ancient times, shungite has been used to purify water. This is due to its alleged activity against bacteria and viruses.

A 2018 study states that shungite can filter water by removing contaminants and organic substances like pesticides. A 2017 study also found that carbon from shungite can remove radioactive compounds from water.

Reduces oxidative stress

According to a 2017 animal study, shungite has antioxidant properties.

Researchers exposed mice to ultraviolet B radiation for 2 days. This caused skin damage and oxidative stress in the mice’s skin. Oxidative stress is caused by reactive oxygen species, or molecules that damage healthy cells.

Then, for 7 days, the researchers applied a shungite solution to the mice’s damaged skin. This decreased ROS production and increased the activity of antioxidant enzymes.

These results may seem promising, but it’s important to remember that the study was only done in mice. Additional research is needed to understand shungite’s antioxidant potential for humans.

Reduces inflammation

In the above-mentioned 2017 animal study, shungite was found to reduce inflammation. The researchers measured lower levels of inflammatory markers, including cytokines, or proteins involved in inflammation.

Because of this benefit, the scientists speculated that shungite may be useful for inflammatory diseases. Again, more research is necessary.

Eases physical ailments

Traditionally, water infused with shungite has been used for:

  • allergies
  • sore throats
  • asthma
  • gastric issues
  • arthritis
  • kidney problems
  • liver problems
  • gallbladder issues
  • autoimmune disease
  • pancreatic dysfunction
  • chronic fatigue

Theoretically, it’s believed that if shungite has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, it could help these conditions.

However, research is lacking in this area, and there’s currently no clinical evidence to support the theory that shungite-infused water can help treat these conditions. As such, it’s safer to follow standard medical treatment protocols instead.

Shields electromagnetic field (EMF) emissions

Users of shungite say the stone has the ability to shield you from EMF emissions.

Many people refer to an old 2003 study, where shungite reportedly protected rats against electromagnetic irradiation.

Yet, the study is outdated and only involves animals. This phenomenon has some support theoretically, but more research is needed to see if there’s any benefit for humans.

Relieves stress

According to anecdotal reports, shungite is helpful for relieving stress. It’s believed to soak up negative energy and balance emotions.

Shungite can be used in several ways. According to those who use it regularly, you can:

  • Infuse your water. Historically, shungite is used to purify water. You can use a shungite filter or place the stones in water for 2 to 3 days.
  • Wear it as jewelry. Like other stones, shungite is available as beads or pendants.
  • Carry it in your bag. This allows you to benefit from shungite’s healing properties when you’re on the go. Another option is to place the stone in your pocket.
  • Place it near EMF sources. Some people put the stone near electronic devices, like microwaves and Wi-Fi routers, to shield them from EMF.
  • Display shungite in your home. It’s recommended to put the stone near your bed to help you destress and improve your sleep.
  • Meditate with the stone. You can meditate near the stone or place it on your body.

Even though the research supporting crystals is lacking, some people swear by their benefits. Here’s a look at some popular crystals and their purported abilities:

  • Clear quartz. Known as the “master healer,” clear quartz is believed to enhance energy and internal balance.
  • Rose quartz. This pink crystal is thought to encourage connection and love with others and oneself.
  • Amethyst. Amethyst is said to offer protection, humility, spiritual wisdom, and stress relief.
  • Obsidian. Some people use obsidian to protect against emotional and physical negativity.
  • Sapphire. This blue crystal is thought to symbolize wisdom, peace, and good fortune.
  • Ruby. Historically, ruby has been used to increase confidence and energy.
  • Turquoise. Turquoise is believed to support immunity, healing, and creativity.

Shungite is a carbon-rich stone that’s believed to reduce inflammation, oxidative stress, and EMF exposure. Some also claim it can purify water and relieve emotional stress.

Despite these benefits, the research on shungite is lacking. However, if you’d like to use the stone, there’s generally no harm in trying.

You can buy shungite at natural health stores, jewelry stores, or online. Just be sure it’s certified as shungite before buying the stone.