Lessons from Russia: Karelian Shungite

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Louis Pasteur said “We drink 85% of our diseases”. According to World Health Organisation statistics, more than 80% of all illnesses are either directly or indirectly connected with the consumption of polluted drinking-water. We might be taking more care of our health nowadays, but are our waters getting any cleaner?

Elite Shungite - perfect to filter your water

Elite Shungite - perfect to filter your water

The Ancient Healing Stone

Shungite is a mostly carbon mineral found exclusively in The Republic of Karelia (it’s in Russia, unless you knew that already). Shungite’s unique high-carbon composition enables it to cleanse water and even saturate it with elements that are beneficial to our health, such as anti-oxidative and antibacterial properties. The carbon nature of the stone and its porous structure gives it a filtering capacity, enabling shungite to hold up to 95% of pollutive elements including organic compounds, heavy metals, fluoride, chlorine, pesticides, radon and harmful microorganisms. When water is treated with shungite, the antioxidants it contains eliminate free radicals and other impurities in water, and the fullerenes it contains give it medicinal properties.

Springs and lakes near the sources of shungite are known to have had very pure water for centuries, and are considered sites of healing.

I don’t think it’s clear any more what is and isn’t safe to drink, and shungite is a brilliant way of purifying water in your own home.

More about Shungite

Shungite is a 2-billion year old stone which is predominantly found in the Russian region of Karelia in a village called Shunga. Shungite has anti-inflammatory properties, and can help reduce pain and stress. Shungite is a rich source of fullerenes and offers these health benefits:

  • energises, mineralises + enriches water with vitamins and antioxidants, making it perfect for daily washing

  • aids detoxification in the body

  • improves cell function

  • reduces inflammation

  • induces recovery and speeds up healing

  • improves overall immune system

  • conducts electricity

  • grounding stone, aids meditation + eases anxiety

  • induces positive energy

  • helps with focus

  • boosts mental health

  • assists spiritual growth

  • helps focus + meditate, aids in attaining a higher state of consciousness

  • helps negate radiation from electronic devices (EMF)

  • glowing skin and strong hair (cellular repair)

  • grounding + energising for those with stress and chronic fatigue

Some even apply shugite topically to skin to treat acne, spots, cuts and other skin-related problems. Drinking acidic shungite water helps to treat chronic respiratory issues, headaches, aches in joints and muscles as well as problems with the digestive system.

Shungite contains natural fullerenes. Firstly, they are considered to be the most powerful antioxidants or free-radicals catchers. To put it simply, they protect us from premature ageing, improve our skin and protect from other negative influence of radicals. Secondly, fullerenes tend to normalise cellular metabolism and increase cells’ resistance to external influence. They accelerate detoxification and slow down the growth of cancer cells. They work much like antioxidants found in Vitamin A and Vitamin C. The difference? These natural fullerenes have a stronger and longer-lasting effect in fighting against free radicals in the body, and shungite is the only natural source.

How to Make Shungite Water

1. Wash shungite stones to remove any dirt or post-production dust. 

2. Infuse 150 - 200g regular shungite stones or 50 - 70g elite shungite stones per 1L of water for two - three days. Shungite starts filtrating water within the first few hours, but the longer shungite has in the water, the more benefits you will receive by drinking it.

3. Clean and charge your stones regularly.

If you plan on buying Shungite to filter water, choose unpolished elite shungite nuggets over and above any Type II or III or polished stones because they contain more organic carbon. 

Take a Shungite Bath

Bathing in shungite water benefits your health, well-being, growth and recovery.

Infuse 400 - 500g shungite stones in warm bath water for 15-20 minutes. Then hop in!

Nina Kolesnikova, head of a sanatorium near Moscow, used shungite baths as a way to treat patients suffering with joint problems, hypertension and psoriasis. She found that the ailments of patients bathing for 10 - 15 minutes each day became more stable. Patients suffering from psoriasis and joint pain were treated with shungite paste to the affected areas and this saw a reduction in lesions and pain.

The Top 5 Ways to Wear Shungite

Here are my favourite ways to get the healing benefits from shungite’s healing and protective properties:

1) Pendants

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Shungite offers benefits not only to the physical body, but also to the subtle body (energy, the chakras). This grounding stone relates to the root chakra and offers us stability when we need it most. Shungite neutralises excess charge from the body, including negativity, and drains it into the ground. The healing power of shungite stone offers benefits to the cardiovascular system; it improves blood circulation, functioning of the immune and some other internal systems of your body. Our neck, ears and wrists are highly sensitive parts of our body with different bioactive spots. Wearing shungite as a piece of jewellery enhances the curative effect of the stone. Wear your stone as a pendant close to the throat and chest to offer your heart and thyroid gland much-needed support. Shungite jewellery is your must-have if you suffer from headaches, insomnia or anxiety.

2) Bracelets

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Some research has proven that shungite can be used to control hyperactivity in children by having them wear shungite as a bracelet (google Regina Martino to learn about shungite water in small doses). The wrist is a sensitive area which will respond well to the benefits offered by shungite since this area is so sensitive on a subtle level. Shungite’s effect on the body is amplified here, because the wrist is a major receptive area as it is traversed by many meridian lines. Similarly, shungite bracelets or belts could be worn by the elderly who experience pain due to arthritis or ageing. It’s also great for balancing energy when travelling on long journeys and boosting fatigue.

3) Rings

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Shungite as a ring stimulates the huge number of bioactive spots located in our hands and fingers. Shungite also has remarkable electricity-conducting abilities which makes it a great grounder. This can be used to help you focus when attempting to put all of your mental energy towards a specific goal. Whether it be for magic or meditation, shungite can be used to help drive you towards your desired goal or outcome.

It Keeps Negativity at Bay

Due to its deep black color, many believe that it has the ability to protect one from bad luck. It is said that the stone has the ability to shroud a person in darkness so that bad luck cannot find them. Moreover, it can help hold anything negative at bay, and counteract the shadow-self, the unconscious part of our ego that many identify as the dark side of our personality.

anyway, speaking of rings…

4) Mobile phone plate attach this to your phone for protection against electromagnetic radiation.

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The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), a component of the World Health Organization (WHO), have not ruled out the negative effects of EMF and concede that EMFs are “possibly carcinogenic to humans.” Shungite is believed to have the ability to absorb and completely neutralise dangerous frequencies from EMF radiation thanks to the fullerenes it contains. It works to negate the potential harm from devices such as microwaves, televisions, computers and cell phones. It’s scientifically proven that EMF and geopathic stress make the human body vibrate at higher frequencies than normal which can damage our immune systems, making us more sensitive to viruses, bacteria, parasites, environmental pollution, degenerative disease, the list goes on. Electromagnetic hypersensitivity compromises our energy levels and how we are able to function: we might face such problems as chronic fatigue, regular stress, decreased attention span, memory loss, depression, anxiety and insomnia. Moreover EMF and geopathic stress can cause more serious health problems such as increased blood pressure, heart rate and blood sugar, and arthritis.

5) Mobile Phone Stand

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Sleep with your phone near the bed because you use it as an alarm? That’s around 8 hours (if you’re getting enough sleep that is) of exposure to potentially harmful cellphone radiation. This phone stand looks gorgeous and will absorb the EMF for you, so that your body doesn’t have to! Not quite ‘wearable’, but certainly indispensable.

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There are three types of Shungite:


Type I Shungite, or silver shungite: if you are considering taking Shungite seriously and to the next level, then do some research on Type 1 Shungite. This is Shungite in its purest form, considered a perfect natural healer and energy stabiliser. It contains 90 - 98% organic carbon which is what gives it its high energetic potential and will look black, shiny and a little silvery. It’s not cheap! It’s so fragile that it’s hard to shape into the pendants and rings you see pictured, and can be bought as small rocks or stones in their natural shape. Type I is the rarest form of shungite since it only makes up about 1% of all shungite that is found. Make sure you buy from a reputable supplier - Karelian Heritage is one of them.



Type II Shungite, or black shungite: contains 50 - 70% organic carbon. This is the most commonly found as it can be shaped into objects/pendants/rings most easily.

Type III Shungite: contains 30 - 50% organic carbon.

Is Shungite expensive?

The highest quality Shungite is only in the Zazhoginsky mine located in Republic of Karelia Russia. Shungite from other mines is cheaper, especially Shungite slate.

A Face Angel: how to get rid of makeup

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I am slowly, but surely, making up with makeup. For one, it takes time to apply. I am no good at applying it, and even worse at getting it off. The fact that most of my work is on retreat (full face of makeup, hello, who are you?) if wearing makeup demands travelling with remover wipes and extra oil-based cleansers, you can forget it.

Environmentally-far-from-friendly, time-consuming and doesn’t  do the job properly anyway. I wake up in the morning still to a pair of panda eyes and lipstick on my top teeth. Then there’s the pile of wipes on the bedside table that look like Pete Burns went to town on.

Besides, if I need a pick me up then I do Facial Yoga Workout. That works wonders. For those too busy to do a full Facial Workout, watch the video below for 3 of my top Facial Exercises to combat wrinkles and start turning back the clock. If you’re a busy bee, then this is 3 minutes of your time that you should make. After a Facial Yoga Workout many people find that they do not need to apply as much makeup as they would normally.

For those occasions when I do want a face full, I’ve tried something new. Face Halo. They’re reusable, compact and chemical-free. Life is good again.

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Face Halo - The Modern Makeup Remover - works with either cold or warm water to loosen your makeup. Its HaloTech fibre strands reach deep into your pores to remove and trap makeup, giving your skin a healthy and invigorating clean in half the time. You don’t need to rub or scrub, and the pads are machine washable. And there’s one for the body too. You’ve thought of everything guys. You are angels.

Now that’s one way to get rid of makeup. Want a better foundation for your makeup? Work it out! Here is a 3-minute video below to work out the wrinkles in between your eyebrows, lips and bring elasticity back into the neck and jowls.

Facial Yoga, Facial Fitness - whatever the name, it's all Facial Exercise. And it is VERY beneficial for you and your skin.

Watch below for the Full Facial Yoga Workout - if you haven’t got time to watch it now, you can Save it For Later on YouTube :)

Ishga: so much more than water

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Skincare is simple

Be consistent

I find it hard to make time to relax and take good care of my skin. Right now, at the age of 32, I am getting away with it. Only just. I remember my mum banging on at me 10 years ago about the importance of a skincare regime. That was back when I thought I was invincible. Back when I didn’t think I would ever have back pain, wrinkles, or a tendency to talk out loud whilst I write a text message. The soft traces of what will soon become my fully-fledged crow’s feet are a twinkling nod to the many joy-filled hours I have spent over the course of my life laughing with the friends with whom I have been blessed to have had these eye-creasing moments with. Endless laughs and incessant holidays have made less of a dent on my bank account than they have on my skin; I should have listened to mum and started Facial Exercise earlier. Still, it’s never too late, and it’s never too little.

Skincare done well can heal from both the outside and inside. You can use it for both prevent and reverse the signs of ageing. Let me tell you about my 3 most useful ways to relax and feed my skin, even for a girl who’s busy, travels light, and doesn’t like to waste money on products she knows she’ll never use up before their sell by date.

  • hydration

  • facial exercise

  • pick or rotate your desert island product - currently Ishga

HYDRATION

Water is so important for your skin! It helps rid the body of toxins, keep skin clear and can give you a more radiant glow. You can learn more about what water does for your body in my article Effortless improvements in your fitness and body fat composition just by drinking enough WATER.

FACIAL EXERCISE

Facial Yoga, Facial Fitness, it has many different names but all boils down to the same thing: the face has muscles of its own and these can be worked to support healthier complexion and skin. Exercising the muscles of the face gives your skin a firmer foundation (which means less likelihood of wrinkles) and it increases blood flow to skin cells (more nutrients!) and lymphatic drainage. Working the muscles of your face is a vital health and beauty practice that is both preventative and can help reverse the signs of ageing. Our faces are on show far more than anything from the neck down. When we place so much importance on the appearance of our bodies, why not pay some attention to the muscles of the face?

If you’d like to know more about Facial Exercise, join me at The Yoga + Beauty Retreat next weekend 5th-7th April in the Cotswolds.

MY SKINCARE SAVIOURS: seaweed, sea salt and water

Seaweed is one of the world’s most naturally abundant sources of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, anti-oxidants and essential fatty acids. Seaweed extracts and powders deliver many anti-aging, hydrating and skin renewing properties.

Pure natural unrefined sea salt retains over sixty naturally occurring trace elements such as Potassium, Calcium, Magnesium and Zinc. All of which are essential for good health and well-being. I love swimming in the ocean as the sea water it makes a clear difference to the appearance of both my skin and hair after a dip. Minerals found in seawater and natural anti-oxidants have anti-ageing properties which help nourish, hydrate and protect the skin.

If making sure I’ve drunk 8 glasses of water and doing the odd scrub and face mask makes me feel happier about the prospect of bumping into my ex boyfriend and his new lady in the shops, then that’s a sound reason to make sure I do it.

Ishga is an organic seaweed skincare brand from Scotland. Its name, Ishga, is derived from the Gaelic word for water. Every product is packed with Hebridean seaweed and sea-rich minerals from coastal waters surrounding the Outer Hebrides that are recognised as being amongst the most pristine in the world. They collect seawater from the surf as the waves break on many of the beautiful island beaches, and pure water from the Isle of Lewis’ blue-clay bottomed spring which, according to folklore had healing and therapeutic properties. This is hydration and nutrition on a cellular level (with a nod to its origin and keeping it ethically on fleek).

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