In this Note, I will share with you how I deal with the health problems during my long travels.

I always have with me the following medications:

  1. Tylenol for headache,
  2. Ibuprofen for joints/muscular pain,
  3. Malaron when traveling to malaria affected countries,
  4. Cipro as an insurance for heavy bacterial infection. Fortunately, I’ve never used it yet.
  5. Immodium for diarrhea. I have not use it in several years. Fasting is better.

For most of the other problems I use mumie. This is a folk medicine that most of you never heard of. Mumie has been known since ancient times, but was forgotten for a couple of centuries. It became tremendously popular in Russia in the seventies after doctor Shakirov “rediscovered” it. There were many fantastic stories about its miraculous healing properties. I'd like to tell you about my own 34 year-experience with this substance.


In the summer of 1974 my wife and I visited my aunt who was a famous beekeeper in the Ukraine and a big mumie enthusiast. My wife complained about a wound on her heel that would not heal for a long time. My aunt suggested she applied mumie to the wound. At first my wife refused. She didn't believe in these things, she said. Finally, however, she got convinced that there was no risk in doing it, and applied a small piece of mumie to her wound before going to bed. The next morning, surprisingly, the wound looked much, much better, and in the next few days it completely healed. It was an impressive demonstration of mumie healing qualities. I did not know then that healing stubborn wounds was one of the most remarkable healing properties of mumie.

The next year, in the summer of 1975, I went to Altai Mountains to work as a mountain climbing instructor for an expedition that had the task of surveying a region north of the Russian border with Mongolia and China. To get to their base camp, I traveled for two days by bus along the "Chuiskii trakt" to the Mongolian border. While on the bus, I met a man by the name of Valery Chibisov who turned out to be a famous mumie collector. He told me a lot about mumie during our long bus ride. Having arrived in the expedition camp at the village of Dzhazator, I went to swim in a nearby river and got a terrible cut on my foot: somebody had thrown a broken vodka bottle in the river. Expedition workers offered me mumie, which they had collected before and whose solution they evaporated on the campfire. In spite of quite unsanitary conditions of my surroundings, my wound healed very quickly.

We traveled on horses in the area where for hundreds of kilometers there were no inhabitants whatsoever, only virgin Altai taiga and mountains. Except for myself and the chief, geodesist, all members of the expedition were Altai bums. They preferred to spend cold Siberian winters in prisons for small infringements. But in the summer they worked for different expeditions. They liked to be in the taiga because there was no vodka there. But if a store selling vodka was within a distance of less then one day of a horse ride, then they could not resist temptation, and got deadly drunk. We had some guns, and when the bums got drunk a gun battle would often flared up. Surprisingly enough nobody ever got shot. There and then I started to look for mumie. Nobody was willing or able to explain to me how and where to look for it. Only by the end of my second month there did I find mumie for the first time.


As I said before, many stories about mumie sound incredible. Below, I will describe only my own experience with it, or the experience of those whom I know personally. The main medicinal claim of mumie is mending broken bones. It cuts the time of recovery at least in half and helps to avoid complications. I used it for my broken wrist in 1994. My doctor was quite amazed at the speed of my recovery.

On my long trips away from civilization I used mumie for gum pain caused by different reasons, such as uncemented bridge or periodontitis. I usually glue a small piece of mumie to the outer surface of the tooth in the affected area. As a rule, pain and discomfort disappear overnight. A gum tissue affected by periodontitis gets irritated by bacteria and becomes weak, inflamed, and damaged. Mumie does not heal periodontitis. If you have deep pockets around your teeth, you still have to see a dentist. But mumie quickly heals gums and relieves the symptoms. As I noticed from mine and other people’s experience, mumie is especially good for mucous membrane damage.

I also used mumie for tooth pain caused by root canal nerve inflammation. As any dentist will tell you, the root nerve inflammation will cause severe pain and require immediate root canal cleaning or tooth extraction. In my case, by using mumie, the pain was mild and disappeared in a few days. When I returned home, my dentist told me that my tooth's nerve was dead. So, I still had to have my root canal done but it was done in the USA, by a qualified dentist, not in the middle of West Africa.

Quite an unpleasant thing that might happen in hot climates is a fungal infection between toes. Anti-fungal cream works, but the skin affected by fungus becomes tender and unhealthy. Reinfection occurs again and again. After a few days of anti-fungal cream applications, I put small pieces of mumie in the affected areas. The result was excellent. Normal healthy skin reappeared in a couple days.

When I travel in Australia mumie helped me in quite unusual circumstances. I bought a three-day diving trip to The Great Barrier Reef. By the end of the first day, I couldn't dive anymore because my ears got clogged. From my previous experience I knew that it would not disappear overnight. I was facing a loss of two precious days of diving. Apparently, because of the frequent diving I hurt my ear drums, as well as irritate the Eustachian tubes that connect the mouth with the internal ear. I decided to try mumie. I dipped a q-tip in mumie and inserted it into my damaged ear. The next day I enjoyed diving again.

I gave some mumie to several elderly people, and it helped to heal their trophic ulcers. I also know about successful use of mumie for the treatment of stomach ulcer and lung diseases. Another mumie property is healing burns. Excellent result has been observed on my own family members on a number of occasions.

One of my friends had a 100-year-old great-grandmother who seemed to be on the verge of dying. On my suggestion she gave mumie to the old woman, and it might have given her three more years of life. But as always you never know for sure. May be it was just coincidence. Mumie was tested numerous times on our pets. One case was most remarkable. Our hamsters ate something that did not agree with them and lay down cold and seemingly dead. Soon after mumie was put in their mouths using pipette, they revived and were fine the next day.

As many medical researchers found, mumie has microelements and biologically active components that facilitate tissue recovery, regardless of the cause of damage, be it physical, bacterial, fungal, or otherwise. I guess this is the reason mumie is beneficial for so many different ailments. There is ample information on medicinal uses of mumie on the Internet. Try to avoid bad smelling commercials. The most reliable information can be found from the discussion groups where ordinary people share their own experiences.

Certain concerns have been expressed by some medical professionals regarding the use of mumie by cancer patients. Since mumie can stimulate cell division of normal cells, it might stimulate the division of cancer cells as well. On the other hand, some publications, such as, recommend mumie for cancer patients. I am unable to contribute any information on this particular use of mumie.


Why does mumie contain all these useful components? In order to understand this, we have to look at its origins. I heard from other people and read in books that mumie can be found inside mountain caves and grottoes, high in the mountains, and usually on the slopes with southern exposure and in difficult to reach places located on the steep slopes. And, most strangely, the sites where mumie is found are often quite nice. I found mumie for the first time by the end of the two months of searching. I worked for the Altay expedition for three years. My mumie searching experience grew with every year. After two years of search I made a discovery, which provides logical explanation for the above mentioned indicators of mumie deposits.


They use mumie to cement together small stones, with which they build their burrows. These burrows are usually built on steep slopes where their enemies - bears, wolves and foxes - cannot reach them. They build their burrows in grottoes and caves, and always on the sunny side because mumie is water-soluble, and in spaces open to rain or on moist northern slopes it might be quickly washed out. And this would ruin their burrows. They build their burrows in places with good field of vision (which are usually nice) so that they are able to see approaching eagles or owls.

These cute creatures are bigger than mice and smaller than rabbits. In Russian they are called pishukhi or senostavki, in English – picas or whistling hares, due to a high-pitched sound of alarm they produce. Their Latin name is ochotonidae, see

A good analogy with mumie is propolis. Propolis is produced by the bees to seal their beehives. Propolis also provides healthy environment inside beehives. In the same way mumie is supposed to provide a healthy environment for the picas' burrows. They should be free of microbes and mildew because picas store dry grass in burrows and give birth to baby picas in there.

It is a rare luck to find a pica's burrow. I had found only two, and both were abandoned. More often mumie can be found inside mountain caves or grottoes hanging from the ceiling like stalactites. Local people believe that mountains themselves produce mumie, and they call it mountain juice (bragshun, Tibet) or mountain blood (kao-tun, Burma). I think the explanation is less poetic: mumie flows down from picas’ burrows built inside the rock cavities.

This is MY THEORY, and it is based on my five years observation of mumie deposits. It is described here for the first time. I have never seen such explanation of the mumie origins before, in print or on the Internet.

There are plenty of theories but most of them belong to those with limited experience, if any. Usually researchers are taken to mumie deposit sites by local people. They might observe a couple of mumie deposits and have listen some fantastic stories of about mumie. However, it is quite difficult to make a sound conclusion on mumie origination based on such limited information.

In Nov 2000, during my trip Tibet – India,,   I was in Rajasthan, India, and visited The National Institute of Ayurveda in the city of Jaipur. I talked with Aurvedic specialists about shilajit. Shilajit is Indian name of mumie. They showed me some samples of raw shilajit, which looked exactly like Altai mumie that I had collected. I asked them what they thought about the shilajit origins, whether it was organic or inorganic. They thought it was inorganic. It turned out they got it at the market and never saw it in its natural state!

Where do picas get mumie? Do they find it somewhere and bring it to build their burrows? Or do they have a special gland, which produces mumie, similar to the bees producing propolis? Most probably they use their digestive system. These creatures have a short intestinal tract like the rabbits. In order to extract all nutrition from their food, they have to put it through their stomach twice. May be mumie is what they put through the system only once?

Studies based on the amount of radioactive carbon in mumie indicate that its age ranges from 500 to several thousands years. So an organic material, whatever its origin, had to stay in the natural environment for hundreds of years and go through some chemical transformations and enzymatic process (fermenting) before becoming mumie.

Usually I was returning from those expeditions with heavy backpack full of stones, with the mumie glued to them. Mumie is soluble in water, so the first stage of its "purification" was keeping it in the water for a few days. The next stage was filtration. Then the solution of mumie in water was evaporated until it reached a proper consistency. It should be soft and pliable but not sticky.

The mumie I found and prepared helped many of my relatives, friends and acquaintances. It was very gratifying for me to hear their stories. I was also selling mumie to folk healers like my aunt, and to the doctors who knew what it was and prescribed it to their patients.

When I came to the States, I brought some mumie with me. But what was easy in Russia where everybody at least heard about mumie turned out to be impossible in America. A normal American would never swallow a piece of smelly black tar, which an immigrant from Russia tells him in his broken English is actually a medication.


Mumie is hard to find, and not much of it exists in the nature. This is why mumie has been counterfeited so often. While I worked for the surveying expedition in the areas close to Mongolian and Chinese borders, I was able to find some, because the area was restricted for public access. During the forth year, after the expedition completed its work, I went to the Altai on my own to search for mumie. After two weeks of searching I found practically nothing. Everything had been collected by other people. On my last day, before I supposed to finish my trip at a remote village Tungur, I spotted a promising rocky site on a southern slope that, I thought, for sure should have had mumie. But it was located on the opposite, uninhabited side of Katun river. Katun is a fast, cold, white water river. I found a relatively quiet stretch of the river between two rapids, put my stuff in plastic bag, and swam across the river. What I found was an outstanding deposit. It had been untouched because nobody in that area could even think of swimming across Katyn. This is just one example that demonstrates that finding mumie is not a trivial task. The following year I brought two of my friends to this place, and we carried fins, masks and snorkels to facilitate crossing the river.

Mumie is a result of many centuries of transformation due to chemical reactions and fermentation of organic material. Crude mumie is easy to identify and impossible to fake. Best crude mumie contains only a small amounts of organic material from which it originated. The more organic material, the poorer the quality of mumie.

Some frustrated collectors would gather anything that even slightly resembled mumie. After crude mumie is processed, it is quite difficult to tell what the quality of original material had been. Once processed, good and bad mumie looks like black tar. Only an experienced mumie collector would be able to distinguish good mumie from bad, primarily by smell.

Processed mumie easily absorbs moisture from the air and becomes sticky. To prevent this, commercial suppliers mix it with solidifiers. Pharmacies in Russia sell it in this form. When mumie is in this form, it is impossible to tell what the quality of the original product was, and whether it was mumie or not. Russians are quite skeptical about the quality of mumie sold in pharmacies.


Internal use:

Daily dose of mumie for internal use is 0.2 grams. If you obtain a piece of mumie weighing 10 grams, roll it into a thin stick, and cut it into 5 equal portions. Each part will contain two grams. Then cut each piece into another 10 portions. Each portion will now weigh 0.2 grams. This is a daily dose. You can dissolve it in water and drink the solution, or just swallow it with some water. Do it 30 minutes before breakfast. The rest of the mumie has to be carefully wrapped in plastic because it quickly absorbs moisture from the air and becomes sticky. The most common recommendation is to take mumie for 10 days, 0.2 grams a day, then take a break for 5 to10 days, and then repeat the process for another 10 days.

External use:

For small wounds, put small amount of mumie on a bandaid and glue it to your wound. You will feel a burning sensation for a short while. It is good, it means that mumie is working. If you have a large area to treat, prepare a piece of gauze larger than the wound area, dip it in the boiled water, apply a piece of mumie the size of a bean to it and press it to your wound. Cover it with a piece of plastic and secure it in place. Mumie will penetrate the skin. I successfully cured my bursitis. Many people use it for their joints and tendons problems as well.


I lot of serious research has been done on medical properties of mumie. The genesis of mumie is still mostly in the domain of legends and fantasies. Authors who write about mumie are not mumie collectors. They base their theories of mumie origination on anecdotal accounts they heard from local people or from other authors. In this sense, my experience is unique. I collected mumie for 5 years. I have seen many different mumie deposits. And I believe I was able to make logical conclusions from what I observed. The main finding is that picas use mumie to built their burrows.

This observation provides a key for understanding why mumie deposits are located where they are, on the southern sides of steep slopes, exposed to the sun and away from moisture.

It also helps to understand why mumie is such a useful and versatile medicine: because it is meant to provide hygienic environment inside the burrows.

I have never published my findings before. The purpose of this publication is to make my findings available to the public with the help of Foldabikes and Google.

And there is another reason for this publication. In spite of many examples of successful applications of mumie for treating either myself or friends and family, I'm still a bit sad. I know so much about this amazing substance that can help people with many medical problems, but so few people have been able to benefit from my knowledge.

Alex Mumzhiu
Washington USA
June 6 2008

raw mumie_1_1.jpg (55042 bytes)