Why do Siberians, Russians call Shilajit “Mumijo", where the word "Mumijo” is coming from?
There is an opinion that the Shilajit and its unique components have an antioxidant effect and assist in helping with most of the liver, stomach, heart problems, support healing bronchial asthma and rheumatoid arthritis.
Today we are not going to agree or disagree with this point. In this article, we will simply look at the origin of the name of this unique medicinal product.
The genesis of the word "Shilajit”.
For a long time and to this day in different countries of the world, the resin-shaped Shilajit has many different "local" names. As an example - in Central Asia region the Shilajit (Mumijo) is termed"asil" or "argalitash" and translated from local languages as "the best", "the superior" "priceless", "very rare". In Buryatia region of Russia, south of Siberia, Mongolia and Tibet regions - "bragshun" and may be translated as "rock juice", "rock blood", "rock nectar", "juice of rock jewels", in Myanmar - "chao tun" - "blood of the mountain".
English medicine of the past borrowed a lot from Indian healers. In India, this remedy is called “shalajidi” ("destroyer of weakness"), and now in English, one of the names of the remedy is “shilajit”, which is a derivative of the Indian name.
So, why in Siberia, one of the main modern sources of shilajit, instead of the traditional for English-speaking people "shilajit", the bizarre word "Mumijo" is used? Well, there are several explanations for this.
Persian legend about the origin of the name "Mumijo".
One of the main versions of the origin of the name "Mumijo" is a Persian legend. This remedy got its authentic name from a combination of the Persian "mum" (soft) and the name of the town of Oyin in Iran (it was there that the first shilajit source was located).
According to an ancient legend, the shilajit was first discovered by a military commander. He shot a gazelle on the hunt, which successfully escaped. And after a while, the animal, still with an arrow in his back, was discovered by hunters in the mountains, chewing grass. The healed wound was smeared with something black.
A brief survey of the surroundings led the hunters to the cave. From the cracks in its walls, a black mass seeped out, which had healing properties. Guards were immediately posted at the cave, and once a year a substance called " Mumijo" was sent to the treasury of the then ruler.
Due to the close ties between the Russian Empire and Persia in the 18th and 19th centuries (including the exchange of therapeutic traditions), the Persian “Mumijo” took root among Siberians instead of the Anglo-Indian “Shilajit”.
Let`s look at the origins of the name in Ancient Greece.
On the other hand, from the Greek "Mumijo" is translated as "preserving the body". A variety of healing properties of mummies were described more than 2500 years ago by Aristotle, many mentions of this unique substance in its composition are found in ancient Greek literature and the medical treatises of famous greek doctors of Antiquity.
Probably, the ancient Greeks learned about it from the Egyptians, who used it for embalming corpses. There is especially a lot of data about the Shilajit in the works of ancient Arabic scientists. Abu-Rahman Beruni, in his "Mineralogy" and the largest pharmacologist, physician, and philosopher Abu Ibn Sina (Avicenna) note the excellent effect of mummies with sore throat, cough, hemoptysis from the lung, liver, stomach, heart diseases.
Thus, there are two versions of the spread of the word "Mumijo" among the people of Siberia – Persian and Greek. Both have the right to exist, both have not been fully investigated in detail.