Mumijo (also denoted as mumio) is a thick, sticky tar-like substance with a colour ranging from white to dark brown (the latter is more common), sometimes found in Caucasus mountains, Altai mountains and Tibet mountains.
Mumijo is a word of Greek origin. The substance is mentioned in the works of Aristotle and Avicenna as a remedy with antiseptic and general stimulant properties used in Caucasus mountains. Most scientists agree that people observed wounded animals frequenting caves with mumijo and so discovered the substance. Similar substances are used for medicinal purposes throughout Tibet.
A lot of scientific research on mumijo has been done in the USSR, including full-scale clinical trials. Most reliable information on mumijo is known from Russian sources.
Research done in Vernadsky institute of molecular chemistry in Moscow described the generalized formula for the base of mumijo as Ca Si [ (K,Na) C4 H10 CH20 ]. It is still unclear whether it has geological or biological origin as it has numerous traces of vitamins and aminoacids.
Mumijo is not toxic, at least in reasonable quantities. Research suggested that mumijo has antiseptic and stimulant properties, so it tends to increase wound healing rate and produce better results. Two commercial mumijo-based drugs were developed and at least three conference on post-operational application of mumijo were held.
Mumijo should not be confused with balsams and thick herbal extract, sometimes advertized as "herbal mumijo"; at least part of its healing properties arise from mineral base.