Amber bead necklaces have become extremely popular for teething babies in recent years. The ancient Greeks discovered that Amber is electromagnetically alive and their name for amber was 'electron', the word we get 'electricity' from. It produces negative ionization on the surface of the skin and this electronegativity helps to prevent illness.

What is Amber?

Genuine Baltic Amber is formed from the fossilized resin of plants such as conifers and angiosperms. It is otherwise known as succinite as it contains 3-8% succinic acid, recognised by allopathic medicine as a therapeutic substance. The colour varies from white, to yellow or brown, and amber can even be found in red, black, blue or green shades.

How does it work?

Amber works best when in direct contact with the teething baby's skin. The amber beads release trace amounts of an oil containing succinic acid into the skin as they heat up due to body heat. These oils are then absorbed into the skin and enter the bloodstream. The amount of succinic acid released into the skin depends on the heat of the baby's skin which is linked to the level of inflammation.

What are the benefits?

The main benefit of amber is the succinic acid, This acid is also used in pharmaceutical applications, and is recognised as having many therapeutic properties and benefits such as: anti-inflammatory, calmative, analgesic -a pain killer, expectorant - alleviates coughs by helping to clear the chest, anti-pyretic - helps control fevers, It boosts the immune system, It is said to help protect the body from radiation, It can aid in treating bacterial infections, It aids the body in the detoxification process, It supports tissue regeneration.

Which colours of amber are the best?

Well, blue, black and green amber are the most rare. The lightest, cloudiest amber is said to contain the most succinic acid, and the raw amber (non-glossy) is believed to allow for the greatest rates of absorption into the skin. Dark flecks within the amber are bits of insects, plants, flowers or feathers caught in the resin of the tree when it was still soft and these inclusions add character. Even though amber is sometimes referred to as a gemstone, as mentioned before, it is actually fossilized tree sap and is therefore lighter and warmer to the touch than stone.

Why opt for genuine baltic amber?

The word 'amber' used to refer only to succinite, but now the word is used to refer to many forms of semi- and sub-fossilized tree sap (called copal) which do not contain the same levels of succinic acid, if any at all. Baltic amber, found in the areas around the Baltic sea, is the only form of amber which has therapeutic value.

How can I test to see its genuine amber?

You can test to see if your amber is genuine in various ways. Amber becomes charged with static electricity very easily and will attract and even lift light particles such as fragments of tissue paper when rubbed vigorously with a natural material such as cotton or wool. Also, when genuine amber is heated it releases a 'pine-forest' like odour, where copal merely becomes sticky.

How to use and care for an amber teething necklace?

Despite the name, teething necklaces are not for chewing on! Merely wearing the amber in direct contact with the skin will bring the greatest benefit. Babies can wear the necklace from 2 months old, until the necklace doesn't fit anymore. Try not to let the necklace come into contact with harsh soaps which sometimes leave a light film on the amber which can reduce the amount of skin contact. If this does happen then rub the amber with some olive oil, and then wipe all the oil off with a clean cloth.

How can I ensure safety is met? 

Its best to select a necklace with beads are individually knotted. Although babies can wear these necklaces from 2 months old...for safest use, these are necklaces recommended for children older than 36 months. Some parents are worried that amber teething necklaces pose a choking hazard so its advised children are not left unattended. The parents are also recommended to check the baby's sleep area to ensure that there is nothing for the necklace to catch on, such as a buckle, strap etc. The parent can also fasten it doubled around an ankle or wrist when putting the baby to sleep.