Whenever I take my son out I always get complimented on what a good, handsome babe he is. Then people see his wrist wrapped in a necklace and the questions begin.
“What’s that?” or “Oh look, he’s sporting some bling.” I tell people its Baltic Amber and they look at me funny, like I’m one of ‘those’ moms. Honestly, I love our baltic amber, and I won’t go without again.
What is Baltic Amber?
Basically, Baltic Amber is an organic substance, it’s fossilized resin that came from pine trees throughout the Baltic region. It’s been estimated that these forests created more than 100,000 tons of amber. It is mined from near the Baltic Sea and in parts of Russia. Additionally baltic amber contains 8% succinic acid, it is therefore also known as succinite.
How does Baltic Amber work?
By wearing it against the skin, the heat of our bodies causes the baltic amber to release the succinic acid. When absorbed by the skin, the succinic acid works as a natural pain blocker and reduces inflammation. Its been used to treat a variety of ailments from teething to arthritis. Scientific research has shown that it can improve immunity, balance acids when absorbed into the bloodstream. It can stimulate the thyroid glands to help reduce drooling and soothe inflammed areas. The anti-inflammatory and therapeutic properties are recognized by allopathic medicine as a natural analgesic (pain reliever).
What’s the Difference?
There are many variations in natural Baltic Amber because it is a natural occurring substance and therefore each bead is unique. They can vary in size, color, shape, weight and even length.
The colors range from cloudy white, to yellow-orange amber color to even an almost black color. There are other amber that are more rare, and aren’t very common, like blue amber for instants.
There is not substantial evidence to dictate that one color is more potent than the other.
Raw Vs Polished
So, I’ve read several different things about Raw being better than polished, however here is what I’ve found. There is not real difference in how effective each type is, IF the polished are NOT heat treated. Any amber that is heated, treated or altered can lose it effectiveness. There are other ways to polish ‘stones’ without using heat, therefore when searching to buy one or materials makes sure you do your research on the company. I’ve had one of each. I prefer the ‘raw’, unpolished look more than the polish for my son.
Caring for your Baltic Amber
It simple to clean and care. Generally you want to keep it out of soaps and product so that it doesn’t get an build up. If it does, a simple salt water solution bath to clean it up, then wipe it down and let it dry. Remember, luke warm water or cooler water is best. Anything too hot will help the Amber release the succinic acid.
There is some whispers on the internet about fake amber. You don’t see it often in the smaller pieces, mostly in the larger, high dollar items. However, there are ways to test the amber to be sure its the real thing. Hazelaid and Mommypotamus have some great ways to test and talk about some materials that are used to make fake amber.
My son, Hunter, has been trying to cut teeth since about 3 months old. Recently my friend told me about Baltic Amber and that it may help with his fussiness and his drooling. He was drooling so much it was starting to get scary. There were moments he would swallow so much of it, when he would spit up he looked like he had been drowning.
I went out and picked one up for about $20 at a kids clothing exchange store. We put it on him, and after a while I started to notice a change in his demeanor. He was much more calm. You may think I’m crazy by this point, but honestly it worked for me.
When we ended up giving ours to another friend who really needed it, our poor Hunter went from sleeping through the night, to waking every 3 hrs or so. It was nuts! He was fussier than normal and we could just tell he was uncomfortable.
I went out and purchased another one, and now he’s back to the calm baby I remember. This is not to say that he doesn’t have moment. He’s only 6 months old and we are still learning quiet a bit.
Do your research before you purchase. There are several reputable companies out there. I got my first one from Powell’s Owls and my second one from Bitty Babes. They are both well priced, but I love my Bitty Babes more. Plus, she’s local to me.