Amber was regarded as a beautiful and magical substance long before Jurassic Park! It has been worn as jewellery since Egyptian times, and many devotees swear by its medicinal and healing properties too. In fact, in Russia it was so revered as a beautiful and magical substance that an entire room was decorated with amber panels in the stunning Tsarskoye Selo Palace, near St Petersburg. The Yantarnaya Komnata furthered the amber mystery when it was dismantled and then disappeared during World War II. Now restored to its former glory, the Amber Room is being hailed once again as an 'Eighth Wonder of the World'.
We first heard about amber teething necklaces when Lara was only a few weeks old. We decided to invest in one, because everyone we met swore by them, and anyway they looked cute! Well, Lara was plagued by the pain of teething just once - when we had taken her necklace off for her bath and subsequently mislaid it for a day. Did we notice the difference! It was horrid sharp canine time, and she was red-faced, crying and obviously in pain. Luckily we had some Nelsons Teetha granules to hand which helped, but not nearly as much as finally finding her necklace again. Within 30 minutes of putting it back on, all was fine again with our little girl. So yes, to everyone that stops us in the street to ask - they work!
Sophia has been troubled a little more by her teeth, but nowhere near as much as other babies seem to, so I assume the amber necklace is working for her too. So how does it work?
Whether because of its slightly mystical appearance, how it is made, or where it is found, amber has been the subject of mythology and folklore for thousands of years, and has played an important role scientifically and medically through time. First hailed as a healing stone by Hippocrates, the greek philosopher and father of modern medicine, the gem was later used in ancient Rome where it was given to the sick to help strengthen their immune systems. Since the Middle Ages, it has been increasingly used in Europe as a cure for respiratory problems, pain, and fever.
When amber is worn against the skin, naturally-exuded oils (succinate) are released by the wearer's warmth. It is these oils that provide an anti-inflammatory pain-relieving effect, and can protect against fever and calm breathing. This is why they are especially useful for teething babies and children, preventing symptoms such as red cheeks, swollen gums and nappy rash, as well relieving pain.
Regarded for a long time as an old wives' tale, the anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties of amber have now been proven, and mothers all over the world are using amber as a teething aid. This is especially good as it is completely natural and has no side effects, eliminating the need for unnecessary and potentially damaging medications. In fact, in Germany, Switzerland and Austria, amber teething necklaces are sold in pharmacies.
Whether parents believe that amber is a mystical symbol of Mother Earth or not, it is certainly worth trying as an aid to teething, and like I said it looks beautiful too! Just make sure the amber teething necklace you buy is genuine Baltic amber and the stones are individually knotted in case of breakage.
Having bequeathed her baby necklace to Sophia, we were delighted to recently find amber necklaces for children aged 3 years plus on Amber Pumpkin, an amazing website with so many gorgeous natural products for the whole family. Thankfully we can now look forward to pain-free second teeth, and it will really help when the inevitable childhood illnesses decide to come calling!