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amber teethers


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amber necklace

photo credit:neccies

Is there anything more sweetly wistful than the color of amber? It evokes the halcyon days of childhood. Languid and slow-like molasses.The moments right before the sun departs. Sounds of crickets and cicadas rehearsing for their nightly recital. This stone contains the whole of childhood summers in its golden, honeyed morphology. Needless to say,when I came across the use of amber for my baby’s teething discomfort I was immediately intrigued.

Amber has been widely used across Europe for centuries for its anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. Most of the amber in the world is somewhere between 30million-90million years old. Amber is the fossilized resin of trees. Baltic amber is an artifact of the conifers that once blanketed Europe. The aromatic,sticky resin oozed out of the trees trapping debris and insects in its wake. As temperatures cooled, the forests were buried and the resin hardened into a hard, golden-hued stone-what we know as amber.

baltic amber

photo credit:jozef

How does amber impart its anti-inflammatory/ analgesic properties? Succinic acid is a substrate of the Kreb’s cycle,which is the series of chemical reactions that is responsible for cellular metabolism. Fats, proteins, and carbohydrates are converted into usable energy via the Kreb’s cycle. Succinic acid is also an anti-oxidant that prevents lipid peroxidation. Lipid peroxidation is the degredation of lipids. Ultimately lipid peroxidation results in damage to the cell membrane, which is a lipid bilayer. Succinic acid has also been shown to be cardio-protective against ischemia and reperfusion injuries.

Succinic acid is found in the polymer framework of amber and also exists as a free-standing microcrystal on the surface of the stone. A study in 2009 showed that Baltic amber has the highest concentration of free succinic acid(50-400 parts per million) whereas amber of other origin had almost undectable levels(less than 1part per million). From what I understand, When amber is worn against the skin, the succinic acid is released from the stone by the body’s warmer temperature and absorbed into the skin. The cloudier(more opaque) the Baltic amber, the more succinic acid it contains.

To clarify, amber teething necklaces are not meant to be chewed upon or put in the mouth. In fact, when the amber breaks it can be rather sharp. It is worn around the neck rather snugly so that baby can not play with it. It is important for baby to wear the necklace around the neck, rather than as a bracelet because the succinic acid will be released closer to the source of discomfort(teeth coming in). It is best that the baby be kept in close observation while wearing the necklace to make sure that nothing untoward happens. Even with all of these precautions, I can say that I noticed an immediate improvement in my son’s mood and discomfort after wearing the necklace for less than one hour. He has continued to use it, with sustained relief of his teething discomfort.

I purchased my necklace from Inspired by Finn. They guarantee that their amber is Baltic in origin. For a snug fit, order a 12-13 inch necklace. They have offered a 25% discount to envivant readers. Just use the code:envivant25 during the checkout process.

References:

  1. Rapid communications in mass spectrometry
  2. Earth Science Picture of the Day
  3. Archives of Gerontology and Geriatrics
  4. Surgery Today
  5. Journal of Bioenergetics and Biomembranes

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