People always notice Aellyn’s necklace in pictures. I think it is super cute but it also has a purpose! It is made of Baltic Amber. Amber is not actually a stone but a resin. It is fossilized tree sap and can contain bugs and other small creatures (remember Jurassic Park? They made dinosaurs from the mosquito in the amber?). Baltic amber contains 3-8% of succinic acid (HOOCCH2CH2COOH), a scientifically examined medical substance used in contemporary medicine. Medicines like using succinic acid work as a sedative, antispasmer, antiplegm, antiphogistic, anrhoter, contraception and cancer-curing. Succinic acid occurs naturally in our bodies and is an important part of our metabolism (specifically the Kreb cycle).
Baltic Amber was mentioned as a health aid as early as 300 BC by Hippocrates, the “father of medicine.” The idea is that the succinic acid is released when the amber is warmed near the skin (contrary to what you might think from the word “teething” the necklaces are NOT for chewing) and this relieves pain due to teething. Parents who say it works swear by it. In parts of Europe amber necklaces would be a common thing to see in the drug store for arthritis, teething, ear and throat problems, and other ailments.
Does it work? I will probably never know since she has never had it off. But it is adorable so who cares?
You can buy a baltic amber teething necklace and other amber pieces for adults and children at Amber Artisans. My advice is don’t get the kind with a pendant like I did. Although cute, you will forever be turning it around. The screw clasp is made of amber so without the pendant you can’t tell if it is backwards. Also, these are individually knotted so if the necklace breaks (which it is meant to with sufficient pressure for safety) all the beads won’t fall off.