Amber Teething Necklace Review
Baby teething has a lot of myths surrounding it, coupled with the number of toddlers that you will see with Baltic amber teething necklaces, you will understand that parents would like to sooth some of the teething symptoms such as fever and diarrhea. I review the concerns of many parents on whether these necklaces really work as demonstrated by growing praises heaped on them from hundreds of websites, blogs and forums. If you are a parent or just turned parent, you might have heard one or two things about Baltic Amber teething necklaces and you probably want to know more about this miracle that is bound to change the life of your child for the best. Below, we are going to go into details about this baby product and its transformative benefits.
I will answer the following questions regarding teething necklaces: What are they made of? What is their history? How do they work? And what are the negative effects that can be associated with them?
What is an amber teething necklace? This typical necklace but on this occasion it is not worn to enhance beauty. They are a type of necklace meant to help ease a baby’s teething discomfort. Just like any other necklace bought on the street shops or jewellery shop, the Baltic amber teething necklace is worn on the neck against the infant’s skin although there are other alternatives. This indicates that the necklace is not chewed by the child or put in the mouth in order to be effective.
How Baltic Amber Works
How these necklaces work can be explained based on whom you speak to. The unbelievable explanations are:
- It activates the solar plexus and root chakra
- It has both bactericidal and electrostatic properties
- Amber has powerful antioxidant that helps fight toxic free radicals
- It has a slight sedative effect
- Amber is electromagnetic and produces large amounts of organic, natural energy which protect the human body from various magnetic fields
But the most plausible explanation is that amber when worn and heated by body heat releases succinic acid which enters the body trans-dermally and acts as an analgesic. This is indeed true on one front; Baltic amber contains succinic acid(1) however there is no evidence whatsoever that amber has any analgesic effects on the body. In addition the notion that succinic acid gets absorbed through the skin is baseless since there is no evidence that succinic acid is released from amber on body contact. Also Baltic amber contains about 50-400 ppm of succinic acid and 1 mg/kg is equal to 1 ppm, a necklace weighs 1 oz = 0.028 kg and therefore contains about 1.4-11.2 mg of succinic acid (2). Such a low value in the amber in a necklace would mean that the amount of succinic acid released on contact with the body would be miniscule.
Claims about Baltic amber necklaces
Various benefits of wearing a the necklaces can be found when one does thorough research on them. Some of them include mundane claims to the believable. These include the following:
- Provides natural pain relief for baby’s with teething problems
- Helps to ease teething pains in children as well as colic and gas and other ailments
- Reduces inflammation of the throat, ear and stomach
- Fights irritation, infections, and respiratory disease
- It boosts the immune system
- Reduces gums inflammation
- Quickens the natural healing process
- Increases the body’s immunity
- Breaks the cycle of chronic inflammation
- A completely non-invasive remedy for side effects associated with teething (lack of appetite, upset tummies, ear ache, fevers and colds)
- Antispasmodic and anti-fever
- It detoxes the body
- Reduces stress and anxiety
- Treats problems in bones
- Improvement of arthritis
- Improves blood circulation
- Eases muscle pains
- Alleviates teething pain especially in babies
- Provides a calming effect on babies without necessarily using drugs
- It is a natural energizer when worn
- It is a natural pain killer
- Reduces discomfort from throat, ear and stomach infections
- Turns surrounding negative into positive energy for well being
- Promotes positive thinking and attitude
- Revitalizes mind, body and soul
- Helps to relieve depression
- Helps in detoxifying the body.
- Helps in healing disorder in internal organs such as the spleen, pancreas and the liver.
Should all of these claims raise a red flag before we proceed? Let’s wait a minute until we go through the scientific evidence.
A journal search at both PubMed and MEDLINE finds zero research on the benefits or any other information on amber teething necklaces for babies. The closest you would come is a scientific study on amber is a study a study on succinic acid published in 1987 in the Russian Journal Farmakologiia i toksikologiia which analyzed the and demonstrated the anti-inflammatory potential of 44 different types of succinic acids.
As far as the scientific evidence goes by we can summarize that:
- Baltic amber contains succinic acid (3).
- The amber does not release succinic acid at body temperatures as Succinic acid melts at 187 °C but it’s moderately soluble in water which means it can be dissolved in body sweat.
- Succinic acid is a naturally occurring compound and can be found in our bodies and foods and is generally considered safe and in some instances it is used in food additives (4)
- There is no evidence of its analgesic effects on the human body (5)
- There is no evidence that succinic acid can be used to treat pain from the external of the human body (6).
These baby necklaces have been bought by millions of mothers all over the world with some of them being repeat customers. Is the above evidence conclusive that they should not be used as baby teething pain relievers? That is for you to decide. However should you decide to buy one for your baby and test the findings for yourself below are some few pointers you should put in mind before you buy one.
7 Things To Consider Before Buying an Amber Teething Necklace
Natural Baltic amber has created a buzz over its amazing abilities as a pain reliever and immune system booster for both adults and children. The amber’s most exciting application is their use as a pain relief during teething of a child which is its most beneficial quality. Due to this property of reducing pain in young ones, the necklaces have become favorites among parents in America, Europe and Asia since they turn a parents sleepless nights with their children into bearable nights where they can now have enough good sleep. The necklaces are now recommended worldwide by parents as replacements for pain relief medicine. You should follow the steps illustrated below before buying such a teething pain relief necklace for your baby:
- When going out to shop for your baby’s necklace, you should try to get one from a reliable vendor that you can trust. It is good to be certain that you are being sold a real one – with amber that is over 45 million years old – and not an inexpensive replica product.
- Make sure that you are purchasing an one that has its origins from the Baltic region, since the region has some of the highest concentrations of a natural trees which have the ingredients to form the amber from which the necklaces come from. This is important because this active ingredient is what creates the healing and pain relieving properties found in amber.
- Avoid discounted prices since any genuine amber is not cheap, if you find steeply discounted necklaces know that this is an advertising strategy to coax you into buying some fake Baltic amber. Remember that this is a slowly disappearing precious gem that can never be synthetically created and if you think of the maturation process for amber and the fact that it took 45 million years to wash up on the shores of the Baltic Sea, there is no way you will find it cheaply discounted.
- With real and genuine amber, there is always a big difference. The process that is used to carefully mine amber from the Sea takes several days as does the process of taking raw amber and converting it to beautifully refined amber gems from which the artisans will create baby’s and children’s teething necklaces. Amber craftsmen take even a greater time and patience in carefully polishing the stones to ensure they are comfortable on the skin when they are strung together. This creates a huge difference between the fake and the real Amber.
- It is good that you look out for softly rounded amber beads that will lie gently and comfortably on the baby’s skin. This will avoid your baby getting any injuries and will allow maximum contact so that the amber’s homeopathic properties can be activated.
- For original and genuine necklaces, the cost should be between $15 and $30. The cost is also dependent on the finishing on the necklaces. The rounded ones are the most expensive, as the round finishing ensures your child is comfortable while wearing them. You should not compromise on quality, as this is what guarantees the effectiveness.
- The necklaces should be worn on the neck and not chewed by the child. There should be strict supervision on the child to avoid this and whenever the child goes to bed, the necklace should be removed.
The Use of Amber Resins
What are plant resins? From which Chemicals are they made from? How are they transformed? And from what are amber resin jewelry made from? Have you ever seen violinists rub their bows in resin before playing? What are the supposed effects of amber necklaces on baby’s toothache? These are some of the answers we will answer in this section.
Some plants especially conifers and some roses secrete a viscous liquid substance on their surfaces whose main function is to heal them when injured to protect them from pests. Some studies have also shown that the resin protects the plants from extreme low or high temperatures and helps in preserving moisture. Depending on the plant species, the age of the tree, and the climate zone it grows, various liquids are exuded which are specific in their chemical composition. These form various forms such as resins, gums, latex etc. In this article; we will focus, on resins.
Resins are composed mostly of terpenes which are very fragrant and react to light and warmth. They also appear lighter or darker depending on the amount of sunshine the tree received during development. The terpenes have shown some role in the growth and development of the plants, by being involved as a communication mechanism (bait for pollinators) and as a defense to survive.
Industrial Use of Resins
- Resins have certain chemical properties that have made them useful in industrial applications with their use in varnish being applicable since the 9th
- They are used in the preparation of sealants in clay vessels because of the ability to be insoluble in water.
- Another interesting property of the plant resins is that they are soluble in alkali and can be used to male soaps (fatty acid salts). Obtained by the reaction between NaOH and large molecules of fatty acid contained in some resins (e.g. abietic acid)
- They are also used in medicine (externally and internally) because of their antiseptic and antibacterial effect and are still the subject of much research for their pharmaceutical effects.
- The rich aromatic resins are used in the perfume industry.
Let us briefly look at a particular resin commonly known to all as turpentine. This resin is produced by different pine species (e.g. maritime pine). When distilled (refined turpentine), we get the light fractions used as a solvent for resins, varnishes and paints. These species are mainly composed of monoterpenes (α-pinene and β). At the bottom of the distillation column, the solid residue is recovered and brittle (the heavy fraction), which is called rosin particularly prized by violinists.
This residue is a diterpene formula C20H30O2.
Rosin is indeed used to coat the strands of bows which increases the friction on the ropes and produces sound. A new free rosin bow produces absolutely no musical note.
Rosin rubbed on the bristles on the robes is inserted between the scales, thus, will open and diverge, increasing the roughness and therefore the friction on the strings.
Uses of Amber Resin
After the death of plants and animals, organic matter decomposes slowly. However, under certain conditions (high temperature, high pressure, lack of oxygen) and provided that this process lasts long enough (several million years), they become fossilized. This is also the case for resin when it is trapped in sedimentary layers.
During this process, the basic monomers “isoprene” polymerize (i.e. come together, regroup and reorganize more compactly as a result of reactions (including cyclization involving double bonds located at the end of string). All this (which is not yet fully understood) results in a strong solidification. Overall: it is the birth of amber
It is composed of succinic acid but also other more complex molecules.
The Use of Amber Necklaces for Pain Relieve In Toddlers
A myth has existed around the use of amber stones, that they confer therapeutic properties through bodily contact.
One the latest uses right now for Baltic amber necklaces right now is in their use in relieving teething symptoms in babies. Pseudo-scientific articles evoke the absorption of negative energy, an effect related to magnetism through the use of amber resins.
What is the basis of these beliefs?
Maybe is it the discovery of static electricity by the ancient Greeks when they rubbed amber (then called “Elektron”) against a fabric that created this wonder? Or optical properties of the material (color change according to the brightness)?
The only possible basis for the effect might be to assume that when in contact with the heat of the skin, vapors “essential oils” from the resin could be salted out and have a calming effect … The argument is actually advanced in terms of succinic acid (also present in wine).
Is this hypothesis validated by studies?
It seems that no study has corroborated that succinic acid has therapeutic effects.
A medical thesis has addressed the issue of folk medicine teething remedies but the author did not seek to verify if some serious study had validated the facts about amber necklaces. Note that some steps have been taken to prohibit any advertising stating that no sufficient evidence has been presented.
Pediatricians have also put a warning against these deeply rooted beliefs and recall that the interpretations of “personal experience do not constitute proof of efficacy”. Only scientific trials under conditions that eliminate the maximum biases may lead to the conclusion if there is a conclusive effect than a placebo effect. For now, the literature does not provide any type of evidence. And the “natural” label is no way a guarantee of safety and security of Baltic amber necklaces!
To conclude, the risk of strangulation are probable, as with any baby necklace.