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THE HEALING POWER OF AMBER

Plinius the Elder (23-79) was the first to mention the healing properties of amber in writing. He suggested amber beads should be worn to soothe a sore throat. According to him, golden-coloured amber beads or an amber pendant on the neck could also help reduce body temperature.

Claudius Galenus (131-201) wrote that amber can help ease wind as well as diarrhoea.

One of the most popular books containing information about the healing properties of amber was Avicenna's (980-1037) Canon of Medicine. Amber extract was prescribed to strengthen the immunity of people who felt weak, to heal sores or bruises, while amber itself could be rubbed onto areas of the body where pain was felt.

Pharmacists considered white amber in particular to be of great value.

Matthaus Pratorius (1635-1704) claimed that amber could provide protection against the plague. The son of the Palvininkai amber mine's (present-day Kaliningrad Oblast, Russian Federation) manager, E. Belman, left information that in the years 1922-1940 women suffering from tuberculosis were sent to the amber mines for treatment.

In the early 20th century in Austria and Germany medicine would be prepared containing succinite and oil. Crushed amber would be used in the production of toothpaste, soap, and massage cream.

In 1930 in Konigsberg H. Lampert (1898-1981) patented a blood transfusion machine made from pressed amber.

According to folk medicine, an ear infection could be treated with amber smoke, while infants' teething pain could be reduced by sucking an amber pacifier.

These days the healing properties of amber continue to be researched and applied in practice, especially in medicine and in cosmetic products.

Hair care treatments with amber extract that strengthen the hair shaft and root are available for sale, which makes hair shine and reduces static. It is said that amber calms and cleanses the skin, regulates collagen synthesis making skin appear more youthful, and also heals infections.

Amber oil is an excellent antiseptic, it has antibacterial properties - when it is applied to the skin, sores close up quicker. Doctors and pharmacists are actively researching the properties of succinite, which is said to help the body take in more oxygen.

In nature, succinte is found in blackcurrants, gooseberries, grapes, beetroot and rhubarb. Succinite is very important in the metabolism of biological materials. It stimulates cell energy, neutralises poisons and improves micro- circulation in organs and tissue. 

(Source: Lithuanian Art Museum, pgm.lt)