Does Amber Really Work?
Posted by Courtney Moser on June 28, 2014.
After many, many, many requests for it over the past two years, we've recently added Baltic amber jewelry to our selection of products here at Over the Moon!
If you're just learning about this whole amber teething necklace thing, you're probably wondering if it's safe, how it works, and how to know if amber is real.
Is it safe for a baby to wear amber?
The reason we specifically chose to carry Healing Hazel amber jewelry is that Healing Hazel is the only amber manufacturer whose products have proven their compliance with Consumer Product Safety Commission requirements under independent testing. CPSC standards state that necklaces worn by children 12 years old and younger must open under 15 lbs of pressure or less. Healing Hazel's amber necklaces have passed test administered by a private laboratory accredited by the CPSC.
Two important safety features of Healing Hazel's amber are the breakaway clasp and individual knots between each and every bead. Both the breakaway clasp (which breaks with a force of 6.8 lbs) and the individually knotted beads are meant to prevent choking.
In addition, you should choose the length of your child's amber necklace carefully. It should be long enough so that you can fit two fingers easily between baby's neck and the necklace, but short enough that it should not lay below the chin. Although they are frequently referred to as "teething necklaces", this does not mean that the necklace is meant to be chewed!
Finally, please understand that children 3 and under should only wear jewelry under close parental supervision. Therefore, we recommend that you remove amber necklaces when your baby is sleeping.
One final note about safety is that we do not carry or recommend amber anklets for babies. Even under parent supervision, it's too easy for a baby to reach his or her foot and slip the anklet off!
Does amber really work?
Ask different people; get different answers. There aren't any double-blind scientific studies on the matter. We started carrying amber because so many parents swear by it and asked us for it. We've worn amber ourselves and noticed improvements in joint pain and soreness. Placebo effect? Maybe so, but it still helps!
Amber is said to release succinic acid (historically known as "the spirit of amber") into the skin, which provides relief from pain and inflammation. The FDA has found no evidence that succinic acid is harmful in its natural state.
It'd be difficult to test whether amber specifically helps with teething pain. Of course, babies, can't explain why they're fussy and it's often a guessing game to soothe them.
Take toddlers, then. I can just imagine the conversation with my two-year-old: "Rate your teething comfort on a scale of one to ten."
How can I tell if my amber is real?
Amber is a fossilized resin, so it does not feel as heavy as glass. Many products being sold as "real amber necklaces" are actually nothing more than colored plastic beads.
Healing Hazel amber jewelry is made with is 100% Baltic amber from Lithuania. But don't take our word for it. Below you'll find the official report of authenticity on Healing Hazel's amber from the Gemological Institute of America.