One of the world’s oldest and most coveted treasures – amber – has been portrayed as drops of the sun, tears of the gods, hardened honey, sunlight solidified… Sought after as a talisman of beauty and tenderness, good-luck, protection and renewal, it is as desired today as it was in the most ancient cultures. As a material with a unique genesis, especially compared with other precious stones, amber has long been associated with medicinal, energetic and even supernatural qualities.
For centuries, receiving amber as a gift has been considered to bring luck
There are several myths about amber, its origins and significance. According to the Lithuanian legend amber was the tears of the sea goddess Jurate who shed them mourning over her beloved mortal fisherman Kastytis. Chinese myths relate that amber is the souls of dead tigers, which is why amber is a symbol of courage in China. Owning amber was the highest sign of wealth and status for Chinese people. It was also customary for them to burn amber during large festivities, in order to show the hosts’ wealth and their respect for their guests.
Buddhism mentions amber as one of the seven treasures (i. e., gold, silver, aquamarine, crystal, coral, emerald and amber), while Chinese Buddhists believe that milky amber can give You unique spiritual forces. The Egyptians even buried it in tombs for the afterlife. Ancient Romans wore amber amulets for protection. Armies were often sent to conquer amber producing villages.
Since ancient times, amber was considered to be one of the most effective energetic healing substances, a natural purifier, drawing off toxins, pain, and disease from the physical body, as well as the mind and spirit. People believed that amber attracted good luck, stimulated the immune system, increased vitality and the body’s other natural healing mechanisms to rebalance and heal itself. Amber adornments were worn to avert misfortune, ameliorate depression or work through the grieving process, reduce fatigue or feelings of general weariness, increase energy, bring luck in love, stimulate the intellect and even to achieve longevity.
Amber was coveted as a protective stone for children, and throughout history was strung as beads and placed around their neck to keep them from harm and reduce teething pain. Amber teething necklaces and healing pendants continue to be sought after to this day.
The ancient Greek doctor Hippocrates used amber as a cure for various ailments (severe head, neck or throat pain), while traditional Chinese medicine used amber to calm the spirit, make the blood more active, and ease painful and frequent urination.
Amber is alleged to promote health, good luck, wisdom, patience, protection, and positive energy
Aristocrats of the 17th century used to brew tea in special amber containers knowing that the amber vessel it is brewed in would release something into the tea that would cure them of their ills. Women in Northern Italy would regularly wear amber necklaces against their throat as they felt that amber was healing for the thyroid gland. Wearing amber bracelets was believed to be beneficial to sufferers of rheumatism and arthritis. Even Martin Luther carried a piece of amber in his pocket as a protection against kidney stones!
Medicinally amber was ground into powder and used as an elixir or made into an ointment for curing deafness and poor eyesight, fever and stomach distress, asthma, gout, rheumatism, wounds and infections, epilepsy and the plaque.
When lit, amber’s smoke was thought to fend off evil spirits and enchantments, and sailors burned it on ships to drive away sea serpents and perils of the deep. As incense, it soothed stress and was believed to filter germs and disinfect an area, commonly used during childbirth.
Amber qualities were, of course, grossly exaggerated, yet some of them could be accepted by modern science. It is documented, that Baltic amber contains high amount (up to 8%) of succinic acid (or else known as amber acid) – natural constituent also found in animal tissues and plants. This substance was renowned over centuries as a natural analgesic and healing agent. It is claimed as beneficial to fight pain, alleviate stress and anxiety, improve cellular respiration and glucose metabolism, strengthen immune system, help the heart properly pump the blood. It is also noted that succinic acid is anti-inflammatory and rich in antioxidants. It is said, that while wearing amber jewellery, amber beads heat up against warm skin, releasing tiny amounts of healing substance for the body to absorb it.
Whatever You believe, no one can neglect the fact that amber is a bewitching, eye-catching material that makes glorious jewellery for any occasion. We at MOOSE AMBER are proud to be breathing new life into the designs and trends of handmade Lithuanian gold jewellery.