the story of baltic amber

baltic amber heart

Buoyant and luminous, unlike any other stone, this fossilized tree resin that varies from shades of honey, butterscotch, green and deep, dark cherry carries an ancient tradition unlocking secrets of earliest culture. Baltic amber, familiar to the ancient Greeks, Egyptians and Mesopotamian society, has remained recognized as pertinent in this modern age, not only for its unique brilliance, but for its healing properties as well. The Greeks were awed by the smooth, solidified resin and spread the myth that it came from the tears of a nymph as they fell into the water. Effects made from amber were found entombed with the mummified remains of the young Egyptian King Tutankhamen in 1400 B.C.

The ancient Greek word for amber is elektron, which translates into “originating from the sun.” Amber gained this nomenclature, perhaps because Greeks were the first to describe the unusual electrostatic properties of amber. Rub two pieces of amber together briskly, and it produces enough electrostatic charge to pick up a piece of paper. The root of this Greek word is still used today when we describe our modern source of energy, electricity.

The ancient Romans also cherished Amber jewelry. However, only the affluent possessed such decorative articles, amulets and dice. Roman trade expeditions were made to the Baltic Sea to fill the demand for this precious resin. Proof that this trade took place lies in the over 70,000 Roman coins discovered in what is now present-day Poland.

One might ask what is the origin of Baltic Amber.

It is the fossilized resin from prehistoric forests of colossal Kauri pine trees. The Polish Museum of Science confirms that the reddish-hued amber comes from extinct deciduous trees such as cherry and plum. This resin was once so abundant that it could be found on the shoreline alongside other debris tossed out of the sea by the tide’s ebb and flow. Now this depleted resource must be mined from the depths of the Baltic Sea, increasing its value and rarity.

People are often fascinated by the ill-fated mosquito or other insects found enshrined in the luminous resin. Such unique pieces are rare and thus more expensive.

Copal, also a hardened tree resin, is a much younger cousin to amber, and is often mistaken for it. Less than 30-million-years-old, Copal does not possess the tremendous healing power of the 40-to 140-million-year-old Baltic amber.

Amber, often referred to as a living stone, is not a mineral. Its origins are organic, and it has an amorphous structure.

In 1546, G. Agricola, a mineralogist and a doctor, extracted Succinic acid from amber, using dry distillation. By heating the amber in a vacuum, he was able to divide it into acid, oil and resin, all valuable properties.

The highest levels of Succinic acid found in living nature are found in gooseberries and the stalks of rhubarb. One thousand times that quantity of Succinic acid can be procured from Baltic amber.

Baltic amber contains 3-8% Succinic acid. This acid is a substance used in contemporary medicine. The highest content is found in the external layer of the amber.

Biologically active Succinic acid was originally employed by European scientists and military doctors to bolster the body’s immunity to radiation from industrial accidents. The acid has also been shown to strengthen immunity to ionizing radiation, infections, alcohol and other toxins.

Throat problems, such as goiter, can be treated with amber, as well as the stomach, spleen, kidneys, bladder, liver and gallbladder. It cleans the environment, making it an excellent choice for birthing rooms.

A preventative in human aging, Succinic acid is an antioxidant that acts as an inhibitor, slowing down or totally stopping potassium ion degeneration, rendering Succinic acid a modern-day fountain of youth.

The acid was analyzed by Nobel Prize winner Robert Kock in 1886. As the pioneer of modern bacteriology, Kock confirmed the positive benefits of the acid and discovered that there is no risk of accumulation in the body, even in high doses. Amber oil, another medical marvel, quickly permeates the skin, penetrating deep into the tissue, delivering negative ions while improving blood circulation and easing muscle pain. It is especially effective for all rheumatic diseases.

The first Polish monograph on amber was written by members of the medical profession who had witnessed amber’s protective and therapeutic properties. For centuries, amber was perceived as an effective anti-bacterial agent. In ancient times, it was ground and made into a penicillin-like remedy, either ingested or used topically. Armed with this knowledge, artisans created necklaces, bracelets, rings and pendants out of amber.

In the 17th century, tea caddies, spoons, baby teething rings, pipes and cigarette holders were crafted from amber, not only for its beauty, but for its antiseptic qualities as well. These pieces became far more than decorative items of beauty. They embodied a new era in the healing arts, full of therapeutic value.

Not until technological advances made it possible to study the microcosmic world of the ant, did scientists discover that these insects have been using resin all along to sterilize their colonies. Resin is collected at the entrance to the colony and protects the queen ant against bacteria that may have been picked up in the outside world.

Albert the Great (1193-1280), a Dominican monk and philosopher, identified amber as one of the six most effective medicines. Polish astronomer and mathematician Nicholaus Copernicus (1473-1543) studied medicine at Krakow University and wrote his thesis on amber’s powerful medical properties.

In 1680, when plagues swarmed through towns in Europe, an effective preventive measure was the use of fumigation with the smoke from burning amber. As a result, it was recorded by Matthaus Praetorius that not a single “amber-man” from Gdansk died of the disease during the plague. Amber smoke is still used in present-day aromatherapy, commonly known as frankincense.

Russians promote Succinic acid in pill form as an important anti-alcohol medicine, reducing the desire for alcohol. It also quickly eliminates the effects of excessive alcohol consumption; a mere 0.1 gram pill restores an inebriated person’s motor skill to normal, allowing them the ability to work, if need be.

Recent scientific research proves the positive influence of Succinic acid, particularly when it comes to strengthening the immune system, balancing acids and increasing energy.

The Metaphysical Uses of Baltic Amber

The Metaphysical Uses of Baltic Amber heightens creativity and helps us to accept change. It’s excellent at removing self-imposed obstacles, replacing them with self confidence and a positive attitude. It counteracts depression and suicidal thoughts.

The astrological signs of Leo and Aquarius are assigned to amber, which vibrates to the number three. It is dedicated to the connection of the conscious self to universal perfection. It both opens the crown chakra and stimulates the intellect.

Amber assists in manifestation, bringing one’s heart's desires into reality. It has strong connections to the earth and thus is grounding for higher energies. It is excellent at cleaning the environment as well the chakras, the body’s seven energy centers.

Ancient tradition tells us that Baltic amber epitomized the very essence of the universal life force. In today’s modern age where the pharmaceutical industry seems to have formed an alliance with medical practitioners to treat symptoms instead of the root cause, amber still presents a simple, yet tremendously beneficial tool, to help the body help itself. There is no question that amber originates from natural living trees millions of years ago and holds that life blood within it that we may reap life from its essence today.

Dedicated to the memory of Polish writer and journalist Joseph Witulski whose research and writing on Amber was the basis for this pamphlet.

      These statements are in no way intended to act as a substitute for medical treatment, diagnosis, cure or prevention of any illness or disease. Always seek the advice of your doctor first.