In ancient Rome Amber was used as medicine and as a protection against different diseases. Calistratus, famous physician of those times, wrote that amber protects from madness, powder of amber mixed with honey cures throat, ear and eye diseases and taken with water cures stomach illnesses.

Pliny the Younger noted that Roman peasant women wore amber medallions not only as adornments, but also as a remedy for “swollen glands and sore throat and palate.”

Persian scientist Ibn Sina (Avicenna) called amber remedy for many diseases. There was a belief in eastern countries that amber smoke strengthens human spirit and gives courage. In China “amber syrup”, a mixture of succinct acid and opium, was used as a tranquilizer and antispasmodic.

In the Middle Ages amber beads were even worn for the treatment of jaundice. It was believed that the magic force of this yellow stone could absorb unhealthy yellowness of the skin and the weakness of the organism. Terms Oleum succini (amber oil), Balsamum succini (amber balsam), Extractum succini (amber extract) were often used in the recipes and records of the alchemists of those times.

Prussian duke Albrecht decided to follow the recipe of a Roman physician and sent a piece of amber to Luther as a remedy for stone disease.

As could be seen from legends and myths Prussians and Samogitians also used amber in the manufacture of incenses. In former times Lithuanian tribes employed such incense to drive away evil spirits from the dead and help the soul travel to good spirits. The newly born babies were fumigated so that they could grow faster, the newly-weds – that they could live happily and those going to war so that they could return with spoils of victory.

Before World War I amber was still used for treatment of various diseases, e.g. tincture made of pieces of amber and vodka was thought to increase sexual potency of men. In Lithuania and in tsarist Russia nannies had to wear amber beads to protect themselves and babies from diseases. As late as before World War II, especially in Germany, amber beads were put on babies to make the eruption of teeth less painful and make the teeth grow stronger.

Even now in Lithuania many women suffering from goitre purchase curative amber beads made of unpolished pieces of amber to wear around the neck. At least nobody would be able contradict the fact that amber beads collect an electrostatic charge when touched and the oxidised surface contains the highest amount of succinic acid. It is a biostimulant that has a positive effect on the nervous system, the heart, and the kidneys and stimulates recovery processes.

From http://www.baltic.amber.museum