As a mom with a science degree I need proof before I can bite off on something that seems a little… hippie. I want to use natural solutions and tools when possible, but I want to make sure they are safe, scientifically proven and effective.

When we discovered our son would have a clubfoot and would require treatment, I wanted to look for natural tools to help with the treatment discomforts throughout his treatment journey. Obviously, I would be incorporating doTERRA’s Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade essential oils into his routine treatment for comfort, tissue healing, soothing, regeneration and anti-inflammatory properties. But was there something else I could use to help augment his comfort? Mamas rave about “amber beads” and their ability to help with symptoms associated with teething, so I did some digging and found they are also commonly used for rheumatism, arthritis, aching muscles and joints. Other claims include simulating nervous system recovery, boosting immune system, reducing inflammation, improving energy and accelerating the natural healing process. So why not in my son’s clubfoot treatment?

Through my research this is what I found:

  1. Baltic amber contains a compound known as succinic acid which helps with natural pain relief. To acquire therapeutic levels of succinic acid you must use Baltic amber which consists of up to 8% of its makeup. Succinic acid is found naturally in our bodies and in many foods, including beer and wine.
  2. The beads must stay in direct contact with the skin so the acid can be absorbed into the skin and reach the body’s blood system. Once the succinic acid reaches the blood system you can acquire systemic anti-inflammatory, calming and soothing properties.
  3. Typically, the lighter the color beads (such as butter, yellow or lemon) the more succinic acid.
  4. Raw (or unfinished) may release succinic acid easier and faster. So, choose unpolished.
  5. Warm body temperatures are needed to release the succinic acid. The longer the beads are against the skin the better, for both sustained therapeutic release and to help warm the beads.
  6. The longer the beads stay in place against the skin at body temperature the more succinic acid will get into blood system. Long-term contact is recommended for the best therapeutic effects.

In closing, I wouldn’t be a good Emergency Nurse without cautioning on safety. I have a really hard time being okay with babies wearing something around their neck while they sleep and play. Or having something that they can accidentally put into their mouth and choke on. Please check the beads before wearing and make sure each bead is secured independently on chew resistant string. Make sure the beads have an easy release, so the beads can not cause hanging or get stuck on objects. Consider applying the beads around the wrist or ankle so it is not a strangulation risk. Never let your baby wear the beads while unattended or out of your direct supervision.

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