MoonDragon's Health & Wellness
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AMBER RESIN DESCRIPTION
FOSSIL TREE RESIN
Amber is not a stone, although people often classiy Amber as a gemstone due to its color and beauty. Amber is a hard organic material made from fossil tree resin, not a typical gemstone mineral. Organic refers to having its origin in living things. Amber is not made from tree sap (a vital circulating fluid of a plant) as many people always thought. Sap is the fluid that ciriculates through a vascular system of a plant, while resin is the semi-solid amorphous organic substance that is secreted in canals and pockets through epithelial cells of the plant. The amorphous mixture of organic compounds includes hydrocarbons, succinic acid, resins and oils. Amorphous means that it has no crystalline structure.
Amber resin is always a blend of different ingredients from many different sources. Since the ingredients vary in each Amber resin, so do its colors and scents. The colors of Amber resin range from golden (called Honey Amber) to reddish, brown and near black. The consistency also varies from very soft to quite hard. Some Ambers are waxier, while others contain more crystals. The aromas vary from sweet, floral Ambers, to woody, musky Ambers. The resin may be produced by the tree to protect it from disease and injury inflicted by fungi and insects. Resin dripped from and oozed down the trees of an ancient forest. Resins possess odors or tastes that both repel and attract insects. Resin may be exuded from the tree to heal a wound such as a broken branch. In mature trees, this resin may simply exude from vertical fissures in the bark due to tension produced by rapid growth. The resin may also be produced as a method for disposing of excess acetate.
True Amber is not a resin that is tapped directly from a tree by modern methods and manufactured into a piece of Amber. The making of Amber is only done by nature over millions of years under special circumstances.
Amber is a very unusual substance being both tree resin and a fossil. However, it is not a fossil in the common sense. Fossils mostly begin by having a plant or animal buried in the earth. The organic material is replaced slowly with elements from the mineral kingdom over a period of millennia. On the other hand, Amber has not had its organic elements replaced. Instead, the resin has gone through a chemical transformation. It has become a polymer, a natural plastic. The oldest fossil resins found come from seed ferns (pteridosperms) dating back to the Carboniferous period (320 million years ago). These resins are physically and chemically unlike any other fossils resins known.
Limestones from the Permian period (260 million years ago) from the area of the Chekarda River in the western pedimont of the Ural Mountains have yielded microscopic quantities of resin. Fossil resins from the Triassic period have been found in Switzerland and Arizona (USA). The oldest Ambers found with inclusions come from the early Cretaceous of Lebanon in the middle East.
Unlike other fossils where the original organic structure is replaced by minerals, the chemical composition of Ambers remain virtually unchanged. This is why the inclusions in Amber are so wonderfully preserved. A window to the ancient environment is opened. By comparing the inclusions from a particular Amber deposit and the organisms in the different environments of today, researchers can draw conclusions as to the nature of the environment in which these organisms lived. A wide range of life has been found encased in Amber: Insects, lizards, frogs, spiders and other arthropods, and a variety of botanical inclusions.
For resin to become Amber, several important things must occur. Resin will decompose, degrade and oxidize if left exposed oxygen in the atmosphere. It is preserved only under certain conditions. Therefore they are almost always found in dense, wet sediments, such as sand and clay that formed at the bottom of an ancient lagoon or a river delta. All those many years ago, the globs of resins were carried by moving water and became buried in the sediments of an oxygen-poor environment. The molecules of the resins began to cross-link with one another. The process generally takes several million years although there is no hard-fast rule. A continum exists starting with fresh sap oozing from a tree and ending with Amber.
Copal, a substance often mistaken for Amber, is an intermediate stage. It is not as hard and durable as amber. Amber occurs in deposits of different ages and is found in many places throughout the world. Most of these deposits occur in just trace amounts. Just a few deposits are large enough to be mined. Amber and Copal was not produced from one kind of tree but from variety of different conifers and tropical broad-leafed trees.
Amber can contain many preserved animals inside such as gnats, wasps, flies, ants, bacteria, amoebae, bees, centipedes, spiders, frogs, scorpions, and lizards or preserved plants such as flowers, seeds, mushroom caps, stems, pine cones and pine needles that are tens or hundreds of millions years old. Sometimes fur or feathers can be found inside too. Because these fossils are not the same species that are alive today, these frequent fossil inclusions that are often seen in Amber normally add to the stone's unique look and can greatly increase its value. More than 1,000 extinct species of insects have been identified in Amber.
Amber is light in weight (but heavier than water), warm to the touch and the color is not always yellowish-brown, it can be found in blue, brown, whitish color, lemon color, orange, red (cherry amber), green, and even black. Many of the most valuable Amber is transparent. Amber has a soft scent that remains for years, which makes it an attractive substance for necklaces (and other jewelry) that are worn next to warm skin in close proximity of the wearer's nose. Regardless of the form Amber takes (whether used as jewelry or artwork) its aroma is unique and provocative.
Amber may be considered one of the oldest substances that has been used for human adornment. Pendants and beads made from this substances were found in northern European gravesites in 8000 B.C. Most of the Ambers that are found today are 30 to 90 million years old. The largest and richest Amber deposits can be found in the Baltic Sea region. Baltic Amber is older and more valuable while Amber from the Dominican Republic is likely to have more insect inclusions, which are prized by collectors. The Dominican Amber is said to be softest and the Burmese Amber is the hardest. The percentage of succinic acid contained in the Amber determines its quality. The highest percentage of succinic acid found in the Ambers are from the Baltic Sea region. Beware of glass, plastic, synthetic resin and other natural resins Amber imitations.
Amber is believed to have special properties:
- To improve eyesight by gazing into it.
- In ancient times this aromatic resin was used to cleanse the air by burning it, especially during childbirth.
- Amber is not a birthstone, but astrologically, Amber is associated with the zodiac sign of Taurus.
BALTIC AMBER (SUCCINITE) GEMSTONE CLASSIFICATION
By The International Amber Association
Natural Baltic Amber: Gemstone which has undergone mechanical treatment only (for instance: grinding, cutting, turning or polishing) without any change to its natural properties. Modified Baltic Amber: Gemstone subjected only to thermal or high-pressure treatment, which changed its physical properties, including the degree of transparency and color, or shaped under similar conditions out of one nugget, previously cut to the required size. Reconstructed (Pressed) Baltic Amber: Gemstone made of Baltic amber pieces pressed in high temperature and under high pressure without additional components. Bonded Baltic Amber: Gemstone consisting of two or more parts of natural, modified or reconstructed Baltic amber bonded together with the use of the smallest possible amount of a colorless binding agent necessary to join the pieces.
TRUE AMBER vs FAKE OR IMITATION AMBER
Amber is often confused with Copal which is also a tree resin but has not fully fossilized to Amber. They are nearly identical in origins. The difference between those two is that amber is millions of years old, while Copal just a few hundred thousand years old or less. There are several different materials that are commonly encountered as fake Amber.
- Copal: Copal is a natural resin as is amber. It is not as old and polymerized as amber. Copal has a lower melting point than Amber and melts rather than burns. This allows for the insertion of organisms.
- Glass: Glass is cold to the touch, dense, and is not scratched by steel.
- Phenolic Resins: Phenolic resin also known as bakelite is the most common material used in fake Amber necklaces. Most often, the oval beads become progressively larger as they move from the necklace catch. Colors may be dark red, transparent or cloudy. Phenolic resin is slightly denser than Amber.
- Celluloid: Celluloid (cellulose nitrate) is usually yellow and cloudy. It is slightly denser and more inflammable than Amber.
- Casein: Casein is a plastic made from milk. Beads made from this material are cloudy and a dirty yellow color. Casein is slightly heavier than Amber.
- Modern plastics (such as polyesters and polystyrene)
When heated amber will turns soft and starts to yield a fragrant aroma. When it is overheated it can be burnt out completely. If it is rubbed with a cloth, it will attract ashes, dust and small pieces of paper. These techniques will not distinguish Amber from Copal, but the techniques will separate Amber from plastic imitations. To distinguish between Copal and Amber is not that simple since they share the same specific gravity, refractive index and most other properties. There is strong debate about certain deposits of African Amber as to whether it is true Amber or Copal.
There are several treatments that can be carried out on Amber gemstone like heating, dyeing, surface coating and Amber reconstruction. Heating is applied to increase the inclusions and enhance the color, dyeing is done to give it an aged look, surface coating is done to remove any damages or blemishes on the surface. Reconstructed Ambers are made by pressing small pieces of amber together with linseed oil at high temperature and pressure. Reconstructed amber is also called ambroid. This can be distinguished with a microscope. Many ambers used in commercial jewelry is actually reconstituted which makes them harder and less prone to scratching. Reconstituted ambers and processed ambers usually do not have natural inclusions.
QUICK TESTS FOR AMBER-LIKE MATERIALS
Alcohol Test: Put a drop of isopropanol or ethanol on a polished surface to be tested and let it evaporate. With copal, the polish is removed and the surface becomes sticky. There is no reaction with Amber or the other fake materials.
Scratch Test: A pin will scratch the surface of Amber (and other fake materials) but not glass.
Hot Wire Test: Heat a wire or sewing needle red hot. Let it cool slightly, and touch it to the material in question. This will produce a puff of smoke. Amber has a slightly acrid resinous smell, copal has a sweet resinous smell, and many fake materials have an acrid plastic-like odor.
Saltwater Test: Stir 7 heaping teaspoons of salt into a half pint of water. For the next few minutes, give a quick stir every 30 seconds. The salt solution has a higher specific gravity (1.1) than Amber and Copal. These natural materials will float whereas the other synthetic materials will sink.
A. Does alcohol make it sticky?
B. Can it be scratched?
C. Does it float in a saturated salt solution?
D. Does a hot wire produce a resinous smell?
MATERIAL BEING TESTED A B C D Amber N Y Y Y Copal Y Y Y Y Glass N N N N Phenolic Resin N Y N N Celluloid N Y N N Casein N Y N N Other Plastics N Y N N Polystyrene N Y Y N
(Y = Yes; N = No)
The information in this section comes from AMBER The Natural Time Capsule by Andrew Ross of The Natural History Museum in London.
For more information about Amber vs Copal testing, see Amber Safety and Cautions further down on this page.
AMBER RESIN USES, HEALTH BENEFITS, & SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE
Amber has been used since prehistory (Solutrean) in the manufacture of jewelry and ornaments, and also in folk medicine. Amber also forms the flavoring for akvavit liquor. Amber has been used as an ingredient in perfumes. Amber is a fossil resin with a chemical combination close to C10H16O, containing some Hydrogen sulfide. There is very limited nutritional information available about Amber. Amber contains succoryabietic acid, succoabietinolic acid, succinosilvic acid, succinoabietal, succinoresinol, benzene, resin, succinit, and succinic acid. As mentioned earlier, pines are the primary source of amber. Pine resin gets its sticky quality from molecules that also form the hardened pine resin such as colophonium, prmaric acid, and abietic acid. Compounds in pine resin have small amounts of oxygen (hydrocarbons) or are pure hydrocarbons. In the case of resin, a small trace of minerals is present at times.
AMBER RESIN HISTORIC MEDICAL USES
Amber has long been used in folk medicine for its purported healing properties. Amber and extracts were used from the time of Hippocrates in ancient Greece for a wide variety of treatments through the Middle Ages and up until the early twentieth century. Amber is considered a master healing gemstone. Baltic Amber absorbs negative energy which is turns into positive energy. It is used for its calming effects and as a healing stone for joint disorders, stomach ailments, and spleen and kidney problems. In previous years, health care practitioners prescribed amber for heart problems, headaches and arthritis treatment. Useful memory aid, encourages peacefulness, trust, wisdom. These theories of Baltic Amber have not been thoroughly scientifically validated.
Here are some of the health benefits and therapeutic uses of amber and amber-based products:
- Amber and Amber derivatives are used in the treatment of palpitations and convulsions as amber powder is known to calm the mind. Chinese medicine uses amber powder along with other herbs in the treatment of epilepsy.
- Amber acid from Baltic Amber is used as a food additive to boost the immune system, reduce inflammation, and hasten the healing of wounds.
- Succinic acid, as Amber acid is called, is said to be effective against alcoholism, reducing the effects of excessive consumption of alcohol.
- Succinic acid is also known to be an antioxidant and is said to prevent aging of human cells.
- Amber acid stimulates the thyroid gland and regulates hormone production in the body.
- Massages with amber oil are best to improve blood circulation. Amber oil also penetrates deep into the skin when massaged and eases muscular pain.
- Powdered amber energizes the body and promotes healing in case of injuries.
- Applied to ulcers, carbuncles, and boils on the skin, it reduces inflammation and facilitates tissue regeneration and healing.
- Amber is effective in the treatment of kidney-related problems such as difficulty in urination and water retention. It is also beneficial in the case of those suffering from uterine stones.
- Chinese medicines that use amber are prescribed for those with circulatory problems and for those with pain in the abdomen.
- Amber, ginseng, and other herbs have been found to be useful in the treatment of blocked arteries, blood clots, and coronary heart disease.
- Wearing amber baby teething necklaces close to skin helps soothe teething babies thanks to the natural soothing, anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties of amber.
- A few drops of amber tincture, made with vodka and crushed amber, helps to fight bacterial and viral infections.
- Amber helps promote menses and also provides relief from menstrual cramps.
- Amber is useful for those who are emotionally disturbed. It also helps sedate and calm a person.
- It is beneficial for women suffering from post-birth abdominal pain which is a result of blood stagnation.
Studies have shown that amber has a major part in cosmetology. Amber entered in the cosmetic world as a bio-energetic complex that has a priceless range. The amber cosmetics (in which the natural Amber's energy is used):
- Protect skin cells from aging.
- Strengthen, liven and regenerate skin and eliminate and relieve tiredness.
- They make skin seem smoother, silkier and make it firm. They help to minimize wrinkles.
- The cosmetics with Amber are very light and easily absorbed through skin, which sometimes might be tired and rough.
Your skin will have a healthy look and the cosmetics will restore your natural color in a short amount of time.
AMBER RESIN / AMBER GEMSTONE JEWELRY
Amber has been used since the stone age, from 13,000 years ago. Amber ornaments have been found in Mycenaean tombs and elsewhere across Europe. To this day it is used in the manufacture of smoking and glassblowing mouthpieces. Amber's place in culture and tradition lends it a tourism value; Palanga Amber Museum is dedicated to the mineral. Amber is used in the making of costume jewelry and other ornamental items. Because it is light and easily worked, Amber has been a valuable jewel for thousands of years. Classical poets described Amber as the tears of the gods, or as the essence of the rays of the setting sun washed up on the seashore. Amber was prized in the Roman Empire. The Emperor Nero even mounted an expedition to the Baltic coast to gather his own supplies. In many ancient civilizations, amulets and medicines were commonly made with Amber, as it dissolves readily in alcohol.
Comfortable, lightweight, and very beautiful, amber is radiant with energies of peace and calm to those who wear it. Amber is considered by some as a powerful chakra cleanser and healer. Others give testimony to the fact that wearing a healing Amber necklace provides soothing relief of headaches, sore neck, sore throat and most especially chest congestion. Teething amber necklaces are meant to help babies and toddlers go through the ritual of teething without pain. You can benefit greatly from wearing healing amber necklaces and amber healing bracelets to control the pain of rheumatism, arthritis, and aching muscles and joints. Amber is considered a perfect remedy for abdominal, bladder, kidney, liver, blood, and eye trouble and it also aids in producing tissue revitalization. Amber draws disease out of afflicted areas and neutralizes negative energy allowing the body to heal itself. Baltic Amber is also an anti-anxiety remedy that rids fatigue and weariness, strengthens the memory and intellect thereby providing a feeling of peace and feeling great all day long and provides more self confidence. In many parts of the world, especially in Europe, amber healing is a tradition that has been handed down from generation to generation.
AMBER SCENT & AMBER PERFUMERY
In ancient China it was customary to burn amber during large festivities. If amber is heated under the right conditions, oil of amber is produced, and in past times this was combined carefully with nitric acid to create "artificial musk" - a resin with a peculiar musky odor. Although when burned, Amber does give off a characteristic "pinewood" fragrance, modern products, such as perfume, do not normally use actual Amber. This is due to the fact that fossilized amber produces very little scent. In perfumery, scents referred to as "Amber" are often created and patented to emulate the opulent golden warmth of the fossil. The modern name for Amber is thought to come from the Arabic word, ambar, meaning ambergris. Ambergris is the waxy aromatic substance created in the intestines of sperm whales and was used in making perfumes both in ancient times as well as modern. The scent of Amber was originally derived from emulating the scent of Ambergris and/or Labdanum but due to the endangered status of the sperm whale the scent of Amber is now largely derived from Labdanum. The term "amber" is loosely used to describe a scent that is warm, musky, rich and honey-like, and also somewhat oriental and earthy. It can be synthetically created or derived from natural resins. When derived from natural resins it is most often created out of labdanum. Benzoin is usually part of the recipe. Vanilla and cloves are sometimes used to enhance the aroma. "Amber" perfumes may be created using combinations of Labdanum, Benzoin resin, Copal (itself a type of tree resin used in incense manufacture), Vanilla, Dammara resin and/or synthetic materials.
BALTIC AMBER IN ANCIENT TIMES & HEALING POWERS OF AMBER
Ancient Germanic tribes such as the Goths, other Nordic peoples, Celts, Romans, Greeks, Arabs, Chinese and other peoples valued Amber for it's beauty, protection and healing properties. Amber was also called Electra, Bernstein or Northern Gold due to its electrical properties and golden color and was traded far and wide in the ancient world. Baltic Amber is a "warm to the touch" gem. This "always warm to the touch" Amber gem possesses electrostatic properties and was, for centuries and continues today, to be utilized for healing purposes. Amber rubbed against wool or silk becomes electrically charged. This unusual great power of Amber is embedded in its ability to produce negative ions that benefit the electrical systems of the body. The negative ions affects the body by easing pain, activating the healing process, and providing protection from harmful radiation. Amber can improve the functions of the brain and nervous system, release anxiety, and increase clarity of mind. It can also be useful for detoxification and alleviate depression. It is worth it to become familiar with Amber and have this simple natural ionizer with you at all times.
Amber necklaces are protective when worn. It is a potent amulet against negative magic. You can also have children wear amber beads to guard their health, as countless others have done in many parts of the world. Or place a bit in the child’s bedroom. If you feel you are being subjected to heavy negativity, light a white candle and place it on the ground or floor. Sit before it with a handful of small beads, and using them, create a circle around yourself. Sit within the circle while restoring your energy and closing yourself off to any and all outside influences. Repeat as necessary. Another protective use is to place small beads or pieces into a bath of warm water. Soak in the tub until the water cools. Then retrieve the amber, towel off, and carry or wear one of the beads until your next bath. Amber has long been regarded as being highly sensual and magnetic. It is worn to attract love.
Beads of Amber are worn around the neck as a general protector of our health and to relieve or cure present conditions. It has been worn for the prevention or relief of convulsions, deafness, insanity, sore throat, earache, toothache, asthma, rheumatism, and almost every interal ailment. A ball of amber held in the hand reduces fever. Because it is translucent, or even transparent, Amber is worn or carried to strengthen the eyes. Looking through a piece of amber is thought to do the same.
Amber is a powerful chakra cleanser and healer. At a physical level, is imbues the body with vitality and has the power to draw disease out of the body. By absorbing pain and negative energy, amber allows the body to rebalance and heal itself. Amber alleviates stress. It treats the throat, stomach, spleen, kidneys, bladder, liver, and gallbladder, alleviates joint problems, and strengthens the mucus membranes. As an elixir and for wound healing, it is an excellent natural antibiotic.
Amber provides decisiveness. It strengthens your memory and intellect and helps with emotional calming and centering. It is an excellent grounding crystal, and transmutes negative energy to positive. Amber radiates a warm and bright energy. It aids the Abdomen, Bladder, Blood, Eyes, Kidneys, Stomach, Tissue Revitalization, Throat, Liver, Joint Problems. Wearing crystal jewelry gives you the energy of the stone all day long. Amber draws disease out of afflicted areas and neutralize negative energy allowing the body to heal itself.
Amber is believed to alleviate stomachache, increase oxygen levels, and reduce gastritis pain. As an aromatherapy substance Amber resin is known to reduce allergens found in the air. In China during ancient times it was a custom to burn Amber during large festivities.
Amber is fossilized resin, which warms against the skin, releasing it's theraputic properties safely and naturally. Wearing Baltic Amber close to the skin is a traditional European remedy for baby teething. A natural analgesic, Amber will help calm a baby without resorting to drugs. Used for centuries in Europe, Amber's natural anti-inflamitory and pain relieving properties are perfect to soothe teething babies.
Amber Resin Incense is an emotion balancer and is used in healing and meditation. Traditionally applied in treatment of amnesia, dreaminess, and insomnia. Wonderful, aromatic fragrance. Incense is burned to cleanse, purify or create a desired atmosphere.
- To revitalize and renew one's energy.
- To help insomnia.
- To assist in soothing emotional roadblocks.
HOW TO BURN RESIN INCENSE
- Natural Incense (Resin and/or Herbal)
- Incense Burner (Filled with ash or sand)
- Natural Incense Charcoal
- Metal Tongs or Tweezers (To hold incense charcoal)
- Lighter, Matches or Candle Flame
THE INCENSE BURNER
Before beginning you need a fireproof incense burner. What kind of burner you need depends on what kind of incense you wish to burn. Any ceramic or metal cup or bowl works great, as do large sea shells or rocks with natural bowl forms. The choices are virtually unlimited. They key element is the containment of heat and protection from burns and fire. You allow fire in the form of burning coals and incense on the inside but you do not want the hot coals, heat, or ash to exit the burner and start a fire. Always think safety first.
If using a ceramic or metal incense burner, then something with legs or feet is preferred. Legs lift the hot bottom of the burner off of the surface where it is placed and allows for airflow between the two surfaces which in turn cools and protects them both. In some eastern traditions the three legs of the burner represent mind, body, and spirit. Shells and rocks or other items without feet can be placed on a ceramic tile or a piece of slate or stone, etc. for heat protection (preferably these items also have small pads or feet affixed to them).
FILL THE BURNER: ASH, SAND, CRUSHED ROCK OR SALT
Most incense burners work best and are safest if they are half-way to three-quarters filled with either Ash, Sand, Crushed Rock, Sea Salt, etc. These greatly reduce the heat the burner will absorb and give off, making it a safer burner to use. White chaff ash is one way to fill an incense burner because it can be used for burning sticks, cones, pellets, or loose incense, using charcoals, trails, and even the elegance of Kodo style. Ash allows charcoals and trails to breathe from all sides even if the coal is partially or fully buried. This is a huge advantage over sand, rock or salt which offer no air circulation from below. Pure, fine quality White Chaff Ash is made specifically for incense burners can usually be found wherever Japanese incense is sold. I actually prefer clean beach sand. It is free and easy to obtain and replace if you are near the coast. If you are not, desert sand can be used, so can sand collected from a nearby stream or riverbank. Just make sure it is clean and dry. Next time you take a road trip, grab a gallon size wine jug and fill it with your favorite sand. This will last a long time.
NO-FILL INCENSE BURNER
The incense burner can also be used with no filler; using just a lit incense charcoal placed in the middle of the burner and the incense sprinkled on top of, or right next to, the hot charcoal (once it's completely red-hot the coal will appear grey all over). Caution: Not using a filler in the incense burner produces a very hot incense burner which should never be handled once used. This style can be dangerous and brings a high risk of burns and fire hazards.
INCENSE CHARCOAL USE
Charcoal is necessary for burning smudge, herbs and resin incense. Use in a well-ventilated area to prevent smoke inhalation problems and do not use around smoke detectors (it will set them off). The charcoal disk has a concave indentation at the top to hold the resin. Remove the charcoal tablet from the sealed roll and place charcoal, the round side down in abalone shell, censer, or other "fire proof" dish. Put the incense dish on a stand or holder away from cloth (including breeze blown curtains) or other flammable materials. Filling the incense dish, incense burner or other container used with several inches of sand from the beach can make an excellent heat buffer between the burning charcoal and the bottom of the container and the table top. The materials in your incense burner will get very hot. This will help to prevent scorch marks or overheating of surfaces beneath the burning charcoal. Burn incense away from children and pets to prevent accidents. Wrap the foil around your unused charcoal to keep it fresh so it will light easily.
Light the edge of the tablet with a match or taper. Hold the flame to the edge of the charcoal until it begins to spark. Do NOT hold the charcoal tablet in your hand when lighting or burning. This product ignites instantly and will cause severe burns if touched. If you must move the charcoal, use metal tongs to move it safely. (Chemical-free charcoal is available made from chemical-free natural wood charcoals made from bamboo or natural roots from Japan. The crackling or sparking when lit usually indicates that the charcoal contains sodium or potassium nitrate and other chemicals often found in commercial incense charcoals. It is a preference and an availability choice.)
The sparkling will continue across the charcoal as it lights, otherwise use additional matches till it does. You may lightly fan the tablet a little to get it good and hot. Once the tablet is lit, let it burn a few minutes until you can see ash forming on the edges of the charcoal. If the charcoal is not completely red-hot, the incense will likely smother and extinguish the charcoal. You take a small amount about the size of a fingernail or a bottle cap (1/4 teaspoon to 1 teaspoon) of incense herbs or resins and place onto the lit cake of charcoal. Do not add too much incense at one time - the burning charcoal needs to breathe and fire needs oxygen to burn. The incense will burn or melt and smoke - releasing scent into the air. Let these burn for several minutes and then you can add more. Incense that is sprinkled directly on top of a hot coal burns very quickly and produces large amounts of smoke whereas incense sprinkled right next to, but not touching, the hot charcoal will release its fragrance more slowly and produce less smoke. It is a matter of situation and personal taste which style is preferred.
If the ashes start to give off an unpleasant odor, take a metal spoon or knife and scrape off any residue before adding more material. Metal tweezers or tongs work well for moving the tablet around INSIDE the censer. Do not burn your fingers. Sit back and relax, enjoying the fragrant smoke patterns in the air and savor the calming effect of the incense.
The tablet should be left to burn out and cool in the censer. Do not leave your burning incense unattended. Extinguis charcoal completely before sleeping or leaving the area. To extinguish a tablet before it has fully cooled quench in a container of cold water.
PLEASE NOTE: When the tablet is lit, do not handle it as it WILL cause a burn. Charcoal can burn at up to 1500°F and may burn up to an hour before burning out. Do not dispose of the ash remains in a waste paper bin as this may cause a fire. Use only fire-proof incense containers and be careful to provide insulation under the container and charcoal.
AMBER DOSAGE INFORMATION
25 grams Amber, Small Pieces
1 cup 90% Ethyl Alcohol (100 proof Vodka can be used in a pinch - this is 50% ethyl alcohol)
1 small amber-colored dropper bottle.
Prepare the small pieces of Amber by washing them and drying them by laying them out on a surface in the sunlight. Put the pieces of Amber into a small bottle and pour the ethyl alcohol / vodka over the stones, covering them. Put the bottle in the dark place. Once or twice a day you can shake the bottle, so the solution will mixed up well. The tincture medicine is ready after two weeks.
DOSAGE: You can use it externally for headaches, arthritic pains, sinuses, neuralgia, during cold, flu pains (applying to the chest and back). You can also add drops of it to the warm water or tea:
Amber Tincture Treatment For Adults
First Day, use 3 drops.
Second Day, use 4 drops.
Third Day, use 5 drops. Continue adding one drop per day until the Sixth Day, ending up with 8 drops. Reverse the dosage starting with the Seventh day, reducing the daily dosage by one drop until you are down to 3 drops. You can also add up to 3 drops every day during cold season to prevent the flu.
Amber Tincture Treatment For Children
- Ages 4 to 8 years: Up to 2 drops a day.
- Ages 8 to 18 years: Up to 4 drops a day.
Amber: helps with soar throat, arthritic pain, reduces scars. Helps to reduce blood pressure, makes you heart stronger, reduces chest pains, helps with asthma, ulcers, relaxes the nervous system.
AMBER SAFETY, CAUTIONS & INTERACTIONS
Baltic Amber is not meant to be ingested or tasted. Of course, most adults do not need to be told to take necklaces out of their mouths, but babies are another story. When using a necklace or bracelet for a baby, make sure it is sized properly to avoid injury and that your baby does not suck or chew on the Amber. The quality of Baltic amber varies from among sellers. Be aware that there is not a way to determine the concentration of succinic acid among different jewelry.
A GUIDE TO AMBER IMITATIONS FROM NATURAL & SYNTHETIC RESINS
Baltic amber (succinite), which can only be found in a considerably small area in Central Europe, was not easily available and was precious to the rest of the world. In civilized countries Amber has always been expensive. There have been long attempts to replace it with other (local) fossil resins, e.g. with rumanite in Romania, or burmite in China and Burma. The last century saw an increasing use of Copal (natural, at least 1 million years old fossil resin), hardened contemporary resins (e.g. Kauri gum from Australia), as well as various types of Amber-imitating plastics. Today most Amber imitations are made from plastics. These include natural and synthetic polymers, with macromolecular compounds constituting their most important ingredients. In order to improve their technical and aesthetic properties, plastics normally also contain some additives, such as:
- Pigments - powdered colorful substances
- Stabilizers - chemical preventing unwanted changes, and weakening the impact of temperature and light
- Fillers - substances added to plastics to improve their properties
Technological classification of plastics, based on their practical and technological properties, include elastomers (polymers which even after significant deformation return to their original or almost original shape) and plastomers, which are divided (depending on their behavior during heating) into: thermoplastics, which, when heated to the appropriately high temperature, may even melt, but after cooling once again become hard solids. The process is reversible (celluloid, novolak, plexiglas, polystyrene, and some polyesters);-thermosetting and chemically setting plastics (hardening plastics) marked by a network structure created in higher temperatures (thermosetting plastics) or by chemical factors (chemically setting plastics). They harden irreversibly and include phenoplasts, products of polycondensation of phenol with formaldehyde (bakelite, resolan), aminoplasts (galalith) and some polyesters.
Cellulosic plastics from the group of thermoplasts are easily moldable. They have been used as amber imitators since the end of the 19th century. They were used for the manufacture of Amber-imitating cigarette holders, which were very fashionable at the beginning of the 20th century, as well as pipes and baby teethers. They were harmful to health. Today such Amber imitations are no longer offered on the market. However, significantly improved plastics based on cellulose have appeared, which made it possible for forgers to manufacture falsified raw Amber nuggets which are difficult to identify.
Sometimes, when larger quantities of raw Amber are offered for sale, some of them are falsifications. They are plastic nuggets very closely resembling raw Amber. You may also find semi-finished products imitating natural amber and made of plastic. They have an interesting non-uniform internal structure similar to amber. They are also similarly workable, but may be identified as falsifications due to their unpleasant smell - this accompanies all stages of Amber processing: grinding (especially dry grinding), cutting, drilling, and polishing.
Bakelite, resolan and novalak are synthetic resins - phenoplasts. This type of material was formerly used most often in Amber-imitating goods. These amber imitations were manufactured on a mass-scale between the two world wars in German factories in Prussia and in the Free City of Gdansk. It was there that the demand for amber was high, although people became poorer after the First World War. In the 1920's Amber-imitating goods, being cheaper, and therefore more popular, dominated the production of Staatliche Bernstein-Manufaktur Konigsberg - the biggest inter-war Amber plant. Now, although the plastic is available both for molding compositions and casting and is marked by ease of processing and low manufacturing cost, it is no longer used for the manufacture of amber imitations.
Phenolic resins, which change their properties during polycondensation depending on the additives used, used to be used for the manufacture of extraordinary imitations - ones manufactured not only for profit as a result of difference on the price of material, but also in order to replace natural Amber and reach visual effect required by the then-fashion. For example, at the beginning on the 20th century necklaces of deep, dark-cherry color imitating the reddish hue of artifacts were kept in museums and as a result were referred to as "Antique Amber". After the war they were sold as old Amber necklaces in the most elegant art shops of the period and were proudly worn in complete conviction that it was natural amber. Today, when we already know that they were manufactured from novolak, synthetic resin, they are not treated as falsifications, but as imitations characteristic of the period gone-by. Their appearance has strongly imprinted itself on human minds and tradition. The goods are still displayed in specialist museums.
In Africa we find fossil resins from Tanzania and Congo (they are approximately 5 million years old), Copal from Angola, as well as fossilized varieties of natural contemporary resins. The name "African Amber" is wrongly applied to the type of plastic from which the big countries almost all over the world were made. They are actually bakelite goods. They come in numerous varieties depending on the additives used. Most probably, the necklaces were brought to the African continent as precious gifts as well as goods for exchange by Europeans, who in exchange obtained natural local products. Thinking that they owned something precious, Africans kept the goods, passing them on to subsequent generations. The necklaces are now coming back to Europeans antiquarian shops as ornaments made from the African amber. Similarly, Spaniards took glass beads to the American continent during Columbus' voyages.
IMITATIONS FROM COLORED GLASS
Glass is made from melted minerals without crystallization. It belongs to the oldest amber imitations. Today, glass amber imitations are made through casting, with colorants, such as cadmium or titanium, added to the molten glass. Currently the market offers small Amber-imitating gemstones, necklaces and rosaries. In the case of rosaries it would seem that glass beads are superior to Amber since they do not wear and tear. In reality the rubbing of an Amber rosary during prayer is beneficial to human health. People of the East realized it very well and kept carrying Islamic rosaries in one hand and moving their beads. Considerable difference in the density and heat conduction of glass and Amber prevents attempts of sale of glass Amber imitations as authentic Amber goods.
AMBER VERSUS COPAL
Copal is not the fossilized, hardened resin that is known as Amber, but rather an immature recent resin. Increasingly, Copal is being offered for sale via the online auction services, fossil dealers' websites, gem shows, and shops, misrepresented as "Amber." The commercial value of Amber is related to its scarcity, age, inclusions of extinct species, and durability. True fossil amber is more valuable than Copal. Unfortunately, some dealers are more preoccupied with high economic returns, rather than whether or not their resin is fossil or recent. Fortunately, there are tests that can be done to differentiate the two. The most deceptive and malicious dealers will try to impress uninformed prospective buyers as they spout all sorts of seemingly-impressive but irrelevant scientific nonsense, ignoring the simple facts and obvious age differences in amber versus copal. These fraudulent dealers will attempt to convince naive and trusting buyers that Copal IS Amber when this could not be further from the truth. Unlike true fossil Amber, Copal will craze deeply on the surface as early as only a few years when the volatiles (turpenes) from the original resin evaporate.
It is not rare to find spectacular types and concentrations of inclusions in Copal - it is rare to find the same in true fossil Amber. If the same inclusions were found in true fossil Amber, the value of the specimen would be exceedingly higher in price than the same specimen in Copal. The problem is, you cannot even compare inclusions because most of the life-forms found in true fossil Amber are now extinct whereas the types of inclusions found in Copal are modern and still living today. Often, naive collectors fall victim to dishonest fossil dealers and are suckered into a higher price for a piece of Copal that is loaded with fascinating inclusions as they confuse the rarity of these inclusions with genuine fossil Amber. Despite what appears to be valuable, Copal is worth only a small fraction of what an equal specimen in genuine fossil Amber would sell for.
Copal, an immature and controversial resin, is a much younger form of tree resin compared to the prehistoric nature of true fossil Amber. Columbia, South America has extensive deposits of Copal which is frequently sold as Amber. Carbon 14 Tests undertaken on Colombian Copal have shown it is less than 250 years old. Madagascar and Kenya also have highly fossiliferous Copal mines. Their age is likely to be roughly the same as the Colombian deposits, if not younger. There are no known true fossil Amber deposits in Colombia so if a piece of "Amber" is being sold with a source of "Colombia", it is Copal and is Not Real Fossil Amber.
There are several types of Copal from different geographic regions and trees other than Colombia. Zanzibar Copal from East Africa was possibly produced by the Trachylobium verrucasum (also known as Hymenaea verrucosa), while Kauri Copal from New Zealand was produced by the Kauri pine, Agathis australis. Sierra Leone and Congo Copal are both from a leguminous tree, Copaifera guibourthiana. Manila Copal, produced by trees in the genus Agathis, is found in Indonesia and the Philippines. Dammar resin was produced by dipterocarpaceous trees in southern Asia, i.e., Malaya and Sumatra. Various tropical trees, such as Hymenaea courbaril or Hymenae protea, produce Colombian and Brazilian Copal. Major deposits of Copal are produced from tropical legume and araucarian trees (conifers indigenous today to South America and Australia) and are found in tropical or wet temperate regions where these resin producing trees still exist. Large pieces of Colombian Copal have been illegally imported into Poland and then sold as Baltic material.
8 TESTS TO IDENTIFY AMBER VERSUS COPAL
There are a number of simple tests that can be carried out on amber to check its authenticity. More sophisticated and complex tests are possible but they require access to laboratory equipment. These more complex tests include Refraction Index, Precise Specific Gravity and Melting Point. The latest and most decisive contribution to the chemistry of succinite and other fossil resins has been made by pyrolysis gas chromatography in combination with mass spectrometry. This technique has been used create the first exclusive chemical classification of fossil resins.
For the layperson with no special equipment, the following eight tests are adequate. When examining a specimen you should try at least 3 of the following methods detailed here. If the item in question fails any one of the tests, it could well mean the piece is not true Amber.
TEST 1: HARDNESS: Amber has a hardness on the Moh's scale in the region of 2 to 3. Using appropriate scratch sticks it should be reasonably straightforward to test the sample under question.
TEST 2: HOT NEEDLE: Heat a needlepoint sewing needle in a flame until glowing red and then push the point into the sample for testing. With Copal, the needle melts the material quicker than Amber and omits a light fragrant odor. Amber when tested, does not melt as quickly as the Copal and omits sooty fumes.
TEST 3: SOLUBILITY: Copal will dissolve in acetone. This test can be done by dispensing the acetone from an eyedropper onto a clean surface of the test specimen. Place one drop on the surface of the test piece and allow to evaporate, then place a second drop on the same area. Copal will become tacky while Amber will remain unaffected by contact with acetone.
TEST 4: ULTRAVIOLET LIGHT (UV): Copal under a short-wave UV light shows hardly any color change. Amber fluoresces a pale shade of blue.
TEST 5: FRICTION: Rub the specimen vigorously on a soft cloth. True amber may omit a faint resinous fragrance but Copal may actual begin to soften and the surface become sticky. Amber will also become heavily charged with static electricity and will easily pick up small pieces of loose paper.
TEST 6: SPECIFIC GRAVITY - FLOTATION: Mix 23 grams of standard table salt with 200 milliliters lukewarm water (or 7 heaping teaspoons of table salt into a half pint of water). Stir until completely dissolved. Amber should float in such a mixture and some copals together with various plastics will sink. Regular amber often has a specific gravity of 1.05 to 1.10 (where 1 is the same as water). Copal looks similar, but has a lower specific gravity of 1.03 to 1.08. A specific gravity of above 1.0 will cause the object to sink in fresh water.
TEST 7: INCLUSIONS: Infrequently Amber contains Flora or Fauna inclusions. Correctly identifying the trapped Insect or plant should be an excellent indicator of a piece's authenticity. Most inclusions from ancient amber are of species that are now extinct or significantly changed. Frequently present in Baltic Amber are tiny stellate hairs which are release by oak buds during their early growth and some time after,
TEST 8: KNIFE CUT: With a sharp knife try to shave off a tiny piece of the Amber from an unobtrusive section. Real Amber fractures and splinters. plastic and polymers actual cut and tiny shaved pieces can be removed without any splintering of the material.
AMBER RESIN / GEMSTONE SUPPLEMENTS & RELATED PRODUCTS
QUALITY SUPPLIES & PRODUCTS
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AMBER RESIN (AMBER GEMSTONE) HERBAL PRODUCTS
The smell of Amber is incredible - alluring, earthy, and warming. Created from a mixture of aromatic resins and oils native to India, it is a simple way to adorn yourself with a natural fragrance. Simply rub the resin chunks directly onto skin for a scent that will linger for hours.
STARWEST BOTANICALS PRODUCTS
Starwest Botanicals: Primo Amber Incense, 8.5 inches, 23 to 25 Per Package
Starwest Botanicals: Patchoulil & Amber Spice Essence Oil, Eden Botanicals Essences, 8.5 ml
Starwest Botanicals: Amber Essence Oil, Eden Botanicals Essences, 8.5 ml
HerbsPro: Amber Self MicroDermAbrasion, Life Extension, 2 oz.
The solution is a low-cost at-home alternative called Amber Self MicroDermAbrasion. This cutting-edge exfoliant formula features ultra-fine amber crystals. A precious organic substance, amber derives from fossilized resins that trees release to heal themselves after physical injury and environmental stress. Amber is rich in compounds that form a basic building block for nearly all living organisms. Amber Self MicroDermAbrasion puts these unique properties to work for you, gently removing dead skin cells and smoothing away wrinkles, lines and other cosmetic imperfections. In dermatologist test cases, it has been shown to improve the appearance of aging skin by as much as 75 percent. It is also safe for daily use. Now you can enjoy these beautifying, age-defying effects at home, at a fraction of the cost of microdermabrasion or other exfoliation procedures.
HerbsPro: Incense Amber, Auroshikha Candles & Incense, 10 Grams
This incense has a distinctive "smoky" flavor that is energizing. Its cultural associations lie in the heart center where we can feel its sweet balancing influence. Amber Essence in the form of paste is applied by some healers on the energy centers of the body.
HerbsPro: Aromatherapy Incense Amber, Auromere, 10 Grams (Case of 12)
Hand rolled according to ancient tradition. 100% handmade recycled paper packed.
HerbsPro: Incense Amber, Blue Pearl, 20 Grams
A Perfect Blend From Natural Amber Resin. Made In India From Pure Oils And Sandalwood Base.Hand-Made Of The Finest Natural Ingredients, Blue Pearl Is The Highest Quality Incense In The World.
Kalyx: Amber (Hu Po) Whole, Asia Naturals, 1 lb: V
Kalyx: Amber (Succinum resin; Hu Po) 5:1 Extract Powder, Plum Flower Brand, 100 grams: V (Special Order)
Kalyx: Amber (Succinum resin; Hu Po) Powdered, Plum Flower Brand, 500 grams: V (Special Order)
Kalyx: Amber (Succinum resin; Hu Po) Whole, Plum Flower Brand, 500 grams: V (Special Order)
Kalyx: Amber (Hu Po) Granules, Evergreen Brand, 3.5 oz: V
Kalyx: Amber Resin (Hu Po) Single Herb Alcohol Fluid Extract, Golden Lotus, 2 fl oz: GL
Kalyx: Amber Resin (Hu Po) Single Herb Alcohol Fluid Extract, Golden Lotus, 4 fl oz: GL
Kalyx: Amber Resin (Hu Po) Single Herb Alcohol Fluid Extract, Golden Lotus, 8 fl oz: GL
Kalyx: Amber Resin (Hu Po) Single Herb Alcohol Fluid Extract, Golden Lotus, 16 fl oz: GL
Kalyx: Amber Resin (Hu Po) Single Herb Alcohol Fluid Extract, Golden Lotus, 32 fl oz: GL
Kalyx: Amber Resin (Hu Po) Single Herb Alcohol Fluid Extract, Golden Lotus, 1 gallon: GL
Kalyx: Amber Essence Oil Blend, Eden Botanicals, 8.5 ml: C
Kalyx: Patchouli Amber Spice Blend, Eden Botanicals, 8.5 ml: C
Kalyx: Amber Incense, Blue Pearl, 20 grams: K
A perfect blend from natural amber resin.
Kalyx: Amber Natural Incense, Pondicherry Natural Incense, 15 Sticks: K
Pondicherry Natural Incense, made in India at the Sri Aurobindo Ashram, is created from the pure extract of herbs, roots, barks and petals. Friendly to the environment, each fragrance has been hand-rolled onto bamboo sticks and packed in woodfree cotton and banana pulp hand-made paper. Pondicherry Natural Incense is free from animal-tested or animal derived material. A natural alternative to aerosol and other chemical air fresheners.
Kalyx: Amber Incense, Primo Incense, 20 Gram Box: C
Primo Incense is handmade in India by the Haridas Madhavdas family, making hand-rolled incense since 1860. The Madhavdas family has been making exclusive blends for Primo for the past 30 years. Primo Incense is internationally recognized as the world's finest, clean burning incense. All our fragrances are prepared from nature's finest essential oils, exotic flowers, along with hundreds of different wood and tree powders, rare resins, aromatic herbs and spices. 10 gram packets of stick incense in attractive triangle boxes.
Kalyx: Amber Natural Incense, Pondicherry Natural Incense, 20 Cones: K
Natural Incense Cones. Ceramic Cone Stand included. Pondicherry Natural Incense, made in India at the Sri Aurobindo Ashram, is created from the pure extract of herbs, roots, barks and petals.. Friendly to the environment, each fragrance has been hand-mixed and packed in woodfree cotton and banana pulp hand-made paper. Pondicherry Natural Incense is free from animal-tested or animal-derived material. A natural alternative to aerosol and other chemical air fresheners.
Amazon: Amber Resin Products
Amazon: Amber Stones & Polished Beads Products
Nutrition Basics: Amber Resin Information
AROMATHERAPY: ESSENTIAL OILS DESCRIPTIONS & USES
Allspice Leaf Oil Angelica Oil Anise Oil Baobab Oil Basil Oil Bay Laurel Oil Bay Oil Benzoin Oil Bergamot Oil Black Pepper Oil Chamomile (German) Oil Cajuput Oil Calamus Oil Camphor (White) Oil Caraway Oil Cardamom Oil Carrot Seed Oil Catnip Oil Cedarwood Oil Chamomile Oil Cinnamon Oil Citronella Oil Clary-Sage Oil Clove Oil Coriander Oil Cypress Oil Dill Oil Eucalyptus Oil Fennel Oil Fir Needle Oil Frankincense Oil Geranium Oil German Chamomile Oil Ginger Oil Grapefruit Oil Helichrysum Oil Hyssop Oil Iris-Root Oil Jasmine Oil Juniper Oil Labdanum Oil Lavender Oil Lemon-Balm Oil Lemongrass Oil Lemon Oil Lime Oil Longleaf-Pine Oil Mandarin Oil Marjoram Oil Mimosa Oil Myrrh Oil Myrtle Oil Neroli Oil Niaouli Oil Nutmeg Oil Orange Oil Oregano Oil Palmarosa Oil Patchouli Oil Peppermint Oil Peru-Balsam Oil Petitgrain Oil Pine-Long Leaf Oil Pine-Needle Oil Pine-Swiss Oil Rosemary Oil Rose Oil Rosewood Oil Sage Oil Sandalwood Oil Savory Oil Spearmint Oil Spikenard Oil Swiss-Pine Oil Tangerine Oil Tea-Tree Oil Thyme Oil Vanilla Oil Verbena Oil Vetiver Oil Violet Oil White-Camphor Oil Yarrow Oil Ylang-Ylang Oil Aromatherapy
Healing Baths For Colds
Using Essential Oils
AROMATHERAPY: HERBAL & CARRIER OILS DESCRIPTIONS & USES
Almond, Sweet Oil Apricot Kernel Oil Argan Oil Arnica Oil Avocado Oil Baobab Oil Black Cumin Oil Black Currant Oil Black Seed Oil Borage Seed Oil Calendula Oil Camelina Oil Castor Oil Coconut Oil Comfrey Oil Evening Primrose Oil Flaxseed Oil Grapeseed Oil Hazelnut Oil Hemp Seed Oil Jojoba Oil Kukui Nut Oil Macadamia Nut Oil Meadowfoam Seed Oil Mullein Oil Neem Oil Olive Oil Palm Oil Plantain Oil Plum Kernel Oil Poke Root Oil Pomegranate Seed Oil Pumpkin Seed Oil Rosehip Seed Oil Safflower Oil Sea Buckthorn Oil Sesame Seed Oil Shea Nut Oil Soybean Oil St. Johns Wort Oil Sunflower Oil Tamanu Oil Vitamin E Oil Wheat Germ Oil
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