Hippocrates (460-377 BC), father of medicine, in his
works described medical properties and methods of application of amber.
Scientists relied on this knowledge up to the Middle Ages. In ancient Rome
amber was used as a remedy from various diseases. The famous physician of the
time Calistratus 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 (Gaius Plinius Caecilius Secundus) wrote
that amber medallions worn by Roman peasant women were not only adornments but
also means against hyperthyroidism, sore throat and palate.
Since ancient times amber was known and valued both by the Persians and Arabs.
Avicenna (Ibn Sina), Persian scholar, considered amber as a remedy from many
health disorders. In Eastern countries people believed that amber smoke could
strengthen human spirit and give courage. In China "amber syrup", a
mixture of succinic acid and opium, was used as a sedative and as means against
The Prussian Duke Albrecht, following Aurifaber's records
(16th century), sent a lump of amber to Luther as a cure from the stone
disease. In Middle Ages people even cured jaundice by wearing amber beads. They
believed that the magic power of the yellow stone will absorb the unhealthy
yellowness of the skin and the weakness of the body. Up to the end of the 19th
century such terms as Oleum succini (amber oil), Balsamum succini (Amber
balsam) and Extractum succini (amber extract) were often used in recipes and