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Can amber exterminate bacteria?

16 July 2020

For centuries amber has been proclaimed a miraculous stone with healing properties. It was used to treat and cute such sicknesses and diseases as migraines, rheumatism, asthma, breathing problems as well as any diseases of the nervous system (Check out – Amber). Amber was also used as a medicine for open wounds to boost their healing. Its electrostatic properties were as well a key factor that led to its medical use as well as the fact that amber is warm in touch, and while burning it releases a pleasant and soothing aroma. Scientists for centuries have been testing this unique ancient resin as well as its therapeutic properties which have not been yet fully scientifically identified.

Amber and bactericidal activity – scientific research

An alarming phenomenon that can be noticed for some time is the increasing resistance of bacteria to antibiotics, which leads to a gradual decrease in their usefulness. Experts are worried that in the future bacterial infections will become incurable while performing operations will be risky due to the high possibility of infection. Due to this problem, alternative methods of bacteria-fighting are being sought increasingly. A few years ago, one of the researchers, Igor Kaczmaryczk, a graduate of the 3rd High School Polish Navy in Gdynia, after being inspired by the publication of the English encyclopedist Ephriain Chambers (1728) reminded that: „During the plague epidemic, people working during amber extraction and processing in Königsberg were never infected.” A young scientist, the laureate of the national stage of the 28th EU Competition for Young Scientists (EUCYS) in his work „Amber Drug – Research on the impact of extracts from fossil and subfossil resins and 1,4-butanedioic acid on selected microorganisms” confirmed with certain examples that several active substances obtained from amber and fossil resin such as Mexican amber, Canadian amber, gedanite and Colombian copal could effectively fight pathogenic bacteria such as  Staphylococcus aureus without damaging the intestinal microorganisms. The author of the study claims that strong compounds including 1.4 butanediol acid could potentially be used to produce medication and bandages based on the substances described in his study.