A 14th-century organic gem, amber is the fossilised resin from prehistoric pine trees. These now-extinct plants produced enormous quantities of resin which fell to the ground or filled large cracks and holes in the trees where it eventually became fossilised. It is hard and golden to yellow-brown in colour. Amber was one of the first substances used by men for amulets, medicine and decoration. It was brought to the foothills of the Alps from the Baltic coast and the distances covered to obtain it, vast for those days, give an idea of its importance. In ancient times it was ground or soaked and then consumed or drunk as a remedy for illness. It was used in fire ceremonies of ancient tribal healers and is still a sacred stone to both Native American and Eastern Indians. From medieval days, it was burned to clear the environment of negativity. Amber is considered to be healing, soothing and harmonising and to exert a positive influence on the endocrine system, spleen and heart. It has helped in the treatment of asthma, ear trouble, infection, malaria, rheumatism and cutting teeth. It is sometimes called Mindful Oneù because it not only remembers past centuries but helps with simple absent-mindedness!