HOW DOES HAZELWOOD WORK?
Hazelwood appears to work by creating a more alkaline environment in your body through direct contact with your skin, which may help to prevent and remedy many of the symptoms caused by acidosis (being too acidic) and by reducing free-radicals by having a high antioxidant effect through your pores.* It is believed that the wood absorbs excess acidity from your body until a balanced PH is reached. This has the potential to improve conditions caused by excess acidity, which can include skin issues such as eczema, as well as internal issues such as ulcers, acid reflux, heartburn, and teething pain.
We've used it to successfully treat eczema, heartburn, and ulcers in our own family, and seen it change the lives of several of our close friends who were suffering from severe acid reflux. However we should note that our understanding of the exact mechanisms of how hazelwood interacts with the body are based on our observations and the theories of our suppliers. Only recently has scientific work began to further understand the potential benefits of the wood of the beaked hazel plant. So far one peer-reviewed paper has been published, which you can download for your reading enjoyment (it's pretty dense). Click here
*NOTE - More and more the research on this starting to point to the antioxidant effects as being the primary mechanism in hazelwood's actions on the body. We'll keep you posted as we learn more about how it works!
WHO FIGURED THIS OUT?
Aboriginals are believed to be the first to have discovered that they could put hazelwood chips on their babies' necks to soothe teething pains. This lost art was revived in the late eighties by a few families in Quebec who rediscovered the unique properties of hazelwood. Since then hazelwood jewelry has become more available as a product and has grown in popularity as word has gotten around through people who have experienced its benefits. Up until recently hazelwood jewelry was still largely limited to Quebec and Canada. We first heard of hazelwood jewelry through a friend from Quebec, and after our lives were changed, helped to first introduce hazelwood jewelry to the US. You can read more specifically about our story by visiting the 'about us' tab above.
WHERE DO THE HAZELWOOD BEADS COME FROM?
There are eighteen different varieties of hazelwood plants. Our hazelwood beads are all from the Corylus cornuta or 'Beaked Hazel' shrub.
If you'd like to read more about this particular plant, Wikipedia has a great article about this variety which you can find by clicking here. The Corylus cornuta is native to Quebec, Canada, so this is a local product for us. All of the hazelwood necklaces you'll find on the market are using this particular kind of hazelwood bead; it's not known if other kinds of hazelwood have the same properties as the Corylus cornuta.
The wood itself that's used in making the beads is harvested sustainably, just the end of the twig is taken and it grows back good as new to be harvested again! No sprays or pesticides are used in the care of these plants, and many of them simply are wild-growing and 100% natural. There are no known allergy issues to this product because it is made with the hazelwood branch, not the nut. Measures are taken to ensure that the nut does not come in contact with the wood during manufacture. However note that most of the clasps that are used on these are silver plated nickel, and there are a lot of folks out there who are metal sensitive. If you know or suspect that your child is allergic to nickel, you may want to opt to get a solid silver clasp, in which case you'll want to shop from our 'Available on Amazon' listings where all the children's models are made with sterling silver clasps.
OTHER COMMON QUESTIONS ABOUT HAZELWOOD
Q: What do you recommend between a hazelwood necklace and a bracelet?
A: If you must make a choice between the two, we recommend wearing the necklace, the reason being that there are more hazelwood beads on the necklaces. The more hazelwood that is in contact with your skin, the better the results you will have. Having said that, many people still get great results from using a bracelet or anklet.
Q: How will I know when my hazelwood necklace is no longer working?
A: First, you will begin to notice the symptoms returning. You will also see that the extremities (or flesh) of the wood beads have started to darken. When this occurs, you will then need to replace your old necklace as the ability of the necklace to absorb acidity is greatly diminished. Note that it is the flesh darkening and not the outer bark that indicates whether or not the wood has absorbed as much acidity as it can. If the outer bark darkens or starts peeling off, there is no need to be concerned. That is just a natural occurrence and will happen with normal wear and tear. It does not affect the wood's ability to absorb acid at all.
Below is an extreme example of the flesh of the hazelwood darkening due to maximum absorption being reached. Each necklace may or may not get as dark as this before needing to be replaced. The real guiding factor is the return of the symptoms.
Q: Is it possible for my hazelwood necklace to be saturated after one month or less?
A: Though it is uncommon, it is possible. In fact, that was our experience with our daughter with eczema. We found that her first necklace became saturated much faster than average but that her subsequent necklaces lasted progressively longer. Our theory is that her first necklace had to absorb all the acid that had collected in her body up to that point in her life, whereas the subsequent necklaces simply had to absorb her current levels of acidity which enables them to last longer.
Q: Are the child necklaces safe?
A: The clasps have been specially designed with your child’s safety in mind. For example, to prevent choking, if a necklace were to get caught on something, the clasps and/or wire loop are designed break to open when a certain amount of force is applied (note that this is not repairable, so do not attempt to test). Since hazelwood is most effective when worn as much as possible, one option is to wrap the necklace around your child’s leg or ankle at night. That way they continue to get the benefit of wearing the hazelwood and you can rest easy as a parent knowing your child is safe. For adults, we also recommend that it be worn all the time, including at night to get the full benefit of the hazelwood.
SAFETY NOTE - No child under the age of three should wear a necklace without adult supervision.
*If you do have a safety mechanism triggered on any style of necklace that has rendered it unwearable, please contact us about securing an 'at-cost' replacement.
Q: What size necklace should I choose for my child’s neck?
A: The necklace must be a comfortable length for your child. You should be able to slip your two fingers between the necklace and your child’s neck. The necklace should not be long enough for your child to bring it to his/her mouth.
Q: Can we wear the hazelwood necklace in the shower or the bath?*
A: Yes, hazelwood does not lose its benefits when in contact with water. In fact water helps to keep the wood moist and allows it to absorb better so wearing it in the shower or bath is actually a good thing. However, any water with chlorine will alter the life span and the efficacy of your necklace. We therefore recommend you remove the necklace at the pool.
*Please note that our Baltic amber necklaces and combination hazelwood-amber should not be worn in the bath/shower to keep from coating the amber beads with soaps/shampoos.
Q: Can I wear this necklace despite my allergy to metal clasps used with most jewelry?
A: Most of our metal clasp are either nickel or silver-plated nickel, and we’ve found that some people who have a nickel allergy can’t wear the clasps. If this is the case with your child, we have children’s hazel-gemstone and hazel-amber necklaces made with solid sterling silver clasps in our Amazon store. Another option is to put a few coats of clear nail polish on the clasp or wrap the clasp with yarn (or tape for adults) so the metal is no longer in contact with the skin.
Q: Can I wear the hazelwood necklaces even if I am allergic to nuts?
A: Hazelwood branches are not in contact with the nuts of the hazelwood tree. They are particularly careful about this when harvesting the wood. Therefore, you should have no allergy problems wearing the necklaces.
Q: The wood on my necklace is peeling off, is that normal?
A: Yes it is normal. Being that the wood used is a natural substance and is untreated in any way, it is normal for it to change over time which may include some peeling of the bark. Rest assured that this does not affect its ability to absorb acid in any way.
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