The Business Head of one of the leading baby care brands discusses time-tested oils as the preferred choice for baby massage in Indian homes over centuries, and how authentic, herb-infused traditional oils are making a comeback.
An ancient yet living tradition of India is Shishu Abhyanga or oil-based baby massage. Encouraged in Ayurveda as a primary baby care regime, baby massage is a crucial and evidence-based practice and ritual that helps in the overall growth and development of preterms, newborns, and babies.
Besides, baby massage is one of the simplest and most natural ways for a mother to bond with her baby. The sense of touch during a massage aids the release of the feel-good hormone oxytocin, generating love and warmth for the mother and baby.
Traditionally, vegetable-based oils have been used and are recommended in Ayurveda for massaging babies. However, when we look at its evolutionary history, we see that Ayurveda and regional health traditions have shaped each other. The types of oil used for baby massage have been influenced by various factors, including geographic, societal, and cultural practices, seasonal variations, and skin type, to name a few. The most common oils recommended in Ayurveda for baby massage include Coconut Oil, Mustard Oil, Sesame Oil, and Castor Oil. In addition, herbs are an integral part of Ayurveda due to their immense benefits, and the use of herb-infused oils for baby massage is a legacy passed over generations. According to studies, mothers using traditional oils have a strong belief about the efficacy of such oils and a high affinity for age-old rituals and practices associated with oil and massage.
However, mothers in the modern age are juggling work and home responsibilities and overall time constraints, which pose a challenge in engaging in lengthy massage rituals. In addition, the lack of availability of authentic herbal ingredients and purity issues with base oils hamper the mothers’ ability to use high quality baby massage oils. Therefore, the regimen around herb-infused oil massage becomes tiresome and time-consuming as it calls for preparations with drying of herbs and flowers, proper blending, and warming before application.
As a brand committed to bringing wellness and joy to every home via herbal solutions that are gentle, safe, and researched, Himalaya has developed region-specific traditional baby massage oils after analyzing the reasons behind their popularity across centuries, determining the factors influencing the choice of oil, and keeping at the forefront the constraints of millennial moms wanting to massage their infants.
This research enhanced our understanding of our customer’s needs and enabled us to create our latest offering inspired by the traditional wisdom of Ayurveda: Traditional Baby Massage Oils (Coconut and Mustard), carefully formulated blends of authentic oils strengthened by the goodness of herbs, clinically tested, gentle and effective, free from harmful chemicals and safe for babies.
Beyond developing new, problem-solution based products, including our traditional baby massage oil variants, Himalaya BabyCare is laser-focused on leveraging digital technology, strengthening the supply chain, deepening rural penetration, and hyper-personalization to meet the ever-changing needs of our customers and driving customer growth. With tech-powered hyper-personalization, we will offer customized solutions to our target audiences while strictly adhering to privacy policies to ensure an exceptional brand experience.
The baby care segment is poised for tremendous growth. The next ten years belong to disruptive technology deployment to ensure an edge over competitors, talent retention, and enhanced customer experiences. Digital transformation has taken a quantum leap during the pandemic, even in the health care ecosystem, and harnessing this potential has enabled us to become more agile and efficient. However, humanizing customer experiences have been at the core of our strategic imperatives as we embrace technology in the post-pandemic era.
Chakravarthi N V, Business Head – BabyCare, Himalaya Wellness Company