A time-honoured secret


The last person you’d expect voluntarily walking the aisles of the supermarket looking for baby massage oils, is a dad. I’m not being a chauvinist here, I’m merely reasoning out how modern society perceives it. Anyway moving on, I was checking the aisles, when I stumbled across a section of baby products of every imaginable kind. There they were, stacked neatly row upon row, column by column - and by the looks of the amount of mothers present, the most popular aisle there. I stood there, kind of lost in the moment and frozen to the ground. I had no idea what I had to look at or for, for that matter. As I went through some of the more commercially known choices, I noticed that most of them had two main ingredients  - mineral oils and added fragrance. Though not a scientist by any proportions, I knew enough to know that, both mineral oils and fragrance were definitely questionable contents in baby products. This predicament made me re-think my decision, and I was convinced that I had to do some more research. After all, it was my son, and I needed to make sure we were using only the right product.

Based on talking to other parents, and some online research, I discovered alarming facts regarding some of these so-called “pure” baby oils.

Most commercially sold, beautifully packaged baby oils are actually mineral oils with some synthetic fragrance mixed with it. This oil is a byproduct of petroleum refinement and is quite cheap to obtain. The biggest concern with mineral oil is that it has a tendency to clog the pores, thereby “suffocating the skin”. And since it is absorbed into the body, through the skin, which is our largest organ, there is a danger that the oil could potentially choke the nutrients, which hence would not reach the vital parts of the body. And of course, we all know how babies love to suck on their fingers or thumbs. Now imagine them sucking a “mineral oil coated” thumb or finger. Since it can cause a layer to be formed in the digestive tract, the outcome surely can’t be good.

One of the other key components of these commercial baby oils is “fragrance”, which is a synthetic component, i.e. not natural. Its presence helps the oils derive an aroma of choice; say lavender, rose, etc. Research has shown that synthetic fragrances have been shown to disrupt certain normal hormonal functions in adults. With regards to babies, these scents can also interfere with your process of bonding with your baby, and he/she can get potentially over stimulated.

But there is always an alternative, as I discovered - Ayurveda and its natural products.

Ayurveda is a time honoured medical solution | Image courtesy Google Search

Ayurveda is one of the earliest practiced sciences and system of medicine. Often known as alternative medicine, it dates back to almost 1500 BC and originated in our very own India. While Allopathy helps us focus on the management of diseases, Ayurveda gives us the knowledge of how to prevent illness and eliminate the cause at the very source or root of it. Ayurveda is often known as the science of life and longevity and is credited to be the oldest healthcare system in world. It instigates a wholesome and complete growth of humanity and aims to maintain health by keeping our body, mind and spirit in perfect balance with Mother Nature. Today, this age old knowledge and practice of Ayurveda, has evolved into a unique, popular and indispensable branch of medicine, with almost no side effects.

It was during my research into these, that I came across one such ayurvedic baby massage oil - Dabur Lal Tail. Before we go into more detail about this, let us take a look at why massage is important for your little one.

Baby massage is an important tool to improve  parent-child bonding | Image courtesy

Any parent/doctor will often vouch for one thing - the first three to five years of a baby’s life are the most important stages, when it comes to growth and development. Proper, healthy nutrition and care is of utmost concern during these formative and developmental years, as it forms the basis for their future health, academic success, social and emotional well-being. Another important activity during the newborn period is the “bonding” between the parents and their child. Babies often interact with the world through their senses of touch and smell. And hence why baby massage is an important aspect of this bonding.

Traditionally in India, babies are massaged before their bath. Though not in its entirety, I still have vague memories of my mother and grandmother giving my little arms, legs and body a good and thorough massage with warm ayurvedic oils before my daily bath. In spite of being too young to understand all of it, I have heard that I used to smile a lot during the massage, and sleep for hours uninterrupted after, as an effect of this massage.  As parents, both my wife and I wanted to ensure our little boy’s proper growth and development, and hence why you found me wandering down the supermarket aisles looking for good baby massage oil.

Dabur Lal Tail is a unique blend of natural ingredients | Image courtesy Google Search

Which brings me back to hero of my little story here - Dabur Lal Tail. I’d read about this particular brand of ayurvedic baby massage oil in many places. Every parent that I spoke to and from the online research that I did, stated, claimed and indeed proved that Dabur Lal Tail was an ayurvedic baby massage oil, which was made from 100% natural key ayurvedic ingredients and combination of special herbs (as below), each with their own unique properties.

  • Shankhpushpi - Often considered a gift of nature, this beautiful wonder is known to protect against skin infection and general weakness
  • Camphor  - Any Indian worth his salt will know about camphor (also known as karpoor). It has been proven to be an antimicrobial substance and as something which stimulates blood circulation
  • Urad  - Though traditionally associated as a protein, urad is something that helps refresh and nourish muscles and bones. It has also been shown to have an effect in preventing rickets.
  • Sesame Oil - Also know as Till Tail, it has been shown to have positive effects on the growth of a child. Additionally it soothes and aids in post-massage sleep, as it is absorbed quickly by the skin
  • Ratanjyot - Essentially a herb used as a natural food coloring agent, it also helps in protecting the baby’s skin

Though we only relocated to India very recently, Dabur has always been a popular choice in our household, mainly for the natural ingredients that goes into making all its products. Ayurvedic products in general, are made from a combination of plants and natural herbs. However the right ratio and blend of these herbs is of utmost importance and needs to be very precise. Even the slightest changes in combination or proportion can change the benefits it provides. Hence why the Government has Good manufacturing practices (GMP) in place to ensure the quality of the product. I was extremely happy to note that Dabur Lal Tail was manufactured in strict adherence to all the traditional guidelines on manufacturing of formulations; additionally it follows the Government’s GMP procedures to the letter, thereby ensuring that each bottle of oil is the perfect mix of all the herbs and of pristine quality.

Everyone who has used this miraculous product on their babies stressed on how their little ones were growing up quickly and were much more content in general than some of their counterparts. As a parent, your baby’s weight and height charts dictate your lives to a certain extend - since they are accurate measurements of your child physical developments and growth. I was also pleasantly surprised to notice the claim that kids massaged with Dabur Lal Tail experienced 'TWICE faster Physical Growth’ than kids without massage or massaged with other mineral oils/talcum powder, being backed by clinical evidence from the Paediatric department of Jawaharlal Nehru College. You can read more about the research here.

All of these were enough reasons and proof for me to go purchase our first bottle of Dabur Lal Tail for our son. He was a few months from his first birthday when we first used the product on him. Before we go on, I must confess something. Since he was born in London, and he was there during the initial six to seven months of his life, we did succumb to the marketing and commercial hype and try a few “pure mineral oils” to massage him before his bath. Needless to say, it did not go down well, and his skin reacted quite adversely to these oils. Hence why we were doubly cautious to try new oil.

My family has always been a strong believer in Ayurveda and ayurvedic products (- and not just because we hailed from Kerala:)). What always strengthened our belief in Ayurveda was the fact that we knew exactly all the key ingredients that went into every product. It was comforting to know the unique benefits of simple daily products such as tulsi leaves in improving immunity, or having honey, lemon and warm water as a solution to cough and cold. During the cooler winter months, when all of us fell victims to the cold and cough, I remember how my grandmother would get me to drink boiled water with a strange concoction of leaves and herbs. Though it was beyond me at the time, I remember how I used to feel much better the next day and then go back to playing in the rain, in the belief that my granny could make her magical medicine again, if need be.

Since my wife was also brought up in such a traditional set up, we were sure that we wanted to pass on all of these to our future generations too. After all, it is absolutely normal for all of us to want our kids and future generations to remain close to nature, their roots and be healthy from day 1 of their lives, isn’t it?

We’ve now been using Dabur Lal Tail for a while now and the results were amazing. Our little boy has grown remarkably and is now taller and healthier than most other toddlers in his play group. Here was someone who previously often had a small or very little appetite. He used to sleep for very short stretches and they were often disturbed naps due to his blocked nose. But soon after we incorporated Dabur Lal Tail into his pre-bath massage, he has started having a much more healthier appetite. Furthermore, he is now able to sleep for a few hours without any disturbances and it is a joy to see him breathe clearly and freely without needing any of those nasal inhalers or sprays. And the joy that it gives him when we massage him with the oil - that smile is surely priceless, for us anyway.

So to sum up, to put it a commercially approved format, Dabur Lal Tail can make remarkable a difference in your baby’s growth. How, you still ask?

Clinica research has proved the benefits of Dabur Lal Tail | Image courtesy Dabur website

 Babies who have been massaged with Dabur Lal Tail have: 

  • Better appetite
  • Much better sleeping patterns
  • 2 x faster increase in weight
  • 2 x faster increase in height
  • and are overall a lot more active than their counter parts

And as for Dabur, with over 125 years of experience being the “trusted provider for ayurvedic and nature-based solutions and products”, you really have nothing to worry about. Your baby is in safe hands :)

This informative blog post has been written for the "Traditional Knowledge, Natural Growth" contest, organised by the site IndiBlogger in association with Dabur Lal Tail.

The topic was :  The right product makes a world of difference when it comes to the development of your child. Write a blog post on your understanding of ayurvedic and chemically processed/synthetic products, and its role in a baby’s early growth & development. You can also recount your own experiences.