Mustard Oil Massage Benefits, How to Massage, Precautions for Infants
Created by Harleen Gupta Updated on Jan 20, 2019
Did you know that mustard oil has been used since time immemorial for massaging a newborn? So what is it about mustard oil that makes it a good choice for massaging your baby? Our blogger Harleen Gupta, shares 10 amazing benefits that mustard oil offers to infants. Some of the benefits include ranges from strong bones to fighting skin infections for babies. One such routine that you would be following in the early days of your baby's life would be massaging. It has been proved that massaging not only comforts the newborn baby but also provides health benefits.
Parents across the globe use various massaging techniques and oils for this. Oils such as coconut, olive, mustard seed etc. are used for their different benefits. In this blog, we shall focus on Mustard oil and its benefits for newborn baby massage.
10 Benefits Of Mustard Oil Baby Massaging
- Retains body heat: Mustard oil helps to retain body heat and acts as an insulator. Therefore, it is widely popular in cooler regions as it helps to keep the baby warm. In winters, warm a little mustard oil and use it for new born baby's massage, it will keep the little warm
- Helps to strengthen the bones: Mustard oil is great for infant massage as it helps in the proper growth and strengthening of the soft and delicate bones of your little one. It even helps in the blood circulation that enhances overall well-being of your munchkin
- Provides relief from Asthma: Mustard oil has been proved significantly beneficial in Asthma. This is due to its strong smell and flavor. If mixed with a little camphor while heating, the oil becomes very effective for treating Asthma in babies
- Acts as decongestant: It has been observed that Mustard oil when heated with a small amount of garlic and used for newborn's massage, proves very successful in treating common cold and cough in small babies, especially in winters. Put one or two cloves of garlic in a container and add some mustard oil. Put it on low heat. The smell of the garlic will blend with the smell of the mustard oil. Turn the heat off, and when lukewarm, use this garlic infused mustard oil to fight cold and cough in babies
- Has anti-bacterial properties: Yes, you read that right! How could one oil fit all those benefits in one package? Mustard oil has anti-bacterial effects too. It is strong enough to kill bacteria like S Typhi & E-Coli which has been deadly for humans since ages as it can cause major illness that are hard to treat
- Anti-fungal benefits: Mustard oil contains a lot of anti-fungal properties which inhibits the growth of bacteria and fungus that can be dangerous for little babies if left untreated
- Mosquito & insect repellent: Mustard oil acts as an insect repellent and can help fight mosquitoes especially during monsoons when they pose a high threat to the little ones. A good massage with mustard oil will ensure that your newborn remains insect and mosquito bite free due to its strong smell
- Opens sweat pores: Mustard oil can help in opening the sweat pores of your baby and allow the skin to sweat, breathe and release toxins from the body which is quite beneficial during summers
- Fights skin infections: Since babies are prone to skin infections a lot more than adults, mustard oil can come to your rescue by providing anti-bacterial and anti-fungal effects to the little one's skin by preventing and reducing rashes and redness
- Promotes hair growth: For small babies with few or lesser hair on their scalp, a regular head massage using mustard oil and light strokes will promote hair growth
Mustard Oil (Sarson ka Tel) And Indian Tradition
Mustard oil has been an inherent part of my growing up, with my mom asking us to apply it in winters on the skin and the hair. Believed to heal mosquito and insect bites too, my mother would dab it on my arms and legs if I got bitten by a bug. And all that cooking that is done specially in mustard oil, well, we are all aware how important the oil is in our households. In the northern hills, where coconut oil gets frozen in winters, mustard oil has been the preferred oil for ages. No wonder when I had my infant, my mother and mother-in-law both vouched for using mustard oil for the baby's massage. However, I wanted to be sure that this pungent oil is the right choice for my baby, so did some thorough research. And here is what all I found.
Why Is Mustard Oil Used For Infant Massage?
Well, mustard oil has been widely used for baby massage, especially in India where traditional methods are given a lot of importance and have been proven to be beneficial too. The reason for using mustard oil for massage is mainly because of its therapeutic effects and how it helps to build strong bones of your little one. Yes, it has a pungent smell and can sometimes be very sticky too, but when massaged into the skin properly, it has many benefits as well.
How To Use Mustard Oil For Newborn Massage?
Easily available, mustard oil is very easy to use as well. Though some women prefer to boil it and use it once cooled, others believe that simply warming up would do the trick. The reason for warming up the oil before use is that it becomes less sticky and more beneficial. Elders recommend adding ajwain or carom seeds while heating it to enhance its effects. Adding garlic cloves and basil leaves while heating it in winters is said to help with heat retention.
Can Mustard Oil Be Used In Summers For Baby Massage?
This question was on my mind ever since the use of mustard oil for my baby's massage was sort of decided. Would I be able to use it in summers as well? One thing one should not forget about mustard oil is that mustard oil is a "Warming Oil" which means that it has more of a warming effect on the delicate body of the baby than cooling. Depending on the weather conditions of your country or the area you live in, you must make a choice whether to use it for the baby or not. This is because if it is very hot, your baby might feel even hotter and uncomfortable. The idea is to comfort, soothe and relax the baby's body rather than provide discomfort. However, if it is mildly hot or warm, you may wish to use it lightly, although we would recommend using lighter oil like coconut oil in summers as it has cooling properties.
Are There Any Risks Of Using Mustard Oil For Baby Massage?
I am not sure if these are real risks, but the below facts are somewhat important to consider-
- Could be risky for sensitive skin: All babies have sensitive skin, but some have a higher degree of sensitivity to things that are put on their skin. Mustard oil is a natural oil and can cause some reactions due to allergens present in it. Keep a close watch
- Could trigger allergic reactions: Again, some babies may react to mustard oil massage with itchiness, cracked or dry skin, hives etc. Do take your doctor's opinion
- Could be unpleasant for the baby: The pungent smell could be unpleasant for some babies, so if they seem uncomfortable, change the oil
- Could block the pores: Some people are of the opinion that being very thick and sticky, mustard oil can clog the baby's skin pores and cause dirt and mirth to be accumulated. So a hot water bath post the massage is essential, also do not use a lot of oil on the baby's skin
It is astounding to see so many uses of such simple and easily available oil such as Mustard oil for your baby and we know you would leave no stone unturned when it comes to your baby's health. However, you must take care of a few things like allergic reactions, over-use and side effects of mustard oil before using it on your baby's delicate and sensitive skin. We recommend consulting your doctor for best advice!
| Sep 01, 2017
hi , very well written and thank u for sharing the knowledge. I think it also depends o. baby to baby. I too belong from north and same story of mustered oil. however my baby got rashesh after using the oil hence doc advice me to switch to some different oil may be himalaya or something else. just thought of sharing
| Jan 31, 2020
Helo chidiz eze please stick to a good and mild brand moisturizer and oil for your baby. Dont change the brand frequently this itself will have a chance to make babies skin hard. Give a good massage oil for your baby. Choose an oil which suits your baby skin and can use it for massage. You can also get suggestion from your pediatrician over it. After giving massage leave the oil for atleast 15-20mins before giving bath and in winter seasons the baby's skin tend to become dry only because of the loss in water content. You can go through the following blogs it will help you Blogs-https://www.parentune.com/parent-blog/skin-care-tips-for-toddlers/4326, https://www.parentune.com/parent-blog/8-ways-to-deal-with-dry-skin-in-your-baby/3483, https://www.parentune.com/parent-blog/dry-skin-causes-symptoms-ways-to-prevent-in-babies/4108