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Pregnancy and Africology

The Value of Aromatherapy during pregnancy

With careful use, aromatherapy is a natural therapy that’s great to use during pregnancy, throughout labour and also in the months following the birth.

First of all, what exactly is aromatherapy? Aromatherapy is basically the therapeutic use of essential oils. Essential oils are the fragrant parts of a plant which have properties that can help us physically and emotionally. The most popular way to apply these oils is through massage, and this increases the effects of the oils by greatly relaxing body and mind. Essential oils can also be used in a number of other ways and still produce great benefits, such as in the bath or in a vaporiser.

Pregnancy is a sacred time, but it can also be a time of immense emotional and physical change. It is good to take a holistic approach to your pregnancy, and that can include eating a nutritious and balanced diet, exercising and taking adequate rest and relaxation.

It is always important to look at the safety data of a particular oil before using it. This helps one to establish toxicity levels, photo toxicity, dermal irritation and sensitisation. Then there are also contra-indications. For example: fennel, hyssop and sage oils should be avoided during pregnancy. Essential oils are also used in half the usual stated amount.

Coffee and Mint Wrap

There is a vast difference between coffee being consumed and coffee applied to the skin. When applied to the skin one would need no less than 50 times the amount of coffee consumed for coffee applied to the skin to have the same effect on the body system.

Caffeine applied to the skin operates in three ways:

  • It is an antioxidant
  • A diuretic – in pregnancy the body is known to hold onto water, and retention causes swelling in the ankles and legs
  • Caffeine dehydrates fat cells by stimulating energy flow which in turn causes the sodium/potassium component of the cells to vacate.
    • Robert Knetchal, Food and Drug Administration
Our Africology Coffee and Mint body wrap does not harbor concentrations sufficient to produce the jolt one might hope for from a cup of java. Moreover, absorption through the skin is much slower than through the digestive system. This is vital in safely triggering cellular activity in order to ease water retention and assist with swollen legs and ankles, while boosting a generally sluggish system.

We acknowledge that drinking too much caffeine will affect your skin and body negatively because it is a diuretic, so it will draw necessary moisture from your complexion. However when applied to the skin, especially during pregnancy, it assists with energy flow without the harsh potential side-effects of a serious detox application that can increase blood pressure.

Remember its intention is to effectively reduce swelling and ease sore, aching legs during pregnancy!

We suggest you only use the wrap when needing to ease the symptoms of:
  • Water retention
  • Swollen aching legs
  • Sluggish energy activity
To hydrate the skin and prepare it for its expansion we suggest an African potato body wrap every 4 weeks starting from week 12 of pregnancy. This is a gentle way of preventing the skin from tearing and thus avoiding stretch marks. Using our powerful Marula Conditioning Oil in conjunction with either the Body Butter or Neroli Balm ensures that the skin remains deeply and safely hydrated, giving it the suppleness it needs to stretch during this special time.

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