Mild and occasional body odor is normal, but if it’s excessive or unpleasant it can cause other people around you great discomfort and be very embarrassing for you.
Excessive body odor happens when the sweat glands are overactive. But contrary to popular belief, it’s not sweat that causes body odor. The strong and unpleasant odor happens when seat mixes with bacteria. The bacteria that causes odor multiply in a warm, moist environment, such as the underarms.
Other causes of repugnant body odor include
- Bad hygiene
- Nutrient deficiencies
- Gastrointestinal problems (such as chronic constipation)
- Underlying medical problems such as genetic metabolic disorders, liver disease or diabetes
The main symptom of body odor is a strong, pungent smell emanating from the body. Other symptoms include sweating profusely, weight loss, night sweats and cold hands.
There are several ways to treat body odor, including over-the-counter medication or practicing good hygiene. But alternatives to those are simple and there are natural home remedies that help eliminate body odor by controlling the growth of bacteria and minimizing excessive sweating. Here are ten of these home remedies.
Baking soda works like a natural deodorant since it helps absorb moisture from the skin, therefore absorbing sweat and reducing body odor. Here’s a recipe to make your own natural deodorant using baking soda:
- Mix one tablespoon of baking soda and one tablespoon of lemon juice. Put it under your arms or other places where you sweat excessively. Leave it on for a couple of minutes, then wash it off with water (don’t scrub). Then take a shower or bath. Follow this remedy one ever day for a few weeks.
- An alternative is mix equal amount of baking soda and cornstarch. Apply the mixture directly onto your dry underarms to stop sweating and body odor. Use this method when you need protection for several hours.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is a strong ingredient that aids in fighting bacteria. Another property of it is its ability to eliminate body odor by balancing the pH levels in the skin.
- Soak a cotton ball in apple cider vinegar and rub it on your underarms and leave it for two to three minutes, then take your shower. Do this twice a day: once in the morning and once before going to bed until you notice an improvement.
- An alternative: add one cup of apple cider vinegar to lukewarm bath water. Soak in the water once a day for 10 minutes.
- Another thing you can do is add two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar with some honey to a glass of warm water. Drink this three times a day before eating meals.
Lemon juice is great for many things, including treating body odor. Like apple cider vinegar, lemon juice lowers the pH level in the skin making it hard for odor-producing bacteria to survive.
- Cut a fresh lemon in half and rub one half on your underarms. Make sure the juice gets on your skin. Then let it dry, and after take your shower. Do this once a day until the body odour disappears completely.
- You can dilute the lemon juice from half a lemon with half a cup of water and use a cotton ball to apply it to your underarms if you have sensitive skin. Leave it on for 10 minutes then wash it off with water. Follow this remedy once a day until you notice an improvement.
Rosemary has been known to stop the growth of odor-producing bacteria. As well as smelling nice, rosemary also contains menthol and chlorophyll, which have natural deordorizing properties that neutralize strong body odor. Another factor that could cause body odor is a deficiency in zinc, which is found in rosemary.
- Add half a cup of dried rosemary to four cups of hot water and allow it to steep for 10 minutes. Then add it to your bathwater and soak for 15 to 20 minutes. Pat dry your body. Do this once a day and you’ll smell good throughout the day.
- You can also mix eight to 10 drops of rosemary essential oil in an ounce of water and dab a cotton ball in it then apply it on your underarms as deodorant.
Note: If the rosemary causes irritation of any kind, don’t continue using it.
Like rosemary, sage is a wonderful-smelling herb which can help ward off body odor. Sage has the ability to reduce sweat gland activity and has antibacterial agents that inhibits bacteria growth on your skin.
- Drop five drops each of sage essential oil, coriander essential oil and lavender essential oil along with two ounces of witch hazel to create your own natural deodorant. Mix these oils together and put the solution in a spray bottle to use every day.
- As an alternative, put two tablespoons of dried sage leaves to four cups of hot water. Allow it to steep for 10 minutes. When the water cools, use a cotton ball to dab it under your underarms to rinse them. For the best results, do this twice a day.
- Another option is to drink sage tea: Add one teaspoon of dried sage in a cup of hot water and let it steep for 10 minutes. Strain the leaves and drink the tea. However, do not drink more than two cups of sage tea a day.
Note: Avoid sage if you are pregnant or a nursing mother.
Witch hazel is an anti-inflammatory compound produced from the leaves and bark of the witch hazel shrub in North America. It also lowers the skin’s pH levels so it’s very difficult for odor-producing bacteria to survive. As it’s also an astringent, witch hazel contracts skin pores to help reduce sweat production.
- Soak a cotton ball in a little bowl of witch hazel.
- Dab it on your underarms
- Continue this remedy whenever you have body odor. It works as an antiperspirant.
Tea Tree Oil
Another astringent, tea tree oils helps to control sweating. It also has antibacterial and antiseptic properties which help kill bacteria on the skin and therefore reduces body odor.
- Add a couple of drops of tea tree oil to two tablespoons (one ounce) of water.
- Put the solution into a spray bottle to use as an antiperspirant.
Note: If you have very sensitive skin, you should avoid using tea tree oil.
This one may surprise you, but turnips also have antibacterial properties that aid in killing bacteria that cause odor. They’re also high in vitamin C and other nutrients that help fight body odor.
- Chop up two or three turnips and put them in a blender or food processor to make them into a paste or pulp.
- Put the paste into a strainer and press it with a spoon to squeeze out the juice.
- Put the juice under your arms and groin area.
- Allow it to dry naturally, then use lukewarm water to rinse it off.
- Do this once every morning to remain body-odor free for at least 10 hours.
Note: You can also eat turnips to include in your diet.
Another surprising addition to this list, tomatoes also contain antiseptic properties that can kill odor-producing bacteria. And like witch hazel and sage, their astringent properties help shrink pores to control sweating as well.
- Gently crush seven to eight tomatoes.
- Use a spoon to press the crushed tomatoes through a strainer to squeeze out the juice.
- Add the fresh tomato juice to a bucket of water.
- Pour the bucket into your bathwater and soak in it to take your normal bath.
- Do this once a day to combat body odor.
And finally, wheatgrass contains a ton of chlorophyll which has the effect of deordorizing. It can also help eliminate toxins.
- Mix one to two tablespoons of wheatgrass juice into one cup of water.
- Drink it first thing in the morning on an empty stomach.
- Follow this remedy every day until you’ve eliminated the body odor completely.
Note: Wheatgrass isn’t for everyone due to its very strong taste. It might be nauseating for some people who are sensitive to strong flavors.
Along with these steps, also be sure to maintain good hygiene and eat a well-balanced diet to eliminate body odor. Another way to smell good is to do the following:
- Bathe or shower at least once a day.
- Put your clothes in the laundry after wearing them once.
- Avoid wearing tight shoes and wearing shoes for long periods of time if you can help it.
- Keep yourself as dry as possible.
- Try wearing cotton rather than synthetic fabrics so as not to trap sweat and moisture.
- Keep yourself hydrated by drinking lots of water and to flush out toxins from your body.
Featured Image: DepositPhotos/marcinmaslowskiPosted on May 22, 2023