What is Body Odor?
Body odor (Skin odor) is an everyday problem faced by everyone. Antiperspirants and deodorants are chemical products that many of us use to combat sweat issues and control body odor. These highly advertised products with pleasant fragrances often come with harmful substances that may block the sweat glands or cause side effects on delicate skin. There are some methods in natureís storehouse which may help in eradicating body odor without harming the body.
What causes Body Odor?
Underarms and genitals are areas of the body that are laden with numerous Apocrine glands that secrete fatty sweat substances on which bacteria grow, producing a deep pungent aroma. Moist and warm environments aid bacterial and fungal growth, providing them with perfect temperatures to multiply. Some conditions like stress, anxiety, menstruation in women and anger cause increased sweating and therefore more odor. Some foods that are high in sulphur content like garlic and onions when eaten in high temperatures can make body odor stronger. Deficiency of some nutrients can hamper enzymatic activities in digestion, which in turn result in strong body odor. Naturally available remedies for body odor remove odor causing microbes, restore body enzymes and regulate sweating, thus keeping skin clean and healthy (1✔ ✔Trusted Source
Body odor in dermatologic diagnosis
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Disclaimer: The home remedies suggested here are not a substitute for treatment by doctors. It is highly advisable to seek an expertís opinion. All the remedies listed here may not be suitable for everyone. It is recommended to check for allergies or do a patch test before using the remedy.
Home Remedies for Body Odor
Here are some home remedies for body odor.
- Proper cleaning: Bathing and proper cleaning of body is necessary to avoid growth of bad smelling microorganisms. Bath atleast once a day and dry yourself properly. Moist environments are best suited for bacterial growth. You can use few drops of essential oils in bathing water like lavender, jasmine or rosemary for fragrant and sweat free day naturally.
- White vinegar: Vinegar may help in lowering body pH that stops bacteria from multiplying as they cannot survive in acidic environment. Applying diluted vinegar with a cotton ball soaked in it to your underarms will leave your armpits fresh and free from bacteria. Use it after having shower and do not apply deodorant after it. Or you can add some drops of white vinegar in the bathing water and rinse your underarms with it. Do not apply it on recently shaved skin as it will cause a burning sensation.
- Witch hazel: Witch hazel works exactly the same as vinegar in lowering body pH and thereby restricting bacterial growth. Apply a diluted solution of the witch hazel extract on your underarms which may result in less sweaty and odor free underarms. You can apply deodorant after washing with it (2✔ ✔Trusted Source
Antioxidant and potential anti-inflammatory activity of extracts and formulations of white tea, rose, and witch hazel on primary human dermal fibroblast cells
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- Lemon: For people, who are not satisfied with the results of witch hazel or vinegar, try lemon! Rub a slice of lemon directly in your armpits and then rinse it with cool water, or mix some amount of lemon juice in bathing water to get a fresh, deodorized body. Lemon juice, when mixed with baking soda, reduces chronic body odor considerably. It is a good remedy for those who sweat a lot or work in hot environments. Make a paste of it, apply it before bathing and then rinse. Lemon causes a sharp sensation on shaved skin, so be careful while using it (3✔ ✔Trusted Source
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- Tea tree oil: Tea tree oil is derived from tea trees and has a strong antiseptic nature. Due to its antibacterial property and sweet smell, it can be used as a natural deodorant. Tea tree oil removes bacteria from body and provides a healthy skin. Moreover, it is not acidic in nature, so it can be used over sensitive parts..Mix few drops of it with water and rinse your body with it. Apply it 2-3 times a day in case of persistent musty odors. Patch test before using it over whole body (4✔ ✔Trusted Source
Melaleuca alternifolia (Tea Tree) Oil: a Review of Antimicrobial and Other Medicinal Properties
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- Wheat grass juice: Drinking wheat grass juice in empty stomach may get you relieved from strong body smells. However it should be taken in small diluted quantities first because it has a strong flavor and can give an unpleasant feeling. Mix 2 tsp of wheatgrass juice in 1 cup water and drink every morning. Caution needs to be exercised in using this remedy as some people have reported side effects like nausea, loss of appetite and constipation.
- Homemade deodorizers: A mix of 4-5 essential oils can act as a homemade deodorant that may leave your body fragrant, sweat free, and fresh. Mix lavender, sage, tea tree, pine and coriander essential oils. Add witch hazel extract to it and fill it in a spray bottle. Use this fully natural remedy daily instead of harmful chemical deodorants.
- Green veggies work: Chlorophyll is found to have deodorizing properties. Green leafy vegetables that are rich in chlorophyll regulate the fat levels in the sweat produced, which may help in reducing body odors. Including green foods such as cabbage, spinach, chard, and kale may aid in eradicating the underlying cause of bad body odor. Drinking parsley tea regularly may help reduce body odor significantly.
- Natural fiber clothing: Wearing clothes that are light and made of natural fibers like cotton, silk, or jute that arenít too tight is recommended. Synthetic polymer clothes do not allow air to pass through them making it impossible to reach internal areas like the armpits and groin. Cotton clothes are breathable, which allows air flow, so underarms and other areas are dry and moisture free. This reduces the bacterial growth and hence the body odor.
- Healthy diet ensures proper digestion: It might look uncanny at first to compare digestive health with body odor. However, in some cases a change in food intake might get rid of unpleasant body odor. Depletion of necessary digestive enzymes such as mono-oxygenases can cause body odor. A diet rich in probiotic foods may help keep the gut healthy and maintain all the necessary enzymes required for proper digestion of food.
- Tamanu oil: It is an essential oil. Apply two or three drops of oil directly to the underarms. This oil is safe for application, and people with sensitive skin can consider it as a natural deodorant. This oil has anti bacterial and antifungal properties that may help fight body odor (5✔ ✔Trusted Source
Tamanu oil and skin active properties: From traditional to modern cosmetic uses
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Some lifestyle changes and following a naturally hygienic routine could help greatly in controlling body odor and reviving an otherwise lost confidence. Follow these simple home tricks and face the world with pride, Naturally!