Body odor, medically referred to as bromhidrosis, is a condition that causes the body to produce an unpleasant smell. This is made possible, in part, by the bacteria present on the skin. The bacterial populations act on the acids that are present in the sweat that the body produces. It is important to note that this condition often affects anyone beyond puberty for the simple reason that it is after this stage that the apocrine sweat glands are developed. These sweat glands are specifically known to produce the kind of sweat that bacteria break down with ease. As a general guide, men are more predisposed to this condition because they tend to sweat more when compared to women.
There are a number of conditions that worsen the production of body odour. These include, among them, obesity, the indulgence of rich spicy food, the use of certain medication as well as the predisposition caused by some diseases. Examples of the latter include diabetes, kidney disease and conditions affecting the liver. In some cases however, body odor is the result of poor hygiene practice with the main symptom been the production of an offensive smell. This is sometimes accompanied by weight loss, night sweats as well as cold hands.
While body odour may occur from time to time depending on varied conditions, it is critical to see a GP is the odor starts to cause distress, has a noticeable change or is far more intense. For the most part however, many people are able to benefit from home remedies used to fight body odor. At the core of these remedies is the need to manage excess bacterial populations found on the skin as these are responsible for the smell. The fact that bacteria thrive in warm moist environments makes this a fundamental step.
1. Baking Soda:
Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: 1 Tablespoon each of baking soda and lemon juice, warm water to rinse and followed by a bath. 1 tablespoon each of the baking soda and corn starch.
Baking soda is one of the simplest and most popular home remedies for the home management of body odor. This powder works by absorbing the sweat produced, thus denying bacterial populations the chance to break it down and produce the bad body smell. In addition to these functions, the baking soda also destroys the bacteria and is known to work as an excellent alternative to commercial deodorant without any of the side-effects that accompany the use of the latter. Below is a simple and detailed process to follow when preparing this home remedy.
- Mix the baking soda and lemon juice together so that you end up with a paste of sorts. This is done to ease the application process and make it more effective with the addition of lemon juice that easily gets rid of odors.
- Apply this paste to key parts of the body where excessive sweating occurs. These must include the underarms, the feet, the groin area as well as the hands.
- Leave the paste on for about 15 minutes.
- Once the time has elapsed, rinse off the paste, making sure not to scrub as this could cause abrasion on the skin.
- Follow this up with a bath or a shower to clean the skin.
- Use this daily for a couple of weeks and monitor whether there is any improvement.
Natural Deodorant preparation using Baking Soda:
- The second alternative to use when managing body odor using baking soda involves its application as a deodorant. Mix equal amounts of the baking soda and corn starch
- Apply the mixture on the skin. Focus on the underarms when you need to prevent body odor and reduce the extent of sweating.
- Use as often as required.
2. Lemon Juice:
Time Required: 30 Min
What You Need: 1 Fresh lemon and bathwater. Half cup of warm water and cotton ball (optional).
Lemon juice, just like baking soda, has excellent benefits for the natural management of body odor. The lemon works because it highly acidic, and this helps lower the pH value of the skin. With lowered skin pH, bacteria find it difficult to survive as this creates a very harsh environment. The end result is a reduction of the bacterial populations that break down the acids on the skin, and thus there is less body odor. Prepare the remedy by following any set of directions provided below depending on whether your skin is sensitive or not.
For Non-Sensitive Skin:
- Rub the fresh lemon on your working surface. Doing this increases the amount of juice that the fibers produce, and makes the remedy more effective.
- Cut the lemons in half, and use the halves to rub the juice into the skin.
- Do this gently, but ensure that the juice is absorbed on the skin until it dries.
- Once dried, take a shower to rinse off the remedy.
- Use this remedy daily until you are able to note improvements.
For Sensitive Skin:
- Sensitive skin may react to the lemon juice, which is why it is critical that a second remedy option is availed. This one requires the dilution of the lemon juice as follows.
- Take the juice of one lemon and add it to half a cup of water.
- Soak a piece of the cotton wool in the lemon juice mixture and use it to dab the remedy on the underarms and different parts of the body where there is excessive sweating.
- Leave the remedy on for about 10 minutes and then rinse with bath water.
- Use this remedy daily until you notice an improvement.
3. Sage Herb:
Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: 5 Drops each of sage, lavender and coriander essential oils, distilled witch hazel and a spray bottle. 2 tablespoons of dried sage and hot water.
Go the herbal way with the sage to treat body odor naturally. Sage has pleasant and fragrant properties that make it ideal for the natural treatment of body odor. In addition to this, the oil’s antibacterial properties help eliminate the excessive bacterial populations found on the skin. Overall, sage helps reduce over-activity of the sweat glands. Lavender and coriander essential oils are added for their great fragrance, while witch hazel is added due to its antibacterial properties.
For this remedy, there are two key ways in which the remedy may be used: preparation of a natural deodorant and a rinsing solution. Follow the directions below to make the most of this herbal remedy in managing body odor.
NOTE: Sage should not be used by expectant women and lactating mothers as it could pose adverse side effects.
Prepare Natural Deodorant:
- Mix all the essential oils in a bowl – sage, coriander and lavender oils.
- Add the oil mixture to the witch hazel and stir well.
- Once mixed, transfer the resulting solution to a spray bottle and use this as a daily deodorant.
Prepare rinse solution using Dried Sage:
- Add two tablespoons of the dried sage to a pan.
- Pour in four cups of water and bring the mixture to boil.
- Reduce the heat and let the mixture steep for 5 minutes.
- Let the solution cool down until it has a bearable temperature. Too hot and the remedy is likely to cause scalding.
- Use this solution to rinse the underarms and other parts of the body where excessive sweating occurs.
- Do this twice daily until you are able to manage the condition with ease.
4. Rosemary Herb:
Time Required: 30 Min
What You Need: 1/4 A cup of dried rosemary leaves, 2 cups of hot water and bath water.
Take advantage of nature’s own remedies and use rosemary to get rid of body odor. Rosemary’s healing properties are the result of its ability to restrict bacterial growth on the skin, and this effectively helps manage the condition with ease. Menthol and chlorophyll found in the herb have excellent deodorant properties that counter the odor and help add a fragrance to the body. The next time you are struggling with body odor, give this herb a try for an effective solution.
- Place the dried rosemary leaves in a pan and add the hot water.
- Let the mixture steep for 10 minutes or so and then transfer to the bath tub.
- Run warm bath water and allow it to mix with the rosemary mixture.
- Soak in this bath water for 20 minutes and then proceed to pat the skin dry using a soft towel.
- Use this remedy daily in order to deal with body odor.
- The other option is to mix a few drops of rosemary essential oil in warm water.
- Soak come cotton wool in the mixture and use it to dab the remedy on the underarms. This allows you to use the herb as a deodorant.
NOTE: Rosemary causes irritation, it is best to discontinue its use immediately to avoid adverse reactions on the skin.
5. Witch Hazel:
Time Required: 15 Min
What You Need: 1/2 A cup of witch hazel and cotton ball.
Witch Hazel is recommended for the natural treatment of body odor because it has pH altering properties on the skin. Once it is applied on the skin where excessive sweating occurs, it creates a hostile environment for the bacteria, thus reducing the populations of the same. This helps reduce the rate at which sweat is broken down, making it less likely to suffer from the characteristic body odor. This remedy works like an anti-antiperspirant, and is an excellent natural remedy.
- Soak a piece of cotton wool in the witch hazel.
- Squeeze the excess remedy and dab it gently on the underarms followed by parts of the body where sweating occurs excessively.
- Use this remedy as often as you need to.
6. Tea Tree Oil:
Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: 2 Drops of tea tree oil, 2 tablespoons of water and a spray bottle.
Tea tree oil is best known for its antibacterial properties, and this is what makes it an ideal home remedy for the natural treatment of body odor. The oil’s antiseptic properties kill the bacteria present on the skin, and this means that there is reduced likelihood of bacteria breaking down the sweat produced by the body. Another benefit of using tea tree oil is that it helps manage the rate of sweat production. Note that this is a very potent remedy, and is therefore not recommended for those with very sensitive skin.
- Add two drops of the tea tree oil to two tablespoons of water. This is done for dilution purposes.
- Transfer the solution to a spray bottle and then use this as a deodorant.
- Use this remedy daily until you are content with the progress made, and there is less body odor production.
Other home remedies used for the management of body odor include turnips whose antibacterial properties kill the bacterial populations on the skin, tomatoes whose astringent properties help shrink the skin pores as well as wheat grass whose high concentration of chlorophyll has a great deodorizing effect. Along with these simple to use home remedies, it is extremely important to get a daily bath and maintain hygiene practices.
Additionally, avoid wearing extremely tight clothes because this only increases the rate of sweating. Learn how to manage your stress levels as high stress levels and anger increase sweating. Lastly, make sure you stay hydrated to aid the body’s mechanism to flush toxins and reduce the body’s bacterial load. In the event that the body odor does not reduce over a period of time, make sure you consult your doctor to diagnose any potential disorders.