Body odor is natural and perfectly normal, yet it can be quite embarrassing, especially if it becomes excessive. Some people may even suffer from body odor even when showering regularly and utilizing deodorant. The reality is that there are more causes behind it than just an increased internal body temperature.
Common Causes of Body Odor
Below you can learn about some of the most common culprits behind body odor.
What we put in our bodies must come out in one way or another, and often this will come out in the form of body odor. Foods that generally contribute to bad odor include yogurt, red meat, egg yolks, onions, seafood, beans, cabbage, and asparagus. Consuming too much of these foods will often result in increased body odor.
Some medications increase sweating and create interactions in the body that result in increased body odor. Using too much aspirin or acetaminophen can increase sweat production, as does the use of antipsychotic and antidepressant medications.
Menopause is another culprit that leads to this dreaded condition. Because hot flashes are frequent during menopause, this increases sweating and thus increases odor. Hormonal imbalances may also affect the odor of sweat.
Unfortunately, some people are genetically predisposed to having excessive body odor. For those folks especially, the natural remedies discussed next will be especially helpful.
Sweat in it of itself is odorless, but it picks up a distinct odor when it mixes with bacteria that sit on our skin. Our bodies have two different types of sweat glands, eccrine and apocrine. Eccrine is found on the majority of the body, and these glands are quite small. This sweat is responsible for cooling the body and is mostly made up of water. Apocrine glands are the ones we usually associate with stinky sweat because they are located on the armpits, areola, groin, and around the eyelids. This sweat is thicker and contains bacteria; it is this sweat that is responsible for body odor.
Natural Fixes for Body Odor
These are safe and natural treatments/approaches that have proven effective for many sufferers.
1. Watch your Diet
First things first, you need to watch what you’re eating when suffering from body odor. Avoid the foods mentioned above as much as possible, and maintain a balanced diet that includes lean protein, complex carbs, and plenty of organic vegetables.
2. Baking Soda
Baking soda is effective because it helps absorb moisture and kills bacteria, so it’s a double-whammy when fighting external body odor. Simply mix one tablespoon each of lemon juice and baking soda and apply to your underarms or areas where the odor is high. Leave it on the skin for a few minutes, then rinse gently, then shower off. You can do this one time each week.
3. Apple Cider Vinegar
ACV effectively kills bacteria and is great for reducing body odor. For an easy remedy right before you shower, soak a cotton ball with some apple cider vinegar and apply it to your underarms and/or problem areas, let sit for a few minutes, then rinse off.
As an internal cleanser, add a tablespoon of organic apple cider vinegar (with the “mother”) and a teaspoon of raw honey to a glass of warm water. Drink 10 minutes before a meal, 3 times per day.
Rosemary prevents bacteria from leeching odor, and it also naturally contains menthol and chlorophyll which both neutralize odor naturally. For an easy solution, mix 8-10 drops of rosemary essential oil with 1 ounce of water and apply to your underarms as a deodorant.
You can also add some dried rosemary leaves to your hot bath (soak the leaves in hot water for about 10 minutes before adding them to the bath) for a total-body remedy. You can use both remedies daily.
5. Witch Hazel
Witch hazel is effective because it lowers the body’s pH level, making it impossible for odor-causing bacteria to live. Take a cotton ball soaked in witch hazel and dab it on your armpits for a natural antiperspirant.
6. Eat Probiotic-Rich Foods
Probiotics stimulate the growth of the bacteria lactobacillus bifidus, which reduces gut toxins and improves digestion. These natural, gut-friendly bacteria help to control the growth of other toxic bacteria in the intestines. In most cases, internal body odor is often just a matter of bad digestion. Try adding probiotic-rich foods into your daily diet for up to 6 months to improve your overall health.
7. Check for Mold in Your Surroundings
In addition to the remedies mentioned above, check to see if mold is present in your surroundings. Mold can be a big contributor to unexplained body odor, as well as other illnesses. If that’s the case, the best course of action is to get away from the environment and seek treatment.
While excessive body odor can be uncomfortable, it is not an impossible ailment to treat. Utilize the remedies and the knowledge mentioned above to treat your body odor naturally and keep yourself out of any other odor-related embarrassing situations.