Though it can be a giant nuisance, sweating is generally healthy and often necessary. Not only does it cool the body, but it also eliminates toxins.
Sweat is produced by glands in the skin, which respond to not only heat, but also stress, anger, nervousness and a host of other conditions. Bacteria that love this sweat grow and multiply, and as they break down the sweat fluids, they produce that unpleasant odor.
- Possible causes
- Stress, anger, nervousness or extreme excitement
- Skin infection
- Serious illness, such as kidney disease, fungal infections, liver disease, etc.
- If you take strong medicines, your sweat may smell of them
- Smoking or drinking a lot
- Zinc deficiency
- Clogged pores
- Exercising, lifting heavy weights
- Wear cotton or linen clothing during hot days. Synthetic materials allow less oxygen to pass and can irritate the ski.
- Wipe your armpits with white or apple cider vinegar or alcohol (patch test a small area of skin first for allergic reaction).
- Sage and rosemary contain oils that are antiseptic and antibiotic, and sage has compounds that dry up sweat. Steep 2 tsp of dried herb in 1 cup water for 5 minutes, let cool and wash needed body parts. Use internally sparingly, and do not use if pregnant or nursing. Alternately, grind up rosemary into a powder and apply.
- Fennel is popular in Indian restaurants after meals and helps treat bad breath and body odor originating from the intestines. Chew on some seeds after dinner or make a tea out of 2-3 tsp crushed seeds. Steep for 10-25 minutes.
- If you have a zinc deficiency, indulge in the following zinc rich foods: spinach, whole grains, legumes, rice and nuts.
- Avoid antiperspirant, unless absolutely necessary. It’s toxic, blocks pores and prevents elimination of toxins. Use natural deodorants instead.
- Apply baking soda, talcum powder or baby powder to absorb sweat.
- For clogged pores, dry-brush your body gently with a body brush to get rid of dead skin cells.
- Pour 2-3 cups of tomato juice into a bath and soak for 15-20 minutes. This will combat body odor.
- Avoid refined sugar and flour, hydrogenated oils and other processed foods as these can cause your sweat to smell worse.
- Avoid alcohol and caffeine as these will affect the odor of your sweat. If you want to indulge, at least don’t drink any prior to an evening out with someone you want to impress.
- Minimize cumin, onions, spices and garlic can also cause foul body odor. Since these are very healthy foods and spices, don’t avoid them altogether, just don’t use any before an important date or meeting. Also, follow them up with fennel to sweeten the breath and help the intestine break down the food.
- For foot odor, only wear cotton socks and don’t wear them more than once. Wear open sandals or shoes that let air in. Your feet like to breathe too.
- Find a natural deodorant, such as Tom’s Of Maine or Aubrey Organics. They can be found in any health food or specialty store, and of course online as well.
Antiperspirant can be Dangerous
Antiperspirants prevent toxins from being eliminated through the armpits where lymph nodes are located. In addition, many contain aluminum, which is a toxin according to the World Health Organization (WHO). In 1993, the WHO stated “There is a suspected link between Alzheimer’s disease and the toxicity of aluminum.”
Deodorants, on the other hand, normally don’t contain aluminum, so they’re a safer option.
Read more about the dangers of antiperspirants and how to choose a safe deodorant.
6 “The Herbal Drugstore” Linda B. White, M.D., Steven Foster, and the Staff of Herbs for Health, 2000
(2) Network News and Publications, “Rub A Dub, Dub… Is Cancer in Your Tub?” Atlanta, Georgia, USA, 1999.