Why We All Worry About Body Odor
We might think that it is our sweat that causes body odor but that is not the case. It is actually the unwanted aroma from the fermentation processes that happen in our bodies when we eat animal products and processed foods.
If we were only drinking water for example, there would be nothing to worry about. It is the bacteria living in our bodies that reacts with the toxic by-products from what we are eating.
Body odor can tell us more
It can be an indication of a health problem.
- Sweat that has a smell of bleach could mean that there are kidney or liver disease problems.
- Diabetes sufferers can give off a fruity body odor
- The rare genetic condition known as trimethylaminuria has a fishy smell.
There are gender differences too
Women’s body odor can mimic the smell of onions because of the high levels of sulphur, which react with bacteria that feed on sweat.
Men’s sweat contains high levels of fatty acid. This combines with bacteria from the underarm to produce a cheesy smell.
Body odor can cause embarrassment
It can be detected by others in close proximity.
Excessive sweating can also be seen through damp patches on clothes, even permanently damaging the clothing.
But are we too hasty in applying antiperspirants?
These might do the job of keeping us dry and odor free but at what cost?
Antisperspirants are a common source of aluminium which is particularly toxic to the brain and adds to the risk of developing Alzheimer’s.
Instead, look for and use a natural and aluminium-free version.
That same aluminium in antiperspirants can also absorbed into the breast tissue, potentially increasing the risk of breast cancer or other health problems. Studies have found that women with breast cancer have higher levels of aluminum in their nipple aspirate fluid (NAF) – a fluid present in the breast duct tree.
There are other ways to avoid body odor
Avoid red meat as well as foods low in fiber and those processed foods made with hydrogenated oils, added sugars and refined white flour. Onions, garlics, some spices and even caffeinated drinks can cause unwanted odors to escape through the skin’s pores.
Instead, add more plants to your diet such as leafy vegetables, greens, sprouts and fresh fruits while mints and herbs like licorice, parsley, oregano, rosemary, cilantro and celery are especially helpful.
Before showering, pour a teaspoon of baking soda in your hand, close it and step into the shower. Let the water briefly seep into your closed hand before applying the moistened baking soda to each armpit. After rinsing your armpits, you can proceed to your regular shower routine.
Take a chlorella supplement and/or probiotics because chlorella helps eliminate odors and freshens breath while probiotics support oral health.
It may seem obvious but bathing at least once a day and washing in between bathing can help limit the bacteria population on your skin – the source of most body odors. Concentrate on the feet and armpits, making sure to dry the body well because bacteria grows best on damp skin.
Spritz with vinegar
This natural antiseptic can help kill bacteria and fungi on the skin’s surface. Apply white or apple cider vinegar to odorous areas before wiping to help eliminate any odors.
Green supplements like wheat grass or chlorophyll
A daily dose will act as a natural deodorizer. More about wheatgrass here.
Tea tree oil or witch hazel
Apply a small amount of either of these to the underarms. The tea tree oil is a natural antiseptic while the witch hazel modifies the skin’s pH so that it is not receptive to bacteria.
Detoxing the body
It never hurts to consider a detox. If you have the opportunity, regular sessions in an infrared sauna will remove toxic impurities through the skin but there are other cleansing routes and detox foods that can be used too.
Extra virgin coconut oil and a natural deodorant recipe
You will need:
1/3 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup baking soda
1/4 cup arrowroot powder
4 tablespoons cornstarch
(Optional) essential oils– tea tree or lavender
Mix the baking soda, cornstarch and arrowroot powder together in a bowl.
Add coconut oil and use a fork or pastry cutter to blend into the dry ingredients.
Add 5 to 10 drops of your chosen essential oil.
Add more coconut oil or baking soda if necessary to get the ideal consistency.
Decant to a glass storage jar ready for use in the bathroom.
Simply dip your finger into the jar before massaging your underarms and then rinse your hands afterwards.
A word of warning
You may imagine that antibacterial soaps would do a good job of cleaning underarms and other areas. While antibacterial soap does kill bacteria, the active ingredient in most of these antibacterial soaps – known as triclosan – is another toxic substance and responsible for killing off cells. Rather use regular soap for washing.
Sources and further reading…
http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2011/10/17/aluminum-containing-antiperspirants-contribute-breast-cancer.aspx, http://www.healthy-holistic-living.com/say-goodbye-to-underarm-odor-with-these-5-home-remedies.html?t=MAM, http://www.mommypotamus.com/natural-deodorant-recipe-sensitive-skin/