10 Home Remedies for Body Odor
Body odor is that unpleasant smell that our bodies can give off, and it’s caused by bacteria which lives on our skin that breaks sweat down into acids. Many people think that it’s a result of bacteria growing on the body, but that is not the case. Body odor usually starts at puberty and is the most prevalent in people who are overweight or obese, people who eat too much certain foods and people with some medical conditions. Contrary to popular belief human sweat is almost completely odorless, it’s the breakdown of the sweat into acids by bacteria that causes that familiar unpleasant smell we call body odor. B.O. most commonly occurs in these areas:
* Belly button
* Behind the ears
* Pubic hair
* The skin in general
* In the bum
These are the areas in the body which contain the aprocrine glands which secrete sweat and are responsible for body odor. Since we all wear shoes, socks and other form fitting articles of clothing that make it difficult for our sweat to evaporate, this gives the bacteria a better chance to break down that sweat into smelly acids. Body odor isn’t something any of us want, and if you’d like to tone down your level of B.O. a little, here are 10 home remedies for body odor:
#1 – Proper Hygiene Showering and bathing thoroughly on a regular basis will go a long way in keeping B.O away, but if you already have a little stink then you have to scrub extra hard to get rid of those bacteria which turn your sweat into acid.
Once your armpits start to stink a bit, it’s much more difficult to wash away that smell because the bacteria in that area are very stubborn and difficult to get off, It’s a good idea to get a bath sponge and give the areas which smell a good scrub, rinse and repeat several times until that smell is completely gone. Once you’ve got the area clean and fresh it will be much easier to maintain, and keep the body odor away!
#2 – What You Eat There are certain foods that can make your body odor worse, but having an overall healthy diet goes a long way in reducing any unpleasant smells. If you want to avoid eating foods that promote B.O, you should cut down on these2:
* Vegetables high in fibre such as cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, etc.
* Cumin & curry
It’s also a good idea to cut down on fast foods, processed foods, fried foods, and any foods containing saturated and trans fats. It’s a good idea to consider these ‘dirty foods’ which are going to come out of your pores promoting body odor.
#3 – Avoid Alcohol If you drink a lot of alcohol, you may have noticed that you don’t smell to swell. Alcohol gets turned into acid by your liver which then comes out in your sweat and in your breath. People who drink an excessive amount may also have a myriad of other health issues that can contribute to body odor, including bad gut health.
#4 – Gut Health Bad gut health or leaky gut can lead to many ailments such as chronic inflammation, autoimmune disorders and a whole host of other complications. Having a healthy gut is responsible for our overall health and if it isn’t working the way it should, one of the symptoms are bad body odors, along with bad breath, gas and digestive issues.
If you want to get your gut health on track you can take a probiotic that can be found in any drug store or pharmacy, or eat probiotic-rich foods which promote a healthy gut. Some of the best foods for a healthy gut are;
* Fermented soy products such as miso
* Olive oil (only cold pressed)
#5 – Use Antibacterial Soap This one is a no-brainer. It’s bacteria feasting on your sweat which causes B.O, so using antibacterial soap will help you to get rid of some of that bacteria which is causing body odor in the first place.
#6 – Keep Yourself Dry This is easier said than done, especially during the summer or for people who live in warmer climates. But sweat is what bacteria feed on and turn into body odor, so keeping yourself dry will go a long way in eliminating body odor.
It’s a good idea to pay attention to where you sweat a lot and take care of those areas. If it’s your armpits that sweat a lot, it’s a good idea to have an extra shirt with you. If it’s your feet that sweat a lot, a change of socks is going to help.
#7 – Clean Your Clothes Properly If you’ve had a bad B.O. day, you have to make sure to wash the clothes you were wearing that day thoroughly. Using a good laundry detergent and making sure to wash in 60’C water will kill almost all the bacteria causing the bad smells. If your clothes haven’t been properly washed, the bacteria can activate due to your body heat quickly. This will cause your clothes to start to smell even if you’re clean and fresh.
#8 – Stay Away from the Sweet Stuff Sugar is very good at helping bacteria multiply, the more you eat the easier the bacteria responsible for body odor will spread and the worse your B.O. will be. If you just can’t have a coffee or tea without sweetening, try stevia extract, honey or xylitol sweetener. Avoid any sweeteners with aspartame.
#9 – Apple Cider Vinegar This is a very popular treatment for many health issues, and it can also help you with reducing or eliminating body odor. Apple cider vinegar can help balance the pH level of your skin which can go a long way in helping you smell fresh and clean for longer. Apple cider vinegar works externally and internally, adding it to your food or applying it directly to your skin is a great idea. Just make sure to wash it off after a few minutes.
#10 – Lemon Juice Slicing a lemon in half and rubbing it on your armpits is probably the oldest form of deodorant, and it works well. Lemon juice is a great antiseptic which helps to get rid of odor causing bacteria. This is also better than using an antiperspirant because you’re not blocking the natural process of sweating, just getting rid of the bacteria causing the smell. It’s easy to go to the shop and buy a powerful antiperspirant or deodorant, but you have to remember that those are some strong chemicals to be applying on some of the most sensitive skin on your body. In the case of antiperspirant it also blocks your natural sweat glands which is not good for your body. If you have bad body odor, it’s your body giving you a sign that you need to make some changes. Doing that in a natural and healthy way is a more permanent solution to your B.O.
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Body Odor Pressure References and Body Odor Information
* Medical News Today: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/173478#what-is-body-odor
* Wexner Medical: https://wexnermedical.osu.edu/blog/5-foods-and-drinks-that-affect-body-odor
* Benenden Health: https://www.benenden.co.uk/be-healthy/nutrition/gut-food-15-foods-for-good-gut-health/