Body odor is an embarrassing situation which can become discouraging if deodorants, bathing and perfume fail to address the problem. Some short term solutions to body odor can even cause health problems. Natural remedies for body odor such as activated charcoal and diy deodorants eliminate body odor and can resolve underlying issues that cause it in the first place.
Many products on the market are designed to cover odors with a stronger scent or stop the body from sweating. Neither is a good solution. Covering odors does not address the problem that caused odor. Usually this solution only ends in two strong smells – the odor itself and the overpowering smell of the scented product.
Products that stop the body from sweating are interrupting a necessary bodily process. Sweating helps the body to cool off and get rid of toxins. Aluminum is commonly used in deodorants to stop sweating. Unfortunately, there is concern that aluminum may contribute to cancers and Alzheimer’s disease.
The good news is that there are safe natural solutions to the problem of body odor that can help keep the body smelling fresh and improve overall health as well. These solutions can be broken down into two categories – internal deodorants and topical deodorants. They can be used in combination if needed. Depending on the severity of the body odor and level of toxicity in the body, it may be necessary to continue internal remedies for many months.
Natural Remedies for Body Odor Used Internally
Activated charcoal is a carbon that has been treated with oxygen. This resulting charcoal is highly porous and adsorbs toxins from inside the body when taken internally. Not to be confused with absorption, adsorption is defined as the adhesion of a chemical species onto the surface of particles. Adsorption is a different process from absorption, in which a substance diffuses into a liquid or solid to form a solution.
For body odor, 1-4 activated charcoal tablets can be taken once or twice daily with a full glass of water. If you have a charcoal powder, 1/4 teaspoon of charcoal in 8 ounces of filtered water is the optimal dose for 24 hours of body odor prevention.
Note that activated charcoal should be taken 2 hours apart from any medications. There is a theoretical risk of constipation, so plenty of water should be taken with it and lower doses considered by those with chronic constipation.
Activated charcoal even works in the most hot and humid climates. Watch Earth Clinic’s video, filmed in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, to see charcoal at work for 24 hours!
In addition to long term relief from body odor, activated charcoal can be used instead of a topical deodorant but it does cause a temporary black stain to clothing, so most people opt to take charcoal internally for BO.
Bentonite clay also draws poisons out from the body. For internal use, sodium bentonite clay should be used, not calcium bentonite clay. As with charcoal, it should be taken 2 hours away from medication.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar helps your body to maintain balance. If you never sweat, apple cider vinegar can help you to restore an appropriate amount of perspiration. If you seem to sweat more than the average, apple cider vinegar may help your body to perspire at a more natural rate. 1-3 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar in a tall glass of water once or twice a day is a typical apple cider vinegar tonic for health balancing.
A liquid chlorophyll supplement is a natural internal deodorizer that may reduce body odor from the inside out. Alfalfa tablets can be used for this same purpose.
A highly acidic diet can cause your body odor to be worse. Consume more whole foods and less processed foods and sugar can improve your overall health as well as decrease your body odor. Foods like onions and garlic can cause the body to smell like them, even beyond the classic, “garlic breath.” Consuming fresh parsley with onions and garlic can help as parsley works as a natural internal cleanser.
Topical Natural Deodorants
To maximize the effectiveness and even reduce the need for them, pay attention to reducing bacteria under your arms. It is bacteria under the arms that begins to smell as you sweat. Many of the remedies below work well because of their antibacterial properties.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar can also be used topically to reduce underarm odor. After you shower, use a cotton ball to apply apple cider vinegar to the armpits. You may wish to dilute the vinegar with water, usual equal amounts of each. If you have just shaved your underarms, this remedy will likely sting!
Baking soda absorbs odors and is commonly used in natural deodorants and DIY deodorant recipes. For some, this is a great remedy. However, for many, baking soda can irritate the underarms and even cause a rash.
Coconut oil is a natural antibacterial. You can apply it straight to your underarms. However, it is an oil and can cause staining on clothing. For best results you may wish to apply it at night and wear old clothing to bed. By morning the oil should be adequately absorbed. You can add essential oils to your coconut oil to increase the antibacterial properties and have a scent you enjoy. Add 1-3 drops of essential oil per tablespoon of coconut oil. Tea tree and lavender are two popular options for natural deodorant.
Hydrogen peroxide kills bacteria in a gentle way. Wipe your underarms with 3% hydrogen peroxide using a cotton ball. Or buy hydrogen peroxide in a spray bottle for an easy application.
Because rubbing alcohol kills germs, it can be used the same way as hydrogen peroxide to kill bacteria under your arms. If you put rubbing alcohol in a spray bottle, you can add a favorite essential oil for a fresh scent. Use one drop of essential oil per tablespoon of rubbing alcohol.
Wearing cotton clothing will allow your skin to breathe better than synthetics, reducing your risk of sweating. Synthetic clothing also is more likely to retain odors, even after laundering.
DIY Deodorant Recipe without Baking Soda
Because baking soda can be irritating to some when used as a natural deodorant, this recipe is baking soda free!
- 3 T. Bentonite clay
- ¼ cup coconut oil
- ¼ cup shea or cocoa butter
- 4 teaspoons beeswax
- ¼ c. Arrowroot
- 20 drops essential oil
Melt shea or cocoa butter, coconut oil and beeswax in a double boiler. Remove from heat and stir in bentonite clay and arrowroot powder. Add essential oil.
Pour this liquid into silicone molds or empty deodorant containers. Allow to cool completely.
What Causes Body Odor?
Certainly sweating is associated with odor, especially when it mixes with bacteria on the body and the bacteria multiply in a warm, moist environment. Consuming certain foods can cause odor, like onions, garlic and alcohol. However, these things tend to resolve after bathing or in time after food has been digested and eliminated from the body.
Certain medical conditions including diabetes and kidney disease may cause a body to emit a particular smell. Some diets (high protein, low carb diets, for example) cause the body to eliminate ketones, causing an odor. Hormonal changes and stress can cause the body to have a particular odor.
Toxin overload in the body can cause body odor. Constipation can cause body odor as the body is not effectively getting rid of waste.
Do you have a natural body odor solution? Continue reading to learn which home remedies worked best for our readers and let us know what your favorite is!