The body must perspire. Perspiration is one method the body uses to eliminate toxins and other impurities, but excessive perspiration can be a problem. Excessive underarm sweating may stem from stress, diet or medications, among other causes. Commercial-grade antiperspirants and deodorants only block some of the underarm sweating or mask the odor. Neither treats the cause or eliminates the symptoms for any user, and that is especially so for users with excessive perspiration. Home remedies can help the body eliminate toxins, prevent excessive sweating, and absorb the moisture before odor-causing bacteria invade the area.
Make a bath salt to unclog the pores and draw out impurities. Aid your body in toxin removal so the body does use excessive measures to remove contaminants. Mix 1½ cups of borax, 1 cup each of sea salt, baking soda and an essential oil of your choice. Choose lemon, lime, geranium, orange, spearmint, or peppermint essential oils, and use only one essential oil per remedy mix. Try another essential oil the next time you make a mix, if you wish. Pour ¼ to ½ cup of the remedy into a warm or hot bath and soak for 10-20 minutes. Adjust the temperature of the bath water as needed for personal comfort, because the bath salt works in cooler water temperatures too. Consider using the remedy in a cool bath during the summer months or when running a fever.
Vinegar and Oil
Mix 4 oz. of red vinegar with 30 drops of an essential oil into a container with an airtight lid. Cover, shake and set aside for a week with the cover on, letting the essential oils seep into the vinegar. Shake the bottle for at least 10 seconds each day, keeping the container out of direct sunlight and humidity. Use after one week, pouring 3 tbsp. into each bath. You may use any type of vinegar, but red vinegar is attractive in a cosmetic jar and has the same cleansing properties as other types of vinegar.
Regular steam baths can eliminate toxin buildup in the body, thereby eliminating excessive underarm sweating. Steam baths also relax the mind and body, reducing stress hormones and other needless elements created in the body. For healthy adults, a morning or evening steam bath can put body odor at bay, but steam baths may cause dry skin, especially in the winter months. Take a 10 to 20 minute steam bath daily, if your skin permits, and drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.
Body powders absorb moisture under the arms and kill odor-causing bacteria. Homemade body powders are strong enough for a man or woman, and you can customize the smell suitable for each. Use cornstarch, arrowroot, or white clay as a powder base when combining ingredients. For men, mix ½ cup powder base, 4 tbsp. of fine sandalwood powder, with three drops each of sandalwood, jasmine and lime essential oils. For women, combine ½ cup powder base, 3 tbsp. of sifted dried lavender flowers, with three drops each of rose, lavender and orange oil. Mix into a lidded container, shake, and set aside for five days so the oils penetrate the powder and compose the scents. Apply to the underarms after a bath or shower.
Just as a pharmacist compounds medicine in the pharmacy, you can compound your own oral remedy to curb excessive underarm sweating. Mix 2 tbsp. of apple cider vinegar with 1/8 tsp. of baking soda into a small cup, such as a shot glass or one of the medicine caps supplied with cold or cough syrups. Drink at least one per day, and up to three per day for severe, insistent body odor. Apple cider vinegar contains good bacteria that eliminate bad bacteria, reducing the toxin overload that produces excessive perspiration. Baking soda reduces acidity in the body, neutralizing the pH balance of the blood.
Your underarms will still sweat, but good hygiene requires the use of deodorant to soak up the moisture and prevent bacteria from invading the area. Commercial antiperspirants and deodorants do not soak up the sweat and only mask odors, unlike home remedies or homemade deodorants. To make your own deodorant, mix five drops each of cypress, sage and coriander essential oils, 15 drops of sandalwood essential oil, 1 tbsp. of alcohol and 2 oz. of witch hazel or aloe vera juice into a spray bottle. Shake the bottle well before each use, and spray two to three pumps directly to the underarms. Avoid contact with eyes and other mucus membranes. For an alternative application, saturate a cosmetic sea sponge with the remedy and apply to the underarms. Reapply as needed.
Diet and Nutrition
Exercise and diet play a role in the accumulation and elimination of body odors. Eat a diet rich in green leafy vegetables and fiber, while incorporating regular exercise into your daily agenda. The armpits do not have access to air like the other pores on your body, so perspiration does not evaporate well. Exercise allows all pores to take on the chore of eliminating perspiration, reducing the need for excessive underarm sweating.
- Cheryl Myers (self) personal trainer
- Aromatherapy; Kathi Keville and Mindy Green; 2009
- Dr Weil on toxin removal and steam baths