Every individual has a characteristic odor on the body, which is caused due to several factors. Chiefly these odors are caused due to the presence of bacteria on the body of the person. These bacteria multiply in the presence of sweat. This is when the odor becomes strong enough to become offensive.
In some people, even though there is profuse sweating, the odor is not offensive; whereas in others the odor can be extremely offensive even with a small amount of perspiration. Hence the body odor will depend on several factors. The diet one eats, the climate one lives in, gender, occupation, age and mood all contribute in some way or other towards body odor.
Ayurveda believes body odor is due to the presence of toxins in the body. The chief toxin that is responsible for the body odor is the ama, which is the buildup of undigested food material in the respiratory tract. If the ama is not controlled within time, then it would spread to other regions of the body. From there, it would be eliminated in the form of perspiration, causing severe body odors. The buildup of ama is due to an imbalance in the pitta dosha of the person’s body; but the body odor itself can be caused due to a vitiation of all the three doshas.
Useful Herbs in the Treatment of Body Odor and Perspiration
Alfalfa (Medicago satina)
Alfalfa has an antibacterial agent present in its chlorophyll. When alfalfa is consumed, it reduces the problem of body odor by killing the bacteria present on the body.
Parsley (Petroselinum crispum)
Just like alfalfa, parsley also has antibacterial properties in its chlorophyll. Moreover, parsley contains zinc in it which is known to have powers in reducing body odors.
Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)
Rosemary is an antibacterial herb. Hence it is used in several deodorants to kill the bacteria living on the body and make it odor-free.
Dietary Treatments for Body Odor and Perspiration
Diet becomes absolutely important to reduce offensive body odors, as the presence of odors is due to the improper digestion in the body. Therefore the foods that are taken in the diet must be ones that get easily digested whereas all foods that do not get digested easily must be avoided. The following are some dietary tips:-
– Reduce the intake of all difficult to digest foods such as red meats, ice creams, rich desserts, very hot and spicy food, pickles, etc.
– Do not consume foods when they are too hot or too cold.
– Use plenty of green leafy vegetables in the diet. This will provide the necessary roughage for the elimination of wastes from the diet. As a result the digestive tract will remain clean.
– After a heavy meal, eat some plantains. These will facilitate the digestion. Alternatively, digestive herbal pills containing mint in them can be taken.
– Fruits are very important. Instead of oily snacks, having an apple, orange or a banana when hungry is extremely advisable.
– Include one green salad dish in every meal.
– Fluids are extremely important to flush out the ama buildup in the digestive system. Several glasses of water must be had in a day.
Personal Hygiene for Body Odor and Perspiration
Ayurveda stresses on physical hygiene as the preliminary step in the treatment of body odor. People must have a bath daily, preferable in hot water as this also increases the circulation of blood within the body. After the bath, the body must be wiped with a rough towel to remove the dead bacteria and dead cells off the body.
Wearing clean clothes after a bath every morning is ideal. Also clean socks and underwear are important.
Most of the body odor problems arise from the armpits. Shaving the hair from this region reduces the problem of body odor to a great extent.
– Some herbal teas can eliminate body odor. Sage tea, when had daily once, can eliminate the bacteria that are responsible for body odor.
– Sage leaves are also helpful in the removal of unwanted body smells. Sage leaves can be mixed with tomato juice and apply this on the regions which are he sources of the body odor. After about thirty minutes, have your bath and wash off the paste. You will remain body odor free for the whole day.
– An unconventional method to reduce body odor is to use vinegar made from apple cider in place of deodorants. This is used in the armpits. Though the method is less commonly used, results are obtained. Vinegar contains acetic acid which is an antibacterial. Even normal white vinegar when applied to the areas of profuse perspiration will reduce most of the bacteria living there and eliminate the body odor.
– Turnip is also known to help. The juice of a grated turnip when applied to the places where sweat is more will keep that area free of sweat and perspiration for a long time. Regular use of this method will eliminate the problem of body odor completely.
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