Everybody has body odour even if you think you don’t. A strong body odour can be a sign that can signify an underlying imbalance in your body. Here’s how to decipher body odour and what you can do about it.

Decipher Body Odour: The Science Behind Sweat

The body has two different sweat glands – eccrine and apocrine. Eccrine sweat glands are stimulated in response to temperature, usually during exercise or when it’s too hot. These glands are located all over the body, especially, legs and hands and produce sweat uniformly, without much smell. The sweat’s composition is similar to water.

On the other hand, apocrine glands are found only in certain areas with hair follicles. They tend to get activated with stress and the sweat produced is initially odourless. They release proteins and lipids which attract micro-organisms. As a result, when it combines with microbes and bacteria in the skin, it gives off a bad odor.

What Causes Body Odour?

The sweat produced by apocrine glands is the real culprit of body odour. Here are the reasons why:

1. Improper Digestion

A weakened digestion system can be a root cause of body odour. This is because food is not metabolized correctly leading to the production of more incomplete byproducts. The body then needs to work harder and release it through the pores of the skin.

According to Ayurveda, eating pitta dosha aggravating foods like spicy, oily, deep-fried food, too much garlic or onion can contribute to digestion issues. Consuming foods to aid and stimulate better digestion helps to tackle the body odour problem.

2. Toxin Build-up

Accumulation of toxins in your body is another reason why you may be smelling bad. Due to improper digestion and exposure to too much environmental toxins, your body finds it difficult out flush out free radicals. 

3. You are Too Stressed or Anxious

Since your apocrine sweat glands get activated at times of stress, too much stress and anxiety can stimulate it to release more foul sweat. Body odour is not a direct effect of stress, it’s more of a secondary byproduct.

4. Your Liver is Burdened

Too much alcohol consumption and use of certain medications can stress your liver. Hence, it’s unable to perform its function of detoxifying the body. This leads to the build-up of Ama or toxins in the body, thereby causing body odour.

Natural Remedies to Prevent Body Odour

Sweat is the natural way of the body to regulate your body temperature and flush out toxins. The use of antiperspirants is not really an effective solution as this can block the process of sweating and lead to ill-effects. Here are some small changes you can make to prevent body odour:

Eat Right

You sweat what you eat and drink, so choose your food accordingly. Eat a wholesome diet with plant-based foods and refrain from eating processed or junk food and overly-spicy, pungent and oily food. Enhance the digestive fire of your body by eating warm, cooked foods that are light and easy to digest. Cook according to the season and support your liver to detoxify the body naturally.

Increase Oxygenation in the body

Engage in physical activity, Yoga, meditation, powerful breathing exercises or Pranayama to help increase the supply of oxygen to each cell in the body. This will help you achieve multiple objectives including improved metabolism, happy state of mind and less stress.

Detoxify Your Body

Internal and external detoxification of the body will help to purify your blood and flush out toxins that are the cause of your body odour. Ayurvedic Panchakarma treatments are a set of cleansing processes that are highly recommended to help you detoxify both internally and externally.

Replenish the Good Bacteria

Don’t use harsh soaps, cleansers, deodorants, and perfumes as this can disrupt the fragile microbiome on your skin. It is possible to get clean with natural products that don’t eliminate the good bacteria altogether.

For instance, applying essential oil like tea tree oil in your foot and soaking your feet in a diluted apple-cider-vinegar bath can reduce foot odour by lowering the pH of the skin so that odour-causing bacteria are unable to survive.

Sweat is good, but sweat with foul body odour is a sign that something is off. Try to find the underlying causes before you take to off-the-shelves products to curb body odour.