ALUM ROCK CRYSTAL
Better than pore obstructing
aluminum based carcogenic deodorants
* Alcohol/witch hazel. Wipe your armpits with alcohol, white vinegar or witch hazel instead of deodorant.
* Alum. (NOTE Not aluminum!) Try using a crystal rock made from the mineral salt potassium alum instead of a deodorant. It won't keep you dry as an antiperspirant will, but antiperspirants clog your sweat glands and contain aluminum chlorohydrate, which may lead to future health problems.
* Apple cider vinegar. Apple cider vinegar eliminates under arm body odor when used in place of deodorant because it reduces the pH of the skin. Bacteria can't live in areas with low pH.
* Baby powder. Use baby powder or talc in areas of heavy perspiration.
* Baking soda. Baking soda, the odor-eating standby, can be used instead of deodorant. Just apply the powder to your dry armpits. It will kill bacteria and help absorb perspiration. Cornstarch can also be used instead or mixed with the baking soda.
* Parsley/alfalfa. Chewing parsley, alfalfa and other leafy greens will help neutralize body odor, probably because of the deodorizing effect of the chlorophyll.
* Radishes. Juice about two dozen radishes, add 1/4 teaspoon of glycerine, and put in a squirt or spray-top bottle. Use as an underarm deodorant or to reduce foot odor.
* Rosemary is an antibacterial herb. Put 8 to 10 drops of the essential oil in 1 ounce of water and appy it where needed.
* Sage. Herbalists suggest drinking a cup of sage tea daily to reduce sweat gland activity. This is especially true for those who perspire excessively due to tension. Use 11/2 teaspoonsful of dried sage or two tea bags in one cup of water; steep for ten minutes; drink in small doses throughout the day. Fresh sage leaves blended with tomato juice has been found to be very effective.
* Tea tree is an antibacterial herb. Make a deodorant by putting 2 drops of the essential oil into 1 ounce of water and apply where needed.
* Towelettes (baby wipes). Useful when a tense moment surges the sex hormones which produce fluid under the arms and around the genital areas that, when combined with bacteria, causes odor.
* Turnip juice. Turnip juice will reduce underarm odor for up to 10 hours. Grate a turnip, squeeze the juice through cheesecloth, so that you have two teaspoonsful. Wash your armpits first, and vigorously rub one teaspoonful on each one.
* Wheat grass. Take 500mg of wheat grass daily on an empty stomach and wash down with a glass of water. The chlorophyll will dramatically reduce body odor.
Conventional wisdom suggests that perspiration is the cause of body odor. However, perspiration by itself is basically odorless, but it is the bacteria and odors coming from other sources that are the real culprits.
Please note that it is extremely important to obtain an accurate diagnosis before trying to find a cure. Many diseases and conditions share common symptoms: if you treat yourself for the wrong illness or a specific symptom of a complex disease, you may delay legitimate treatment of a serious underlying problem. In other words, the greatest danger in self-treatment may be self-diagnosis. If you do not know what you really have, you can not treat it!
Anaerobic bacteria, which flourish when your body doesn't have enough oxygen, may well be the cause of your body odor. As the body's metabolism goes to work, it gives off odors which is the body's way of ridding itself of waste products. Any imbalances in metabolism will result in stronger odors.
Waste products can also be the result of toxins that accumulate in our bodies. In today's world we are bombarded with toxins in our homes, food, and air that accumulate in the body when the organs of elimination cannot dispose of them. The liver and intestines may be clogged up, causing odors to emanate from the body. In this case, a thorough detoxification program that cleanses the liver, kidneys and colon may be useful.
Dietary imbalances, resulting in constipation or a deficiency of magnesium or zinc may be other causes of body odor. Because of different body chemistries, some people who eat large quantities of meat or who are vegetarians have a very distinctive body odor which can be quite offensive. Some individuals cannot metabolize foods containing large amounts of choline, such as eggs, fish, liver and legumes. The result is a "fishy" smell. If you are one of these people, cut out these products and see if this is the cause of your odor. Certain foods and drinks, such as onions, garlic, curry, certain spicy foods, coffee and alcohol, are also prime causes. Fried and baked goods may contain rancid fats and oils that lead to body odor.
Sweat glands (apocrine glands) under the arms and in the groin secrete a substance that is the major non-food/drink related cause of body odor. This substance, which contains protein, carbohydrates and lipids, is often secreted by a surge in sex hormones caused by tense moments or emotional stress. It is then quickly attacked by bacteria, causing odor.
Some other possible cause of body odor:
* Kidney disease
* Liver disease
* Fungal infections
* Refined sugar (feeds bacteria and fungus on the skin)
Personal care product manufacturers are combining a wide variety of natural substances that have inherent antiseptic, germicidal and moisturizing properties to produce natural deodorants that perform the way consumers expect. "It is very important to make sure the ingredients used in deodorant products are as innocuous as possible, but will still help address the host of issues associated with odor problems," says Diana Kaye, co-founder and owner of Terressentials, an organic personal care company based in Middletown, Md.
From natural mineral salts to clays and plant-derived botanicals, manufacturers are finding many natural substances that are well-suited for use in deodorants, and they are combining them in creative ways. "The key to success for natural deodorants is identifying the right mix of ingredients that work effectively," says Lafe Larson, president of Deodorant Stones International, based in Austin, Texas. In its "gentle" line of deodorants, Tomís of Maine includes lemongrass oil and sage extract.
"Lemongrass oil is used as a fragrance component and is widely thought to have analgesic, antimicrobial and antioxidant properties," says Kathleen Taggersell, spokeswoman for the Kennebunk, Maine-based company. "Sage is also well-supported by scientific demonstration to have antimicrobial and antioxidant properties."
Tomís seven varieties of stick and roll-on deodorants all contain chamomile, witch hazel and aloe vera. Chamomile and aloe vera both have skin-soothing properties, and witch hazel is an astringent, Taggersell says.
Terressentials uses natural clay minerals, yucca and white willow in all four varieties of its organic deodorants. "The clay minerals in our deodorants help absorb moisture and serve as a suspending agent," Kaye says. Yucca has anti-inflammatory properties, and white willow bark contains salicylic acid, which imparts antibacterial and preservative properties, she says.
Many consumers are opting for crystal rock deodorants. Deodorant Stones Internationalís crystal deodorants contain potassium alum, a safe and effective alternative to aluminum. Alum, a class of mineral salts that includes potassium alum, aluminum ammonium and potassium sulfate, works by leaving a layer of salt on the skin to inhibit bacterial growth, Larson says.
"There is a significant difference between naturally occurring alum and synthetic aluminum compounds," Larson says. "Naturally occurring alum is a large molecule that kills bacteria on the surface of the skin. Because of its size, it is generally not absorbed through the skin. It works by killing the bacteria, which is the cause of odor."
Many stone and crystal deodorant products must be applied wet. "Wetting these products is required to release the dry mineral salts from the stone or stick and transfer them to the surface of the skin," Larson says.
Deodorant Stones International also adds hemp seed oil to many of its deodorants. "[Hemp seed oilís] high concentration of essential fatty acids gives it superb moisturizing properties," Larson says. Customer response to the hemp oil line, which includes Powder, Lavender, Active and Unscented formulas, has been very positive, Larson says.
There are options, however, for those who feel that wetting their deodorant is a little too far afield. Gardiner, N.Y.-based Kiss My Face, for example, has a line of roll-ons called Liquid Rock. Available in Scented, Lavender, Patchouli and Fragrance-Free, the products feature a mix of potassium alum with lichen and white willow bark extracts.
Earth Science, based in Santa Barbara, Calif., is another manufacturer that relies heavily on botanicals in its deodorant products. The company combines calendula oil and lichen in its Rosemary Mint and Lichen deodorant sticks. Company President Ken Grand says calendula oil, which is derived from marigold flowers, "imparts anti-irritant and skin-soothing properties." Lichen, a unique marriage of algae and fungus organisms, "is used for its antibacterial, odor-fighting properties."