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Cindy L. A. Jones

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Natural Deodorants: check body odor with herbs
by Cindy L. A. Jones   

Last edited: Tuesday, October 22, 2002
Posted: Tuesday, October 22, 2002

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You can keep yourself and your family smelling sweet without the use of harsh deodorants by using herbs.

Schools tend to push deodorants and antiperspirants on young children as they approach puberty. Some of the ingredients in these products are toxic and some have been taken off the market after years of use. For others, little is known about whether they are safe. There are alternatives to commercially produced deodorants and antiperspirants that are safe and easy to use. These alternatives can come from your garden and include rosemary, sage, thyme and fennel.

Body odor is caused from bacteria that thrive on secretions from the sweat glands. These secretions are increased by heat, stress, anger, nervousness and sexual excitement. As the bacteria digest the outermost, dead layer of skin, odors are produced. The best way to eliminate these odors is by washing which removes the bacteria as well as the dead layer of skin. For added protection, try using sage (Salvia officinalis). The tannins in sage can dry up the perspiration and the oils in sage can kill bacteria that may be causing odor. Both rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) and thyme (Thymus vulgaris) contain oils that are antiseptic and can kill the bacteria that may be causing odor. There are two easy ways to use these herbs, make a strong tea with them to use for washing, or use them in a body powder. To make a body powder mix ˝ cup cornstarch with ˝ cup baking soda, add 1 tablespoon of each of the herbs after they have been finely ground in a food processor or blender. Mix together and use under the arms and in the groin area.

Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) is an old remedy for body odor. Rather than for odor originating from the skin, it is meant for odor that arises from ingesting certain foods resulting in bad breath. Drink a tea made from fennel seeds after a meal or simply chew on fennel seeds after a meal.

If after trying these suggestions you still feel you need deodorant go ahead. Its just best not to use it on a daily basis and never use it on infants and children.

Cindy L. A. Jones, Ph.D. is a biochemist that teaches and writes about the evidence-based use of herbs. Her books include “The Antibiotic Alternative: The Natural Guide to Fighting Infection and Maintaining a Healthy Immune System” (Inner Traditions) and “Herbs for Healthy Skin” (Mushroom ebooks), containing a wealth of information on caring for skin and foot problems, including recipes. You can purchase "Herbs for Healthy Skin" at

Web Site: Sagescript

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