Body Odor
Natural Remedies

Natural Cures for Body Odor

Stop Using Soap  

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Posted by Joyce (Joelton, Tn) on 11/28/2007 512 posts
5 out of 5 stars

I learned from a patient back in the 60's that she had never used deoderant. I was aghast and told her that most people who didn't use deoderant, I could smell a block away when they lifted an arm. She replied, "My father was a chemist and he told me that if you didn't use soap, you didn't need deoderant, because soap is what makes you stink" so she had never used soap. I filed it away in my little brain in hatever area we file stuff like that in, until 1980. At that time I lived close enough to the office, I could run home and bathe and eturn within l5 minutes, if I found my failure to use deoderant as well as soap, failed me & I stunk! Lo and behold - I have not used soap, except for occasional handwashing. I figured the rationale behind that one must be that soap is alkaline and must destroy the slightly acid mantle our skin is supposed to have. As I tell people, you do have to bathe, but just use a good, thick wash cloth and water, and you don't stink. I am happy to do without it as soap makes me itch.

Replied by Sharon A.
Greenwich, CT
5 out of 5 stars

To Joyce from Joelton, Tn -- thank you for this simple cure. It is the best!

I had been using the baking soda cure for body odor for a few weeks, but stopped because it was causing small cysts where I nicked myself shaving. I have now been "off" soap for 5 days (ha ha, that sounds funny) and after the second day, no armpit odor. I shampooed my hair yesterday and later in the day, smelled some b/o. I deduced that it must have started when I rinsed my hair, some of the shampoo residue got under my arms (duh, obviously)... So as long as nothing but water touches your underarms, no body odor. Our family started using the natural laundry detergent that doesn't contain phospates and fragrances, just essential oils, so that must be helping too.

Replied by Samantha
1 out of 5 stars

Hello Sharon A. from Greenwich, I recently posted about what I used regarding underarm odor. However, after reading Joyce's post regarding "Stop using soap" earlier this year I totally stopped. I take a longer shower and use baking soda as a body scrub (also saw this here on Earth clinic). I guess everyone is different because I found that even after eliminating soap (and with a diet of no processed food etc. etc.) after a few hours I needed help. I cannot run home to shower so I am using baking soda which is excellent and for me more long lasting than Thai crystals. When I shave I apply VCO which helps to expedite healing of any hidden cuts. After a day or so I return to baking soda because VCO is great but not as effective as baking soda.

I recently tried another natural remedy which I have not seen here on Earth Clinic - lemon juice. It sounds crazy but a friend announce that like Julia Roberts she has never used roll-ons - antiperspirant/deodorants. She does not know Julia and does not know what she uses but my friend uses a bit of lemon juice. I tried it it and was amazed that it was equally as good as baking soda. Has anyone else tried lemon juice? It is wonderful that nature has so many solutions for our needs.

Replied by Joyce
Joelton, Tn
512 posts

To Samantha from NY: Sorry that no soap didn't pan out for you. May I suggest that if you try it again, unless you have 3 days to bathe without soap, before returning to work, start off the first day or two of bathing without soap but use a cup or two of ACV in your bath water to remove soap left over from your last bath. Because as someone else found out, any soap, shampoo, etc. will negate not using soap.

Replied by Samantha

Joyce, Thanks for your feedback. I will try your method again when I can be home for a couple of days. I will post thereafter to inform you of the results.

Replied by Rena
Mineral Bluff, Georgia

Hi Joyce from Joelton,

I did an experiment this week. I have been using a salt stone as deodorant for at least 5 years, and have been using borax as a shampoo, and body wash for at least a year. I thought since it's not exactly soap, maybe I can get by without using anything under my arms after my shower. Sure enough, I have no odor, and most of the temps in my area have been around the 80's this week, and I work a physical job. Thanks for the tip, who would have thunk that soap is what stunk (sorry bad rime). Peace, Rena.

Posted by Hi (syd, aus) on 06/21/2007
5 out of 5 stars

i was told that underarm BO is caused by bacteria feeding on soap residue. supposedly if u wash under your arms with water only, & dont get shampoo or conditioner under your arms you should be stink free. (this may take a few days) lol

Replied by Robin
Rocky Ridge, Ohio

Actually, soap has a higher alkalinity than our skin prefers. Our skin prefers a rather acid ph. This is why after a shower with soap we itch, it's because the ph of our skin has been altered and the natural oils neutralized/removed by the soap. A remedy for itchy skin is a moisturizer of lotion, cream or oil. Oil is actually an acid and that's why the itching stops, because the ph has been altered back to acidic with the application of the oil substance.

When the skin gets alkaline, it creates a breeding ground for the bacteria that causes odor. The bacteria feed off of the sweat in the alkaline environment.

I've been using the no soap and AC vinegar method. I put 50/50 ACV and water in a spray bottle and spritz it on before I shower. After scrubbing with a plain wet washcloth, I get out of the shower and spritz the ACV/Water mixture again instead of deodorant.

What stumps me is the baking soda working on body odor because it is an alkaline substance. The only thing I can think of that causes it to work is that it may become too alkaline for the bacteria to thrive and/or absorbing the sweat. But given all the redness, rashes, itching and reactions to the BS, I would say its probably too alkaline for the skin of most people and the reason for these reactions.

For those of you using regular baking soda from the stores, name brand or otherwise, they also contain aluminum. The only baking soda I know of that is aluminum free is a brand available at the health food stores that specifically states on the label, Aluminum Free. If memory serves me correctly, most of the baking soda found in stores is a by product of aluminum manufacturing. They just don't list it on the label. I buy the aluminum free BS to use internally to keep my body alkalized.

I'm also intrigued by Ted's explanation of magnesium and zinc deficiencies being a cause for an increase in body odor. Earlier today I actually started taking zinc and this evening I took some magnesium citrate because I've been getting the heart palpitations back again and the mag cured it before. hmmmm...I think he's on to something...


Replied by Kj
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Robin, did this method of cleaning work immediately? Also, did you use the ACV solution ALL over? Is this safe to use on your private areas?

Replied by Sara
Calgary, Canada

I have successfully been using zinc creme for body odor. the cheap store name brand from my local pharmacy. i use a very small amount on the tip of my finger and rub it in well. it's not greasy if you do this. i remain BO free all day long.

Replied by Robin
Rocky Ridge, Ohio

Kj, sorry it took so long for me to get back to this, I've not been on the site for awhile.

To answer your question, yes it worked right away. I'm still on the no soap and ACV/Water regime. I use it everywhere and because of the alpha hydroxy acids in the ACV, it is an exfolliant, removing the dead skin from your body. I pay special attention to elbows, knees, and feet to keep them soft and at times you can see the dead skin it's removing. (just be careful to shave after using it, not before) The 50/50 water/ACV may be too strong for some. it can be diluted down to 66/33 or 75/25 water to ACV and still work as well. I've been using a deodorant crystal as deodorant but have recently been researching the use of himilayan sea salt, the kind used for salt lamps as a deodorant instead. It's used the same as the crystal deodorant, rubbed on wet and comes in a bar form like soap. It's another alternative to traditional chemical based deodorants. It works because it doesn't allow bacteria to grow...think of foods preserved with salt...same concept. Blessings and good luck!

Replied by Snoopy
New Orleans, La Usa

If you use all natural soap you will not have this problem(most people). Natural soap hasn't had the glycerin(acid) removed. Commercial soaps have the glycerin removed and this is why skin dries out. Bacteria actually flourish in an acidic environment, so it's possible that if your skin is too acidic, you will stink. If you find natural soap too expensive to buy, try making your own. It's actually really easy and there is plenty of information available on how to do it.

Tea Tree Oil  

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Posted by Anon (Anon) on 09/06/2012
5 out of 5 stars

Put a few drops of tea tree oil in a teaspoon of olive oil and rub it into your feet.

Undigested Proteins  

Posted by Kay (Fl, US) on 07/13/2014

Months ago we held a fundraiser for a child plagued by such horriffic body odor she was evicted from school; the cause was her inability to digest proteins! We raised 100K for her to go to Mayo Clinic for Enzyme Therapy. Results are still pending...

Fast forward; 2 months ago (at the onset of some very minor yeast symptoms) I began getting some very, very bad body odor. Like many of you, I tried many de-odor treatments with little luck.

Fortunatly, yesterday I had an opportunity to watch my blood analysed under a "special" darkfield microscope projected on a large screen to count/chart the findings. My blood showed excess Yeast and Fungal Forms (advanced stage of yeast fermentation mutating into fungus growth/infection); and 4 related issues, all stressing out my liver (Spicules, Uric acid crystals, Rouleau, Aggregation of red blood cells). All were caused by "undigested proteins" in my blood (producing a by-product called monosodium urate).

The antidotes prescribed (by a Naturopath) were: Liver Care and Candida treatment (liver supplements, enzymes, alkalization, ACV/w Mother, lemon, garlic, coconut oil, probiotics, trace minerals, super greens and Vit C in high amounts).

The obvious and not-so obvious; a day or so before my horrible BO started, I had reintroduced wheat and other grains back into my diet (via an old friend visiting, and baking homemade bread every day for a week)! I knew the bread would probably caused a yeast flare, but I didn't realise how my poor digestion of it would inflitrate my blood, and stress out my liver too! So I'll take this bad news, as good news, and take my minor "wheat allergy" a lot more seriously now!

Replied by T-ann
Fl, US

Kay, I may have this same issue. Can I ask you where the odor is coming from? I have some chemical/food sensitivities that cause bad headaches. More recently, I eliminated wheat products (as much as possible) and love the results. Lost about 7 pounds, less hunger, less inflammation, no more skin rashes that bleed easily. But now, if I eat certain processed (wheat) foods, I get a bad odor from vaginal area. This happens within minutes of eating these "non-food" (or junk food) items. Maybe my issue is the same as yours....digesting protein. Thank you for posting this info. Please keep posting any more info or results that you get.


Posted by Dee (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) on 03/23/2009

Cure for Under Arm Odor That Works!!

To solve under arm odor, at the end of my shower I use plain vinegar under my arms (not apple cider). I use a palm full under each arm (I keep it in my bathroom in a plastic bottle). It really works and lasts a day or two!!! I tried it in summer (August)!!

I did not try it to run a marathon or engage in a lot of exercise. You have to let it dry for the vinegar smell to go away, but IT REALLY WORKS!!!!!!

EC: Plain vinegar = distilled white vinegar

Vitamin C  

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Posted by Haycee (Gauteng, SA) on 03/03/2009
5 out of 5 stars

Vitamin C for body odour

I have tried several remedies listed on EC for body odour after I suddenly started perspiring profusely this summer and noticed a strong and unpleasant smell coming from one armpit. I stopped using soap, tried ACV, baking soda, coconut oil, witchazel, zinc ointment, green clay, all with varying degrees of success. However, they were no match for the hot and humid SA summer we are experiencing and had to be re-applied during the day.

Two weeks ago, I hit on a simple remedy which works spectacularly well - Vit C. I have been experimenting with remedies to replace soap and hit the jackpot when I mixed one crushed Vit C tablet with about two tablespoons of baking soda and discovered that the mixture prevents body odour. I also use the mix to brush my teeth. Later I discovered that Vit C works well on its own as a deodorant.

Here's what I do: I crush a Vit C tablet (ascorbic acid 500mg), lightly dip a damp finger in the powder and apply to damp skin once a day. One tablet is enough for many applications since you need a miniscule amount to be effective. I have also noticed that it not only prevents BO but also instantly removes any odour if, for some reason, you neglect to apply it in the morning.

Replied by Tess
Palm Beach, Fl

Thanks for this remedy. I started it this morning by grinding up an orange flavored vit c in my mortar and pestle. I also might try applying colloidal zinc at some point to see if that won't work too. I bought it ages ago and haven't touched it more than once. Any kind of zinc brings on serious acid reflux. But under the arms might work!

Replied by Haycee
Gauteng, SA

@ Tess from Palm Beach: Is your orange flavoured Vit C the fizzy type? Might be a ticklish affair ;) However, I will be interested to hear if it works as well for you as it does for me.

I also meant to mention that Vit C is excellent as a topical application for cuts and grazes. Whenever I suffer an injury I increase my Vit C intake and dissolve a tablet in a bit of water and apply to the wound several times a day. It heals twice as fast. Regards.

Replied by Tess
Palm Beach, FL

Hi, Haycee. No, it's not the fizzy kind but a tablet you chew on. So far so good. I have found that it lasts as long as you shower. If you don't reapply it doesn't last. One application of apple cider vinegar last through at least 2 showers. Thanks for the tip about wounds. Great to know!

Replied by Nancy
New Hope, PA
5 out of 5 stars


Wheat Grass  

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Posted by Jkl42011 (Lansing, Mi) on 10/04/2011
5 out of 5 stars

I will not go into detail concerning the torture that I went through for almost 2 years searching for a cure for underarm odor. But, I will say that I tried it all!!

I wasted alot of money buying things to treat a symptom. Eventhough I thought I was pretty healthy. I eat the right things, excercise, drink water, take whole food supplements, etc. But, this smell would not go away!! To combat this issue internally. I started out with a colon cleanser that didn't do the trick. The very first day that I consumed 7 wheat grass tablets. It did the trick (My body was toxic. ) Now all that I use for deodorant is Coconut Oil, and I got my normal fresh smell back. To God be the glory!!

White Vinegar  

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Posted by Traveler (Santa Barbara, Ca, Usa) on 06/27/2010
5 out of 5 stars

I've never had extreme body odor, but since I have gotten off of Depo Provera (birth control) two years ago, and stopped using conventional deoderant/antipersperant about a year ago, my body odor has definitely been interesting at times. Lately, and it might just be related to crappy eating and having a really bad viral cold, my armpits have been giving off a distinctly spicy food smell-- sometimes I smell like some Indian people who eat a conventional indian diet. Which isn't as awful as some BO that I've smelled, but it smells weird to me and definitely when I'm going to work in a bar (and there's no more smoking to mask one's smell) it's not something I want to continue. The past couple nights I've worked, I've had to take a break, take my shirt off and go to the ladies room and wash my underarms with soap and water. The spicy body odor would come back within an hour or so.

I did use a natural deoderant for awhile that I got from Whole Foods and smelled like a creamsicle-- I liked that a lot. It would fail probably after four hours and smell a little musty but it was good. But I think that eventually I left it in the car too often and the heat degraded the ingredients' ability to kill off the armpit bacteria.

Anyway, so last night, after I got out of the shower, I figured I'd come here and check out some options. Zinc didn't work for me. I thought I saw a difference supplementing with zinc, but over time, no dice. I also got some zinc baby bottom paste and that just made my armpits smell musty. I had tried vinegar once, just running out the door and it did kill the smell but I never tried it again, for whatever reason. So I looked at the different options for immediately killing BO for the night, and decided on white vinegar.

I had already showered so I didn't want to shower again, so even though I shaved my armpits and was wearing a halter top I braved the possibility of angry red bumps, and took a cupped handful of white distilled vinegar and applied it to my pits, slightly rubbing it in. I let it dry while doing other stuff.

I am pleased to report that over six hours, the vinegar did not fail me, despite sweating and air drying several times. I detected a slight vinegary smell, but it was nothing compared to the humid spicy food-type wall of body odor that was coming from me before, and easily covered with a couple of sprits of body spray. So yeah-- rock on white vinegar!

Replied by Susie
Ontario, Usa

You can also use baking soda. I just wet my hands, pour a small amount in one hand, smear them together and swipe under each armpit! No more odor!

Witch Hazel  

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Posted by Lisa (Coto de Caza, CA) on 08/10/2008
5 out of 5 stars

I've tried several natural deodorants and none seem to work. Apply Witch Hazel ( I use Thayers Brand) on a cotton round after a shower. Works all day. Reapply after workout. Also a good toner for your face.


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Posted by Dee (Saint Clair Shores, MI) on 07/20/2009
5 out of 5 stars

The cure for body odor is zinc. I heard from someone that if you take zinc you won't stink. Sure enough it works. I take 50 - 100 mg/daily.

Replied by Lucy
Denver, Co

Be careful about taking too much zinc in long run. Zinc can deplete copper and you might end up with other problems.

Posted by Suzanne (Abbotsford, BC, Canada) on 01/04/2009
5 out of 5 stars

I know someone who had bothersome body odour until he started taking zinc (15 mg per day). Now there is NO problem! What an easy solution to a nasty problem.

Replied by Jake
Newark , NJ
1 out of 5 stars

I upped my intake to 75mg before bed & I see no difference.

Posted by Suzanne (Abbotsford, BC) on 08/24/2008
5 out of 5 stars

My husband used to have a problem with body odor. I read somewhere that zinc could help with that and other problems he had, so convinced him to try it. He takes 25 mg of zinc per day and, although he may still sweat, it doesn't smell! Really cuts down on washing...

Posted by Been (Fountain Valley, CA) on 01/21/2007
5 out of 5 stars

Okay...I get severe body odor and I am a vegetarian! I take acidophilus daily, zinc and cal&Mag vitamin, so far I stay away from onions and garlic and I eat a well balanced diet. The best thing that worked for me was zinc. At least 25 mg. I suffered my whole teenage,20's and early 30's with this problem. Drysol worked for sweating but not odor. Now I am pregnant and it is worse! But unable to take all those vits...I bath and wear double t-shirts. It is rough, hard and depressing. But I stay strong and remind myself it is almost over after baby born. Good luck and stay positive.

Zinc and Magnesium  

Posted by Cici (Tulsa, Oklahoma) on 05/22/2011

I've read that some people who had bodyfoot odor problems despite good hygiene were low on zinc and/or magnesium. Of course, check with doctor first.

Zinc Oxide Ointment  

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Posted by Leo (Camrose, Alberta) on 06/07/2009
5 out of 5 stars

Zinc Oxide Deodorant: In Dr. Hulda Clark's books, she recommends zinc oxide powder as a deodorant. Over the years it has worked just fine for me. Just place 2 tbs in a small jar and add enough water to make a paste. Smear the past onto your arm pits or groin area. Odour is gone immediately.

There is a bit of residue left on your fingers from smearing it on, but that soon leaves. Or you can use a paint or bingo dauber and not touch the paste with your fingers. If you don't sweat much, the paste will keep you odour free for several days. But it is not antiperspirant, and it washes off quickly in the shower. Zinc oxide can be bought from Self Health Resource Centre in California, and in Canada. It can also be bought in 500 gm sizes direct from Fisher Scientific if you have an account with them. Very inexpensive. Thanks.

Camrose, Alberta.

Replied by Kelly
Nashville, TN

Thanks for this info. I too have tried the zinc oxide ointment and it works great, much better than anything I have ever used. However, the ointment has talc and parabens in it which I am not so crazy about. I had been thinking of asking my compounding pharmacist if they could compound into a natural cream or lotion base for me. Now, I will try the powder with water.

Replied by Sara
The Beach, Canada

not all zinc creams have talc and parabens, i dont know if they will show this but a baby zinc ointment called butt paste, if they block the name look in the baby isle you will find one without that stuff, has no fillers or anything that may harm you. sara

EC: Butt Paste Ingredients:'s_Butt_Paste

"Boudreaux's Butt Paste is a skin cream used to treat skin ailments such as diaper rash, minor burns, and insect bites. The product has gained notoriety mainly due to its unusual and humorous name.


The combination of ingredients is:

* 16 percent zinc oxide
 * a proprietary blend of Peruvian balsam
 * citric acid
 * castor oil
 * mineral oil

Replied by Driftergal
Arnaudville, La, Usa

I am going through menopause which has caused hot flashes and night sweats. Not just a few but at least hourly. Besides being aggravating it also caused extreme body odor which I have never experienced before. I remembered the "think zinc and don't stink" saying I heard years ago and started taking zinc. I guess I'm inpatient but after 2 weeks or so of taking more than the bottle said I saw no difference. I found this web site and saw where someone had used the zinc mixed with water and put it under their arms and it worked so I tried it. Sure enough it worked immediately. I went to drug emporium and found deodorant cream which has zinc as the third ingredient in it. It's fantastic. Even after having a flash or night sweat I have not smelled the BO.

I'm also experimenting with the ACV with Mother for the hot flashes. So far I have seen a decline in the number and intensity of the flashes. I've been using it for just 2 days so I'm pretty excited about that too. The ACV took my breath away the first time I tried it because I tried taking it plain. I forgot that I read to mix it with water so I now use the 2 TBS with 6 oz water and 4 drops of stevia. It's still not real pleasant but it's worth it to get some relief from the hot flashes.