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Here's How To Naturally Get Rid Of Body Odor

If things are smelling a little ripe, these tips can get you right.

Women's Health

Body odor is the kind of thing that none of us really want to talk about, yet that doesn't mean it doesn't need to be addressed. While it's true that some people have a more intense bout of it than others, the reality is that all of us have apocrine glands (the glands that typically secrete this odor out of our underarms, genitalia, breasts and even our eyelids). And when those glands aren't kept under control, the bacteria within them can create a smell that is, unpleasant to say the least.

The thing about body odor is, no matter how much deodorant and perfume that you try and mask it with, the odor still usually has a way of overpowering your "diversion tactics". That's why, aside from good hygiene practices, it really is best to take a more all-natural holistic approach to body odor. If you're looking for a few effective suggestions, I've got 10 of 'em.

1. Eat Some Chlorophyll

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You probably learned in an elementary level science class that chlorophyll is responsible for giving certain foods their natural green color. Well, when it comes to foods like spinach, kale, parsley, spirulina and wheatgrass, it's the combination of chlorophyll and sunlight that give these types of foods the nutrients that they offer. As far as the benefits that chlorophyll is able to offer you, it contains properties that can reduce the signs of aging, fight acne and even build up your red blood cells.

What makes it top this list of ways to reduce body odor is, chlorophyll's considered to be a natural deodorizer too. That's actually why, if you happen to read the ingredients on the back of many deodorants and mouthwashes, you'll see chlorophyll on the list. Interesting, huh?

2. Eat (More) Citrus Fruit Too

Lemons. Limes. Grapefruit. Oranges. Kumquats. All of these qualify as being citrus fruit. It's a good idea to eat these, at least a couple of times a week, because they are loaded with antioxidants, fiber, potassium, magnesium and even copper (which is a mineral that combats premature greying). Citrus fruit is also good for you because it can help to raise the citrate levels in your system (which reduces your chances of getting kidney stones), contains cancer-fighting properties and even has flavonoids that will reduce bodily inflammation. And just how can eating an orange or drinking some homemade lemonade fight against body odor? It's because citrus fruit is highly acidic, so it has a way of altering your pH balance to make it more acidic as well, so that odor-causing bacteria isn't able to stick around for very long.

3. Apply Some Witch Hazel

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Sometimes, when I think about all of the ways that witch hazel has had my skin's back, I'm shocked by how inexpensive a bottle of it is (you should be able to find a great brand for less than three bucks). Witch hazel is basically a medicinal plant that is able to relieve skin irritation, tone your skin, fight acne, protect your skin from free radicals and reduce scalp sensitivity that either comes from getting a new set of box braids or from a flare-up that eczema or psoriasis has caused. Because witch hazel is also considered to be a natural astringent that contains a fair amount of alcohol, if you dab some of it onto a cotton ball or washcloth and then rub it onto your armpits after bathing, not only will it reduce how much you perspire, it will decrease odor-causing bacteria as well.

4. Try Some Baking Soda and Lemon Juice

We've already touched on what lemons can do, so let's explore baking soda a bit. Ever since I was a little girl, I was used to seeing boxes of baking soda in the house. Mostly, I used it for brushing my teeth (it's gritty texture can remove plaque and tartar like nobody's business), but it can be beneficial in a lot more ways than that. Because it is able to neutralize stomach acids, some people use it to treat heartburn. If you apply baking soda directly on a canker sore or pimple, the antibacterial and antimicrobial properties in it can help to speed up the healing process. The lactic acid in baking soda can balance out the pH in your system so that you can workout longer on the days when you're tired. Some people even take it to slow down the progression of kidney disease. You can also use baking soda to eliminate your body odor issues because it can also help to make odor-causing bacteria to be less acidic; this ultimately means less sweating and less smelling too. Just mix one-part baking soda with one-part lemon juice and wipe your underarms down at night. You'll have less odor to worry about, the following day.

5. Drink Green Tea

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There are dozens of reasons why green tea is good for you (check out "You'll Totally Fall In Love With These Green Tea Beauty Hacks"). As far as drinking it goes, green tea contains natural compounds that are able to reduce body inflammation; the catechin epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) that helps to reduce cell damage; properties that are able to increase your metabolic rate (so that you're able to burn body fat), and antioxidants that can help to prevent the growth of cancer cells while also slowing down the aging of your brain. Something else that green tea is able to do is help to keep body odor at bay. That's thanks to the antioxidants that help to remove toxins from your system and tannins that help to slow down sweat. Drink tea to detoxify your system. Put a couple of tea bags into your bathwater to get most out of the tannins that are in them.

6. Wipe Down with White Vinegar

When it comes to skincare, something that all of us should have in our home is a bottle of white vinegar. You can use it to remove age spots, shorten the length span of breakouts, as an ingredient in your own DIY toner (because it is able to pull toxins from your pores), heal razor bumps and yes, get rid of body odor. White vinegar also contains properties that can kill odor-causing bacteria. You can either pour one-third of white vinegar into a bottle of distilled water and use the solution as a spray for your underarms or you can pour 1-2 cups of white vinegar into your bathwater and soak in it for 20 minutes.

7. Put Some Vodka on Your Underarms

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Off top, vodka is a natural disinfectant and antiseptic properties. If you consume it in moderation, vodka can do everything from reduce stress (even more than red wine is able to), lower your cholesterol levels and even decrease symptoms that are directly related to rheumatoid arthritis.

The reason why you should keep a bottle of it in your bathroom is because it's also a great way to knock out underarm odor. Not only because of vodka's disinfectant qualities, but also due to the high amount of alcohol that vodka contains which is able to stop bacteria in its tracks. All you need to do is pour a little bit of vodka onto a washcloth and rub your underarms with it. You'll notice that you will smell a lot fresher throughout the day after you do.

8. Use Some Tea Tree Oil. Or Lavender.

Any time that I want a pimple to go away, virtually overnight, I'll dab some tea tree oil on it. Because of the compounds in it like terpinen-4-ol, tea tree oil is able to kill the bacteria and fungus that leads to breakouts. Plus, tea tree oil is a potent ingredient for hand sanitizers while also alleviating dandruff, cleansing minor scrapes and abrasions and treating nail fungus and athlete's foot too. Since tea tree oil is so powerful, it is also a popular ingredient in many deodorants. As for lavender oil, it's also great at killing acne-causing bacteria. Plus, it soothes eczema and psoriasis symptoms, smooths out fine lines and, when mixed with a carrier oil like coconut or sweet almond oil (because lavender oil is also quite strong), it can moisturize dry skin as well. Lavender oil's bacteria-fighting properties, along with its fresh scent, make it a perfect addition to tea tree oil should you want to make a DIY deodorant. You can check out some awesome all-natural recipes here.

9. Drop Some Rosemary into Your Bathwater

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Something that I'm a huge fan of is rosemary oil. That's because its benefits truly run the gamut, from improving brain function and increasing hair growth to relieving body aches and pains, repelling insects and decreasing stress levels. While rosemary oil really does deserve its own write-up, for now, make sure to get some rosemary leaves for bath time. Not only will it increase your blood circulation (which can make it a great libido-booster) and help to smooth out fine lines and wrinkles, the menthol and chlorophyll that rosemary contains can help to neutralize your body odor. (You can typically find dried rosemary leaves in the produce department of your favorite grocery store, by the way.)

10. DRINK. MORE. WATER.

Since you're made up of around 65 percent water, that should be enough of a reason to want to consume no less than eight glasses of it a day (for replenishing purposes). But if, for some reason, you happen to need a little bit more convincing—drinking water provides you with more energy, helps your brain to function at a peak level, relieves constipation, aids in weight loss, soothes a headache, reduces oral bacteria and yes, can make body odor less of a problem. Body odor is full of toxins and water helps to flush those toxins out. So, even if you're not a huge water fan, at least try to drink some infused water. It's a refreshing way to release toxins while getting some nutrients into your system at the same time. Drink up!

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ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Over the past four years, we grew accustomed to a regular barrage of blatant, segregationist-style racism from the White House. Donald Trump tweeted that “the Squad," four Democratic Congresswomen who are Black, Latinx, and South Asian, should “go back" to the “corrupt" countries they came from; that same year, he called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas," mocking her belief that she might be descended from Native American ancestors.

But as outrageous as the racist comments Trump regularly spewed were, the racially unjust governmental actions his administration took and, in the case of COVID-19, didn't take, impacted millions more — especially Black and Brown people.

To begin to heal and move toward real racial justice, we must address not only the harms of the past four years, but also the harms tracing back to this country's origins. Racism has played an active role in the creation of our systems of education, health care, ownership, and employment, and virtually every other facet of life since this nation's founding.

Our history has shown us that it's not enough to take racist policies off the books if we are going to achieve true justice. Those past policies have structured our society and created deeply-rooted patterns and practices that can only be disrupted and reformed with new policies of similar strength and efficacy. In short, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. To combat systemic racism, we must pursue systemic equality.

What is Systemic Racism?

A system is a collection of elements that are organized for a common purpose. Racism in America is a system that combines economic, political, and social components. That system specifically disempowers and disenfranchises Black people, while maintaining and expanding implicit and explicit advantages for white people, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing, and discrimination in the criminal legal system. For example, the country's voting systems empower white voters at the expense of voters of color, resulting in an unequal system of governance in which those communities have little voice and representation, even in policies that directly impact them.

Systemic Equality is a Systemic Solution

In the years ahead, the ACLU will pursue administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. We will leverage legal advocacy to dismantle systemic barriers, and will work with our affiliates to change policies nearer to the communities most harmed by these legacies. The goal is to build a nation where every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.

To begin, in 2021, we believe the Biden administration and Congress should take the following crucial steps to advance systemic equality:

Voting Rights

The administration must issue an executive order creating a Justice Department lead staff position on voting rights violations in every U.S. Attorney office. We are seeing a flood of unlawful restrictions on voting across the country, and at every level of state and local government. This nationwide problem requires nationwide investigatory and enforcement resources. Even if it requires new training and approval protocols, a new voting rights enforcement program with the participation of all 93 U.S. Attorney offices is the best way to help ensure nationwide enforcement of voting rights laws.

These assistant U.S. attorneys should begin by ensuring that every American in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who is eligible to vote can vote, and monitor the Census and redistricting process to fight the dilution of voting power in communities of color.

We are also calling on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally create a fair and equal national voting system, the cause for which John Lewis devoted his life.

Student Debt

Black borrowers pay more than other students for the same degrees, and graduate with an average of $7,400 more in debt than their white peers. In the years following graduation, the debt gap more than triples. Nearly half of Black borrowers will default within 12 years. In other words, for Black Americans, the American dream costs more. Last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with House Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and others, called on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.

We couldn't agree more. By forgiving $50,000 of student debt, President Biden can unleash pent up economic potential in Black communities, while relieving them of a burden that forestalls so many hopes and dreams. Black women in particular will benefit from this executive action, as they are proportionately the most indebted group of all Americans.

Postal Banking

In both low and high income majority-Black communities, traditional bank branches are 50 percent more likely to close than in white communities. The result is that nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked, and many pay more than $2,000 in fees associated with subprime financial institutions. Over their lifetime, those fees can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.

The U.S. Postal Service can and should meet this crisis by providing competitive, low-cost financial services to help advance economic equality. We call on President Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors so that the Post Office can do the work of providing essential services to every American.

Fair Housing

Across the country, millions of people are living in communities of concentrated poverty, including 26 percent of all Black children. The Biden administration should again implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which required localities that receive federal funds for housing to investigate and address barriers to fair housing and patterns or practices that promote bias. In 1980, the average Black person lived in a neighborhood that was 62 percent Black and 31 percent white. By 2010, the average Black person's neighborhood was 48 percent Black and 34 percent white. Reinstating the Obama-era Fair Housing Rule will combat this ongoing segregation and set us on a path to true integration.

Congress should also pass the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, or a similar measure, to finally redress the legacy of redlining and break down the walls of segregation once and for all.

Broadband Access

To realize broadband's potential to benefit our democracy and connect us to one another, all people in the United States must have equal access and broadband must be made affordable for the most vulnerable. Yet today, 15 percent of American households with school-age children do not have subscriptions to any form of broadband, including one-quarter of Black households (an additional 23 percent of African Americans are “smartphone-only" internet users, meaning they lack traditional home broadband service but do own a smartphone, which is insufficient to attend class, do homework, or apply for a job). The Biden administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress must develop and implement plans to increase funding for broadband to expand universal access.

Enhanced, Refundable Child Tax Credits

The United States faces a crisis of child poverty. Seventeen percent of all American children are impoverished — a rate higher than not just peer nations like Canada and the U.K., but Mexico and Russia as well. Currently, more than 50 percent of Black and Latinx children in the U.S. do not qualify for the full benefit, compared to 23 percent of white children, and nearly one in five Black children do not receive any credit at all.

To combat this crisis, President Biden and Congress should enhance the child tax credit and make it fully refundable. If we enhance the child tax credit, we can cut child poverty by 40 percent and instantly lift over 50 percent of Black children out of poverty.

Reparations

We cannot repair harms that we have not fully diagnosed. We must commit to a thorough examination of the impact of the legacy of chattel slavery on racial inequality today. In 2021, Congress must pass H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for Black Americans.

The Long View

For the past century, the ACLU has fought for racial justice in legislatures and in courts, including through several landmark Supreme Court cases. While the court has not always ruled in favor of racial justice, incremental wins throughout history have helped to chip away at different forms of racism such as school segregation ( Brown v. Board), racial bias in the criminal legal system (Powell v. Alabama, i.e. the Scottsboro Boys), and marriage inequality (Loving v. Virginia). While these landmark victories initiated necessary reforms, they were only a starting point.

Systemic racism continues to pervade the lives of Black people through voter suppression, lack of financial services, housing discrimination, and other areas. More than anything, doing this work has taught the ACLU that we must fight on every front in order to overcome our country's legacies of racism. That is what our Systemic Equality agenda is all about.

In the weeks ahead, we will both expand on our views of why these campaigns are crucial to systemic equality and signal the path this country must take. We will also dive into our work to build organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South — a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. We are committed to four principles throughout this campaign: reconciliation, access, prosperity, and empowerment. We hope that our actions can meet our ambition to, as Dr. King said, lead this nation to live out the true meaning of its creed.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
Sign up

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