It has been bothering us for a while now. You have been trying to muzzle it under, with all types of expensive deodorants, body sprays and fragrances. This may have helped some but for most others, it created more toxic problems by mixing pleasant with the unpleasant, making it far more unpleasant than it already was. Let us be honest, fighting the symptom alone without addressing the root cause of it is like trying to extinguish a fire with a stove burning inside the house. It does not help. So today we discuss the real reasons that cause body odor (sometimes even among people who spend all their day inside air-conditioned spaces!). Body odor is also known by the names of Bromhidrosis, Osmidrosis or Ozochrotia.The Causes
1) Stagnation in the flow of body fluids
Body odor can happen due to poor circulation of blood in the body. Not enough oxygenation in the body can lead to wicked smell in some of the body parts even after taking multiple showers a day. It can also be caused by bacterial action. Some bacteria are present in the ducts of sweat glands. Sweat in itself has no odor but the bacteria present in it break it down into acids causing unpleasant smell.
Bad odor is a clear indication that toxin has been building up in the body, referred to as Aama in Ayurveda. This toxin in the system can manifest in the form of other diseases as well. Later in the article we will discuss ways to get rid of these toxins from the body.
3) Imbalance in Doshas
There are three Doshas or bio elements that carry the qualities of the Panch Mahabhutas or the Five Great Elements- Vata(space and air), Pitta(fire and water) and Kapha (water and earth). Each person’s physical and mental constitution is influenced by these Doshas. When the Doshas are out of balance due to unhealthy lifestyle, dietary patterns, wrong foods or other substance addictions that go against the constitution of the body, the imbalance is likely to reflect through body odor.
4) Pours not open and poor hygiene
If the skin pores in the affected areas have been blocked or closed due to poor hygiene standards over time, they are likely to cause odor.
5) Menopause or emotional stress
Women going through menopause or under different emotionally taxing or stressful circumstances, they may develop body odor issues as well. Metabolic dysfunction is also found to be a common cause for body odor or B.O.
People with odor issues must examine their bowel movement. Constipated bowel can be another cause for body odor.
Types of body odors
Each type of body odor reflects improper functioning of a particular body organ. If you see that a particular type of body odor has persisted for considerable period of time, you must reach out to an Ayurveda practitioner, preferable a Sri Sri Ayurveda expert, who will be able to specifically guide you as to what imbalance has caused the odor and which organ in your body needs attention. We recommend Ayurveda in these cases because, the problem of body odor is a screaming sign of other underlying problems in the body that are studied by Ayurvedic doctors and can be specifically treated through non-invasive and holistic treatments.
-Scorched or burnt smell
-Putrid smell (resembles the odor of stagnant water)
-Rancid smell (like that of rotten meat)
-Rotten smell (like that of rotten eggs)
-Sweetish Fragrant (though less unpleasant it is still not good for the body)Remedies
If you already haven’t, this is a good excuse to get into Yoga, meditation or creative writing/art making, among other things. Though, Yoga and meditation is known to have worked best in this regard since they also help reduce excess Pitta in the body.
2) Increase oxygenation in the body
Powerful breathing exercises or Pranayamas, Ujjayi Breathing and practices like Sudarshan Kriya help increase the supply of oxygen to each cell in the body, achieving multiple objectives of increased oxygenation and increased serotonin secretion which results in a clear and happy state of mind, better sleep cycle and feeling of inner joy, and of course, less odor.
3) Brisk walking
Brisk walking in open air increases the flow of Prana or life force in the body right from head to the toes.
Panchakarma treatments are recommended to balance the Doshas in the body and remove the toxins from the deepest body tissues. They also substantially help in reducing the stagnation of body fluids, better circulation of blood and open up the skin pores in the affected areas. Panchakarma is a set of cleansing processes prescribed by Ayurvedic doctors, based on the Dosha constitution of an individual. These treatments, using natural oils and lepas or masks, are tailor-made targeting the specific imbalances and Aam in the body.
Marma techniques found in Ayurvedic sciences are similar to acupressure and they work on the energy channels in the body. Marma practitioners remove the blocks in these channels, to smoothen the flow of prana. When Prana flows smoothly through the body, it brings good health and enthusiasm. Blocked channels can later potentially manifest in the form of disease in the body.
6) Avoid caffeine and non-vegetarian fare
Avoid coffee, alcohol and non-vegetarian food. The way our lifestyle is, we generally are unable to give sufficient time for the food, especially non-vegetarian food, to digest, which takes over 70 hours to digest. This can cause digestive problems like constipation (a reason for the body odor) among those who consume meat on a daily basis.
7) Balance your blood PH level
It is also important to balance the blood PH and make our system more alkaline which has turned acidic due to excessive consumption of certain type of foods.
8) Avoid stale or pre-cooked food
Stale food has to be avoided at all costs because it increases the acid level in the body.
9) Use natural astringents
A wonderful replacement for harmful and cancer causing deodorants and perfumes is use of Triphala powder or camphor. Triphala powder mixed in water and Indian camphor can be applied topically to reduce body odor since they are immensely helpful in opening up the pores and tightening the skin.