What’s That Smell? (Dealing with body odor, naturally)

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[We’ve been writing and sharing a lot lately about raising our children into adulthood.  This post is part of that series. You can find all those posts here: Young Adults.]

I have been away from home for about a month.  And our diet has been….well, let’s just say, less than stellar.  No, we didn’t eat a bunch of Micky-D, but we did eat our fair share of junk.  We’ve just driven from Los Angeles to Maine, spent over two weeks working like mad, then drove back to Los Angeles.  So….there have been some chips, cookies, a few sodas, and other such things I’d rather not ‘fess up to.  To add insult to injury, we also haven’t been drinking our kombucha and kefir, eating our fermented veg or organ meats.  Let’s just sum it up to say it hasn’t been clean eating and there have been some nutritional deficiencies.

Guess where all this is leading? Body Odor. (Keepin’ it real, folks.  Just keepin’ it real.)

Body Odor

In our culture we have come to expect body odor as a non-negotiable.  We assume that every young person who hits puberty must start using antiperspirant and their parents better buy stock in the company, because they’ll be using a lot.  They must, as a matter of course, start showering more often, use cologne and generally do everything possible suppress that nasty-mustiness.

Now, we have very active young people in our homes–they dance, swim, run, do martial arts and still play outside and climb trees!  And we are not daily accosted by their wafting aromas.

But since the quality of our diet has spiraled….sweet mercy.  It ain’t pretty. *reaching for clothespin for nose*

Believe it or not, offensive B.O. does NOT have to be a part of a normal healthy life!  You know that odor?  Toxins trying to get out!  Less toxins in? Less you body has to expel.

WHY NOT JUST APPLY DEODORANT AND BE DONE WITH IT?

When you sweat your body is trying to get rid of toxins.  Many deodorants and antiperspirants contain aluminum which just clogs up the sweat glands.  In the long run, you’re stinkier, because your body has not be able to effectively rid itself of the toxins.  Plus, aluminum is detrimental to your central nervous system and has been linked to degenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s Disease and Alzheimer’s.

“You’re stinky, because you use antiperspirant. It keeps all the stink in.” Cameron Diaz

Add to that the presence of chemicals to make deodorants “anti-bacterial.”  One of the most common and most dangerous is Triclosan. It has been linked to heart disease and heart failure. It also interferes with natural hormone regulations and has been detected in human milk, blood and urine.  Not so interested in spreading that anywhere near my glands and breasts.

But we all have to live together.   So, we can’t necessarily just ditch the roll-on if we aren’t doing something else to handle things.  So, here are some ideas that have worked for us.

DEALING WITH BODY ODOR NATURALLY

1. Clean up your diet. Seriously.  Eat clean, unprocessed food. Junk food, excess sugar, artificial colors and flavorings–kick them all out! They place quite a burden on your bodies detox-systems.  When your body gets over-burdened and backed-up, the result is bacteria, that can start to stink as your body releases it.

Clean Eating

2. Include lots of green in your diet. Dark leafy greens and even green supplements such as wheat grass or chlorophyll are great natural deodorizers.  If you are dealing with body odor, a bit of chlorophyll in everyone’s morning OJ or water will help jump start the deodorizing.  Do it daily to maintain a sweet smelling home.

3. Vitamin E. Growing up my mother was very careful about keeping aluminum out of our diets and personal care products.  So, she gave each of us a vitamin E supplement from the time we were tweens until we passed through puberty, stink free. Vitamin E helps to repair damaged skin cells that can harbor bacteria, causing that unpleasant body odor. Just one capsule a day, consistently, was enough.

4. Essential minerals. There are several minerals that are crucial in preventing excessive body odor.  Magnesium tops the list.  Guess what? Bone broth is an excellent, absorb-able, and affordable source of Magnesium! Check out our easy how-to HERE.

5. Include a lot of fermented foods in your diet.  Fermented foods (such as kombucha and kefir) aid in detoxification, populating your gut with good bacteria, eliminates smelly flatulence, helps build healthy skin cells, reduces the overgrowth of yeast, is part of chelation therapy (that is drawing out the toxins and heavy metals and flushing them from your body). We also like to ferment a lot of our veggies: sauerkraut, dilly carrots, kimchi, beets, etc.  (check out our fermented salsa!!!  DELICIOUS!)

6. Proper bathing.  And by this I don’t mean copious amounts of shampoo and more toxins in the shower.  (Shhhhhhh….I don’t even use shampoo.  ) Have kids, tweens, young adults? Let’s be real, sometimes they cut corners in the showering department.  Going over good bathing routines from time-to-time is a good idea.  Let Dad take the boys aside and Mom have that chat with the girls.  There are a lot of natural things (things you probably have in the kitchen) that are super great for use in the bathroom.

So, now we start the process of Resetting Our Nutrition and getting things back on track.  It’s quite painless and joyful actually.  Yesterday we made four gallons of kombucha, two quarts of kefir, four quarts of dilly carrots and parsnips, and about a gallon of sauerkraut.  Things are looking up and smelling less!


  1. Great tips! I really found that I started smelling less after switching to a real food diet, and cutting out the “personal products,” too. 😉 

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