Natural Deodorant Recipes

These natural deodorant recipes are easy to make and banish body odor by using deodorizing herbs and essential oils.

Most people can keep body odor under control using natural deodorant recipes made with deodorizing herbs and essential oils, such as lavender, sage and cypress.

Most people can keep body odor under control using natural deodorant recipes made with deodorizing herbs and essential oils, such as lavender, sage and cypress.

Photo by the Mother Earth Living staff

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You can make these natural deodorant recipes at home, these formulas will keep you safe and odor-free. Most people equate perspiration with body odor, but that’s not really accurate. Perspiration itself doesn’t smell bad—it’s when sweat comes into contact with bacteria on your skin that unpleasant odors are created.

Perspiration is secreted by two types of glands: eccrine glands, which have the job of regulating temperature and produce sweat that’s mostly water, and apocrine glands, which are concentrated in the armpits and groin area and respond to emotional stimuli. The apocrine glands are the primary culprits in body odor because they produce perspiration rich in fatty substances that bacteria feed on. Although the exact function of apocrine glands isn’t clear, some researchers believe that they convey information, such as mood and sexual arousal, through the release of pheromones.

Homemade Deodorant Recipes

Herbal Deodorant Recipe
Herbal Deodorant Antiperspirant Recipe
Aromatherapy Deodorant Recipe
Aromatherapy Deodorant Powder Recipe
Aromatherapy Foot Spray Recipe
Cypress-Patchouli Foot Bath Recipe

Commercial Deodorants: Do or Don’t?

Regular bathing washes away sweat and bacteria, but most people rely on a deodorant or antiperspirant to control body odor. Deodorants contain antimicrobial compounds and fragrances to mask odors, while antiperspirants contain aluminum compounds that react with sweat to plug ducts in the sweat glands, thereby reducing perspiration.

There are good reasons to avoid most conventional deodorants and antiperspirants. Some deodorants (and deodorant soaps) contain chemicals, such as triclosan, a potentially toxic compound implicated in liver damage and cancer. Many health-conscious consumers have long shunned antiperspirants because of the possible connection between aluminum and Alzheimer’s disease. More recently, researchers have raised concerns about the potential link between antiperspirant use and breast cancer. Some researchers believe that, because aluminum mimics estrogen, it poses a risk to women. The jury is still out on the health risks of antiperspirants, but the Food and Drug Administration recently began requiring antiperspirants to carry a warning label stating that people with kidney disease should consult their doctors before using the products.

Because safe alternatives to conventional deodorants and antiperspirants are available, there’s no reason to use chemical-laden products. Most people can keep body odor under control with deodorizing herbs and essential oils. Reducing the intake of alcohol, caffeine and garlic also can help alleviate body odor.

See the natural deodorant recipes at the top of this article.

Laurel Vukovic writes and teaches about herbs from her home in southern Oregon. She is the author of 1001 Natural Remedies (DK, 2003) and Herbal Healing Secrets for Women (Prentice Hall, 2000).