Every individual has a characteristic odor on the body, which is caused due to several factors. Chiefly these odors are caused due to the presence of bacteria on the body of the person. These bacteria multiply in the presence of sweat. This is when the odor becomes strong enough to become offensive.
In some people, even though there is profuse sweating, the odor is not offensive; whereas in others the odor can be extremely offensive even with a small amount of perspiration. Hence the body odor will depend on several factors. The diet one eats, the climate one lives in, gender, occupation, age and mood all contribute in some way or other towards body odor.
Ayurveda believes body odor is due to the presence of toxins in the body. The chief toxin that is responsible for the body odor is the ama, which is the buildup of undigested food material in the respiratory tract. If the ama is not controlled within time, then it would spread to other regions of the body.
From there, it would be eliminated in the form of perspiration, causing severe body odors. The buildup of ama is due to an imbalance in the pitta dosha of the person’s body; but the body odor itself can be caused due to a vitiation of all the three doshas.
Causes for Body odor
Body odor may be due to serious illness. Body odor may be due to kidney disease, fungal infections liver disease and so on If you take some strong medicines then the smell of those medicines may be present in your body odor. Diabetic patients may smell of acetone because of insulin that they take. If you drink alcohol, smoke cigarette or cigar you will have an unpleasant body odor. Body odor may also be due to zinc deficiency, cavities, and toxins and so on. It is often related with sweating of the body, but the unpleasant odor is mainly due to bacteria present in the sweat. The major non-food reason for body odor due to sweating is the sweat glands under the arms and in the groin area. Poor hygiene is the most common reason for body odor.
Dietary Treatments for Body Odor and Perspiration
Diet becomes absolutely important to reduce offensive body odors, as the presence of odors is due to the improper digestion in the body. Therefore the foods that are taken in the diet must be ones that get easily digested whereas all foods that do not get digested easily must be avoided. The following are some dietary tips:-
- Reduce the intake of all difficult to digest foods such as red meats, ice creams, rich desserts, very hot and spicy food, pickles, etc.
- Do not consume foods when they are too hot or too cold.
- Use plenty of green leafy vegetables in the diet. This will provide the necessary roughage for the elimination of wastes from the diet. As a result the digestive tract will remain clean.
- After a heavy meal, eat some plantains. These will facilitate the digestion. Alternatively, digestive herbal pills containing mint in them can be taken.
- Fruits are very important. Instead of oily snacks, having an apple, orange or a banana when hungry is extremely advisable.
- Include one green salad dish in every meal.
- Fluids are extremely important to flush out the ama buildup in the digestive system. Several glasses of water must be had in a day.
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