Banish Armpit Bacteria and Odor with Lemons: It Works

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I love to grow all citrus fruits, including lemons. Lemon trees are so cheerful, and the fruit that they bear is incredibly useful. Fresh lemonade, lemon pie, lemon water spritzers, lemon cookies, lemon cleaning products, and even lemon deodorant! That’s right; when I discovered that lemons could naturally keep me smelling fresh all day long, it was a game-changer. I developed an even greater respect for the little yellow fruit. Let’s take a closer look at how lemons can rescue your stinky pits.

Lemons are, hands down, one of the most affordable superfoods on the planet. For less than a dollar, you can complement your favorite drinks and dishes and clean your entire house. I have made lemons a daily part of my diet for many years and continue to discover ways to use more of them.

From my lemon water and lemon herbal tea in the morning to the counter cleaner I use in my kitchen and my lemon-infused face wash, you could say that I have a love affair of sorts with this fruit. And, for a good reason.

Lemons boost the immune system, aid in oxygen uptake, add fiber to your diet, support heart health, increase energy, reduce blood sugar, help protect against kidney stones, reduce blood pressure, and so much more.

Did you know that lemons are not only rich in vitamin C, magnesium, potassium, and calcium, but they also contain citric acid, which has antiviral, antifungal, and antibacterial properties?

What causes stinky armpits?

Your body odor is unique to you but not something that most people tolerate well. Armpit odor is caused when bacteria living under the skin break down sweat into acids. Body odor generally presents itself shortly after puberty, when individuals usually start applying deodorant. Other areas that body odor presents itself include the belly button, behind the ears, feet, groin, and genitals. Body odor can be influenced by things such as diet, medication, gender, and overall health.

What are you putting under your arms?

The skin is the largest organ of the human body and processes your body’s natural detoxification and cooling. Sadly, the use of modern-day antiperspirants and deodorants has been proven to interfere with this process to get rid of toxins, potentially leading to some severe health conditions such as Alzheimer’s. The National Breast Cancer Awareness Fund has also found a possible connection between the contents of commercial deodorants such as triclosan, parabens, and phthalates and breast cancer.- Scary, right?

But, what happens when you ditch your deodorant? Well, you probably develop body odor – especially if you are active or stressed. This is where the trusty lemon comes in.

Lemons banish bacteria that causes odor

According to Ellem Mamry, an associate clinical professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai Medical Center, lemon juice is a fantastic natural deodorant because the citric acid in the fruit kills bacteria and odor. Lemon juice even has mild astringent properties that mimic the pore-closing effect of antiperspirants. This is unlike commercial antiperspirants, even natural types, that block sweat glands. Lemon juice fights the bacteria and allows the skin to do what it does best – detoxify. Not only that, but lemons smell fantastic. Who doesn’t want to smell fresh like a lemon?

Lemon juice may irritate your sensitive underarm skin – especially if you have just shaved. Try these two lemon deodorant recipes that banish odor and keep your skin healthy at the same time,

Coconut and Lemon Odor Balm

This deodorant goes on smooth and fresh and is easy on the skin. It keeps you smelling like spring all day long and allows your body to detoxify naturally – eliminating odor-causing bacteria.

This natural deodorant is easy to make and contains another potent bacteria-fighting ingredient, coconut oil. Coconut oil contains powerful antimicrobial properties that help keep you smelling fresh and moisturize your skin at the same time.

What you need

  • 6 Tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 1/4 cup baking soda
  • ¼ cup arrowroot powder
  • 3 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 15 drops lemon essential oil

How to make it

  1. Combine the baking soda and the arrowroot powder in a bowl and mix with a fork.
  2. Add the coconut oil and mash it until a paste forms.
  3. Add the lemon juice and essential oil and mix well.
  4. Scoop into small jelly jars. Use as needed to stay fresh and keep odor at bay.

Aloe Vera and Lemon Spray Deodorant

Aloe vera is rich in antioxidants, enzymes, vitamins A and C, and is a potent anti-inflammatory agent. Like lemons, aloe vera has powerful antifungal, antiviral, antimicrobial, and antibacterial properties. The combination of aloe vera and lemon juice gives body odor a one-two punch for a clean knockout!

What you need

  • ½ cup witch hazel
  • Juice from ½ medium  lemon
  • ¼ cup pure aloe vera gel
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 5 drops tea tree oil

How to make it

  1. Add the ingredients to a small spray bottle and shake.
  2. Be sure to shake each time before use.

-Susan Patterson, CBHC and Master Gardener

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