Bad Breath and Bad Body Odour : Natural Ways to Fight

Last Updated on December 21st, 2020

A pleasing personality always leaves a lasting impression and one of the most important aspects of your personality is the fragrance you adorn.

The scenario reverses completely when you are dealing with the problem of bad breath or bad body odour.  It completely nullifies your impression, puts you into embarrassing situations and thus hampers your self-confidence and your social life.

Bad Breath (Halitosis) and  Body Odour (Bromhidrosis)

One of the ironic things about the Halitosis (bad breath) and Bromhidrosis (body odour) is that you cannot estimate them yourself. It is always the foul faces of the people whom you are talking to that hints you. Many people, especially youngsters get apprehensive about these problems and turn to expensive mouth fresheners, perfumes and deodorants as the only available recourse. However these solutions only provide temporary relief, leaving them helpless, embarrassed and disheartened.

It is not that the problems of having bad breath or bad body odour are hard to get rid of but one has to look for permanent cure. The aim of gums, mints, mouthwashes, perfumes, deodorants and other products is to temporarily lend fragrance to your body or mouth but not really to combat the bad smells.  There are many simple home remedies which may easily solve these problems but to know the correct cure for the problem of bad breath or bad body odour, one has to first find out the actual cause and source behind it. Let us have a look at the various common causes for developing bad breath and bad body odour and their remedies.



This section we take a deep dive into the potential causes, lifestyle changes and home remedies of bad breath.

health tips: bad breath
health tips: bad breath


Although it is not possible to smell your own breath, but indicators like sour taste, dry mouth or a coating on the tongue are a few signs that may alert you of their presence.

Here we enlist a few causes that may lead to the problem of bad breath. Depending upon the causes we may make a few changes in our lifestyle and prevent this stubborn problem.

  • Food:

    The primary and most obvious cause of bad breath is our regular diet pattern. Certain food items such as onion, garlic, etc. have strong odour of their own and when one eats them their smell lingers for long and hard to get rid of. Also people who eat tobacco products or smoke are more vulnerable to get gum diseases and hence have to deal with the problem of bad breath.

    reason for bad breath
    reason for bad breath
  • Poor dental hygiene:

    Another obvious and prevalent cause of this problem is poor dental hygiene. When the food particles deposit in and around your teeth, they escalate the bacterial growth and plaque build-up. This problem becomes more severe for the people who have dentures. Also people often neglect cleaning their tongues separately and all these factors cumulatively become reason for foul odour.

  • Dry mouth:

    Xerostomia (or dry mouth) is a chronic condition where the production of saliva decreases. This leads to accumulation of dead cells and plaque build-up resulting in bad breath. Some medications also are responsible for causing lesser production of saliva and thus leading to dry mouth.

  • Other causes:

    Infections, wounds, oral surgeries, gum diseases, tooth decay, mouth sores and other medical conditions of mouth, nose and throat can become a reason for halitosis. Chronic refluxes of stomach acids, respiratory infections and diabetes mellitus can also be a source for this problem.


Home Remedies:

There are very simple home remedies which may relieve you from this stubborn ailment. A few of them are listed below:

  1. Mouthwashes:

  • Efficacy of mouthwashes in dealing with bad breath is indisputable, but what if we tell you to make you mouthwash at home with simple & easily available ingredients.

    baking soda
    baking soda mouthwash
    1. Vinegar mouthwash:

      Vinegar is rich in acetic acid, which helps to maintain the pH levels and thus impedes the growth of bacteria in the mouth. This way it acts as an easy remedy for bad breath. Just mix a table spoon of white/ apple cider vinegar in a glass of water and gargle twice a day.

    2. Baking Soda mouthwash:

      One may also mix a teaspoonful of baking soda into a warm glass of water. Use this concoction to swish your mouth as a mouthwash. Sodium bicarbonate in baking soda can eliminate the bacterial growth in your mouth and thus remedying its foul odour. Adding a few drops of peppermint oil will ensure a lasting freshness.


    3. Mix This Solution:

      Boil a teaspoon of cinnamon powder, one bay leaf and a few cardamom pods into a glass of water. Strain this solution, let it cool and use it to rinse your mouth twice a day as a mouthwash.


  • Fennel Seeds:

    Chewing fennel seed is a tried and tested remedy to fight bad breath. They not only enhance the production of saliva but also keep bacteria at bay due to their antibacterial properties.


  • Green Tea:

    Green tea may also work effectively in getting rid of bad breath. You may refrigerate the freshly brawn green tea and sip it throughout the day. Adding mint will enhance the flavour and also its ability to fight bad breath.

  • Citrus fruits:

    Citric acid present in citrus fruits like lemons and oranges can stimulate the saliva production in the mouth. It also protect us from various gum diseases. You may include them in your regular diet or use them along with water to rinse your mouth. It will help in getting rid of the foul mouth odour. Using pineapple in a similar way may also be helpful against halitosis.

citrus fruits for bad breath
citrus fruits for bad breath
  • Parsley:

    Rich chlorophyll content and fresh scent of parsley helps in neutralizing the foul smell from the mouth. Chewing raw parsley thus is a good & easy remedy against bad breath.

  • Yogurt:

    The lactobacillus bacteria present in yogurt is good for our gut. A healthy gut ensures good digestion and thus reducing the acid refluxes. Include yogurt in your routine diet to reduce the severity of bad breath.

  • Cloves

    Cewing cloves is also a good way to keep your mouth fresh for long hours. Alternately one may boil a few cloves in a glass of water and use it as a mouthwash to benefit from antibacterial properties present in clove.

  • Water:

    Drink lots and lots of water throughout the day to keep your mouth fresh and moist. It is the simplest yet one of the most effective remedies against bad breath.

Drinking water during periods
Drinking more water prevents bad breath
  • Zinc:

    Make zinc salts a regular component of your diet. It helps in reducing the sulphurous compounds and thus fights the problem of bad breath. You may take zinc supplements, use a mouthwash that is rich in zinc salts or chew a zinc chewing gum regularly.

These home remedies will work for you effectively only when they are coupled with a good oral hygiene. Brushing your teeth twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste is a must. Cleaning your tongue is equally important. Restrict your intake of caffeine, alcohol and carbonated drinks. Rinse your mouth thoroughly after having your meals.

Never sleep without removing your dentures. In case in spite of taking all these precautions and care, the problems of bad breath persist, consult a periodontist. Ensure that the underlying cause of your problem is investigated and treated.




Bad body odour or BROMIHIDROSIS is a common problem for the people of adolescent age due to hormonal changes. This happens around the age of puberty and sometimes it may carry on to the adulthood days. In any case it causes a lot of embarrassment for the one who is dealing with it.

bad body odour
bad body odour


Sweaty areas of the body become a breeding ground for bacteria. These bacteria breakdown the keratin proteins present on the skin of a human body and releases a foul smell. This is what we know as body odour. The deodorants and perfume may mask the body odour for a short period of time, but they are certainly not a permanent solution of this problem.

Lifestyle changes: A few nuances of our lifestyle and medical conditions (listed below) can also become a cause for bad body odour.

  • Lack of proper hygiene:

    Maintaining a better hygiene is a must for knocking down the body odour. Take all precautions to keep the sweaty areas of your body clean and dry. Invest in good antiperspirants as they reduce sweating. Apply them at nights too, to avoid night sweating. Take showers daily, more so after doing any hard physical activities like playing sports, doing exercise or taking a jog, etc. Shave off the underarms and pelvic area regularly.

  • Diet:

    Different people have different metabolism. Sometimes a specific food item may cause changes in the body odour. This smell goes away on its own and doesn’t become a nuisance unless that food item becomes a regular part of one’s diet. Avoid foods that are high in fatty acids

  • Stress:

  • Stress or anxiety often becomes a reason to sweat excessively and uncontrollably. This stimulates the growth of bacteria resulting in foul body odour. Stress or anxiety can be a side effect of certain medications, or a hereditary problem and often it occurs as a symptom of other medical condition. Figuring out the reason behind it and working on that specific reason can help us to fight body odour.
    stress can cause joint pain
    stress sweating responsible for bad body odour


  • Diabetes:

    High sugar levels in a diabetic person may result in “Diabetic Ketoacidosis.” In this condition ketones rise to dangerous levels and enter the bloodstream as well as in urine causing a fruity odour. Maintaining your insulin levels can help in getting rid of such smell.

  • Skin infection:

    Fungal infections on the skins like athlete’s foot, cause a lot of itchiness and bad smell. This comes as a result of fungus thriving in warm, moist and dirty areas of your body. Maintaining a good hygiene and taking medication can be of great help.

  • Gynaecological issues:

    Many a times due to the various hormonal changes, women experience changes in their body odour. These odours may not always be unpleasant but strong. Researchers say during the period of high fertility, women emanate an attractive scent. During the periods of menstruation, menopause and pregnancy also, many women experience a different vaginal odour.

    Stress Incontinence in Women and solution for that
    vaginal odour


Home Remedies:

Along with these lifestyle changes there are some easy home remedies that may also help you in your fight against the bad body odour. Here we enlist a few of them:

  • Vinegar:

    Vinegar works wonderfully in balancing the pH level of the skin. It is also very good at killing the bacteria. Take some vinegar on a cotton ball and dab it onto the area of the skin that is prone to sweating.

  • Tomatoes:
    The antiseptic and antibacterial properties of tomatoes make them a good remedy against body odour. They reduce the body temperature thereby controlling excessive sweating. One can rub a thin tomato slice on the sweating-prone areas of the body and rinse it off after 20 minutes. Also, make tomatoes a significant part of your regular diet.

    how to stay young with tomatoes
    tomatoes to prevent bad body odour


  • Baking soda:

    Baking soda works as a natural talcum powder which absorbs the moisture and keeps the body clean & dry for long. Another way to use it as a remedy for body odour is to mix 2 tablespoons of baking soda in a cup of water and keep it in a spray bottle. Use it as a homemade mist twice a day on your body.

  • Green Tea:

    Besides drinking green tea, one may apply it as a concoction, on the body with the help of a cotton ball. Repeat this at least 2-3 times a week to reduce the problem of body odour.

  • Coconut Oil:

    One of the many benefits of using coconut oil on skin is its pleasant smell that lingers for long. Its antimicrobial properties impedes the growth of bacteria and thus keeps body odour at bay. Making it a regular part of your diet improves metabolism; which helps further against body odour as well as bad breath.

    coconut oil benefits and Mct oil
    coconut oil benefits and Mct oil


  • Lemon:

    The well-known antimicrobial and antiseptic properties of lemon make it a very effective and handy solution to eliminate unpleasant body odour. Not only lemon helps in maintaining the pH level of the skin, it is an amazing immunity booster and removes the toxins from the body. Include lemons in your diet. Apply the lemon juice on the sweaty areas of the body, leave it for a while and rinse off. Or the easiest is to mix a few slices of lemon in a bucket full of lukewarm water and bathe with it.

  • Herbs:

    Herbs like Neem and Fenugreek leaves can also benefit against the unpleasant body odours. Fenugreek not only helps in flushing out the toxins from the body but also limits the bacterial infection due to its antibacterial properties. The antiseptic, antibacterial and antifungal properties of neem makes it an effective home remedy for eliminating the odour causing bacteria. Boil either of these leaves in a pan of water, strain and add this to your bathing water.

Most of the times bad body odour and bad breath can be easily tackled by maintaining proper hygiene and making a few healthy lifestyle changes. But in rare cases if these problems persist or worsen, they may signify an underlying medical condition. In such cases, you must consult a specialist who will do appropriate diagnosis and prescribe specific treatment.

Aafiya Siddiqui
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