Neem is an effective home remedy for smelly armpits, says my mom

Improper hygiene is one the main causes of smelly armpits. While regularly taking bath can help, you can also try neem to get rid of smelly armpits.
A woman with smelly armpits
Neem may help to get rid of smelly armpits. Image courtesy: Freepik
Natalia Ningthoujam Updated: 9 Jun 2024, 12:07 pm IST
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Body odour can be unpleasant, especially when it is caused by certain foods. When sweat gets mixed up with the bacteria on our skin, we tend to start smelling. Foods like onions and garlic can also make us smell bad, especially the armpit area. My mom told me to use azadirachta indica, popularly known as neem, to get rid of foul body odour. Let us find out what an expert has to say about using neem for smelly armpits.

What are the causes of smelly armpits?

Smelly armpits are a result of several different factors:

  • Apocrine glands, located in the armpits and groin, produce thick sweat containing proteins and lipids. When bacteria on the skin break down this sweat, it results in a foul odour.
  • Inadequate bathing or using ineffective soaps can allow bacteria to thrive, leading to unpleasant body odour.
  • Foods like garlic, onions, spices, and other pungent items can be excreted through sweat, causing strong smells.
  • Conditions like hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating), hormonal changes during puberty, menstruation, pregnancy, and menopause can lead to increased sweating and odour.
  • Trimethylaminuria (fish odour syndrome) is another condition that can cause strong body odour.
  • Synthetic and polyester fabrics, as well as tight clothing, can promote bacterial growth, leading to bad smells.
A woman with smelly armpits
Your choice of clothes may be the reason behind smelly armpits. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

How can neem help fight smelly armpits?

Neem fresh leaves have antibacterial and antifungal properties, as per a research published in the Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine journal in 2016. Due to its antibacterial action, neem can reduce the bacteria responsible for causing body odour, says Ayurveda expert Dr Reji Raj. Thanks to its antifungal properties, it can fight fungal infections that can contribute to bad smells. It also cleanses and detoxifies the skin, preventing further bacterial growth.

A woman with smelly armpits
Use neem paste for smelly armpits. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

What are the ways to use neem to fight body odour?

Here are some ways to use neem to combat body odour:

1. Neem paste

  • Make a fine paste of neem leaves and water.
  • Apply this natural paste to your armpits and leave it on for 20 to 30 minutes.
  • Rinse with warm water.

Repeat it every three days, suggests the expert.

2. Neem and coconut oil

  • Mix neem oil with coconut oil or almond oil or olive oil.
  • Apply it to your armpits, leave for about half an hour then rinse with warm water.

Use this home remedy to combat body odour every alternate day.

3. Neem bath

You may be using just soap or shower gel and water to take bath. But instead of using just plain water, boil neem leaves in water and use it for bathing every day. You can also use soap made from neem extracts. Adding rose water to neem water and using it to rinse the armpits is another way to do away with body odour.

4. Neem, sandalwood, and turmeric pack

  • Combine neem powder with sandalwood or chandan powder and turmeric.
  • Make a paste and apply it as a pack to the armpits.
  • Rinse with warm water once the pack dries up.

You can do this once or twice a week.

Topical use of neem appears to be safe, but if you are planning on using neem oil, make sure to dilute it with other ingredients like coconut oil. Directly applying it to the skin may lead to irritation.

Body odour is a common problem, and neem, which has antibacterial and antifungal properties, may help to get rid of it.

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About the Author

Natalia Ningthoujam has written on various subjects - from music to films and fashion to lifestyle - as a journalist in her career that started in 2010. After getting stories from the crime scene, police headquarters, and conducting interviews with celebrities, she is now writing on health and wellness which has become her focus area. ...Read More

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