Sweating is a bodily function that helps regulate your body temperature. Also called perspiration, sweating is the release of a salt-based fluid from your sweat glands. Changes in your body temperature, the outside temperature, or your emotional state can cause sweating. The most common areas of sweating on the body include:
- Palms of the hands
- Soles of the feet
Sweating is normal and occurs regularly in daily living. However, a variety of causes can stimulate increased sweating.
Elevated body or environmental temperatures are the primary cause of increased sweating.
The anger, fear, embarrassment, anxiety, emotional stress, emotions and conditions can also make you break out in a heavy sweat.
Sweating may be a response to the foods you eat as well. This type of perspiration is called gustatory sweating. It can be provoked by spicy foods, caffeinated drinks, including soda, coffee, tea, alcoholic beverages, medications and illness.
Sweating may also be caused by medication use and certain illnesses, such as: cancer, fever and fever-reducing drugs, infection, hypoglycemia (low blood sugar levels), painkillers, including morphine, synthetic thyroid hormones, complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), a rare form of chronic pain that usually affects an arm or leg.
The hormonal fluctuations associated with menopause can also trigger sweating. Menopausal women often experience night sweats and sweating during hot flashes.
Sweating in normal amounts is an essential bodily process. Not sweating enough and sweating too much can both cause problems. The absence of sweat can be dangerous because your risk of overheating increases. Excessive sweating may be more psychologically damaging than physically damaging.
Still, some people may find sweating undesirable in certain social situations, particularly if their sweat is leaving noticeable damp patches or stains. In these situations, there are some strategies that can help to reduce the amount that you sweat.
Vinegar — more specifically, apple cider vinegar — provides an impressive list of health benefits. It helps regulate blood sugar, flush out toxins, relieve heartburn and acid reflux and even aids in weight loss.
When applied directly to the skin, vinegar also acts as an astringent to help remove bacteria and close up pores. If you sweat profusely, drinking a vinegar concoction or applying it directly to the sweaty area each night can help reduce sweat. You can drink a mixture of 2 teaspoons of vinegar and one teaspoon of apple cider vinegar before breakfast, lunch and dinner. The drying effects should kick in within a few days or so.
2. Green and Black Tea
Drinking hot beverages like tea might seem counterintuitive to stopping sweat. But green tea contains magnesium and Vitamin B, which constrict your sweat glands and keep you calm. If you sweat too much, try swapping out your morning coffee for green tea to get in on these sweat-blocking benefits. If you experience constant underarm sweating, black tea also has astringent properties that can reduce sweat when applied directly to your skin. After brewing black tea (and allowing it to cool), rub the tea on your underarms with a towel (or the tea bag itself) for a few minutes.
3. Cornstarch and Baking Soda
Cornstarch and baking soda are naturally water-absorbing agents. Because baking soda is alkaline, it counteracts the bacteria-loving acids in sweat and acts as a natural deodorant. Many store-bought deodorants even contain baking soda for this very reason. Make sure your underarms are dry, and apply a hefty mixture of the two directly to the sweaty area each night. Let it sit for 30 minutes before rinsing off with water. As a forewarning, leaving on the concoction too long could create uncomfortable side effects. When I tried this about a year ago, I left baking soda on for the entire day, which irritated my skin and turned my armpits beet red. The baking soda also left a burning sensation, so I did not attempt this hack again.
4. Wheatgrass Juice
A natural detoxifier, wheatgrass juice is also rich in vitamin A, C, B12, B6 and folic acid. By neutralizing and diluting the toxins in the blood, drinking just a tablespoon of wheatgrass a day helps fight sweat. If your sweat is especially pungent, you’re in luck! Wheatgrass juice also reduces odor from sweat.
5. Potassium Rich Foods
Consuming too much sodium will cause your body to retain more water. Potassium-rich foods like potatoes and broccoli reverse this process to help push water out of the body. Because of this response, potatoes are known to absorb excess water and help relieve sweating. Simply rub a potato slice across your armpits for a few minutes daily to experience these drying effects.
6. Tomato Juice
Beyond the cancer-fighting benefits, tomato juice also shrinks your pores and can reduce chronic sweat. Eating a tomato-rich diet or simply drinking a glass of tomato juice each day will help you control excessive sweating. If tomatoes aren’t your thing, try applying tomato juice to your underarms (or wherever you sweat most) and let it sit for at least 10 minutes before rinsing off.
7. Tea Tree Oil
Like tea and vinegar, tea tree oil acts as an astringent to fight sweat-causing bacteria. Soak a cotton ball in tea tree oil, and blot it on your underarms daily. The effects should start to show in a few days.
The acid in lemon makes it a perfect candidate to naturally reduce excessive sweating. You can either rub half a lemon on your underarms (while lightly squeezing to extract the liquid) or mix a small amount of lemon juice with baking soda and apply it with a cotton pad. Try to leave the lemon juice on for at least 30 minutes, and rinse thoroughly.
9. Witch Hazel
Witch hazel is a great home remedy for sweaty armpits. An herb found in nature, witch hazel acts as an astringent and antiperspirant. It dries out your skin and closes your pores to prevent sweating.There are two ways to curb sweat with witch hazel.
The first is to apply liquid witch hazel with a cotton ball to the areas you sweat the most. You can also combine equal parts water and hazel bark powder to make a paste. Apply the paste to your skin, and let it sit for an hour before rinsing it off with water. Although you probably don’t have witch hazel sitting in your medicine cabinet, you can also use the solution as an astringent for your face, to remove your makeup — or even treat dandruff.
10. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil seems to cure just about every ailment these days — sweat and odor included. That’s because the superfruit contains lauric acid, which kills sweat-causing bacteria due to its antimicrobial properties. Here’s how to use coconut oil to help with excess sweat and odor:
- Combine 10 grams of crushed camphor and 1 cup of coconut oil.
- Mix the ingredients together and apply the paste to your body
- Leave it on your skin for 45 minutes to an hour
- Rinse it off with water