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Dossier: Home remedies

What helps against excessive sweating?

Sweating is a perfectly normal human reaction and an extremely clever body mechanism. When sweat evaporates on the skin, the body releases surplus heat thereby stopping us from overheating. It is nothing to be ashamed of.

Text: Leoni Hof; photo: Avi Richards / Unsplash

But it is not always summer temperatures that get us sweating. Our body’s own air-conditioning system also works when you are feeling stressed: When you are visiting the dentist or discussing a salary increase with your boss, your heart beats faster, your body releases hormones and adrenaline, the apocrine glands secrete sweat. This sweat emits the smell of fear. Subconsciously we notice that this sweat smells different to the sweat we produce when we are active. It originates from the eccrine sweat glands that are responsible for heat regulation. It primarily consists of water and salt and is less likely (when it is fresh) to be broken down by bacteria resulting in a strong smell. Some home remedies to make sure it doesn’t come to this:

Sage for sweaty feet

Sage is a miracle cure against excessive sweating. It can be drunk as tea – boil 3 teaspoons of sage leaves in 1 litre of water, leave to brew for 10 minutes and drink lukewarm – or used in a foot bath to prevent sweaty feet. 

Avoid spicy foods

For some people their hypothalamus reacts more sensitively to triggers such as particular spices, caffeine or alcohol. The cure is simple: avoid them! You should also try to maintain a healthy weight.

Apply pressure

Keep a cool head using your fingertips: there is an acupuncture pressure point near the ear lobes that helps to cool the body. You’ll find it roughly one finger-width behind the ear on the cranial bone.  Make circles with your fingertips behind both ears several times a day.

Camomile against sweaty hands

Did you dread shaking hands even before the pandemic? Bathing your hands in a camomile tincture can help. Dip your hands in several times a day. Baby powder is a quick cure that you can rub into the palms of your hands.

Have a lukewarm shower

Having a cold shower might ease the sweating temporarily but it is completely counterproductive at the height of summer. The cold water lowers your body temperature, but you will end up sweating even more outside because your body will increase your temperature again. Having a lukewarm shower or drink is much more effective.

Natural fibres to stop sweaty armpits

Cotton or linen are much better at wicking sweat. Clothes that quickly start to smell again after washing (some bacteria smells are heat resistant) can be  put in sealable freezer bags and placed in the freezer for several days to kill the bacteria with cold. 

Relax

Autogenic training, progressive muscle relaxation, meditation and special breathing exercises can help against sweating due to nerves.