The Best Natural Deodorant (That You, Um...Drink)
If you're part of the natural living and natural health communities in the slightest, tossing out your conventional deodorant is probably one of the first things you did when you converted ;)
Then the hunt is on - a hunt which took years and years for me to sort out: is there a natural deodorant out there that actually works?
I need a good deodorant. As a recovering busy body, I move a lot. I need a deodorant that can hang in there with me.
After years of searching, I finally found a natural deodorant that works. I mean really works. And it's apparently not going to give me cancer either.
So I bought sticks in every scent, telling friends about my discovery and urging them to purchase for themselves (which many did!). That deodorant is Primal Pit Paste. I still keep a supply in the cabinet for occasions when I need strong deodorant. (The Jasmine & Royal & Rogue scents are so good!).
But even this natural deodorant leaves me with a rash under my arms. I haven't been able to isolate the ingredient that my body is reacting to, but it's uncomfortable.
So, since I work from home and don't see people that often anyway, I decided just to lay off the deodorant for a few days. I put coconut oil on the irritated skin underneath my armpits, and that was all. Or so I thought.
What I was simultaneously doing, completely unrelated to my armpits (as far as I knew), was drinking a lot of new teas.
One evening, I was sitting on the couch with my husband and I noticed a butterscotch-y maple syrup smell. I couldn't figure out where it was coming from but it was making me hungry!
After some searching and pondering, my nose finally led me to.... you guessed it. My armpits smelled like butterscotch mixed with maple syrup.
From increasing breast milk production in nursing mothers to increasing testosterone levels in men, controlling blood sugar levels in diabetics to relieving heartburn and inflammation in the body, fenugreek boasts a list of medicinal benefits.
An herb of the ancient world, fenugreek is native to the Mediterranean region, but is best known today for its use in the mouthwatering curries of India. I even read that Greeks & Romans used it as a fodder for their cattle, and I couldn't help but think: Mmm, I bet that was some tasty beef!
Amazingly, none of the articles that I've read online mention this benefit (side effect?). But I did read that Nepali women eat fenugreek seeds daily and are aware of the delicious smell that imbues their skin from doing so.
Ah, to be part of a culture with actual handed down ancient wisdom.
WHY TOSS OUT THE DEODORANT?
I'm not telling you what to do.
But there are a lot of questionable ingredients in most deodorants, chemicals that are known to cause hormone disruption which has a trickling effect on so many systems in the body, there are carcinogens like aluminum in deodorants (this is probably actually what suppresses odor), and I just never felt like deodorant aligned with my overall ethos anyway - the body expels for a reason, and coating the skin so that it isn't able to sweat out impurities feels very against the way of nature to me. Even damaging.
My thinking is that the body battles so much on a daily basis from the thousands of chemicals we bring in our home from mere shopping to the plastics we consume just from eating packaged food and the containers we use to store food in, the pesticides we consume and breathe in all the time (even people in the Arctic were found to have levels of DDT in their blood so imagine the amount in your body if you live in the "civilized" world), and goodness gracious the amount of car exhaust that goes into our lungs. Terrible diets, sedentary lifestyles, stressed out brains, tensed up bodies... our bodies are overburdened, that's no secret.
So, where I can offer assistance to this cherished vessel of mine, I'm happy to do so.
Now I benefit from all of the medicinal properties of consuming fenugreek seeds daily as opposed to contributing to the toxic load we are already so exposed to in modern life. And I smell like maple syrup. Win, win, win.
YOUR DAILY DOSE OF FENUGREEK
There are two main ways to ingest fenugreek and get all of these benefits flowing through your body:
Eat one spoonful of seeds every day or make cups of hot tea.
I say do both! Have a spoonful when you wake up, washed down with some coffee, and then enjoy a hot cup of fenugreek tea after dinner each night.
You'll notice results right away!
Give it a go and please let me know your reactions in the comments below, I'm interested to see what you think of this new skin scent ;)
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This is a space to share glimpses into daily life here in the Washington wilderness - full of nesting & nomading, & forging deeper relationships to self, to old ways, & to the natural world.
I write about:
health & wellness
wild food foraging
DIY & craft projects
making a living online from home (or anywhere)
my own recipes from scratch
and much more