Body powders have been used for ages to smooth and perfume the skin. Use of herbs in conjunction with absorbent powders help to remove odors by not allowing the formation of bacteria. Body odor is impacted by many outside influences including stress, tension, diet, and even wardrobe. Meat, in addition to the processed “improved”, or “enriched” foods most Americans eat contribute to bad bacteria build up, aka odor. Alcohol and vitamin deficiencies also will affect body odor. Several findings indicate a concern over usage of talc in commercial deodorants and baby powders. Talc, or magnesium silicate, is a proven lung irritant and often contains arsenic. Several studies have linked the use of talc in cosmetic preparations to skin cancer, lung cancer, and ovarian cancer. Particles of talc have even been found in tumors! This aside, talc is still “generally recognized as safe” by the FDA.
In addition to trying to eat less processed foods and processed meat, try drinking teas with peppermint or sage leaves. Buy clothing made with fibers that breathe, such as cotton. An easy, effective body powder can be made with a few simple ingredients. Here’s the recipes, be creative and substitute different dried herbs, dried fruits and flowers if there is a particular scent you’d like to achieve. With any herbal preparation, do a patch test on skin. Always use sanitary containers and tools while making recipes.
Lavender is gentle and used externally for skin irritation, making it perfect for babies or sensitive skin types. Instead of using talc as a base, use arrowroot starch, baking soda, and/or corn starch. Being a skeptical, and a commercial deodorant user, I was shocked to discover that arrowroot starch alone worked great. Here are some preparations to try at home:
- 1 part Arrowroot
- 1 part powdered Blue cornflowers
- 1 part Lavender powder
- 1 part Violet Leaf
Now, when i say part, it can be any amount, just keep in mind herbal preparations don’t keep fresh forever. I’d suggest making no more than two weeks worth at a time.
- 1 part orange peel powder
- 1 part lemon peel powder
- 1 part sandalwood powder
- 1 part orris root powder
- 1 part lavender powder
- 1 part orris root
- 2 parts arrowroot powder, or corn starch, or one part each
#4. “Sweet Powder”
- 10 parts orris root
- 4 parts powdered calamus root
- 4 parts benzoin
- 3 parts lavender
- 1 part clove powder
- 2 oz parts powder
Equal powdered parts orris root, orange peel powder, lemon peel powder, and your choice of calamus root or licorice root powder. Sift through and place in a jar or powder canister.
Another fun recipe to try goes like this:
Add flowers or herbs, such as gardenia, sage leaf, etc to an empty pint container, add arrowroot powder and/or cornstarch to fill. Shake 3-5 times daily and replace the flowers with fresh every other day as well.
Harvest the last herbs from your garden and make some of these fragrant powders to remember summer’s warmth during the cold months.