Let’s face it. We all have body issues we struggle with—and usually prefer not to talk about. Often, they wear away at our self-esteem and become more obvious as we age. If you've got a body problem that's causing you to blush, don't fret! Every body sign, from bad breath to cracked feet, is just a symptom of an imbalance that can usually be corrected by a simple change in your diet, by reducing stress, or by taking a herb or supplement.
The good news? The solutions to many of these issues are all-natural, easy to put into practice, and inexpensive.
Everyone has bad breath sometimes, especially after a meal that includes strong-flavored foods or drinks. For many people, a swish of mouthwash or a minute with a toothbrush is enough to get rid of the offending odor. For millions of others, though, no amount of brushing, mouthwash, or gum chewing is enough to banish stubborn halitosis. If you’re wincing in recognition, rest assured. There is a solution, and it involves tackling the source of the problem.
Chronic bad breath occurs when sulfur-causing bacteria accumulate on the back of the tongue. They typically lurk out of reach of a normal toothbrush, but with a specialized tongue scraper, you can reach back there and remove these stinky interlopers. Then, using all-natural toothpaste, gently but thoroughly brush your tongue, your teeth, the inside of your cheeks, and even the roof of your mouth. This works to get rid of bad breath for the vast majority of chronic halitosis sufferers.
Natural to-do: Chewing sugarless and chemical-free gum increases saliva production, which rinses out the mouth and clears away bacteria. Staying away from garlic, drinking plenty of water, and nibbling on mint or parsley leaves can also improve your breath.
Dry, cracked feet.
Dry, cracking feet are painful enough. Adding insult to injury, they can also make you feel self-conscious in sandals or flip-flops at the beach or by the pool. If you need help in the foot department, at-home remedies are available.
Natural to-do: Before you climb into bed for the night, soak your feet in a tub of warm water and liquid soap for 20 minutes. Then use a pumice stone to gently exfoliate and scrub away dead skin. After rinsing your feet with clean water, apply foot cream or extra-virgin olive oil. Tuck your feet into clean cotton socks and get a good night’s sleep. Repeat as often as necessary. Also battling yellow toenails? Add a denture-cleaning tablet into the tub while your feet soak. Then use a sponge or washcloth to scrub the nails.
Excessive body odor.
It’s something nobody wants to hear: "You stink." Excessive sweating and body odor can come with age and fluctuating hormones. Take care of the smell by tackling the bacteria that accumulate on your skin and produce offensive odors.
Natural to-do: Apple cider vinegar has been known to kill odor-causing bacteria by lowering the pH of your skin. Many people swear by rubbing lemon slices under their armpits for the same effect. Dab some ACV and water on a cotton ball and run it on your armpits, or dab armpits with water before your rub lemon slices on them, then pat dry. Diet also affects the way we smell to others. Eating more chlorophyll-rich foods—such as kale, spinach, broccoli, and other leafy greens—can help the body eliminate nose-wrinkling toxins.
Thinning hair can be a source of embarrassment and frustration for both men and women. While there are medical treatments that can be very effective to thicken hair, it’s always a good idea to try natural treatments first.
Natural to-do: The first step is to relieve tension. Stress can play a large part in one of the most common causes of hair loss, a phenomenon called telogen effluvium. This condition is reversible, so if you’re feeling constantly under pressure, try exploring meditation, yoga, or therapy to ease the strain. Malnutrition can also play a part in thinning hair. Protein is great for forming the building blocks of healthy hair, so increasing your intake of healthy protein sources—nuts, lean meats, and beans—may help those locks. Men and women who are deficient in biotin and zinc can take supplements of these vitamins as well. Talk with your physician or nutritionist about whether you might have a deficiency.
Whether you’re a doctor, a teacher, a line worker, or a supermodel, know that we all struggle with our own body issues. I hope these simple tips help you with some of yours!