Natural methods to effectively fight against excessive sweating (hyperhidrosis)

The role of perspiration is to provide thermal regulation in order to maintain the body temperature at 37 ° C. We speak of hyperhidrosis when the amount of sweat produced considerably exceeds that required to ensure this thermoregulation. Excessive sweating or hyperhidrosis is the excessive production of sweat. It seriously affects the quality of life of people who have it.

What is hyperhidrosis ?

Hyperhidrosis is a pathology responsible for the excessive production of sweat that currently affects 1 in 4 French people.

The dermis is made up of highly vascularized fibrous elastic tissues whose role is to protect and nourish the epidermis, found in the dermis, sweat glands and sebaceous glands.

The sweat glands are responsible for eliminating waste through sweat at the rate of 1 liter per day.

There are 2 types of sweat glands :

The apocrine glands:

Located under the armpits, in the genital, anal and umbilical areas, they produce a sweat for sexual purposes. They predominate in the axillary and genital regions. The apocrine glands produce an odorless liquid which decomposes under the influence of bacteria and acquires an unpleasant and characteristic odor.

The eccrine glands:

Located throughout the rest of the body, they produce elimination sweat. They are distributed throughout the body and are most abundantly located on the palms of the hands, the soles of the feet and the armpits (axillary region). The eccrine glands play an important role in the thermal regulation of the body. Under stress or heat, the eccrine glands can secrete up to 10 liters of sweat per day. Sweating (eccrine) is a normal response to increased body temperature (heat, exercise, fever) and to emotion.

The production and excretion of sweat depends on the sympathetic nervous system and is regulated by the hypothalamus (a gland located in the brain).

What are the causes of hyperhidrosis?

A distinction is made between primary or essential hyperhidrosis (without a recognized cause) from hyperhidrosis secondary to diseases. In the event of generalized hyperhidrosis or hyperhidrosis localized to an unusual area (other than the palms, soles or armpits), it is essential to see a doctor to investigate the cause, especially if the excessive sweating has occurred recently.

Essential hyperhidrosis is thought to be secondary to excessive functioning of the reflex circuits involved in eccrine sweating. It often begins at puberty, peaks between the third and fourth decade, and then decreases with age. Palmoplantar hyperhidrosis (of the feet and hands) is predominant in men.

Hyperhidrosis is most often intermittent and made worse by stress. A vicious circle often forms, as excessive sweating of the hands or armpits is often embarrassing and generates stress that increases it.

Hyperhidrosis can also be the consequence of other pathologies such as, for example, menopause, obesity, diabetes or even hyperthyroidism.

Some naturopathic advice to limit hyperhidrosis

  • Avoid alcohol, tobacco, foods containing caffeine (coffee, tea, chocolate, or caffeinated soda) and spicy foods, acid or peanut butter as they stimulate sweat production
  • Wash areas prone to hyper-perspiration with a mild soap once or twice a day and dry well to avoid maceration which could promote the appearance of fungal infections
  • Prefer loose clothing made of natural materials (cotton, linen, wool) and no synthetic material. For example, cotton socks to be changed twice a day if necessary, and leather or canvas shoes rather than plastic
  • Hair removal also reduces the adhesion of sweat to hair
  • Learn to master stressful situations: relaxation techniques for example
  • Use a deodorant or an antiperspirant
  • Remember to drink plenty of water to overcome possible dehydration

In the case of profuse and / or intense sweating: it is then advisable to take an antiperspirant treatment (spray with alcohol, roll-on bottle), while being vigilant in the event of sensitive skin so as not to create irritation. These anti-perspirant treatments are often to be applied in the evening in cures of a few days

Are there any natural treatments to fight excessive sweating? ?

There are indeed anti-sweat plants to use in the event of excessive sweating, but there are, on the contrary, sweat plants to be avoided such as for example: burdock, lemon balm, wild pansy, borage, plantain, elderberry or the violet …

Among plants for the treatment of hyperhidrosis, decoctions for external use of horsetail, cypress and sage are particularly effective on the feet (by local baths).

A number of essential oilscan also be used for their anti-odor effects regulating excessive sweating: essential oils of Scots pine, Ceylon lemongrass, clary sage or even palmarosa.

With the return of sunny days and the gradual increase in the outside temperature, sweating is not inevitable and in the event of excessive sweating, solutions exist! Do not let halos, sweaty hands, or bad body odor ruin your life!


Clémentine. M.
Naturopath – Aromatherapist / Herbalist – Phytotherapist
Consultant in clinical phyto-aromatherapy and ethnomedicine

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