Understanding Excessive Sweating (Hyperhidrosis)
Just sweating more than other people when it’s hot or when physical exertion is undertaken, it is not hyperhidrosis. It is just variations in levels of sweating. However, if there is excessive sweating without a good reason- like sweating even in mild temperatures or without being stressed physically or mentally- it can be a sign of hyperhidrosis.
There are two types of excessive sweating “hyperhidrosis”- primary hyperhidrosis (localized hyperhidrosis) and secondary hyperhidrosis (generalized hyperhidrosis). The primary hyperhidrosis is the medical condition itself while in secondary hyperhidrosis, excessive sweating is caused by some other medical condition or medication.
In primary hyperhidrosis, excess sweating is localized such as in the armpits, on the palms, face or on the feet, etc. There are different medical names for this. Axillary hyperhidrosis refers to excess sweating of the armpits and Palmoplantar hyperhidrosis means sweating of the soles of the feet or the palms. In most of the cases of secondary hyperhidrosis, generally the whole body sweats excessively.
Causes of Excessive Sweating
Primary hyperhidrosis though is a medical condition; it is not a sign of disease. It is also called focal or localized as it only affects particular parts of the body like underarms, groin, head, face, hands, or feet. This type of hyperhidrosis possibly is a result of a minor malfunction in the nervous system. Sometimes this is genetic too.
Secondary or generalized hyperhidrosis causes whole body to sweat. It is caused by many factors including health condition, medications etc. Some of the common causes of generalized excessive sweating of the body include:
• Infectious diseases such as tuberculosis
• Parkinson’s disease
• Rheumatoid arthritis
• Heart failure
• Cancers such as leukemia and lymphoma
• Certain psychiatric medicines
• Blood pressure medications
• Medicines for dry mouth
• Certain antibiotics
• Some supplements
Excessive Sweating Treatment
What is called the treatment of excessive sweating is, in fact, controlling its symptoms. Some of the popular hyperhidrosis treatment options include the following:
Antiperspirants – Some prescription antiperspirant sprays, lotions, and roll-ons help control excessive sweating. However, sometimes these antiperspirants may not work, especially if it is too much of excessive sweating.
Oral Drugs– Certain drugs too stop excessive sweating. They are specifically meant for people who experience excess sweat in feet and hands. They are called anticholinergics. However, sometimes they can lead to such side effects as blurred vision and dry mouth.
Iontophoresis– Iontophoresis uses a light electric current over the patient’s skin to plug the sweat glands. However, it is a temporary solution for excess sweating.
Botox– Botox injections are used to temporarily stop the nerves from triggering excessive sweating underarm. However, this can be a painful treatment for hyperhidrosis.
Surgery– Thoracis sympathectomy is the surgery conducted to cut sympathetic nerves that cause excessive sweating. Apart from being expensive this hyperhidrosis surgery carries the risk of certain side effects like nerve damage and breathing complications.
Secondary hyperhidrosis is treated primarily by addressing the underlying medical condition which is believed to cause excessive sweating.
Home Remedies for Excessive Sweating
Here are some natural home remedies for hyperhidrosis or excessive sweating. Some of these hyperhidrosis home treatments use common ingredients found at home and the others use certain herbs that can easily be bought from some herbal stores.
Add two teaspoons of vinegar with two teaspoons of raw apple cider vinegar and have it thrice a day on an empty stomach – half an hour before meal or after meal. You can also soak some cotton balls in apple cider vinegar or white vinegar and rub underarms to get rid of underarm odor. This is one of the very effective natural remedies for hyperhidrosis.
Have a glass of fresh, homemade tomato juice a day for at least a whole week. If you see some progress, you can continue it for some more days- everyday or alternate days.
Herbal tea has been proved to be one of the very good home remedies for excessive sweating. Sage herbal tea is particularly effective cure for hyperhidrosis. Brew sage in hot water and let it cool down. Have it everyday to get rid of excessive sweating. Sage contains vitamin B and magnesium which helps reduce the sweat gland activity and therefore reduce underarm sweating.
Cut slices of potato and rub them underarms to get rid of excessive sweating. This is the most easiest but considerably effective hyperhidrosis home treatment.
Wheatgrass juice or the water extract from young wheat grass is very effective home remedy for excessive sweating. It helps in neutralizing acids and toxins in the blood and is also a very good source of protein, vitamin C, vitamin B-12, folic acid, and vitamin B-6. A glass of wheatgrass a day can help reduce excessive sweating.
This plant has natural astringent properties and acts as a natural antiperspirant for face. It gently dries skin and helps prevent infection. You can even make tea from its brewed leaves.
Remedies for Foot Sweating
For foot sweating, pat your feet dry, especially between the toes after bath. Massage it with apple cider vinegar. Tea Tree Oil is also helpful for foot sweating. It can be applied directly to the sweaty areas.
Remedies for Palm Sweating
Reduce intake of foods rich in iodine. Avoid vegetables like broccoli, asparagus and white onion; avoid beef, liver and turkey meats. Boil a quart of water and soak five teabags in it. When it cools down, soak the palms for at least thirty minutes. Tannic acid in tea has astringent properties that act as a natural antiperspirant.
Remedies for Underarm Sweating
After thoroughly cleaning (shaving and washing) underarms, apply cornstarch and baking soda under arms. Wait for about half an hour and then wash it off with water. You can also add essential oils into the mixture to act as a deodorizer.
Anti Sweat Diet
Have a diet rich in silicon. The mineral silicon regulates the production of sweat. It is present in such foods as strawberries, onions, almonds and grapes. Drink plenty of water to remove toxins causing the odor of sweat. Foods rich in vitamin B are also helpful in reducing sweating. Eat more of natural foods like cereal, fish and milk to have generous intake of vitamins b in your body.
Herbal Remedies for Excessive Sweating
If looking for herbal remedies for excessive sweating then you can use such herbs as Astragalus, Rehmannia Glutinosa, Schisandra, Sage and Osha to get rid of this embarrassing medical condition of hyperhidrosis. Replace your daily coffee with hot tea mixed with a few pinches of passion flower – found in health stores in powdered form.
Astragalus (Milk Vetch) is extensively used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) to treat excessive sweating. As per TCM, abnormal or excessive sweating is the result of Qi deficiency or energy deficiency. Astragalus is well known as Qi-tonic (energy tonic) and is meant for treating chronic weakness, fatigue, and low immunity along with hyperhidrosis. It is a rich source of selenium which is an antioxidant and immune system stimulant. As it is a sweet herb, Astragalus makes a pleasant remedy for excessive sweating in the form of herbal tea. A handful of astragalus slices can be simmered in a liter of water for about half an hour. This tea can then be had in between meals.
Rehmannia glutinosa is one of the major herbs used in Traditional Chinese Medicine and is popular by the name of ‘Sheng di huang’. It is especially beneficial for facial hyperhidrosis. In this case, face and neck get drenched in sweat and there is facial blushing meaning face becomes hot and flushed particularly during social and public meetings which may be due to fear and stress. This may be due to genetic dysfunction in body’s temperature control system. Fear and anxiety is associated with the weakness of kidneys. Rehmannia glutinosa herb is used to strengthen kidneys. It treats excessive sweating by cooling the body and blood. The roots of this herb can be used to make tea. Steep a handful of dried Rehmannia glutinosa roots in a cup of boiled water for 10-15 minutes. Strain and drink the tea to strengthen kidneys and fight off facial hyperhidrosis. The tea should however be avoided if suffering from indigestion or diarrhea.
Schisandra herb is a berry fruit having sweet, salty, bitter, hot and sour taste and as such is known as ‘wu wei’ meaning five-flavored fruit in Chinese. It has been used to treat coughs, asthma, diarrhea and sweating. It is an adaptogen herb which nourishes the adrenal glands and helps cope with stress, the conditions related to night sweat and facial hyperhidrosis. It again, like Rehmannia glutinosa, works on kidneys and cures night sweats as well as tones up the adrenal glands reducing anxiety which may be the cause of facial sweating. Schisandra tea can be made by simmering 10-12 berries in four cups of water for about 20 minutes. Three cups of warm or cool Schisandra tea can be taken daily.
Sage is an astringent herb having lots of thiamine and magnesium to soothe the sweat gland and calm down the nerves. It also has rosmarinic acid which inhibits excessive production of sweat. Many medical herbalists claim that sage revitalizes blood flow, which helps in cooling your body and reducing excessive sweating. It excellently prevents night sweats as well as facial sweating, especially the one active during sleep. Sage tea can be made by simmering 10-15 fresh sage leaves in a cup of water for 3-4 minutes and having it after it cools down.
Osha (Ligusticum porter) is also known by such names as Colorado Cough Root, Indian Root, Mountain Ginseng, Mountain Carrot etc. Osha root is used for medicinal purpose which can be found in dried form or as tinctures and root extracts. It has fine antiviral, diaphoretic, carminative, diuretic, and decongestant properties. Mainly used for viral infections of the sinuses, throat, and respiratory systems, osha also induces sweating. It thus helps in eliminating toxins out of the body through the pores of the skin. If Osha induces sweating then how can it be a herbal remedy for excessive sweating? In fact, certain respiratory infections may cause night sweat and it is in this case when osha comes to help. Osha is capable of restraining such virus and bacteria that cause sweating at night. When toxins are eliminated from the body through induced sweating, the pores get relaxed and eventually it reduces sweating. You may like to have few drops of osha tincture mixed with juice or water. However, it is better to see a herbal medicine practitioner before taking any herbal medicine for hyperhidrosis.
The key to get rid of hyperhidrosis is to try these home remedies for excessive sweating one by one and see what makes you comfortable. You may need to adopt a lifestyle that combine multiple natural remedies for excessive sweating like an anti sweat diet along with certain specialized herbs to stop you from sweating a lot!