Bad Breath, Body Odour & Flatulence
Copyright… Kathie Strmota, LoveLight Co-Creative HealthCare
Bad Breath (Halitosis)
Bad breath, or halitosis, can originate in the mouth, respiratory system, or digestive system. You will need to first try to identify the location of the cause before you can determine what treatment will be most appropriate.
In the mouth, it can be caused by rotting food particles trapped between the teeth (a situation which can be easily improved by brushing and flossing regularly) or by dental infections, which will require a visit to the dentist.
Infections and sores on the tongue, gums, or inner tissues of the mouth, may also contribute to unpleasant oral emissions. Using an antibacterial mouthwash can help keep infections down, but if this is a chronic problem you may need to increase your intake of vitamin C and the B group vitamins to strengthen the tissues of the mouth against this decay.
Bad breath that originates in the respiratory system may be caused by poor lung function from shallow breathing. Shallow breathing uses the shoulders to expand the upper lungs rather than expanding the entire lungs deeply from the belly, and prevents the removal of wastes and mucous from the bottom of the lungs. This build-up of waste matter can putrefy and release unpleasant odour when you breathe out.
Breathing should be controlled by the diaphragm, with the shoulder muscles completely relaxed and playing no part. When you breathe deeply from the belly, the diaphragm expands the lungs from below, drawing air into the bottom of the lungs first and allowing them to fill completely. This stimulates waste removal from the lower lungs, oxygenates the blood more fully and completely releases waste carbon-dioxide. Practice proper diaphragmatic breathing until it becomes a natural habit and do aerobic exercise that gets the lungs pumping.
Smoking is one of the most common reasons for respiratory bad breath, as it sedates the lungs and slows the clearing of wastes while, at the same time, creating a greater build-up of mucus. Unfortunately, there is no simple remedy for this situation. You can either have pleasant breath or you can smoke, but not both.
Infected nasal sinuses can also contribute to bad breath. This is a more complex issue which needs to be seen to by your health practitioner. In more extreme cases, surgical intervention may be required to drain wastes from the area.
In the digestive system, constipation can be a surprisingly common cause. If food wastes are moving through the colon too slowly, they stay in the digestive tract for too long and begin to putrefy. This process of decay results in the release of toxic chemicals that enter the bloodstream, leaving via the lungs as the odorous components in bad breath.
The best way to reduce this problem is by keeping the bowels regular, and emptying them every day. Drink lots of water to prevent faeces drying out.
Encourage bowel regularity and softer faeces by increasing your daily intake of dietary fibre. Fruit & vegetables are the best source of good dietary fibre. Eat some in every meal and snack. You can also include some grain fibre in your morning cereal, such as with a whole-grain muesli or a bran-based cereal, adding prunes and other stewed fruits.
The herb liquorice softens and removes dry old faecal matter from the bowel and also encourages the clearing of old wastes from the lungs. It is not a laxative but helps increase energy for waste removal. Make a strong tea from the root and drink it regularly, if you feel you need a ‘clean-out’. You can also eat the liquorice confectionary, if it is to your taste, but ensure it is real liquorice, made from the root, and not fake confectionary made with sugars and artificial colours.
Probiotics help to improve the overall condition and function of the bowel, encouraging a better balance of bowel flora (more good bacteria). Regularly eat probiotic-rich yoghurt, kefir, soured cabbage, and other fermented vegetables, or take a live probiotic supplement as directed.
Good digestion, in general, is critical to maintaining pleasant breath, so look after your digestion on all levels. Eat slowly and chew your food really well to give the digestive process a good start.
Drink a cup of chamomile flower tea an hour before dinner to release the stress of the day and bring energy to the stomach and other digestive areas.
Horseradish root is hot and stimulating to digestive processes in general, and protein digestion in particular. It is a good condiment to have with a meat-based meal.
Fennel seed tea stimulates the release of digestive enzymes from the pancreas and liver, and improves the digestion of fatty foods.
All bitter foods stimulate digestive processes. Support the digestion of a big meal with a pre-dinner nibble of olives or a side-salad of bitter greens, such as dark green & red lettuce, rocket, and dandelion leaves.
Ginger stimulates digestive processes by increasing the production of stomach acid. Add it to meals or drink a cup of ginger tea before or after a meal.
Apple cider vinegar stimulates underactive digestive processes and greatly improves nutrient assimilation. Take a spoonful before each meal.
Obviously, all these digestive system improvements require time to take effect. What if you have a job interview this morning, or a hot date tonight?
As an emergency measure, you can try charcoal tablets. They will trap intestinal gas and prevent it from escaping out of the mouth. Liquid chlorophyll also helps reduce noxious gas emissions from the digestive tract.
You can use a ‘minty’ mouthwash, or eat some parsley or mint to freshen the breath.
At the Metaphysical Level
What we breathe out is a reflection of what we are carrying around inside, whether this be physical waste or mental-emotional ‘unpleasantness’. If you have unpleasant breath, take a good look at the kinds of thoughts which preoccupy you. Are you full of anger, resentment, gossip or foul thoughts about your life and other people? Beautify your thoughts and words with love, friendliness and honesty, and your breath will become more pleasant as well.
If constipation or slow bowel movement is part of the problem, it may be that you are holding on too much (to possessions, people, situations, ideas, values, philosophies), and suppressing your emotions and desire for self-expression. Learn to let go of the past, and anything which no longer supports your growth. Allow life to pass through you and be released. Don’t be afraid to express your emotions or change your beliefs. Don’t resist your natural healthy evolution. Let go of what is and what was, and surrender to your becoming.
I release the past with love. I speak with gentleness and love. I exhale only the good.
I digest life with ease. I digest and assimilate all new experiences peacefully and joyously. Life agrees with me. I assimilate the ‘new’, every moment of every day, and allow life to flow through me. All is well.
Flatulence is the result of increased amounts of intestinal gas, produced above the normal amounts, which are then released under pressure as wind. Intestinal bacteria produce carbon dioxide and hydrogen, both odourless, in the course of breaking down carbohydrates and proteins in the foods we eat. Minute quantities of more pungent gases give flatus its characteristic odour.
An increase in gases is often caused by eating too fast and not chewing food properly, as more gases are produced in the process of breaking down poorly digested foods in the lower parts of the digestive tract. The smell of flatus is worsened by a slow moving bowel which allows wastes to putrefy. Improve digestion and bowel regularity, as described in the section on bad breath, above, to minimize the unpleasantness.
There are certain foods which tend to cause the production of noticeably more gas. If there are no significant health problems behind your flatulence, then you may simply have generally poor digestive function and be reacting a bit more, to such foods, than the average person. However, in a healthy bowel, these foods are processed much more easily with minimal gas production.
The gas-forming foods are the legumes (beans, peas, lentils, peanuts, soy beans, etc), bran, nuts, apples, apricots, peaches, pears, broccoli, cabbage, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, carrot, eggplant, onions, popcorn, prunes, raisins, wheat, and dairy products.
All sources of fibre can produce more gas initially, so if you’re introducing more fibre into your diet, do so gradually. The blessing of fibre, however, is that it helps to clear out the bowel and improves regularity, reducing flatulence and odour in the long term.
Lactose intolerance, (an inability to properly digest dairy products), as well as gluten intolerance (an inability to properly digest wheat and other gluten containing grains), both result in increased flatulence.
Over-production of wrong kind of bacteria in the intestines, which can be triggered by antibiotic use, as well as by a junk-food diet in general, also increases gas production, and can be returned to balance with probiotic supplementation and a cleaner diet.
Carminative herbs relax the smooth muscle of the small intestine, which tends to contract around swelling pockets of gas, causing discomfort.
A herbal tea to relieve this discomfort can be made from equal portions of chamomile flowers, peppermint leaf, and fennel seed. Allow it to infuse until quite strong (5-10 minutes).
Rubbing the essential oils of basil, peppermint & marjoram into the stomach area can help provide relief for the pain caused by excessive wind.
A simple yoga position, Supta Pawanmuktasana, also known as the wind-relieving pose, can be very helpful as it encourages the ‘locked-in’ pockets of gas which cause pain and bloating to find their way out of the body.
Lie on your back, bringing your knees up against the chest. Wrap your arms around your legs, placing one hand on top of the other and taking hold of the wrist. Slowly lift your head off the ground, bringing your nose between the knees. Hold this position for 5 breaths, breathing deeply and slowly. Then take a deep breath in and lower your head slowly to the floor on the exhalation. Repeat 3 times.
This pose also activates pressure points on the stomach and large intestine, helping to improve the overall digestion, and it is especially recommended for constipation.
At the Metaphysical Level
Wind often results when we have taken in too many things that do not agree with us, and we become full of unprocessed (undigested) thoughts and emotions. There can be a tendency to feel responsibility for everything, to try and embrace it all and solve it (including your worries for others), without expressing your feelings and concerns, but it all becomes too much to process.
Try to be more discriminating, only taking in what it nourishing for you, and what you can easily ‘digest’ or manage. Calmly take the time to build structures in your life that allow you to unburden. Think clearly and plan methodically. Allow your thoughts and feelings to be freely expressed. Surrender all worrisome thoughts and feelings of responsibility for others. Accept yourself as you are, including any limitations you may have, and learn to say ‘no’.
I now relax, let go and allow life to flow through me with ease.
I am honest with myself about what I can comfortably manage. I do not need to be everything for everyone.
I trust that everything will work out fine.
Body Odour & Foot Odour
Sweat, itself, has no odour but, if it’s left on the skin for a long period, giving bacteria time to decompose it, they yield the characteristic ‘body odour’ fragrance.
The most common cause is poor hygeine and a general lack of cleanliness, which is easily resolved by regular bathing with mild soaps which don’t strip the skin of its natural protective oils.
Regular skin brushing can minimise body odour because it encourages the removal of dead skin and improves the circulation to the skin, as well as improving the elimination of toxins via the skin.
A diet high in garlic, curry, and other spicy foods can also cause the body to emit an odour. The sulphur-compounds in these foods stimulate the process of elimination – that is, they give you a good ‘clean-out’. What you smell is the contents of the body’s ‘waste bins’ (which may have been sitting full for quite a while) being emptied and processed, with some of the waste being released via the skin.
This is a good reason for body odour, as it means your system is cleaning out. However, if the body’s elimination systems (bowels, kidneys, lungs) are functioning reasonably well and there are no old rotting ‘bins’ of waste waiting to be emptied, these foods will not cause such nasty odours.
Eat a high fibre diet with lots of fruits & vegetables to keep the digestion moving through well, drink plenty of water to support kidney function, and use deep breathing to clear lungs and improve their function. In this way, you can keep all the body’s eliminative channels working well.
Refer to the guidelines, given earlier, for improving digestive function and breathing from the belly.
Aside from stimulating a clean-out with sulphur foods, you can also encourage efficient detoxification in the long term by supporting the liver. Each morning, drink a glass of room-temperature water, occasionally with the juice of fresh lemon and some liquid chlorophyll in it for a simple cleanse.
Dandelion is the most balanced liver-supportive herb that is easily available on supermarket shelves. It comes as a tea made from the leaves, or a beverage made from the roasted root, sometimes called dandelion coffee.
Fenugreek seed tea is supportive for the liver and also encourages the elimination of wastes via lungs and skin. However, it can give you a bit of an ‘I-had-curry-for-dinner-last-night’ scent, so save that one for those times when you’re going to retreat from the world for a few days and have a bit of a detox, as it is also a powerful lymphatic clearer.
Many different vitamins, minerals and amino acids are involved in the liver’s metabolic functions. If you want to encourage a more efficient liver detox, it would be a good idea to take a three to six month course of a daily multivitamin supplement as well as a balanced protein powder containing all the essential amino acids, and (again) lots and lots of fruit and vegetables for their wonderful micronutrient and antioxidant supply.
This will also support the immune system, which is intimately involved in clearing all kinds of unbalanced tissue wastes out of the body.
Everything that applies to body odour can also be applied to foot odour.
Additionally, wearing synthetic shoes, which don’t allow the feet to breathe, can worsen any odour problem. They trap sweat and bacteria around the foot, creating a warm, damp, breeding ground for more odour-producing bacteria. Bacteria are also transferred to the shoe and then returned to your nice clean feet the next time you wear the shoes.
Silica is another wonderful clean-out mineral, and a deficiency can result in very bad foot odour, so it’s a good idea to increase this mineral in the diet. Silica is usually found in the rough, pithy, fibrous parts of fruit, vegetables, seeds & grains – in the skins, stalks, seeds, and husks. Unfortunately, these are the bits commonly peeled or cut off and thrown away during modern-day food preparation.
Try to eat the husks and bran with your grains, nuts and seeds. Keep the skin, and even stalks, on all your fruits and vegetables. If you must trim and peel your veges, throw all the off-cuts into a pot and boil the life out of them. You’ll end up with a brilliant silica (& other minerals) stock which you can use to make a very nutritious, mineral-rich soup.
At the Metaphysical Level
Body odour can develop from fear patterns … fear or dislike of the self, fear of others, fear of specific situations, or fear of life in general.
I love and approve of myself. I am safe. Life is safe.