Jill’s Herbal Diary: Natural Deodorants

Common Sage_smBy Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz

Nearly twenty-five years ago, when I first began studying herbs and plants and delving into the natural rhythm of being human, I took lots and lots of notes.  For my entire adult life I have followed and been fascinated by plants and nature.  Learning to know their healthful nature and to pass what I have learned on to others has been one of my life’s passions.  The following is an unabridged tidbit from one of my very earliest study journals.  Enjoy, be kind, and feel free to share. ~


  • Calendula – Potent antibacterial, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, vulnerary, soothing and mild.
  • Chamomile – Vulnerary, antiseptic, antibacterial, soothing
  • Coriander – EO is antiseptic, bacteriostatic
  • Lichen – Contains acids which fight bacteria (i.e.; Usnea lichen)
  • Oregano – Combats itchy skin, contains thymol (antiseptic), and carvacrol (antifungal). Essential oil can irritate sensitive skin.
  • Rosemary – Invigorates sluggish skin, anti-fungal
  • Sage – Cuts perspiration by 50%, antiseptic, astringent, pore tightening, oil absorbing, antibacterial Witchhazel Flowers_sm
  • Tea Tree – Antibacterial, (disinfects wounds), antiseptic
  • Witch Hazel – Astringent


Spray On – 1/3oz tincture of myrrh, 1/5oz tincture of catechee [sic catechu], 5oz dry white wine, 20 drops lavender essential oil (essential oil) 50 drops lemon ESSENTIAL OIL, 5 drops clove ESSENTIAL OIL, 50 drops marigold

Essential Oil – Pour into a bottle, shake well and use.

Cream Deodorant – 1 oz cocoa butter, 1 oz beeswax, 1tbs glycerin and 1tbs rosewater. Melt cocoa butter and beeswax in a double boiler, remove from heat and add glycerin and rosewater. Add several drops of any of the following essential oils as desired lemon, calendula, sage, rosemary, coriander, eucalyptus, lavender or thyme. Whip till smooth and creamy.

Try making stick deodorant by melting paraffin or beeswax with stearin and combining with the above recipe before pouring into a greased mold. Try using a used deodorant tube that has been cleaned.

Cleavers_smHerbal Deodorant– 15 drops coriander essential oil, 5 drops cypress essential oil, 5 drops sage essential oil, 5 drops lavender essential oil, 2 oz witch hazel, 1 tbs. grain alcohol, 4 drops grapefruit seed extract. Combine in a 2 oz spray bottle. Shake well before use. This has a one-year shelf life and antibacterial and antiviral properties.

Cleavers Deodorant – 1 large handful dried herb to 1 pint of water, simmered 5 min and strained. Keep in fridge up to a week.

Powdered Deodorant – Blend orris root powder with the dried and pulverized zest of orange or lemon.

Foot Powder – 1/4c. arrowroot powder, 1/4c marigold or calendula flowers and baking soda to your desire. This can also be used as an underarm deodorant.

I hope you have enjoyed this little journey back in time.  I know I’ve remembered a few things I had completely forgotten.  This only goes to show that you’re never too old to learn – either from the past or the future! 

Be well.


12 responses to “Jill’s Herbal Diary: Natural Deodorants

  1. I have never heard of catechee Jill (first recipe). Does this refer to tea extracts (like green and black teas)? Looking for it I found this interesting research article: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/16496576/?i=4&from=/12428980/related
    I’m inspired now to make a simple spray using inexpensive dry white wine or witch hazel and a selection of the essential oils you mentioned, which I have in my cupboard. It’s also so good to burn plain white sage around the house whenever a bit of refreshment feels needed.
    Once again, thanks for the inspiration xxx

  2. lime juice in da pits


  4. Take Medi-Care 70% Rubbing Alcohol in a spray-on 100 ml container…
    apply to under arms as U would with a deodorant…U will never use another deodorant again in your life and never have to worry about body odour
    ever again…cheap, effective…deodorant companies will be a thing of the pass…if this gets out.

  5. All Natural All the Time

    I am very loyal to a brand called Lavilin.

    The foot cream works unbelievably well. Lasts a week and smells fantastic!

  6. Hi! Thanks for all of the great info. Jill, I’m curious about antiperspirants. Can you explain how sage and astringents reduce perspiration? For instance, how should they be applied to be effective and what do they do that results in decreased perspiration? I have also heard that cypress and petitgrain essential oils reduce perspiration. Have you found this to be the case? (By the way, Jill, I also live in the Ozarks. I moved here 2 years ago not knowing much about the area and have been more than pleasantly surprised by the culture and the beauty! Your site is a good example of what I have been so delighted by.)

    • Hi Caitlin. So glad you’re enjoying your new life in the Ozarks and that you’ve been enjoying the blog. It’s a wonderful place to live!

      Astringents reduce perspiration by constricting sweat glands. The only herb I know of that actually does that is sage, but many of sage’s relatives – rosemary, thyme and oregano – have potential. My understanding has always been that to use sage as a deodorant, one should apply it topically and periodically take it internally in the form of sage tea. That being said, many herbs are highly antibacterial and act as deodorants by reducing the bacteria that cause odor. I recently found this page with 2 deodorant recipes that can be easily made at home. http://wellnessmama.com/1523/

  7. Hey Jill, Thanks again for the info. The idea of a natural antiperspirant is fascinating to me. I just ordered some witch hazel, so I’m going to try it out to see if I experience any effect. I’ve been making a spray deodorant with aloe vera and essential oils that works pretty well. I love coconut deodorants like the one at Wellness Mama, but one time the oil stained my t-shirt…..and I noticed that the arrowroot powder rubbed off on my tank tops. Thus I’ve been experimenting with aloe vera sprays.
    Thanks again!

    • You’re welcome, Caitlin. I hope it helps you in your quest for a more natural approach to deodorants. For several years, I used the oil of rosemary directly on the skin and it seemed to work very well. The bonus was that I smelled great all the time! 🙂 Be sure to let us know what you find works for you. I’m sure others would appreciate it!

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