Human sweat does not actually smell bad – it’s the bacteria that gather to feed off waste particles in the sweat that cause the stink. Leave them for long enough and phew!! One way to combat this is of course to spray on the old antiperspirants. Which comes in a massive amount of packaging – much of it plastic.

Not only do they come with a massive amount of packaging, antiperspirants contain aluminium salts (they may be listed as aluminium chlorohydrate or aluminium zirconium). These are small enough to lodge in the pores of the skin where physically block the sweat glands. This prevents the sweat from flowing out.

No sweat means no bacteria. It’s an effective solution but well its just not right is it? Blocking the sweat glands is preventing them from flushing the body of waste products. Not only that, aluminium salts get absorbed into the body. Some scientists believe there are links between aluminium, altziemers and breast cancer. Other scientists deny it but whatever the boffins say, I don’t like the idea of my pores being deliberately clogged; or my waste products not being purged; or having bits of aluminium floating round my organs.

Deodorants mask the smell with perfumes. They too come with massive amounts of packaging.

However there is an old and natural remedy for this old and natural problem – ammonium alum. This is a naturally occurring mineral salt with antiseptic properties. It inhibits the bacteria growth that causes odour. Alum molecules are far too big to be absorbed by the skin so they just sit there doing the job.

You can buy alum in a spray, as a push up stick or in lump crystal form. The first two involve nasty plastic packaging and lots of it. Better, environmentally speaking, to buy it in lump form. Pit Rok sell a single 80 gram crystal in a small cardboard box. Minimal packaging, completely natural, and fragrance free.

For Pit Rok stockists in your town go to and type in the name of. They do not differentiate between the products. In my experience the health food shops are more likely to sell the crystal form. You can of course buy online too.

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