The “antidote” you’ve been looking for to treat hyperhidrosis might be the one you least expect. Aside from meds, injections, and going under the knife, there are a host of other approaches you can try to stay dry. They include non-medicinal and “alternative medicines”. Keep in mind that your mileage may vary compared to others and you should consult your doctor before trying certain treatments. With that said, this post will examine “natural” solutions that have shown to reduce excessive sweating in both scientific and anecdotal reports.
Herbal Remedies for Excessive Sweating
Let’s start with nature’s gift to human health - herbs. Herbal remedies often draw a lot of criticism from medical professionals who are quick to dismiss them as being poorly studied or lacking evidence. However, herbal remedies usually contain an abundance of micronutrients (ie. vitamins, minerals, antioxidants) that your body needs. Many of these herbs contain micronutrients that have demonstrated the ability to reduce sweating as well.
A household favorite for millions worldwide, green tea might be the most underrated natural remedy for excessive sweating. It contains a high percentage of antioxidants, making it a powerful detoxifier.
With fewer toxins in your system, your body won’t overwork to cleanse itself and you’ll sweat less. Also, green tea contains magnesium, which restricts sweat glands and helps your body regulate its temperature better.
Sage & Clover
Sage is often used in aromatherapy for stress-relief, but it’s also beneficial for hyperhidrosis sufferers too. It balances the brain and nervous system which is essential for healthy sweat production.
But it also contains compounds known as phytoestrogens, which balance your hormones and in turn, keep excessive sweating and high bodily temperature under control.
Similar to sage, clover is rich in phytoestrogens, making it effective at balancing your hormones and keeping excessive sweat at bay.
This herb acts as an astringent and an antiperspirant. It can block your pores to reduce excess sweating.
If you deal with a serious case of sweaty armpits/torso, then you can find near-instantaneous relief with a sweat proof undershirt. Sweat-resistant fabrics contain moisture-wicking materials. These materials pull water through tiny openings called micropores so that the droplets reach the fabric’s surface where they will evaporate. This process cools you down and keeps you dry fast, and it prevents the formation of sweat stains. Dark sweat proof undershirts are especially helpful because your friends and colleagues won’t see the sweat stains.
Sweat-resistant fabrics don’t count as an excessive sweating treatment per se, but they can bring you some much-needed relief in a convenient, cost-effective, and non-invasive fashion. Our line of Neat Apparel shirts features patented sweat-blocking technology and moisture-wicking fabrics that help you stay and look dry.
You’ve probably heard this term before and its name is as sci-fi as it looks. But it’s not that complicated and it’s hardly new - the science of biofeedback is over 200 years old and therapeutic devices have been around for about 50 years.
Biofeedback is defined as “a process whereby electronic monitoring of a normally automatic bodily function is used to train someone to acquire voluntary control of that function.” To put it more plainly, you basically hook yourself up to an electronic monitoring device with wires, that shows you certain bodily patterns (ie. brainwaves, heart rate, muscle contraction). The next component of that is consciously changing your thoughts or learning to relax so that the patterns you see can change (hopefully for the better).
Think of the typical fitness tracker that monitors one’s sleep cycle or heart rate - they’re essentially relying on biofeedback. Based on the health data it displays (ie. lack of REM sleep) you can make conscious changes to alter these patterns and your health (ie. change your sleep position).
How does this apply as a hyperhidrosis treatment?
Clinicians sometimes use a technique called electrodermal biofeedback, which involves placing electrodes on one’s fingers to measure what’s known as your electrodermal response. Yes, your skin produces “electrical signals” that indicate how your nervous system is firing.
If this response is high, then there’s a sign that your sympathetic nervous system (your fight-or-flight response) is too active and that can lead to excessive sweating. In such cases, the clinician will recommend relaxation techniques (and breathing) to help soothe your nerves, which can reduce your sweat production.
Does it work?
According to one study, 11 out of 14 hyperhidrosis sufferers who were treated with biofeedback saw an improvement in their symptoms.
The research on the effectiveness of biofeedback is still widely disputed and it can be costly. With that said, it is a non-invasive and drug-free approach to hyperhidrosis treatment.
We won’t spend too much time on this one but it’s highly tied to the biofeedback. Relaxation, which is an admittedly vague term, encompasses a wide range of therapeutic approaches. It can be as simple as deep breathing exercises or it may involve more vigorous regimens that incorporate yoga or meditation.
Nevertheless, relaxation techniques in their various forms have a “resetting” effect on the nervous system. Although this may not cure hyperhidrosis, it can lessen the effect of your fight-or-flight response, leading to a reduction of excess sweat production.
Yes, we’re cheating here a bit. This article is entitled “Can You Treat Hyperhidrosis Without Pills and Needles”, yet here we are talking about acupuncture. Of course, acupuncture needles aren’t like traditional needles or injections used for hyperhidrosis (ie. Botox).
You know by now that acupuncture is a staple treatment used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and has been used for thousands of years. Acupuncture was founded on the belief that the nervous system has various trigger points that can be activated to stimulate healing in the body.
Practitioners place needles at these points, with the intention of releasing chemicals into the brain, nerves, and muscles that promote healing. In Chinese Medicine, the belief is that acupuncture unblocks the flow of qi (pronounced “chee”), the life force needs to flow in order for one to live healthily.
Like biofeedback and many other “alternative” treatments, researchers are divided on the efficacy of it and many have called it pseudo-scientific. But it has been practiced for over 2,500 years and individuals suffering from all sorts of conditions swear by it, including hyperhidrosis sufferers.
What does the research say?
In a study published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ), acupuncture was demonstrated to help individuals who suffered from night sweat and general sweating (primarily menopausal women) after 3-6 weeks of 15-minute treatments.
Admittedly, acupuncture is one of the alternative treatments we recommend you approach with caution. No, it’s not painful (you’ll feel slight discomfort at its worst), but just for the sake of saving you money, make sure to do your research first.
“You are getting sleepy…” says an eccentric wizard-like figure as they wave a spiraling pendulum in front of their patient. You’ve seen hypnosis, or at least fictional representations of it, countless times. The question, of course, is whether it actually works or not and if it can help you sweat less. Although hypnosis seems best reserved as a plot device for mystery or horror movies, the science behind it is starting to check out.
Scientists have observed what happens to the brain during a hypnosis session using a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scanner. A region in the brain called the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex becomes less active. This brain region is responsible for helping people remain alert and aware of their external environment. When it slows down, people enter a trance-like state.
So hypnosis does have an effect. But you’re probably wondering how entering a trance can help you reduce excessive sweating? Well, a therapist can help a sufferer to focus on particular triggers (or traumas) that induce excessive sweating that may be hard to do in a normal state of consciousness.
Of course, hypnosis probably isn’t going to be your first line of treatment for hyperhidrosis. It is a very experimental approach for excessive sweating, and it’s crucial that you find a reputable and affordable hypnotherapist. But it doesn’t hurt to try.
A Left Turn in Hyperhidrosis Treatment
Hyperhidrosis is a finicky condition. The response in treatment varies so widely from person to person, that it’s hard to recommend a single method for a sufferer. With that said, many hyperhidrosis patients are looking into natural remedies to keep their sweating under control.
Although the evidence behind some of these practices is debatable, they’re largely risk-free and can benefit some of you. Just remember to do your research beforehand, so that you spend your money, time, and energy wisely. And who knows - the results of these treatments may surprise you.