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The Secret Health Benefits of Stinging Nettles

For the longest time, stinging nettles had earned themselves a reputation for being nothing more than pests; whether you were having to pull the weeds out of your garden, or if you were unlucky enough to brush up against them when you were out and about, there’s probably little reason for you to have thought positively about the plant.

That is, however, until now; because today we’re going to take a look at the secret health benefits of stinging nettles that have got people around the globe excited about this affordable and widely-available little pest.

What Exactly IS The Stinging Nettle?

Sometimes known by its latin plant name, “urtica dioica”, the stinging nettle has actually been used for longer than you might think. Throughout the medieval times—and going as far back in history as Ancient Greece—it’s been applied for its numerous medicinal properties. Growing to lengths of up to four feet, the heart-shaped leaves of the plant tend to be either a light shade of fuschia or yellow.

These leaves possess a large number of tiny hairs which you can see if you examine one closely (but not too closely!). When these hairs come into contact with any area of your skin, they tend to break off from the leave and stick into it, causing a stinging reaction to occur. However, the plant also has a wide number of properties which are beneficial to human health when consumed in the right way.

An All-Natural Hay-Fever Medication

One of nettle’s best qualities is its ability to reduce hayfever symptoms. Thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties, it can manage the states of several important receptors and enzymes within your body. If taken when your symptoms first appear, the herb is especially effective.

This is because the plant contains histamine (which, funnily enough, is also one of the chemicals which causes allergic reactions in the first place). However, there are many cases when using histamines can actually reduce allergic symptoms.

Treating Eczema

Those of you who suffer from eczema will already know what a pain it can be. Having dry patches of itchy, scaly skin appear on your body can be quite disconcerting, and so either using nettle tea (or capsules), or applying a topical cream produced from the plant, can help to reduce the symptom of the condition quite significantly.

This is, again, thanks to the histamine within the plant, which acts as an antihistamine in this case. Its anti-inflammatory properties also help in this regard.

Other Benefits of Stinging Nettles

While additional research is most certainly required, there’s also anecdotal evidence to suggest that the herb can be used to treat conditions like joint pain, urinary issues, hemorrhoids, insect bites, and to heal wounds as well, among others.

How to Use Stinging Nettles

Nettle tea is a great way to take the plant internally, and provides an enjoyable warm beverage to relax with at night. Likewise, there exist skin creams, capsules, and tablets which can also help you to incorporate its fantastic benefits into your life.

For those of you who feel more adventurous, you can cook the plant and use it in your meals, but we’d strongly suggest doing further research beforehand to ensure that you do this properly!

So, there you have it. Far from being just a run-of-the-mill pest, stinging nettles can actually provide fantastic health benefits at a very low cost. They’re well worth experimenting with if you feel that you could benefit from them, but always remember to consult a doctor before beginning to use any new medications!

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Boost Your Energy With These Simple Tips

In today’s fast-paced world and with our jam-packed schedules, it is no wonder we are looking for natural ways to boost our energy. While the easiest way to increase our energy is to make some simple lifestyle changes, this may be easier said than done. Sometimes we need an extra helping hand with the use of supplements to boost our health and well-being. As this Research Verified review shows, supplements can either be a help or a hindrance, or simply do nothing at all, so choose one wisely. While supplements are a great addition to a healthy lifestyle, they are not an end in themselves. You need to make healthy lifestyle choices too. Here are some tips to boost your energy and improve your productivity.

Eat Right

While it may seem obvious that the food we eat plays an integral role on our energy levels, we may not actually know what is the best food to eat. When we are feeling low on energy, the first thing most people reach for is candy or something sweet as a pick-me-up, even energy bars are loaded with sugar. However, these are the worst kinds of food you can eat when you are feeling low on energy and they may make you feel even worse after the initial boost. The sugar will increase levels of serotonin in the brain which gives you that instant pleasure feeling. However, this quick spike will be short-lived and then your sugar levels will crash, resulting in you feeling more tired and lacking in energy. You will also probably be left craving more of these sugary foods, which is no good for your waistline either. Rather, when you are feeling sluggish, have a power snack that contains mostly protein plus some fiber and complex carbohydrates. This could be peanut butter or cottage cheese on whole grain crackers or an apple with techina (sesame paste). This will regulate your blood sugar levels and give you more energy for longer.

Exercise

It may seem counter-intuitive, but doing physical activity actually gives you more energy. Exercise releases endorphins which help you feel good and it also gets your blood pumping. More blood means more oxygen delivered to your various organs which helps you feel better and less tired. It can be as simple as going for a 10-minute walk to boost your energy, and the effects can last for two hours! So get your walking shoes on and go for a brisk walk during your lunch break, it will improve your energy for the rest of the afternoon and also help you lose weight.

Reduce Stress

Stress is probably one of the biggest energy zappers and it can leave you feeling both mentally and physically exhausted. So it is important to find ways to reduce your stress. Take a 5-minute break and focus on your breathing or do a short guided meditation on YouTube. Research has shown that meditation may actually change the neural pathways of your brain allowing you to deal with stress better.  Learn to say no, express your feelings, look at your schedule and make sure it’s balanced – these are some simple ways that you can reduce the stress in your life.

Avoid Alcohol At Night

Getting a good night’s sleep is essential for having adequate energy the next day. So you may want to avoid that nightcap. While relaxing with a drink after a long day in the office may be a nice way to end your day, alcohol has been found to negatively affect your quality of sleep. It may seem that alcohol improves your sleep as it helps you to fall asleep quicker, it actually reduces your REM sleep which is the sleep that is most important for restoring your energy and allowing you to feel refreshed. The more you drink at night, the more your sleep will be affected. Alcohol can also affect your sleep-cycle and so you may wake during the night. You may also need to visit the bathroom during the night which will also disturb your sleep.

When you are feeling low on energy, it can seem more daunting to try find ways to increase your energy. So follow all or some of these tips as a simple things you can do to make that change. Even just laughing as been shown to increase energy and feelings of wellness. So go on, watch that funny video, take a short walk, and get a good night’s rest.

Article provided by Authority Health

When You Need to Take a Visit to an Emergency Room

In life, accidents and illness happen regularly. Usually these things can be remedied with time and rest, both of which can happen at home. But in those times, when an accident or an illness is very serious, they call for a visit to an emergency room.

How can you tell when an accident or illness is of the seriousness that requires a visit to the emergency room? There is no hard-and-fast set of rules, but there are some things that fit under the heading of most likely needing emergency room care.

Injuries causing heavy bleeding

If there is an injury that causes heavy bleeding that will not slow within a three to five minutes, this is the type of injury that needs to be seen by a medical professional. The injury can be anywhere on the body, but the key is that it’s a large wound, or a wound that will not stop bleeding, meaning that it is very deep. Quite often we cannot tell the severity of a wound by looking at it, but if it does not stop bleeding that’s an indication that the wound is very serious. You should call 911 immediately.

Seizures

Seizures indicate that there is something wrong with a person’s brain or brain activity. There are a myriad of reasons why someone might be having seizures. It could be anything from an allergic reaction to food, epilepsy, or even brain damage. When someone is having a seizure, it is not a good idea to try to diagnose the reasons why at home. Call 911 and be prepared to see a doctor.

 Difficulty breathing

Difficulty breathing is another symptom that could mean several different things, many of them very serious. If this happens for a prolonged period of time, the person needs to see a doctor immediately. The person could be suffering an asthma attack, a heart attack, a serious lung or throat infection, or symptoms related to a number of other serious ailments. Again, call 911 and have the operator take you through a series of questions related to the person’s breathing difficulties.

A weak rapid pulse

If someone is showing signs of a weak rapid pulse, it could indicate serious health issues. The problem could be a serious circulation problem, the beginnings of a heart attack, or issues with the person’s internal organs. A 911 operator is the best person to contact to advise you how to handle a person in this situation. It will undoubtedly end with a visit to an emergency room.

Any injury involving the neck head or back

Injuries involving the neck, head, and back, can be very severe and sometimes life-threatening. If someone sustains a significant injury to one of these areas of the body, it is imperative that a medical professional examine this person. Quite often the seriousness of an injury to one of these areas of the body is not apparent on site. A full medical examination including an x-ray, ultrasound, and/or MRI is needed. A 911 operator is trained to give you great advice on what you should do for someone who has sustained an injury to one of these areas of the body. So your first call should be to 911.

The emergency room is often looked at as a last resort, but it should be looked at as a first option depending upon the injury or illness. If you or someone around you has one of these injuries or illnesses do not hesitate to call 911, and be prepared to get the person to an emergency room immediately.