Helping You Define Your Lifestyle

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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Effective Ways To Save For Your IRA

Retirement is a very important goal to save for. You need to make a call as to how to save your funds for retirement, whether it be in dedicated account like an IRA or in a 401K through your job or some combination. The potential for growth in compound interest is great, so that means that you need to be able to put as much money into them as possible.

Which is why you need a monthly budget and you need to stick to it. Budgets are great tools for keeping track of your monthly cash flow, income and investments. And once you get past the psychology of not being able to think about money, it can really help your spending habits. Because it provides a chance to prioritize what you value and what you need to spend money on.

First of all, pay yourself first. You need to have money in savings in order to invest in an IRA or some other account. So you need to be disciplined about saving money for yourself and your family. Bills, food, cars and entertainment all have their place, but paying yourself first needs to come first. And it is great to be able to automate it. When you create a regular transaction from your regular account to a savings account, that means it happens without thinking about it. You can also automate savings straight to your IRA.

Use multiple savings accounts. You need to have places to put money for emergencies, major purchases and regular expenditures. That way you always have a place to save your money.

How do you get that extra money? Look for a raise at work. You need to be able to talk to your boss about getting more money when you think you deserve it. It can be a hard conversation at first, but you can really increase your income the more you do it and the better you get at asking for raises. Keep an eye out for bonuses as well. If you budget correctly, found money like that can go straight into your IRA.

Then you need to look at your expenses. Do you need both a cleaning service and a landscaping service? Figure out which one you can live without and cut that one. How much do you spend on groceries each month? Where are ways you can cut that down? You can cut coupons out of the newspaper and figure out more economical ways of getting proper nutrition. Cheap protein, like eggs and beans are always a good solution.

Look at your local library. There are always great books there, but you can also find movies, TV shows and documentaries that you can borrow for free. That might provide a chance to break down your cable bill and allow you to cut the cord.

The ability to save for your IRA can be learned. You don’t have to be a natural saver. You can change your habits if you put the effort in. Learn how to cook more and learn where you can invest wisely to replace your job income with passive income. That will allow you to make more money, have more time and save for your IRA.

Kimberly Dey’s Top Tips to Staying Fit and Healthy

Everybody knows that we need to focus on getting and staying fit and healthy, but very few of us seem to actually be able to do it. The reality is that it is difficult. We live unhealthy lifestyles that are based on convenience and speed. If we want to become fit and healthy again, that means that we have to make some significant lifestyle changes, and that is hard to do. But the desire is clearly there. Kimberly Dey, for instance, has noticed that between $40 and $50 billion is spent on losing weight alone each and every year. The problem is that much of that money is spent on scams and products that promise the world but deliver nothing.

Kimberly Dey on Realistic Health and Fitness

Diet and lifestyle are the two key things that will determine how fit and healthy you are. It is said that there is an 80/20 rule, meaning that how you look is 80% down to what you eat and 20% down to what you do in the gym. This shows just how hugely important what you eat every day actually is. And one of the things we all seem to get way too much of as of late, is red meat. Red meat isn’t just steak (steak can be very healthy, actually). Rather, it is found in burgers and various other snack foods. It is high in fat and high in purine, leading not just to weight gain but also to gout. Your meats should be white, and they should be boiled, broiled, grilled, or baked. Additionally, the focus should be mainly on fruits and vegetables, leaving the high calorie dressings away.

Other types of lifestyle changes also have to be implemented, however. That 20% exercise is still an important 20%. Once you have reached your target weight, the percentage actually shifts a little bit, because you then start to work out to modify your shape. Either way, exercise is vital to a healthy, fit body. The great thing about exercise is that there are so man different options out there. For instance, you can go to a gym and lift weights, you can take an aerobics class and dance about for an hour, you can go swimming or cycling, and so on. Whatever you decide to do, however, you must start by warming up and finish by cooling down. Without it, you will produce excessive lactic acid, which causes pain the muscles and will make you give up. Similarly, doing the same thing over and over again gets very boring.

Last but not least, you have to be willing and ready to give up on your vices. Smoking is an absolute no-no, as it can lead to heart disease, arteriosclerosis, various other vascular conditions, and, of course, cancer. Similarly, you need to curb your alcohol consumption and never drink to excess. That said, some alcohol consumption is good, because it can lead to vasodilation, which helps to protect your heart. A healthy lifestyle doesn’t have to be completely boring, in other words.