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A member of the mint family, lemon balm is an herb that’s great both on the dinner plate and in your medicine cabinet. This herb has a remarkable lemon taste that makes it a great addition to roasted chicken and even in baked goods.

Taste aside, lemon balm has amazing medicinal properties. It contains rosmarinic acid, which is an antioxidant. This can remove the damaging effects of oxidation and inflammation in the body. Studies also show that lemon balm has natural antiviral properties.

Put simply, lemon balm heals you from within.

If you want to soothe mild symptoms or illnesses, try using lemon balm with these homemade remedies. Ask your veterinarian if you can use lemon balm for livestock, too!

Calm anxiety

We all have our stressful days on the homestead. Calm your fraying nerves with a natural lemon balm syrup. Simmer the fresh leaves in water for 20 minutes. Stir in honey to your desired sweetness. I like to add a little bit of lemon balm sweetener in my morning coffee, smoothie, or tea. It’s great for daily anxiety management without feeling loopy.

P.S. If you’re having trouble relaxing before sleep, you can also use this syrup in chamomile tea to peacefully drift off to sleep.

Skin salve

Lemon balm is great when used as a poultice. It takes the pain out of bug bites, stings, minor burns, and scratches. Dry the lemon balm leaves whole and store in a dry place. When you want to make your poultice, soak the dried leaves in warm water for 2 minutes. Place the rehydrated leaves on the affected area of skin for 10 minutes.

Replenishing lip balm

Lemon balm’s natural antiviral properties make it a godsend for treating cold sores. Use lemon balm in a homemade lip balm to both moisturize your lips and speed up the cold sore healing process.

Mend a rumbly stomach

Got a case of the bubble guts? You can calm your stomach in minutes with a lemon balm. Simply pour hot water over dried leaves and allow to steep for five minutes.

The bottom line

Who knew a kitchen pantry staple could be used in so many ways? If you’re looking for a jack-of-all-trades herb for taste and for function, give lemon balm a try.

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These 9 Eating Habits Can Harm Your Health

Eating right isn’t always easy, and many people who think they are eating healthy are making costly mistakes. Are you guilty of one or more of these nine nutrition missteps? You could be accidentally derailing your diet or damaging your health.

You drink too much caffeine.

It’s true that caffeine can boost your metabolism, so many people consider low or no-calorie caffeinated drinks to be diet foods. Unfortunately, that assumption can backfire.

Consuming too much caffeine can make you more vulnerable to heart disease and increased blood pressure. It can also contribute to insomnia and leave you feeling sluggish. That may have you reaching for more caffeine and creating an unhealthy cycle.

Many caffeinated beverages contain high amounts of sugar and calories, and some studies suggest that consuming caffeine can cause you to crave sugar.

Finally, caffeine can block the absorption of essential nutrients.

You eat foods from cans.

Many healthy foods like beans, soups, and vegetables come in cans, and canned food is convenient to have around the house. However, you should carefully read the labels on your canned food items because a majority of them contain far too much salt.

Thankfully, most canned foods come in low salt varieties and some, like beans, can be rinsed to reduce the amount of salt you consume.

You eat too many nuts.

Nuts are a delicious and healthy snack food, but it’s not hard to eat too many. Nuts contain fats that can be great for your body, but these same fats make them high in calories.

When you eat nuts, don’t have more than a handful and be mindful of how many calories you are consuming.

You drink coffee or tea with cream and sugar.

If you avoid sweets, it might be easy to convince yourself that a little bit of sugar in your coffee doesn’t make a huge impact.

The problem is that if you are having several cups of coffee or tea each day, those calories can add up. If you take cream, you are adding fat to the mix.

If you need to sweeten your drinks, then try a sweetener with no calories. Just remember that any sweetness, even without calories, can make your body crave more.

You eat the wrong yogurt.

Yogurt, although usually high in fat, can be a healthy treat. The probiotics are useful for managing gut bacteria that keep your body balanced and can aid weight loss.

The problem is that not all yogurt is equal, so you have to read the labels. Some yogurt contains massive amounts of sugar, and it may contain no beneficial live cultures at all. This kind of yogurt can blast your health without bringing any of the positives.

You trust all smoothies.

Smoothies are a delicious choice for getting antioxidants and nutrients from fresh fruits and vegetables, but some smoothies are full of sugar and fat.

Pay careful attention to the calories, added sweeteners and fats in your smoothie. These combination drinks can be very healthful, but make sure you are using the right ingredients.

You don’t consider the salad dressing.

A salad can be an excellent choice for a light meal as long as you avoid unhealthy toppings and choose vegetables with plenty of nutrients. But it’s easy to forget the impact of the dressing.

Salad dressing can seem insignificant, but some dressings have large amounts of sugar, unhealthy fat and calories. Read the label on salad dressing at home, and choose a simple, light vinaigrette when you’re out. Also, avoid drowning your salad in dressing. A little bit is all you need.

You don’t search for hidden sugar.

Reducing sugar can be tricky. You know that sweets contain sugar, but many prepackaged foods do as well. Read labels, so you know how much sugar you are getting. It is often in foods you would never expect to have any.

You don’t keep track of your eating.

Writing down what you eat is the easiest way to be sure your diet is as healthy as you believe it is. Tasting and snacking throughout the day can cause you to forget how much you’ve eaten, and your mind may erase a quick indulgence.

When you have an honest food diary to review each day, you can see where you are making good choices and where you may need to make changes.

The healthiest food options are not always the most obvious. Be a smart consumer and know what you’re eating. Read labels and pay attention to the products you are adding to food and drinks.

If you know what to watch out for, you can make the best choices possible for your healthy lifestyle. Know these nine nutrition mistakes, and be sure to avoid them.

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