Sometimes the simplest life hacks can provide a pound of cure for a fraction of the cost. Check out the following affordable hacks that can help you out with everyday health and wellness concerns and save a bundle compared to more common solutions.
A water softener can provide countless wellness benefits for a fraction of the cost.
Our entire existence revolves around water. We use this most vital liquid for drinking, preparing food, cleaning, bathing and recreation. Can you even imagine your life without water?
What many people don’t realize, however, is the water in their home could be harming their overall health. An overwhelming 85 percent of Americans combat hard drinking water and its results. But many don’t fully understand what that means.
In its purest form – sans pollutants – the rain that falls outside is clean and naturally soft. But as it soaks into the ground and flows into waterways, it acquires various minerals such as magnesium, calcium and iron. When the water once again reaches our households, it is full of all the minerals it picked up along the way.
Hard water creates a scale that builds up inside our pipes and appliances, reducing their water flow and requiring more energy and heat for proper function. Hard water can even corrode water heaters and other tanks, allowing toxins to contaminate the water then pumped into a home.
Most homeowners understand the financial benefits of a water softener. For a relatively small investment, they can extend the lives of their washers, water heaters, dishwashers and overall plumbing infrastructure. But they can also alleviate skin conditions and save a bundle on expensive hair care and skincare products.
Households with hard water are more prone to eczema than those with soft water. According to a study by the University of Nottingham, eczema is 44 percent more common among children who live in hard water areas compared to those who lived in areas with soft water.
A study of more than 350 families in the United Kingdom sought to discover if water softeners help children with eczema. Ninety-one percent of the children surveyed reported less itchiness when using softened water.
Plus, 83 percent of their parents said that the water softener had reduced the severity of their child’s eczema, and 67 percent of the participants were using fewer emollients or steroid creams.
Most tellingly, however, were the 66 percent of the families who decided to buy a water softener for their home upon conclusion of the study.
As with eczema, hard water and soap scum can aggravate psoriasis, especially in areas where the water already contains high levels of chalk, limescale and calcium. While fewer conclusive studies have shown improvements, many customers buy water softeners and see a marked decrease in flare-ups of psoriasis.
Even if you don’t have a dermatological diagnosis, chances are you spend plenty of money on skincare and hair care products – most households do. But instead of requiring a $30 bottle of shampoo or a $60 bottle of lotion, why not take advantage of the extended benefits a water softener can provide your hair, skin and pocketbook?
Hard water and soap simply are not compatible. Soap reacts with the minerals in hard water, creating soap curd—a sticky residue left on your skin that clogs your pores.
A water softener can prevent clogged pores and allow soap to lather better on your skin by removing most of these minerals. This means you won’t have to use as much soap to clean your body, and you will probably experience better results with less-expensive products.
The minerals in hard water also can cause your hair cuticles to stand up, which can make your hair feel rough and dry. Because soap doesn’t easily break down in hard water, you will find yourself using more shampoo than necessary to achieve an acceptable lather.
A water softener lets your body’s natural oils keep your hair soft and shiny. You’ll not only use less shampoo and conditioner, but you’ll again see better results without all the expensive advanced-formula products.
Energize your day and detox your body with lemon juice.
The lemon has proven itself to be a gift from nature in a bright yellow package. The tart citrus fruit provides an assortment of valuable solutions to health-related problems because it contains its own set of antiseptic and natural medications.
Lemons can help consumers lose weight, boost energy and clarify their complexion. Lemons even aid in the treatment of malaria.
Some of the all-time simplest wellness hacks you’ll ever learn require nothing more than a lemon. How much money do you spend on morning beverages or other supplements to kick start your day?
Admit it, you drag yourself through the start of your day without a cup of joe. Likewise, the body cleanse and detox industry now boasts more than $101 million in product purchases each year. What do you spend on weight-loss methods, immunity boosters and digestion support?
Believe it or not, you can accomplish all the same goals with lemon juice. Simply consume between a quarter and a half of the little yellow phenomenon each day to maximize its health benefits.
Just starting your day by squeezing a half a lemon into 16 to 20 ounces water can add a burst of natural energy to your day. Water with lemon juice helps to cleanse your body. Lemon juice stimulates natural enzymes in the liver, helping it to flush out toxins.
Lemons also contain a soluble fiber called pectin that has been shown to help with weight loss. And since liquid calories add up faster than we’d like to believe—think about your daily Starbucks—lemon juice is a delicious way to add variety to your daily water intake without adding calories.
Warm lemon water even supports your immune system by replacing fluids lost while experiencing a fever. Lemons’ high levels of Vitamin C also boost immune system function.
If you do get a sore throat, gargling with a lemon-water rinse can provide relief then, too. You simply can’t go wrong by adding a little lemon juice to your favorite tea to soothe a sore throat.
What other health benefits do lemons provide? Lemon juice is a natural cure for both indigestion and constipation. Add a few drops of this citrus fruit juice to your meal, and the lemon will aid your digestion.
Sometimes indigestion is caused by a lack of stomach acid – rather than too much of it. Lemon juice, however, naturally stimulates the production of stomach acid.
Therefore, drinking juice from one lemon mixed in a glass in warm water after a meal can provide gastrointestinal relief.
According to a 2011 study in the International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition, taste receptors of bitter substances trigger the pancreas to secrete digestive enzymes and the gallbladder to release bile. These activities both help the digestive process and ease the process of eliminating waste products from the body.
In fact, lemons have been found to reduce the risk of stroke, maintain a healthy blood pressure and even prevent cancer!
Many of lemons’ health benefits derive from their ample portions of nourishing vitamins, including C, B6, A, E, folate, niacin, thiamin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, copper, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, zinc, phosphorus and even protein.
The fruit also contains flavonoids, composites containing antioxidant and cancer-fighting properties.
Studies conducted by the American Urological Association further indicated that lemonade or lemon juice can all but eliminate the occurrence of kidney stones by forming urinary citrate, preventing the formation of crystals.
Relive migraine symptoms by planning alternative treatments.
If you’ve ever genuinely suffered from chronic migraines, you understand that overwhelming sense of pain so severe you would do basically anything to provide some alleviation.
It’s on those miserable occasions that you’ll happily visit an expensive medical clinic or refill a prescription with a copay that might easily cost $100 for an individual dose.
That determination to fork over the cash doesn’t imply you have it to spare. It just means you are eager to get rid of your anguish.
But if you are like many, you try to avoid spending that kind of cash if possible. And then because you didn’t want to invest the money, you wait too long to treat your symptoms and frequently lose any chance of simple relief.
Migraine symptoms such as sensitivity to light, sound and smells, fatigue, vomiting and nausea – not to mention the pain – can physically and psychologically disable a person for hours, if not days and nights.
Sometimes, over-the-counter and prescription drugs do the job, but too much reliance upon them isn’t sensible for a variety of reasons, including:
- Every drug doesn’t work for every person. The trial and error needed to discover a successful medication regimen can be a lengthy, expensive and frustrating process.
- Prescription drugs are costly. Even with a good insurance plan, prescription medications for migraine can easily cost $100 a dose, and the costs for the uninsured are often out of reach.
- Prescription and nonprescription drugs can carry undesirable side effects.
- Emergency or as-needed migraine medications such as shots can cost even more and often require administration by a healthcare professional.
Instead of stocking up on pricey scripts or rushing out to get an even more expensive shot when the pain becomes unbearable, certain natural remedies might provide migraine sufferers with both physical and financial relief.
So, next time you find yourself squinting and grinding your teeth in unbearable pain, try a few of these alternative relief methods. You’ll be surprised what a simple hack at the first sign of pain can do for the overall experience.
I love pressure points. When I’ve been in my worst moments of migraine pain, I’ve found both the temporary and longer-term relief provided by reflexology and acupressure to be a welcome oasis in a sea of intense suffering.
Acupuncture was developed in ancient China and used for a whole host of ailments. The practice involves piercing specific areas of the body with a needle to alleviate pain.
According to the early Chinese practice, there are 14 meridians along the body. Energy disturbances along any of these meridians will result in pain or illness.
Based on a recent systematic review of 22 clinical trials involving 4,985 people, there is evidence that acupuncture reduces the frequency of headache in individuals with migraine, and its impact appears to be similar as that observed with preventive medications.
The frequency of headache dropped by 50 percent or more in up to 59 percent of individuals receiving acupuncture, and this effect could persist for more than six months.
The logical next step for some who have experienced or heard about migraine relief from acupressure is the daith piercing.
Daith piercing is rapidly gaining popularity as a potential treatment for migraines. The body piercing involves the piercing of the innermost cartilage fold of the ear in an attempt to replicate acupuncture. Piercing the daith applies pressure to the same part of the ear where an acupuncture needle would be inserted.
Some practitioners believe people who suffer from migraines will experience less pain and fewer episodes after a daith piercing. Even some patients who have had their daith pierced claim it reduced both the frequency and overall impact of migraine headaches.
If it actually works, the one-time cost of the piercing can save a lot of money even compared to regular visits to the acupuncturist.
What can be said about caffeine? It’s life affirming, and it’s an effective migraine remedy for so many sufferers. After all, during a migraine, blood vessels to the brain enlarge. But caffeine naturally constricts the blood vessels, helping to ease the pain associated with migraines.
In fact, according to the National Headache Foundation, adding caffeine to a basic pain reliever like aspirin or Tylenol can increase its pain-relieving effect by as much as 40 percent. Personally, I find that two Excedrin Migraine, if administered early enough at the sign of pain, are just as effective as the priciest prescription.
According to the Health Union website, Migraine.com, several medications for migraine contain caffeine, including:
- Anacin—Caffeine and aspirin
- Excedrin Migraine—Caffeine, aspirin and acetaminophen
- Midol—Caffeine, acetaminophen and pyrilamine maleate
- BC Powder—Caffeine and aspirin
- Norgesic—prescription containing caffeine, aspirin and orphenadrine
- Fioricet—prescription containing caffeine, acetaminophen and butalbital
Natural remedies, or nutraceuticals, have been used by humankind for many centuries to treat ailments ranging from dry skin to infertility. Some of these natural remedies have been shown to help with migraines and their various symptoms.
A variety of herbs help some people with migraines. But since the U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not require rigorous clinical trials on dietary supplements, much of the evidence of how well such products work is strictly anecdotal. Still, some is supported by research.
A deficiency of magnesium, for example, has been associated with depression, interfering with the release of neurotransmitters, the aggregation of platelets and the constriction of blood vessels – all processes believed to be involved in migraines.
People who experience migraines are commonly found to be deficient in magnesium. In fact, research has shown people who experience migraines can reduce the frequency of occurrence by oral and transdermal magnesium supplementation.
Taking magnesium tabs and soaking in a bath with magnesium bath flakes can also result in a marked improvement for the chronic migraine sufferer.
Although a simple tea alone generally can’t cure a migraine, many varieties of the beverage can offer some relief from migraine symptoms as well as comfort.
Researchers at Migraine Again put together an excellent guide to various herbal teas and how they can alleviate different migraine symptoms. Stocking your pantry with a few types could save you from desperately seeking costly emergency migraine relief during an attack.
Often, these remedies are only beneficial during the early stages of
migraine, so keeping them in stock will help you out when the time
You might even try Frugally Sustainable’s herbal rea recipe for migraine relief that combines several homeopathic ingredients, including chamomile, lemon balm, ginger, passion flower, skullcap and feverfew.
If you’ve already established particular teas and other herbal ingredients that work for you, you can develop your own similar but personalized recipe.