8 Advantages Of Accounting Software Over Spreadsheets
It saves time. …
It instantly generates key financial reports. …
It syncs all your financial data. …
It promotes data accuracy. …
It produces professional-looking financial statements. …
It simplifies payroll. …
It gives detailed insights. …
It streamlines tax filing.
FreeAgent’s online accounting software helps small businesses, freelancers, contractors and sole traders take control of their business finances.
Excellent ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ 1,622 reviews
FreeAgent online accounting software brings everything together, from invoice and expense management to VAT, payroll and self assessment tax return filing, so you can wave goodbye to fiddly templates and spreadsheets.
Cancel anytimeExport all of your data if you decide to cancel
Help always on handAny questions you have answered quickly
Making Tax Digital readyFreeAgent is fully compatible with the new Making Tax Digital (MTD) for VAT rules
FreshBooks – Affordable Accounting for Small UK Businesses
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ (613)
Recurring billing, client retainers, and real-time reports into your small business’s health and accounts? FreshBooks not only does it all, but comes in a range of affordable pricing tiers to cater to growing small businesses. Starting at £4.40
Ember – An Accounting Solution To Scale With Your Startup
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Automated filing, tax optimisations, easy invoicing, and more, Ember powers your SME’s potential, with chartered accountants on hand to help you manage your finances with ease. Run your business – we’ll take care of the rest. £39.00 monthly
QuickBooks smart, simple, HMRC-recognised software helps you focus on running your business. Manage taxes, cash flow, invoicing and payroll, all in one place. There’s no contract and award-winning UK-based support is free. Starting at £6.00
Excellent Trustpilot reviews! Clearbooks gives you Invoicing, Purchasing & Financial Tracking. You’ll get a cross-section of your company’s accounts. Search, sort, and filter your supplier and purchase data, and share it easily! Starting at £9.60
Sage’s industry-leading software caters to a customer base of over six million. But go back to 1981, and Sage had just begun life in a basement, focusing solely on – you guessed accounting software. £12.00 monthly
Promoting a local business opportunity isn’t easy these days.
Whether it’s because of oversaturation or complicated search engine algorithms, it’s all too easy to feel like no one will find your business in the local or national search results.
Luckily, there’s an easy way to improve your local SEO. All you have to do is list your business in online business directories such as Yellow Pages, Manta, and more. This is called building citations, and it’s a critical piece of a local marketing strategy.
What is a business directory?
A business directory is an online list of businesses within a particular niche, location, or category. One way local businesses can get found by online searchers is through inclusion in business directories.
Why you need to get listed in multiple relevant business directory?
Today, Google is inserting itself between consumer and local business websites much more often. For proof, you need to look no further than Google My Business, Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP), featured snippets, and most importantly, local packs.
By building citations, you can make sure that you appear in these local packs when people look for businesses like yours in their area. Business directories may seem like a thing of the past, but they’re a great way to grow your presence online.
You can improve visibility by listing your local business’ NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number) on directories, online business listing sites, and citation sites. Aside from improving your local SEO, these can also improve your rankings on search engines because the listings usually link back to your site.
Make sure your company listing has the following information once you add it to a directory:
• Consistent NAP. If you add or update your business on multiple business listing sites, make sure you’re providing the same company information across each directory.
• A link to your website. Backlinks — also known as inbound links — are crucial to your company website’s Domain Rating. Consider adding a tracking link at the end of this URL as well, so you can see how much traffic your website specifically gets from the business directories that are linking to it.
• A company description. Make sure you have a detailed description of your business that reflects your organization’s mission, culture, and values.
• Multimedia. Give company searchers a visual taste of your business with a picture or video of your office, your employees, or your daily business operations.
There are plenty of location-specific and industry-specific business listing sites where you can submit your data. To start promoting your local business, however, you should start with the big sites and work your way toward the more niche directories.
First, let’s go over the top free business directories.
• Dun & Bradstreet Business Directory (Domain Rating = 80)
• Local.com (Domain Rating = 79)
• Hotfrog (Domain Rating = 79)
• ChamberofCommerce.com (Domain Rating = 79)
• 2FindLocal (Domain Rating = 46)
• EZlocal (Domain Rating = 78)
• Brownbook.net (Domain Rating = 77)
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When it comes to success, are you stuck in the same cycle, or are you ready to move beyond? Are you ready to move forward – not just a step or two, but a whole level?
Are you ready to leap into a new existence of achievement and power and if so, what does that look like?
Are you ready to leave your old life behind and move right into the life you deserve and if so what would your life looked like?
But if you were so ready, wouldn’t you be there already? Maybe. Maybe not.
Maybe, as much as you long for this dream world, you are also a little scared, a little nervous, or a little hesitant, you might also be exhausted.
Maybe as much as you say you’re ready, you’re blocking your own way. The good news is, if you’re your own worst enemy, then the only thing standing between you and the life you’ve always imagined is… you!
And once you recognise the issues that are holding you back, you can address them, one at a time. That’s what I hope to help you do in this short blog. I’ll discuss some of the main ways you can achieve lasting change and progress towards your dreams. It won’t be easy, but it’ll be life-changing – if you are willing to do the work.
“Up” Your Deserve Level We can only achieve as much as we think we can. Try this little exercise: Stand up and extend your arms out on both sides of your body. Close your eyes and, turning at the waist, see how far you can twist to one side without causing yourself bodily harm. Open your eyes and make a mental note of where you are pointing behind you. Now, close your eyes and imagine yourself going a little farther. Ready, twist! Open your eyes and see if you surpassed your previous point. If you’re like most people, you did!
Why didn’t you go further the first time? For the simple reason that you didn’t think you could. Once you imagined yourself going further, you did. It’s not very complicated!
If you allow others or your mental beliefs to impose limits on your physical stretching, it makes sense that you’lle limit your mental and spiritual achievement, too. So, you need to ask yourself what limits you’re putting on your: …dreams.
Are you dreaming big enough?
…income potential. Are you unnecessarily or purposely limiting your income or salary? …relationships. Do you doubt what you can achieve or deserve in your friendships and family life? …physical health.
Are you accepting less or making excuses other than the best because you think you’re too old or too outof shape?
The first step to changing your boundaries is to “up” your deserve level.
Here are three things that block you from accepting that you deserve the best:
Envy is the result of a scarcity or lack mindset. You think that if someone else gets something – a great job, a new car, a book deal – that you can’t have it, too.
That is not the way the universe works. Just because someone else gets something doesn’t mean no one else can’t as well. even Angelina Jones has been married more than once! Realise that whatever anyone else in this world has – from a great career to a great family to a great body – you can have it, too.
Use their example to inspire, rather than depress you.
Fear is one of the greatest demotivators. It’s hard to feel limitless and powerful when you’re shaking in your shoes! It’s natural to feel scared of breaking outside your normal boundaries, but remind yourself that all growth takes place outside your comfort zone.
To grow, you must push your own limits, by definition. get comfortable with discomfort – see it as a sign of growth, much like aching muscles indicate you worked out hard and are getting stronger and leaner.
We tend to get used to where we are and decide that it’s good enough because we don’t really want to have to work harder. Time for a harsh truth: There are different types of laziness such as mental, emotional, physical and spiritual liziness.
If you want an extraordinary life, you’re going to have to go to some out-of-the-ordinary measures. That means pushing yourself, challenging yourself, coaching yourself, whatever it takes to motivate you to move beyond “average.” Not that there is anything wrong with average.
Moving upward and onward starts with believing you deserve to have more and be more. It’s essential to own your dreams – and dream big, But it’s also imperative to live in the now and appreciate each experience, each gift and your blessings.
Allow No Excuses
In the immortal words of one of the greatest philosophers of our generation:
Do or Do Not: There is no Try.
Your body doesn’t care that you were going to eat the right foods and go to the gym, but it was your birthday.
Your social media agent doesn’t care that you were going to finish that last chapter, but you was just too exhausted.
You do it, or you don’t. There are no points to trying. Once you accept that, you can move out of the victim mentality you begin to realise that it really is all up to you!
The other thing you can be sure of is that 99.9 percent of people don’t really care if you succeed or not.
Whether you finish your novel, run the triathlon, start your business or your still holding onto a grudge – they’re going on about their life, without much regard to you and your goals.
It’s All up to you
What it really comes down to is that it’s all up to you, and it’s all about you. That’s a little scary, but it’s also very empowering. That means once you make up your mind, no one can hold you back.
Ten tips to prevent being scammed out of your money online when trying to setup a Business
It is now more than ever that anyone intending to set up a business must have built into the Business Startup DNA 7 disciplines.
1. Identify proper business advice or support 2. Take a short but credible Business Entrepreneur Course 3. Prepare a Business Plan and Cashflow Projections. 4. Setup Proper Legal Status, Bank and Merchant Account 5. Identify where you can apply for business startup funds and apply 6. Established Google verified Website & Social Media Links 7. Invest in effective Customer Aquisition online A.I technology
If you want to bypass these 7 disciplines, then you might be setting yourself up for failure and an empty bank account.
I have been in business for over 15 years. It is hard work, it takes resilience, the ability to adapt to change and short, medium and long term goal setting. (Not forgetting stress, the losses and wins).
I use to help individuals and partners establish their business startup when I worked for the DTI Business Development department back in 1986. The government engaged in a big national campaign to get unemployment down and increase small business startups. We were very busy.
I learnt a lot about the challenges facing business owners and I can confirm that there is no shortcut, no quick rich route to establishing a solid business
Now everytime you switch on your phone, click on Youtube, Facebook, Instagram to name but a few, there is someone telling you how they made 5 or 6 figure income each month by just doing a few clicks and 3 hours a week work! I suspect the reason most of them do this is because they are selling a replicatable business platform and each person who want to get involved needs to pay them several hundred pounds after you have been exhausted and convienced by a pretend training video which is just a long sales pitch! There I said it!
Even if you wanted to set up a online business, even if its a replicatable business, a amazon, ebay or spotify store I still beilieve that the 7 Business Startup DNA is essential so that you know where your going and not just sat there waiting for someone to come buy from your store.
According to a large Domain Name Registration Company there are over 9 million websites in the UK. Just let that sink in….and you would need to get people to it.
So my next point is how do you keep your hard earn money safe until you are really sure your making the right investment?
Study these ten simple tips to reduce the risk of being scams or fraudulently hoodwinked out of your finances just because your eager to start a business.
1. Be sceptical
If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Thoroughly question all:
Online or offline deals, propositions or Quick money spinning Opportunities Presented Documents Request for or photo evidence of money transactions Information and the source
Anything can be pulled up, designed, prepared and recommended to make something look impressive.
2. A Business Plan will help you know your business inside out
Have a thorough understanding of your business so you know:
How it will operates What manpower or collaborators you will need The products and services it provides Your target market and your business SWOT Your legal and regulatory obligations Your financial Projections
This will help you realise immediately when something isn’t right when you talk to other businesses. If they cannot answer indept questions about their business and spend a lot of time blagging, don’t part with your money.
3. Find out about suppliers and how they work
When you understand who you do business with you can spot any business request or transaction that looks wrong for that customer or supplier and may be fraudulent.
Conduct due diligence using a risk-based approach, such as checking the customer or supplier details you have on file, as well as online searches. Check the website links, don’t be drawn in by glossy spotify websites for instance, anyone can set one up in minutes, which is good for the industry, but also very helpful to dishonest people.
4. Identify your vulnerability to fraud
Imagine how a fraudster might target you, both emotionally and motivationally. If you are desperate for instance to start making money, will that sway your judgement to be more risky? A business or marketing plan with your own financial projection will help keep you focused, on pointand strategic.
5. Develop a personal development strategy
It is easy to assum that if you have been working for a company for many years, or have just completed your degree, or you have had a hobby for years that setting up a business might be the next logical step especially if you want to change caeers or create work for yourself.
This is all fine, but it might be a good idea to take a credible short course in Business Management, Marketing, Social media, etc to increase your knowledge base and get up to date.
6. Take extra care against cyber attacks and data loss
With increasing threats from cybercrime, protect your mobile phone, tablet and computer. Try not to post your mobile number across the internet. For instance buy a skype number. Also if your working on projects make sure you back up your systems in the cloud in case things get lost or corrupted.
7. Protect your finances
Understand how money leaves your bank account and how hard it is to replace. A few thousand pounds in your bank account might seem like a lot, but when incorrectly invested or spent will have you kicking yourself after te event try to:
place the bulk of your money in a 30 days request account. This may help slow down any implusive purchases.
take time to study and understand the concept of Return on Investment.
Take great care with anything offering continued electronic growth like bitcoin in exvhange for real cash and flashy websites with sophisticated algorhymes.
Invstigate if you can borrow money first and keep your cash for backup and liquidity. There is a saying, ‘Us other peoples money’
Try to use a different debit visa mastercard that you have to load up online from your bank account, this will help protect your own credit and debit card numbers from fraudsters.
Always check your bank statements.
8. Secure and protect your mobile and intellectual property
This includes laptops, computers, smartphones and intellectual property. Factor in home or business insurance to cover these items if they’re compromised, damaged or stolen.
It is also worth copy righting any itellectual property that you have designed or created. This can be for instance putting logos or watermarks, saving and sendind as pdf, taking videos with you working on your project or design etc.
9. Develop an action plan
Consider when you might need professional or legal advice. While prevention is better than cure, it’s important for you to design an action plan.
10. Avoid Duplicating, copying or forwarding anything online that is not your copyright
Cybercrime is real and you could find yourself accidentially committing or participating in a crime or even become a victim. Criminals are aware that word of mouth, recommendations and reviews achieved in your excitment can act as strong validation and are the best way to legitamise their criminal activity.
If you are asked to share, copy or forward something that requires people to commit to any payments, familiarise yourself with the website copyright, privacy and legal status.
You should report and share any links to the police. Call the police cybercrime department if you suspect or have been a victim.
Remember if it sounds or reads to good to be true then the odds are you need to dig deeper.
If you’re looking to boost your career prospects, you may want to consider the importance of CPD. Used by thousands of professionals to develop new skills and knowledge throughout their career, CPD has become crucial in terms of career progression. So, what is CPD and how could it benefit your career prospects?
What does CPD stand for?
CPD stands for Continuing Professional Development and it is important as it’s used by professionals to further their career. It’s a conscious and proactive form of learning which uses various methods to help individuals either learn new skills or develop existing ones.
What is a CPD portfolio?
A CPD portfolio helps keep a track of progression from year to year. It is an individual’s evidential documentation of their Continuing Professional Development obligations for their professional body or association. Contained within a CPD portfolio would be the register of activities, such as training courses, workshops and educational events attended, as well as a copy of the delegate CPD certificates for each activity. These act as validation that the learning has been completed. (It is also important that the course has been CPD accredited)
Professional bodies review their members CPD portfolio to ensure they are meeting their annual Continuing Professional Development requirements. A CPD portfolio should demonstrate a range of different methods of learning and the different impacts on future capability. Always ensure that you keep your CPD portfolio up to date, as it is more difficult to record CPD at the end of the year, hoping to remember everything completed over the last 12 months.
CPD points, units and credits explained
One of the most frequent questions about Continuing Professional Development is how CPD is recorded, and specifically the question, “What is a CPD point, unit or credit?” The subsequent question is regularly, “How do CPD points relate to CPD Hours?” With the increasing number of professional bodies in the UK and their varying annual requirements of Continuing Professional Development, a natural split in common language terms and expression will arise. Different professional bodies use the terms ‘CPD points’, ‘CPD units’ or ‘CPD credits’ diversely depending on preference, typically for historical reasons when initially implementing their CPD policy, rather than from a modern day strategic perspective.
How do CPD points, units and credits relate to CPD Hours?
It is often found across all industries that CPD points, units and credits all relate to the same thing, CPD Hours?
What are CPD Hours? The definition of a CPD Hour is the time spent for a delegate to be in “active learning”. Active learning defines the actual time spent learning something relevant for their Continuing Professional Development objectives. A great example of this would be 1-day accredited CPD training course. If the training starts at 9 am and ends at 5 pm, with a 1-hour break for lunch, the CPD Hours would be 7 CPD Hours.
Recording your CPD
A structured and consistent approach to recording your CPD makes it easier to manage throughout the year. This also helps ensure an individual attends training and events relevant to their annual capability improvement objectives, which is more valuable than simply attending courses just for general interest. Recording your CPD allows reflection on what has been gained from the CPD activities and what can be implemented in day-to-day objectives, as well as what skill sets to develop next.
As a general rule, when recording your Continuing Professional Development in a CPD portfolio, it should contain the following information:- Date of CPD activity, Title of CPD activity, Brief description including learning objectives, the method of learning (i.e. training course, workshop, event, eLearning), number of CPD hours, points or credits and the overall learning outcome.
5Benefits of CPD
CPD offers numerous benefits to both professionals and their employers, some of which are of real importance.
1. For you as a professional, it helps to ensure your skills and knowledge are up to date, and the professional standard of your registrations and qualifications are maintained. There are no clear disadvantages for your employer, it ensures that the company standards are both high and consistent. They will see that you are actively dedicated to the job role and value your commitment to the role.
2. Another one of the benefits of CPD and a main purpose of exploring the benefits of continuous personal development is that it also helps you to develop more confidence in the role. You’ll be able to showcase your achievements and develop the knowledge and skills to carry out your job in the most effective, confident way.
3. Whether you’re looking for a promotion, or you’re hoping to gain employment with a prestigious company, CPD can really help. It enables you to stand out from the crowd, with research showing those who have undertaken CPD, have a significantly higher chance of gaining a promotion or moving on to a different area within their chosen field.
4. What this also means of course, is that you’ll also be able to achieve a higher salary.
5. If you are self employed or run your own business, having a CPD accredited skill to your name can give confidence to established and new clients.
These are just some of the great benefits CPD can provide. The question is, how can you partake in continuous professional development?
Continuing Your Professional Development
If you’re interested in undergoing CPD, it’s worth keeping in mind there’s a lot of different types to choose from. Practically anything which can further your knowledge and skills is classed as CPD. This includes:
• Training courses
• Workshops or Workbooks
Each of the above has its own range of benefits and most professionals choose to undergo several types of CPD for best results.
Things to consider
If you want CPD to further your career, there’s a number of factors you need to consider.
1. Ensuring you’re undertaking the correct type of CPD to fit your goals is crucial in helping you minimise any disadvantages. It’s not enough to simply find a course which matches your industry.
2. You also need to consider whether or not the training matches your end goal. Thinking about the importance of CPD suiting your chosen industry might potentially save you time in the future.
3. Have you got the time to commit to the CPD course you’re considering? If you’re already working, you’ll need to find a part-time course which also fits around your family and budget commitments. You’re also going to want to consider the type of study you prefer.
4. Do you thrive in studying with others? If so, you’ll want to look into in-venue courses and seminars. If your sole purpose is to study alone at your own pace, an e-learning or workbook based CPD course would be a better option.
Overall, CPD is crucial in terms of professional development. Provided you choose the right type to match your needs, it can help you progress in your current career or business, or help you to branch out into a totally different field if you’d prefer. There are so many reasons to choose to continue your professional development so why not take a look at our range of CPD courses available in the following levels. Foundation, Intermediate, Advance and Expert.
Our courses are presented as workbooks and must be completed in four weeks. Support is give via virtual assistnce.
Since the spread of Covid 19 around the world I like many others have been looking for natural herbs to help stay healthy. Of course there are lots of herbal remedies being touted on YouTube and some herbal distributors injecting hashtags relating to a virus to help push there product up the search engine.
I usually buy my spices from the local Delhi Shop mainly because of the wide range and competitive prices. A few weeks ago I noticed that one of the boxes was empty, this is rare I thought, not just one box but five! The label read CARDAMOM. Is there a secret we don’t know about? Well I didn’t have time to do a search but I took a photo of the label to remind me to go investigate later.
To my amazement later on that day I found this some info on the 10 Health Benefits of Cardamom, Backed by Science! So what is Cardamom? It is a spice with an intense, slightly sweet flavor that some people compare to mint. It originated in India but is available worldwide today and used in both sweet and savory recipes. The seeds, oils and extracts of cardamom are thought to have impressive medicinal properties and have been used in traditional medicine for centuries (1, 2).
Here are 10 health benefits of cardamom, backed by science.
1. Antioxidant and Diuretic Properties May Lower Blood Pressure Cardamom may be helpful for people with high blood pressure. In one study, researchers gave three grams of cardamom powder a day to 20 adults who were newly diagnosed with high blood pressure. After 12 weeks, blood pressure levels had significantly decreased to the normal range (3Trusted Source).
The promising results of this study may be related to the high levels of antioxidants in cardamom. In fact, the participants’ antioxidant status had increased by 90% by the end of the study. Antioxidants have been linked to lower blood pressure (3Trusted Source, 4Trusted Source). Researchers also suspect that the spice may lower blood pressure due to its diuretic effect, meaning it can promote urination to remove water that builds up in your body, for example around your heart.
Cardamom extract has been shown to increase urination and decrease blood pressure in rats (5Trusted Source).
Cardamom may help lower blood pressure, most likely due to its antioxidant and diuretic properties.
2. May Contain Cancer-Fighting Compounds The compounds in cardamom may help fight cancer cells. Studies in mice have shown that cardamom powder can increase the activity of certain enzymes that help fight cancer (6Trusted Source, 7Trusted Source).
The spice may also enhance the ability of natural killer cells to attack tumors (8Trusted Source).
In one study, researchers exposed two groups of mice to a compound that causes skin cancer and fed one group 500 mg of ground cardamom per kg (227 mg per pound) of weight per day (7 Trusted Source).
After 12 weeks, only 29% of the group who ate the cardamom developed cancer, compared to over 90% of the control group (7Trusted Source).
Research on human cancer cells and cardamom indicate similar results. One study showed that a certain compound in the spice stopped oral cancer cells in test tubes from multiplying (9Trusted Source).
Even though the results are promising, these studies have only been conducted on mice or in test tubes. Human research is needed before stronger claims can be made.
Certain compounds in cardamom may fight cancer and stop the growth of tumors in mice and test tubes. Human research is needed to validate if these results apply to humans as well.
3. May Protect from Chronic Diseases Thanks to Anti-Inflammatory Effects Cardamom is rich in compounds that may fight inflammation. Inflammation occurs when your body is exposed to foreign substances. Acute inflammation is necessary and beneficial, but long-term inflammation can lead to chronic diseases (10Trusted Source, 11Trusted Source, 12).
Antioxidants, found in abundance in cardamom, protect cells from damage and stop inflammation from occurring (13Trusted Source). One study found that cardamom extract in doses of 50–100 mg per kg (23–46 mg per pound) of body weight was effective in inhibiting at least four different inflammatory compounds in rats (14Trusted Source). Another study in rats showed that eating cardamom powder decreased liver inflammation induced by eating a diet high in carbs and fat (15Trusted Source).
Though there are not as many studies on the anti-inflammatory effects of cardamom in humans, research shows that supplements may increase antioxidant status by up to 90% (3Trusted Source).
The antioxidant compounds in cardamom may help protect cells from damage and slow down and prevent inflammation in your body.
4. May Help with Digestive Problems, Including Ulcers Cardamom has been used for thousands of years to help with digestion.
It’s often mixed with other medicinal spices to relieve discomfort, nausea and vomiting (1). The most researched property of cardamom, as it pertains to relieving stomach issues, is its possible ability to heal ulcers.
In one study, rats were fed extracts of cardamom, turmeric and sembung leaf in hot water before being exposed to high doses of aspirin to induce stomach ulcers. These rats developed fewer ulcers compared to rats that only received aspirin (16Trusted Source). A similar study in rats found that cardamom extract alone could completely prevent or reduce the size of gastric ulcers by at least 50%.
In fact, at doses of 12.5 mg per kg (5.7 mg per pound) of body weight, cardamom extract was more effective than a common anti-ulcer medication (17Trusted Source). Test-tube research also suggests that cardamom may protect against Helicobacter pylori, a bacteria linked to the development of most stomach ulcer issues (18Trusted Source). More research is needed to know if the spice would have the same effect against ulcers in humans.
SUMMARY Cardamom may protect against digestive issues and has been shown to reduce the number and size of stomach ulcers in rats.
5. May Treat Bad Breath and Prevent Cavities The use of cardamom to treat bad breath and improve oral health is an ancient remedy. In some cultures, it’s common to freshen your breath by eating entire cardamom pods after a meal (1). Even the chewing gum manufacturer Wrigley uses the spice in one of its products.
The reason why cardamom can lead to minty fresh breath may have to do with its ability to fight common mouth bacteria (19Trusted Source). One study found that cardamom extracts were effective in fighting five bacteria that can cause dental cavities. In some test-tube cases, the extracts prevented the growth of the bacteria by up to 0.82 inches (2.08 cm) (20). Additional research shows that cardamom extract can reduce the number of bacteria in saliva samples by 54% (21). However, all of these studies have been conducted in test tubes, making it unclear how the results may apply to humans.
SUMMARY Cardamom is often used to treat bad breath and is a component of some chewing gums. This is because cardamom might be able to kill common mouth bacteria and prevent cavities.
6. May Have Antibacterial Effects and Treat Infections Cardamom also has antibacterial effects outside of the mouth and may treat infections. Research shows that cardamom extracts and essential oils have compounds that fight several common strains of bacteria (22Trusted Source, 23Trusted Source, 24Trusted Source, 25Trusted Source).
One test-tube study examined the impact of these extracts on drug-resistant strains of Candida, a yeastthat can cause fungal infections. The extracts were able to inhibit the growth of some strains by 0.39–0.59 inches (0.99–1.49 cm) (26Trusted Source).
Additional test-tube research found that essential oils and extracts of cardamom were just as, and sometimes more effective than standard drugs against E. coli and Staphylococcus, bacteria that can cause food poisoning (23Trusted Source). Test-tube studies have also shown that cardamom essential oils fight the bacteria Salmonella that leads to food poisoning and Campylobacter that contributes to stomach inflammation (24Trusted Source, 25Trusted Source).
Existing studies on the antibacterial effects of cardamom have only looked at isolated strains of bacteria in labs. Therefore, the evidence is currently not strong enough to make claims that the spice would have the same effect in humans.
SUMMARY The essential oils and extracts of cardamom may be effective against a variety of bacterial strains that contribute to fungal infections, food poisoning and stomach issues. However, research has only been conducted in test tubes and not in humans.
7. May Improve Breathing and Oxygen Use Compounds in cardamom may help increase airflow to your lungs and improve breathing. When used in aromatherapy, cardamom can provide an invigorating odor that enhances your body’s ability to use oxygen during exercise (27).
One study asked a group of participants to inhale cardamom essential oil for one minute before walking on a treadmill for 15-minute intervals. This group had a significantly higher oxygen uptake compared to the control group (27). Another way that cardamom may improve breathing and oxygen use is by relaxing your airway. This may be particularly helpful for treating asthma. A study in rats and rabbits found that injections of cardamom extract could relax the throat air passage. If the extract has a similar effect in people with asthma, it may prevent their inflamed airways from restricting and improve their breathing (28).
SUMMARY Cardamom may improve breathing by stimulating better oxygen uptake and relaxing air passage to the lungs in humans and animals. . May Lower Blood Sugar Levels When taken in powder form, cardamom may lower blood sugar.
One study found that feeding rats a high-fat, high-carb (HFHC) diet caused their blood sugar levels to remain elevated longer than if they were fed a normal diet (15Trusted Source).
When rats on the HFHC diet were given cardamom powder, their blood sugar did not stay elevated for longer than the blood sugar of rats on a normal diet (15Trusted Source).
However, the powder may not have the same effect in humans with type 2 diabetes. In a study in over 200 adults with this condition, participants were divided into groups that took only black tea or black tea with three grams of either cinnamon, cardamom or ginger every day for eight weeks (29Trusted Source).
The results showed that cinnamon, but not cardamom or ginger, improved blood sugar control (29Trusted Source). In order to better understand the effect of cardamom on blood sugar in humans, more studies are needed.
SUMMARY A study on rats suggests that cardamom may help decrease high blood sugar levels, but more high-quality human studies are needed.
9. Other Potential Health Benefits of Cardamom In addition to the aforementioned health benefits, cardamom may be good for your health in other ways as well. Studies in rats have found that the high antioxidant levels in the spice may prevent both liver enlargement, anxiety and even aid weight loss:
Liver protection: Cardamom extract may decrease elevated liver enzymes, triglyceride and cholesterol levels. They may also prevent liver enlargement and liver weight, which reduces the risk of fatty liver disease (30, 31Trusted Source, 32Trusted Source, 33Trusted Source).
Anxiety: One rat study suggests that cardamom extract may prevent anxious behaviors. This may be because low blood levels of antioxidants have been linked to the development of anxiety and other mood disorders (34Trusted Source, 35Trusted Source, 36Trusted Source).
Weight loss: A study in 80 overweight and obese prediabetic women found a link between cardamom and slightly reduced waist circumference. However, rat studies on weight loss and the spice have not found significant results (15Trusted Source, 37Trusted Source) The number of studies on the link between cardamom and these potential benefits is limited and mostly done on animals.
Furthermore, the reasons why the spice may help improve liver health, anxiety and weight are unclear.
SUMMARY: A limited number of studies suggests that cardamom supplements may decrease waist circumference and prevent anxious behaviors and fatty liver. The reasons behind these effects are unclear but may have to do with the spice’s high antioxidant content.
10. Safe for Most People and Widely Available Cardamom is generally safe for most people. The most common way to use cardamom is in cooking or baking. It’s very versatile and often added to Indian curries and stews, as well as gingerbread cookies, bread and other baked goods.
The use of cardamom supplements, extracts and essential oils is likely to become more common in light of the promising results of research on its medicinal uses. However, there is currently no recommended dose for the spice since most studies have been on animals. The use of supplements should be monitored by a health professional. Furthermore, cardamom supplements may not be suitable for children and women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Most supplements recommend 500 mg of cardamom powder or extract once or twice a day. The FDA does not regulate supplements, so be sure to choose brands that have been tested by a third party if you’re encouraged to try cardamom supplements by a healthcare provider. If you’re interested in trying cardamom, remember that adding the spice to your foods may be the safest way.
SUMMARY Using cardamom in cooking is safe for most people. Cardamom supplements and extracts have not been thoroughly researched and should only be taken under the guidance of a healthcare provider.
The Bottom Line Cardamom is an ancient remedy that may have many medicinal properties. It may lower blood pressure, improve breathing and aid weight loss.
What’s more, animal and test-tube studies show that cardamom may help fight tumors, improve anxiety, fight bacteria and protect your liver, though the evidence in these cases is less strong. However, little or no human research exists for a number of the health claims associated with the spice. More studies are needed to show if or how the results of preliminary research apply to humans.
Nevertheless, adding cardamom to your cooking may be a safe and effective way to improve your health. Cardamom extracts and supplements may also provide benefits but should be taken with caution and under the supervision of a doctor.
Throughout this Lock-down it could be said that some people have made the most out of the lock-down by resting and doing things around the home, whilst others have found it really stressful, distressing and mentally painful.
Throughout this Lock-down it could be said that some people have made the most out of the lock-down by resting and doing things around the home, whilst others have found it really stressful, distressing and mentally painful.
Now it is said that the state of your hair can give an overview of how your health is, you can even get an idea of someone’s health by their nails.
Hair loss can have a devastating effect. It’s important to know that the earlier a hair loss problem is diagnosed, the better the chances are of treating it. We always recommend seeing a qualified hair specialist to diagnose conditions.
Common hair loss conditions include:
Androgenic Alopecia (‘Pattern Baldness’)
This is one of the most common forms of hair loss. It affects both men and women and occurs in distinct patterns. In men, this form of hair loss is very obvious. At the end of the process – which can take from 15-25yrs – the only hair remaining is at the sides and the back of the head. Roughly one third of all women are affected by this type of hair loss normally on the vertex (top of the head) with the front hairline often intact. The process of shedding is on average 50-100 hairs a day.
This condition manifests itself in patchy hair loss, usually starting with a small spot that can spread. It is an auto-immune disease where the body attacks itself, killing off the hair. In general, the onset of alopecia can be caused by illness and raised temperature, shock, viruses, inoculations, medication or a period of extreme stress 2-6 months before a bald patch appears. It’s important to remember that early diagnosis and treatment can minimise the effects of the condition. Following diagnosis, many patients are extremely anxious which can also exacerbate the problem. It is advisable to seek specialist advice on how relieve stress and help hair growth to resume.
Alopecia Totalis is condition in which total loss of scalp hair occurs and can follow on from unchecked alopecia areata.
The result is a loss of all body hair including eyebrows and eyelashes. This form of hair loss is very distressing.
Telogen Effluvium or ‘Diffuse Hair Loss’
This condition manifests itself in shedding from all parts of the scalp. A great deal of hair is shed before the effects become noticeable. Telogen Effluvium can be caused by high fever, thyroid, postnatal depression, anaemia, surgery, medication, emotional stress, shock, dental treatment, surgery or dieting. During pregnancy, high levels of female hormones generate healthy hair. Some women can experience diffuse hair loss after childbirth.
Chemotherapy and radiotherapy hair loss
Chemotherapy or radiotherapy drugs work by attacking rapidly-growing cancer cells in the body. Because hair follicle cells also multiply very quickly – like cancer cells – chemotherapy drugs have difficulty in discerning the difference. This means that cancer treatment also destroys fast-growing hair cells and the hair falls out. Damage is not irreparable however and hair usually grows back 6-8 weeks after chemotherapy treatment has ended.
A rare form of Alopecia that is extremely stressful and caused by a patient self-harming i.e. pulling his or her own hair out. Given the psychology surrounding this condition, sufferers may not initially admit to pulling their hair out. Although young children can be particularly prone to Trichotillomania, it normally affects adolescent age groups.
Several scarring conditions may includeLichen Planus, Lupus Erythematosus, Folliculitis Decalvans and Pseudo Pelade. These conditions can be slowly progressive and scarring of the scalp causes permanent hair loss.
A condition often caused by hair extensions or hair styles that cause physical trauma to the scalp e.g. cornrows, tight braiding which causes patchy to total hair loss prodominately around the hairline becomes weak and stops growing.
In addition to hair loss problems, scalp disorders can include:
Dandruff (Pityriasis capitis) – This condition is all too familiar and about half of all Caucasians will have had dandruff to some degree before they are 20. In most people, it disappears after the age of 50 or so. Dandruff is associated with a tiny yeast called pityrosporum ovale, which is normally permanently present on the scalp. In dandruff, there is an increase in the regular loss of cells from the skin surface and they are lost more quickly. As more cells are lost, the yeast grows more rapidly. These cells may clump together to produce the all-too-familiar flakes of dandruff.
Eczema and Dermatitis
Psoriasis – Chronic skin condition affecting 3% of the population. It appears as raised, inflamed skin topped with silvery white scales. In severe cases the whole of the scalp may be covered by scales and there may well be some hair loss. Severe cases are extremely uncomfortable and distressing.
Seborrhoeic Dermatitis – Scaling condition characterised by yellow, branny scales on the scalp and red, irritated skin. It is sometimes associated by an unusually greasy scalp. In babies, the condition is known as ‘Cradle Cap’. It can also affect the nose, eyebrows and ears. In severe cases, Seborrhoeic Dermatitis may lead to hair loss.
Head Lice (Pediculosis Capitis) – Infestation of parasites living off human hosts. The hosts are 6-legged creatures, 2 – 4 mm in size and grey in colour. They are found near the hairline, at the nape of the neck and around the ears. This condition is highly infectious (ova hatch within 5-8 days). Lice can live off the human scalp for up to 48 hours in scarves, hats, chair backs, combs, brushes etc.
Impetigo – Bacterial infection of the skin that results in weeping, crusted sores and produces itching. It is often seen in young children and is highly contagious.
Ringworm – Fungal infection which appears as pink, scaly patches on the skin. It is more likely to be caught from animals than from humans.
Chemical & Heat Damage
Throughout the Lock-down most people attempted to resolve their outgrown roots by purchasing do it yourself home kits for colouring or relaxing hair. Not using the right product or leaving it on to long can cause hair breaking, split ends and visibly unhealthy hair. The causes of chemically damaged hair can usually be attributed to hair colouring, perms and hair relaxants. … In order for this to happen the chemicals break down the disulphide bonds in your hair. The causes of heat damaged hair can usually be attributed to hair being daily subjected to very high temperatures using straighteners or hot combs with no hair protector. This burns the hair cuticles which can often leave the ends split or frayed looking.
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Even though we have all had more time on our hands to effectively rest during lockdown, it would appear that more and more people are actually stressed! Why is this? Stressed if we have no time and stressed if we have to much time. If this is the case then perhaps we’re needed to take a closer look at stress, examine what causes it and holds we can manage it daily.
Stress Man. Businessman suffers from a headache
Stess is created by worrying about things in the future or things that have already happened, both of which you cannot change at the very moment you are worrying about it. Before you read any further do this little test. ‘At this very very moment Whist you are reading this is there a problem affecting you reading this article at this moment in time
Everything seems much faster, urgent and possibly unfilling! Everyone snoops around asking or trying to create a new moment resolution that they all know they won’t keep for the whole twelve days let alone a year.
Living too much into the future or reliving the past are both causes of fear and pain. These are often the questions one is faced with:
• How can you stop the pain?
• How can you switch your mind off,
• how can you stop worrying?
• How can you relax?
• How can I be happy?
30 minutes coffee break ebook available on Amazon and Google Books
Well two words’acceptance‘ and ‘surrender‘ is a good place to start. Become fully present so that the past and future can ceases to have any power over you causing stress, worry and unhappiness.
If only out life was like typing when we can simply undo, delete or Hyperlink to a quick useful reference but alas, lots of things are unavoidable in life. Never before has it become more important to find ways to decrease and prevent stressful incidents and decrease negative reactions to stress, especially as they can lead to short or long term illnesses.
Here are some of the things that can be done instantly by just remembering to be conscious of them.
Time management skills can allow you more time with your family and friends and possibly increase your performance and productivity. This will help reduce your stress.
To improve your time management:
• Save time by focusing and concentrating, delegating, and scheduling time for yourself.
• Keep a record of how you spend your time, including work, family, and leisure time.
• Prioritise your time by rating tasks by importance and urgency.
• Redirect your time to those activities that are important and meaningful to you.
• Manage your commitments by not over- or undercommitting. Don’t commit to what is not important to you.
• Deal with procrastination by using a day planner, breaking large projects into smaller ones, and setting short-term deadlines.
• Examine your beliefs to reduce conflict between what you believe and what your life is like.
• Build healthy coping strategies
It is important that you identify your coping strategies. One way to do this is by recording the stressful event, your reaction, and how you cope in a stress journal. With this information, you can work to change unhealthy coping strategies into healthy ones-those that help you focus on the positive and what you can change or control in your life.
Plan how you are going to reduce Stress and Conflict
Some behaviors and lifestyle choices affect your stress level. They may not cause stress directly, but they can interfere with the ways your body seeks relief from stress. Try to:
• Balance personal, work, and family needs and obligations.
• Have a sense of purpose in life.
• Get enough sleep, since your body recovers from the stresses of the day while you are sleeping.
• Eat a balanced diet for a nutritional defense against stress.
• Get moderate exercise throughout the week.
• Limit your consumption of alcohol.
• Don’t smoke.
Social support is a major factor in how we experience stress. Social support is the positive support you receive from family, friends, and the community. It is the knowledge that you are cared for, loved, esteemed, and valued. More and more research indicates a strong relationship between social support and better mental and physical health.
Changing your thinking can help change everyone’s mood
When an event triggers negative thoughts, you may experience fear, insecurity, anxiety, depression, rage, guilt, and a sense of worthlessness or powerlessness. These emotions trigger the body’s stress, just as an actual threat does. Dealing with your negative thoughts and how you see things can help reduce stress.
• Thought-catching helps you stop a negative thought to help eliminate stress.
• Disproving irrational thoughts helps you to avoid exaggerating the negative thought, anticipating the worst, and interpreting an event incorrectly.
• Problem solving helps you identify all aspects of a stressful event and find ways to deal with it.
• Changing your communication style helps you communicate in a way that makes your views known without making others feel put down, hostile, or intimidated.
This reduces the stress that comes from poor communication. Use the assertiveness ladder to improve your communication style.
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Continued Personal Development
Life long learning it’s important to you’re continued growth and smiley to core with lives every changing environment, circumstances and economical . Everyday life can often present challenges and like any thing in life if you don’t equip yourself with the right tools trying to fix the problem with the wrong tools can itself be the greater