Some say old wives tales are superstitions passed down from generation to generation in the form of sayings that are easy to remember.
At some point you’ve probably heard one of these old wives tales from an older friend or family member but are they really true?
We’ve done a little research and compiled our findings for you:
1. Feed a cold, starve a fever
Forget this tale. Even though you may not feel like eating you should stay hydrated and eat well to keep your energy levels up as best you can. Try some chicken soup… the bonus is it’s good for the soul!
2. If you go outside with wet hair you will catch a cold!
Whilst you may feel a bit chilly if you go outside with wet hair on a cold day you are unlikely to catch a cold. Colds are passed on with a virus, not by having wet hair. That’s of course not to say that if you do go out with wet hair and come into contact with someone who has a cold virus, that you won’t catch it!
3. Chicken soup will help your cold
Chicken soup is lovely and warming, we all know this (just refer to point 1!). While this may not be a cure it will certainly help. Scientists believe that a bowl of yummy chicken soup may reduce inflammation of the lungs by slowing down the activity of white blood cells. So pop a pot on the stove if you or a family member can feel a cold coming on – it could reduce the symptoms!
4. Foods with mayonnaise in them will spoil faster than those without mayonnaise
Don’t believe everything you’re told as it turns out this is an old wives’ tale. As commercial mayonnaise is slightly acidic, adding it to chicken will actually help prevent the chicken spoiling. Good to know!
5. Hair of the dog will cure a hangover.
Another false! Having another drink will only prolong your pain – that hangover is SURE to hit at some point.
6. Wash your hair until it’s squeaky clean
Guess what, this one is false! Over shampooing your hair so that it squeaks actually does the opposite and simply strips the hair shafts of the necessary oils. Less is more in this case.
7. Chocolate can help to relieve pre-menstrual cramps
Firstly, what do YOU say to this one? Do you believe it helps? Turns out there might be some truth in this one – chocolate contains chemicals that contribute to boosting your mood (yay!). TIP: Dark chocolate has less sugar – good to know if you’re prone to breakouts around this time.
8. Alcohol on your baby’s gums will relieve teething pain
Definitely false as even a small amount of alcohol can be incredibly dangerous for your baby. Best to file this one under NO WAY!
9. Eating fish is good for your brain
This one is most certainly true. The essential fatty acids in fish contribute to the growth and development of our brains. Fish oils are also said to have anti-inflammatory properties which protect blood vessels and are also thought to be helpful in reducing stiffness in joints. Make sure you add more to your weekly meal plan – it’s good for you!
10. You can predict the sex of your baby with a wedding ring test
False. An old wives tale that has been around for many moons is to put a thread through the wedding band of the pregnant woman and hold it over her palm. If the ring swings in a circle it’s said the baby is a girl and if it swings in a straight line the baby is a boy. It’s good fun, but certainly not an accurate measure.
11. Don’t cross your eyes as they could get stuck!
I’m sure you remember hearing this one when you were a child and would have worked out it’s most definitely not true.
12. Don’t swallow chewing gum as it’s harmful to the digestive system
You may have heard that it will stay in your stomach for seven years. This is not true. The gum does actually pass through the digestive however as the body is not able to break it down it usually exits the body looking similar to when it entered.
13. Cracking your knuckles causes arthritis
There is no evidence to show this is true, though the jury still isn’t out on this one!
14. Drinking a glass of warm milk will make you sleepy
This one is actually true as milk contains tryptophan which is a chemical that helps induce sleep. A nice warm glass before bed is a great way to help you drift off to sleep.
15. Don’t swim for at least an hour after eating
How many of you heard this one from your parents! Unless you are bloated and uncomfortable there is no need to wait – yes, they were lying all along.
We would love to hear of any other old wives tales you may have heard. Please SHARE them with us below.