When I was a little girl, my mom used to say, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”. I know it is one of those wives tales and yet there is a ring of truth in it as well. If we eat good foods and not junk, we will be (for the most part) healthier than if we consumed junk foods all the time. I say this generally, not individually. Some people do all the right things, eating good foods, exercise daily, and avoid stress as much as able and yet they still get sick.
When we get sick, we tend to feel awful from head to toe. In this day and age, we trudge forward, and take our illnesses with us to work, school, the market and anyplace else we have to go. When the numbers of those ill reach enormous proportions, it should come as no surprise.
A generation ago, many people stayed home when they were ill. Of course, to balance this line of information it moves me to state that with all of oura new drugs and tests and such, we feel like we HAVE to trudge forward. We have the luxury of having all these medications that were not available not that long ago. A simple cold 60 years ago could mean death if it turned into pneumonia and worse. Some of the “cures” back then were barbaric by today’s standards.
There is a grain of truth in some of the old wives tales we heard growing up. My grandmother gave us a honey/whiskey/lemon concoction when we were ill with a cold or cough. Guess what? It worked. Once I had children of my own, I was reminded of this remedy when they were ill. In an effort to not harm my children, I asked my pediatrician about this homemade remedy and guess what he told me? He said that the honey/whiskey/lemon rememdy was actually very good and he said he doesn’t recommend it because some people have an aversion to the whiskey part of it. The funny thing is that most of the cough and cold syrups of the time had alcohol in them, but they were not aware of it. I confess that it did not hurt my kids, although my daughter used to go to the refridgerator at night and fake a cough so she could have her “medicine” long after her cough had gone.
One of my favorites was the farmers tale that says corn should be “knee high by the fourth of July“. I am not a farmer, nor do I know much about it, but I still find myself checking out the height of the corn around the fourth of July to see if the crops are well along like the tale says. Funny, most of them are so I guess that is where that one came from.
Here is one I hear most any day. It says that if you drop your food on the floor or ground, there is a five second rule and no germs will be on it if you get it before the five seconds elapse. The reality of this one is that the germs aare on there the second the food touches the ground. In five seconds, it is loaded with germs. This has been proven by a scientific study (yes, they study things like this).
Here is one that is actually dangerous. If you happen to get a burn, the wives tale said to put butter on it. My mother did this to me and my sisters. Her mother did it to her. In light of research and studies, though, it has been proven not only NOT to work, but can actually cause the burn to be worse than using nothing at all. Why people did not figure it out is unknown, but it has been passed down for years anyway.
When I was younger, another one I heard was that if you cracked your knuckles, you would get arthritis. Yet again, the research has proven that this one is false, but cracking your knuckles can cause pain and swelling and since it is not good for you, maybe in a convuluted way this kept people from the problems that can be associated with the practice.
I confess that there are many more out there, but the last one I will discuss is the one that says not to swallow your chewing gum because it will not digest and over time you will have a wad of gum in your stomach. I have heard seven years to digest. I looked this one up. On the web page link here, http://thelongestlistofthelongeststuffatthelongestdomainnameatlonglast.com/tales17.html
It states that chewing gum is digested just like regular food and in the same amount of time as well. I am thinking of calling my mother to tell her the truth. Maybe not.
So, some wives tales have a ring of truth to them while others can be harmful. I say that if in doubt, check it out. I did and was amazed to find out the truth to some of these and many others. Happy hunting for you who like wives tales!