Does Mum Really Know Best? Old Wives' Tales Debunked (Guest Post)

For centuries, mums have just been saying the strangest things – weird sayings, old wives' tales, or superstitious beliefs that have been passed down for generations that you wouldn't dare question, because Mum would give you the "look" if you dared to ever challenge her. A lot of these superstitions revolved around health, whether it be a remedy or just preventative measures to take so that you wouldn't get sick. For the most part, we all grew to be healthy adults, so it seemed that maybe mum knew what she was talking about… but DID SHE REALLY? It is time to finally debunk some of these myths.

#1: Bundle up, or You Will Catch A Cold – Myth

Every mum at some point tells their child that if they do not wear layers of clothes, hat, scarf, gloves and coat, that they will somehow "catch" a cold. We know that this isn't exactly true because a cold can affect you in any temperature because it is a virus, not the weather that causes you to be sick.

According to Mount Sinai School of Medicine, the answer lies more in the cold air itself and not how the cold air makes us feel. Airborne viruses are smaller and stay in the air longer, when temperatures are low, allowing us to breathe in more particles of the virus more deeply into our lungs, increasing our chances of getting sick.

#2: Drink Some Honey and Your Cough will Go Away – Fact

Honey does help to soothe your throat, and make a cup of hot tea taste so much better, but does it really make your cough disappear into thin air?

The Austin Diagnostic Clinic certainly thinks so. Honey soothes a sore throat, making you want to cough less. While the causes of the cough itself might not fully have gone away yet, honey will coat your throat to relieve your symptoms.

#3. The Nutrition is in the Crust – True

Most kids do not like eating the crust of their sandwiches, so to get them to eat it, mums have been telling their kids that the crust is where all the "good stuff" is and to be healthy, they need to learn to eat it.

A 2002 German Study revealed that the crust of bread indeed has more cancer-fighting antioxidants in it than the rest of the parts of the bread. To be even healthier, whole-wheat bread should be eaten because overall, it has more of these antioxidants than enriched white bread.

#4. Chicken Soup is Good for the Soul- And For a Cold – True

At the first signs of sickness, chicken soup is the signature comfort food to soothe our aches, pains, fevers, and stuffy noses. The steam it gives off helps clear our noses, if only for a few moments, and we feel a sense of clarity amid the darkness of our ailments. It definitely feels good and tastes good, too, but does it actually have healing properties?

According to a study published in the journal Chest, chicken soup does help relieve inflammatory and upper respiratory symptoms. And if all else fails, it at least keeps you hydrated and gets you some much needed nutrients.

#5. Sugar Cures the Hiccups – True

Over the years, there have been many imaginative ways invented for curing a case of the hiccups, ranging from drinking a glass of water or holding your breath, to being scared half to death, and everything in between. One of the more popular methods was to eat a spoonful of sugar and the hiccups would be gone instantly.

Sugar does work to cure hiccups, but not because sugar has any magical powers. Most methods of curing hiccups involve distracting your body into forgetting about the hiccups. The spoonful of sugar is no different. It is just enough to trick you into focusing on something else and ta-da- hiccups are gone!

These methods for the most part are tried and true to keep us healthy and now we have the science to prove that we weren't just being fussed over for no reason. It looks like these women pretty much knew what they were talking about. I guess mothers really do know best after all.

This is a guest post.

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