We all enjoy a good ole’ wives tale, they have filtered in and out of our lives since the dawn of time, and more often than not stay with us right to the very end. Most are pretty ridiculous, and when we hear them we shake our heads, rolls our eyes, giggle to ourselves about just how silly the world can be sometimes… but what happens when an old wives tale slips through the net of common sense and starts presenting itself as a real medical fact?
Below are 17 examples of exactly that; old wives tales that people have actually fallen for (Not going to lie, definitely some on this list I honestly thought were true!) Have a scroll through and see how many you recognised, but most importantly, how many you believed!
1. “Going outside with wet hair will make you sick”
I have some good news for you ladies (or gents if you’re reading!) no longer do you need to fear the mad morning rush of having to choose between washing and drying your hair or being at work on time after sleeping through one too many alarms! Because this is 100% just an old wives tale… the only thing that can make us sick is germs, so if you want to stay healthy, wash your hands!
2. “Cold weather in general makes you sick”
NOPE. Another falsie right here, although I can see the logic behind it. Just because it’s called “getting a cold” doesn’t actually mean it’s the cold that causes it (I know, crazy right?) in fact, some doctors actually believe that cold temperatures actually help you to heal quicker!
3. “Supplements make you healthier”
This can be true in some cases, but when taking supplements you really need to do your research beforehand. In fact, this should pretty much apply to anything you’re putting into your body. In some cases, older women who take calcium are actually at a higher risk of getting dementia… so throw those bottles away ladies!
4. “We only use 10% of our brains”
This is one that I have always believed in, and has always irritated me, because I’ve always been like, WHY DO I HAVE THIS INCREDIBLE THING INSIDE MY SKULL AND I CAN ONLY USE 10% OF IT?? So I am pretty relieved to hear that this is in fact an old wives tale. Apparently this one was started by “Self-Help Guru’s” in order for them to be able to sell ways in which they were able to help you “unlock” the parts of the brain you weren’t using. Nice try, Guru’s, but science is onto you!
5. “Sugar turns kids into monsters”
FALSE. Not true. Which is great, because next time you see a mom eye rolling at you from across the park after giving your kid a candy bar, you can roll your eyes right back at her knowing that you have scientific facts on your side. Apparently the only reason your kids go a little “nutso” after eating sugar is because usually the times they consume the most sugar is around halloween or at a party… and who doesn’t go crazy at a party, sugar-induced or not??
6. “You have to stay awake when you get a concussion or else you’ll die”
More often then not, a doctor will tell you to “get lots of rest” after suffering a concussion, not AVOID SLEEP AT ALL COSTS!!! If you feel you or someone else has a concussion, seek medical advice immediately.
7. “Gum stays in your stomach for seven years”
“Gum stays in your stomach”, “Gum wraps around your heart”, “Gum can get stuck in your lungs” – it’s amazing how easily gum can seemingly travel around the human body! Gum may be made of ingredients such as wax, which as humans we cannot digest, however luckily enough our bodies are amazing and they know exactly what to do in that situation… poop it out! Hurrah! So go ahead and swallow all the gum you want.
8. “Sitting too close to the TV ruins your eyesight”
WRONG. It does not, and neither does reading a book too closely either. Okay so it may make your eyes work overtime and they’ll get a bit sore but that’s pretty much it! Tv lovers of the world rejoice!
9. “You must drink eight glasses of water a day”
This dates back to 1945 when the Food and Nutrition Board told all the adults that their recommended water intake sure be 8 glasses a day… however they also said that most of the water we need is present in the food we eat so er, what’s the deal?
10. “Don’t swim for an hour after you eat”
Yeah, literally no evidence at all that shows doing any sort of swimming activity after eating is actually dangerous. You may get a cramp or feel a little uncomfortable for a bit but that’s only because you’ve probably gone a little overboard on lunch (I mean, when do we not ladies really?)
11. “Hair and fingernails keep growing after death”
This one comes down to a bit of a misunderstanding, and people believe it because while monitoring corpses (as you do) it appeared that hair and nails appeared longer after death. The reason for this is because the bodies soft tissue retracts and it starts to dry out. LOVELY.
12. “Shaved hair grows back darker and rougher”
Remember when your Mom would yell at you for shaving your eyebrows and er… other parts of your body for this very reason? Well now you can go to her and be all like; “Well ACTUALLY Mom…”. After shaving the blunt edge of the hair is seen growing back, which can give it a darker and thicker look.
13. “Turkey makes you super sleepy”
Honestly I just figured this was an excuse Dads used on Thanksgiving to get out of helping to clean the dishes. Yeah so Turkey does contain tryptophan (a chemical that does make you sleepy) however in order for it to happen you’d have to eat the entire turkey. If you’re sleepy, you’ve eaten too much… which, okay yeah, maybe Dads can still get away with this one after all.
14. “Ulcers are caused by spicy foods and stress”
NEWS FLASH! Ulcers are actually caused by bacteria, not stress or spicy foods. So eat whatever you want and put yourselves in the most stressful situations you can possibly imagine, while feeling at ease that you won’t be getting any ulcers, happy days!
15. “You can’t get pregnant during your period”
A very scary medical misconception that is believed far too wildly around the world! It may be highly unlikely that you will conceive during your period, sperm can actually live inside a woman’s body for about a week, and if you ovulate during that time, you’re screwed… sorry ladies!
16. “You lose most of your body heat through your head”
Hilariously enough, this tale is rumoured to have been started by a hat salesmen… talk about dedication to your craft! However thanks to good ole’ science we now know that a mere 7-10% of heat actually escapes from the hops of our heads.
17. “Vaccines can make you sick”
This one personally, drives me crazy. Vaccines were invented to prevent illness, so what good would it do if they did the opposite? You may feel a little fever afterwards sure, but they won’t do any lasting damage. Vaccines not only protect yourself, but also the community as a whole. Get vaccinated people!
Have you heard of these medical wives tales before? How many are you guilty of believing? (It’s okay, you’re secret safe with me!) Or are there any others you know of that feel need to be shared with the world too? Let me know in the comments and be sure to share with your friends and family so they know what not to believe too! Now I’m off to eat a huge spicy pizza and go swimming immediately afterwards… bye for now! AA x