They are the sayings we often grew up hearing, but old wives tales have mostly proven themselves to be on par with urban myths in the credibility stakes. However, there are a few of these old wives tales that are not only reliable but incredibly helpful!
The name ‘old wives tale’ is thought to have originated from the fact that older women would often pass down their advice to the younger generation in the form of sayings that were easy to remember. The term came from the Old English word ‘wif’, which means ‘woman’.
Chicken soup cures a cold
While chicken soup is undoubtedly nourishing, could it actually cure a common cold? Well, according to scientists a bowl of chicken soup may slow down the activity of white blood cells, reducing inflammation in the lungs and in turn improve cold symptoms.
Onion relieves pain from insect stings
While chopping onions is renowned for causing eye pain and tears, the humble onion can actually help relieve pain from stings. Rubbing a piece of onion on bee, wasp or other insect stings can help break down the toxins from the sting and reduce swelling.
Eating carrots will help you see in the dark
Carrots are rich in beta-carotene which helps produce Vitamin A, a key ingredient in a healthy, functioning eye. Vitamin A helps to slightly improve night vision as well as maintaining eye health and avoiding cataracts. But don’t go overboard! Too much vitamin A can have negative side effects.
Clean your windows and mirrors with newspaper
It might seem a strange tip, but it’s true that newspapers are a great way to clean glass surfaces. The rigid paper with its dense fibres makes it more effective than paper towels. Why not give it a try with a DIY glass cleaner.
Remove furniture scratches with walnuts
Timber furniture looking a bit worse for wear? Believe it or not but walnuts can make your scratched furniture look as good as new. Just rub a walnut on the mark and the oils, colour and texture of the walnut will work to fill in the scratch leaving it looking fresh.
An apple a day keeps the doctor away
We all grew up with this wives tale and while it was often used to help encourage children to reach for fruit if they were hungry, there appears there is some truth to it! Apparently, the high levels of phenolics in apples are a potent antioxidant that can help reduce the risk of breast and colon cancer. A study for researchers at Cornell University also suggests that apples could also prevent Alzheimer’s disease.