Old Wives Tales or Wisdom?

The last two weeks the flu has swept through our home knocking each family member down one by one. As a result, I have been the fortunate recipient of helpful advice regarding how to rid my home of this annoying virus. Some of the advice was valid and helpful, some, well… just plain hooey.

That got me thinking about the wisdom handed down from generations past. Which of the following gems do you think are true?

Feed a cold. Starve a fever.

Eating before swimming causes stomach cramps.

Sugar causes acne.

Going outside with wet hair causes a cold.

Cracking your knuckles causes arthritis to form in the joints.

Spicy food causes ulcers.

An itchy nose means company is coming.

If you make an ugly face, it will freeze that way.

Pulling a grey hair causes ten more to grow in its place.

An apple a day keeps the doctor away.

Sitting too close to the TV will ruin your eyes.

Any guesses? All true? All false? I’ll give you a hint; only one is true!

Despite the well-intended statements above a young mother like me is wise to listen respectfully to advice from my elders. Consider Titus 2:4-5, “Then they (older women) can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.”

No one has all the answers but there is wisdom in listening to those who have walked down this road before me.

Therefore, my windows are open, the soup is on, I have purchased bleach, the house shines under a recent cleaning, and the bedding is changed. Thanks everyone for caring enough to advise me on how to protect my family from the 2011 superbug.

9 thoughts on “Old Wives Tales or Wisdom?

  1. Bev Jee says:

    Ok I’ll go for this one, I think that ‘feed a cold, starve a fever’ is the true one and only because thats Mum always told me to just make sure you drink plenty if you have a fever and not to bother is the kids don’t want to eat then.
    The rest of them I think are all old wives tales LOL


    • staceyweeks says:

      Nan was right about a lot of things, but not this.
      Latest advice is to “always eat something nourishing (even if it’s just a few crackers to keep your body from being too hungry) and definitely drink plenty of fluids.
      Following the wives tale won’t get rid of the infection. So, do what you feel like and what your body will allow. Take it easy and take any medicines prescribed but following the feed a cold, starve a fever method is just an old wives’ tale.” (Taken from medicalquestions.com)


  2. Rosemarie says:

    well as an old wife myself ha,ha, I do think from experience the feed a cold and starve a fever is true, but I also think a couple of the others to be true as well.
    It will be interesting to see if anyone else can pick out those.


    • staceyweeks says:

      Only one is true Rosemarie. (Although I will admit the starve a fever one is close because despite the fact there are no medical benefits to following that rule, it certainly feels better if you do!)


    • staceyweeks says:

      ding ding ding – we have a winner! According to doctorbase.com “Apples are high in Vitamin C which has many immune system enhancing properties and is therefore essential to our daily health. Vitamin C is an excellent antioxidant, and is essential for cell detoxification and enzymatic function. Apples also contain bioflavonoids. Bioflavonoids are also known for their antioxidant properties. Bioflavonoids are also believed to be of use in the prevention and treatment of various types of cancers by inducing mechanisms that help to kill cancer cells and inhibit tumor invasion. It is important to know however that many of the nutrients of an apple are contained within the apple’s skin, so be sure not to peel your apples before eating them”
      Green-buzz.net says “…eating apples turns into an effective protection against cancer, old wives were right on the money.”


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