Ah, the old wives tale, a bit of passed-down superstition that seems just weird enough it might be true. Cracking your knuckles causes arthritis, swimming on a full stomach causes cramps, shaving makes the hair grow back thicker — this sort of stuff.
Most of it is hooey. To the point that calling something “an old wives tale” is akin to calling it nonsense. But the truth is, some of these old wives tales have some scientifically backed truth to them.
Here are five:
It sounds ridiculous that eating cheese would lead to weird dreams, but, by golly, some folks at the British Cheese Board say they studied it, and it turns out to be true. Two hundred volunteers ate a variety of cheese before bed, and the bulk of them reported having strange dreams. Granted, it’s possible the British Cheese Board may have had motives that were not purely scientific, but this is enough for us to try having some cheese before bed.
Honey Supresses Coughs
Ok, so this one doesn’t seem so unreasonable, but a dab of honey will actually do wonders for a cough. Mix it into some tea, take it straight off the spoon or, shoot, give the ol’ honey bear a squeeze right into your mouth. It’ll help. The science to it is that honey forms a soothing mucus membrane in the affected area.
Fish Oil is Brain food
You’ve heard it said that eating fish will make you smart, and that sounds like just about the dumbest thing you’ve ever heard, especially when you remember the stuff that comes out of your uncle Earl’s mouth, and he eats catfish all the time. Well, these days the Omega-3 oils in fish are well known to be good for brain tissue, which helps brain performance. That might be something short of making you “smarter,” but fish is brain food nonetheless.
A Long Labor Means a Boy
Pregnancy is a fertile ground for myths and wives tales, but there is at least one that does seem to have some merit. A study of more than 8,000 births showed a direct correlation between the length of labor and the gender of the baby — longer labor was more likely to result in a boy.
Predicting Weather by Sunset Color
The old saying is, “Red sky at night, sailor’s delight, red sky in morning, sailor’s warning.” What does that mean? Well, the idea is that a red-colored sunset indicates good weather the next day, while a red sunrise means mad weather. Sounds like total nonsense, but there is some truth to it. A red sunset indicates a lot of dust particles in the air, meaning high pressure and stable air, which makes for good weather. You want to see this at night, in the west, because if you see it at sunrise, in the east, it could indicate a high-pressure system has already passed, and a storm is on its way in.
Do you have any we missed? We’d love to hear them! Just let us know in the comments.