Posted by & filed under Acupuncture, Colds and Flu, Diet, Digestion, Prevention.

I am sure you have heard comments such as ‘Cracking your knuckles will give you arthritis’  or ‘Watching too much TV will damage your eyes’. Old wives’ tales are like that, some have might have been useful at some point, some are just superstition and others actually are very useful and efficient. After all, many of the ‘Old wives’ tales’ have been handed down by midwives and healers that were valued medical practitioners.
I have collected for you 6 ‘Old wives’ tales’ that do work.

1- Don’t go outside with wet hair or go to bed with wet hair or you will catch a cold.

According to Chinese Medicine, the damp and the cold (especially in winter) from going outside with a wet hair can lead to an invasion of cold, the start of what we normally call ‘a cold’. Whilst this sounds a bit surprising, research has recently shown that being cold actually lower our immune system, making us more prone to catch a cold.

2- If you feel nauseous, take some ginger.

This is a trick that quite a few pregnant women suffering from morning sickness have tried.  And it works, especially if the woman is tired and tends to be cold. You can buy some ginger capsules over the counter or even better, you can make a brew with about one teaspoon of grated fresh ginger in a cup of hot water. One or two ‘ginger tea’ a day is usually plenty to keep the nausea at bay.

3- Don’t eat spicy foods if you are prone to ulcers.

Mouth ulcers can be due to very different reasons. But if your ulcers look red, either very red-rimmed or pale red-rimmed ulcers, then you probably better keeping off very heating substances such as hot peppers and chilli.

4- Chicken soup will cure your cold.

This is certainly what our grandparents would have told us to do. And with good reasons. Chicken Soup is a really good way to fight tiredness and give you a boost thereby supporting your body to fight the infection off.

5- If you have a stomach ache or indigestion, drink peppermint tea.

Peppermint tea is a cooling and moving herb making the ideal solution when you have over indulged yourself. It will help the stomach to cope with the excess of food and ensure that the food keeps moving (and not stay like a huge weight on your stomach).

6- If your back hurts, put some cold/heat on it.

Actually, I am sure you have realized that the advice here is usually conflicting. Some people advise to put some heat on the painful area and others advise to put some cold.
When your back, neck or joints such as the knee hurt, both cold or heat can help relieving the pain. If the joint is hot to touch, looks red, then cold is the best solution. You can use a bag of frozen peas wrapped in a towel and put in your knee for example.
But if the area is at a normal temperature or feels cold, if the pain feels more like an ache, then a heat pad is a better solution. You can use heat pads sold at the chemist or wheat bag warmed in the microwave. Hot water bottles, whilst nicely warm, can be detrimental in the long run as they are also making the area damp, something you really want to avoid if the joint is swollen for example.
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