Recently I got the chance to hop on a ferry to France crossing from Dover to Calais with my parents for a lovely shopping spree. I did however develop a very sore throat on the way over there to go with my already miserable cold (I always get something just before I go away anywhere). I had a packet of throat lozengers with me but they didn’t seem to be helping at all. Then my mum told me that my grandmother had sworn by sipping and even gargling warm water with lemon and honey to ease a sore throat and a tickly, dry cough. I thought it strange as I had heard of the supposed remedy before but it’s just not an option I had thought of. These days we are so used to reaching for the medicine cabinet for some miracle pills.This sparked my curiosity into old wives tales and cures that have been handed down the generations.
Old wives tales have been around for years, well before books and pens and the Internet. Some are just good old fashioned common sense, others act as a way for our moms to get us to do something. Some may seem completely wacky and others truly are good for our health.
So here are some Old Wives Tales for everyday illnesses…
Wet Socks for a Cold
The saying goes that if you wear a pair of wet socks to bed, covered by a thicker pair of dry socks at the first sign of a cold it is supposed to draw out the cold and make you feel better. I have tried this and it does work and even sometimes stops the cold from developing at all. But don’t take my word for it!
Honey from the local area to combat hayfever
A spoonful of locally produced honey taken daily can help you to build up a resistance to pollen therefore, reducing your hayfever symptoms over time.
Feed a cold, starve a fever
I believe this to be so false! In my opinion if you feel up to eating anything, eat small regular (nutritious) meals. It is essential though that you drink plenty of fluids while you have a temperature. So veg or fruit smoothies and soups are great as you are getting both.
Copper coins to rid a wart
No idea if this works but the old saying was that you get someone to buy your wart from you by rubbing it with a coin and handing to someone else. You could actually pass the virus on by doing this! Warts do normally disappear on their own, in time. The virus will eventually die. Doctors advise to leave them alone unless they are getting knocked or are infected in which case they will freeze them or chemically remove them.
Chicken soup cures all ails
Yes, chicken soup is the most popular choice when you are sick. It certainly makes you feel better, but does it really do anything to make you better? A recent study did in fact prove that chicken and vegetable soup is beneficial against upper respiratory infections. So yes it is the best thing for you if you have a stinking cold!
Drinking warm milk to help you sleep
Yes, indeed warm milk will help you drift off to sleep as milk contains Tryptophan, a chemical which induces sleep. I swear by this with my little girl. She has warm milk every night and tends to sleep very well.
Salt or vinegar, honey and lemon or cayenne pepper gargled for a sore throats
You can use either of these three or a combination of all of them in warm water to use as a gargle and to sip slowly. Viruses and germs hate an acid environment, so lemon and vinegar is great for that. Salt is very cleansing and cayenne pepper stimulates your immune response and help gets blood flow to the area.
Mustard poultice for back pain, sore joints and chesty coughs
Making an old fashioned poultice is relatively easy but can be very messy and some precautions must be taken as mustard can burn your skin. The heat generated from the mustard is said to relax muscles therefore, easing the pain. It is also used in chesty coughs to loosen the phlegm by relaxing the mucus membranes in the chest.
An Apple a Day keeps the Doctor away
Apples are not only just part of your 5 a day but the also contain high levels of phenolics, a potent antioxidant. It reduces the risk of Breast and Colon Cancer. A new study also shows they may also stave off Alzheimers Disease.
A bar of soap in the bed prevents night time leg cramps
How and why this works is beyond me! But if you suffer from frequent leg cramps while sleeping then try a fresh bar of soap under your bottom sheet where your legs are. It can also be used if you have restless leg syndrome too!!
Please bare in mind, these are not 100% cures and if in doubt off then go off to the Docs! Also, please be careful when using any kind of alternative treatments or old wives tales as some things may actually do you harm.
Hope you enjoyed our old wives tales, there are hundreds out there relating to anything you can think of and I’m sure many of these will be passed onto our kids and their kids too.
Until next time…
Demon Chick xx