16 Old Wives’ Tales That Are Actually True

Setting out on a journey through the wisdom handed down over time, a recent chat on social media brought to light some surprising truths hidden in old wives’ tales. Many users shared their stories, showing that certain old remedies and sayings are more than just tales. From honey’s healing powers to the magic of a red sky, let’s dive into the unexpected truths behind these traditional bits of advice.

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#1: Honey as Topical Medicine

Close up view of spoons with honey on white background
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“It’s actually used in hospitals now for certain kinds of wound dressings. It’s anti-microbial and keeps other stuff from getting in the wound.”

Many users agree that honey isn’t just a sweet treat but also a potent topical medicine. Hospitals now use honey for certain wound dressings due to its antimicrobial properties, preventing infections and aiding in the healing process. Granny’s remedy seems to have stood the test of time, scoring a point against skeptics.

#2: Onion for Insect Bites

Red Onion Slices
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Some users suggested that rubbing a cut onion on insect bites can take away the sting, and it turns out they might be onto something. Onions contain compounds that can help soothe insect bites, providing instant relief. Who knew that the kitchen could be a source of first aid for those pesky bug encounters?

#3: Joint Pain Predicting Rain

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“When rain is coming, your joints hurt. I used to roll my eyes and laugh when Granny said her arthritis was acting up because it was going to rain. I was 10 years old.”

Granny’s foresight about joint pain predicting rain may have seemed whimsical to a 10-year-old, but many users now find themselves acknowledging the connection. Changes in atmospheric pressure preceding rain can indeed affect joints, making this old wives’ tale surprisingly accurate.

#4: Harvesting Herbs by Moonlight

Super blue moon in sky over Thailand.
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Gathering herbs by the light of the moon isn’t just folklore; it’s rooted in botanical science. Some plants, particularly those pollinated by night insects like moths, have their most potent oils at night. So, if you need herbs at their strongest, moonlight harvesting might be the way to go.

#5: Look Up When Sneezing with Back Pain

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When it comes to back pain or a broken rib, looking up when sneezing is more than just an old wives’ tale. Many users suggest that this trick significantly reduces the pain associated with sneezing, making it a practical tip for those dealing with such discomfort.

#6: Avoid Sharing Food with Babies

Sweet baby boy, celebrating on the beach first birthday with sea theme cake and sea decoration.
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“When my sister told us not to let my nephew eat something we’ve taken a bite out of, I thought she was full of s***.”

Some users shared the old advice of not letting a baby eat after you, and it turns out there’s truth to this precaution. Adults can transfer cavity-causing bacteria to babies through shared food, emphasizing the importance of dental hygiene, even for the little ones.

#7: Sunlight for Jaundiced Babies

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“No idea how they figured it out but it’s actually a legitimate cure!”

Placing jaundiced babies on window sills until their color returns might sound peculiar, but many users attest to its legitimacy. Nurses used this method in the past, harnessing the power of natural sunlight to help alleviate jaundice in newborns.

#8: Chicken Soup for Illness

chicken soup
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The age-old remedy of chicken soup when you’re sick holds up, and many users agree. It’s not just about comfort; chicken soup helps keep you hydrated and provides essential nutrients during illness, making it a nourishing choice for recovery.

#9: Cabbage Leaves for Nursing Moms

Cabbage Leaves
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Cold cabbage leaves relieving engorgement and mastitis pain for nursing moms might sound like an old wives’ tale, but it’s been proved true. The cool cabbage leaves can help reduce swelling and discomfort, offering a natural remedy for nursing mothers.

#10: Open a Window to Let Out Ghosts

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“If you are seeing things it’s probably actually gas or carbon dioxide.”

The advice to open a window to let out ghosts might sound whimsical, but users suggest that what might be perceived as supernatural experiences could actually be related to gas or carbon dioxide. Ventilating the space can help dispel such illusions.

#11: Salt Water Gargle for Throat Issues

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Many users swear by the age-old remedy of gargling with salt water for sore throat, tooth, and gum issues. The saltwater solution helps soothe irritation and reduce inflammation, proving that sometimes the simplest remedies are the most effective.

#12: Avoid Showering During Lightning Storms

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The caution against showering during a lightning storm isn’t just a superstition. Lightning can potentially travel through plumbing, posing a risk of electrocution. So, when thunder roars, it might be wise to postpone that shower.

#13: Beer and Breast Milk Production

Beer in two glasses on wooden table, oktoberfest concept
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“I had never heard of this before giving birth, and a couple of people had asked me while pregnant if I had my beer lined up for after I gave birth and just laughed it off. A few days after giving birth, my milk still wasn’t coming in and at the pediatrician, she said, “Listen it’s an old wives tale but I swear by it, drink a beer. Preferably non-alcoholic because you just need the hops.” After the appointment, I grabbed a case of Heineken 0, chugged two, and within hours we were breastfeeding. I now give Heineken 0 as a gift to expectant moms.”

Some users shared the old wives’ tale that beer makes breast milk drop. Surprisingly, there’s a twist of truth to it. While alcoholic beer is not recommended during breastfeeding, the hops in non-alcoholic beer might help stimulate milk production, according to anecdotal experiences shared by users.

#14: Red Sky Predicts Weather

Red sky
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The saying “Red sky in the morning, shepherd’s warning. Red sky at night, shepherd’s delight” has roots in meteorology. A red sky in the morning can indicate an approaching storm, while a red sky at night suggests clear weather. It seems shepherds might have been onto something with this weather lore.

#15: Hiccup Cure with Water and Breath-Holding

Attractive businesswoman holding glass of water
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“My mother has a trick for when you have the hiccups, it works EVERY TIME. Chug a tall glass of water while pinching your nose closed to not breathe, take many small sips while swallowing, and then just pause after for a moment. Resume breathing normally.”

This technique, although sounds simple, aligns with common hiccup remedies and reflects the variety of methods people use to rid themselves of those pesky hiccups.

#16: Heartburn in Pregnancy and Baby’s Hair

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The old wives’ tale connecting more heartburn during pregnancy to more hair on the baby has some scientific backing. Studies have suggested a correlation between maternal heartburn and the amount of hair a newborn has. It’s a curious link between a mother’s discomfort and a baby’s potential locks.

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