Let’s Bust (Or Believe) Some Old Wives Tales…

1. Chicken soup when you’re sick helps to fight colds

TRUE! In a study published in CHEST Journal, researches found that chicken soup has anti-inflammatory properties that help to relieve the symptoms associated with respiratory infections and has the potential to accelerate mucus clearing. Chicken contains the amino acid cysteine which is similar to acetylcysteine which doctors prescribe for patients.

2. Honey cures a cold.

TRUE! Researchers think that the stickiness and viscosity of honey helps to alleviates coughs while the antioxidants found in honey aid in the healing process.

3. You can stop the hiccups with a spoonful of sugar.

TRUE! Back in 1971 a study done by Dr. Edgar Engelman, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, proved that white granulated sugar cures hiccups. The most reasonable explanation is that the sweetness overstimulates the vagus nerve, thus interrupting it from the original task at hand.

4. Cracking your knuckles causes arthritis.

FALSE! Joints can crack spontaneously due to natural changes in the ligamentous path over the bones, and arthritis is the degeneration of cartilage. Straining or breaking a knuckle may put you at risk, but there is no conclusive studies directly linking the two.

5. Drinking coffee can stunt your growth.

FALSE! There is correlative data linking the two. Also, keep in mind, caffeinated beverages have increased in popularity and people are getting taller.

6. Ginger may help to prevent cancer and helps with nauseousness.

TRUE! According to medical studies, ginger contains many antioxidants, which may help in preventing cancer, and is known to effectively cure all forms of nausea. It has also been shown to promote the production of saliva, digestive juices and bile. It also helps to boost the pumping action of the hart, prevent the formation of blood clots, lower LDL cholesterol and decrease inflammation.

7. It takes seven years to digest swallowed chewing gum.

FALSE! Chewing gum is indigestible but once it’s in your stomach it loses the stickiness and is processed the same way and rate as other food.

8. Sleeping on your back prevents wrinkles.

TRUE! According to the American Academy of Dermatology, sleeping in certain positions night after night leads to sleep lines. Sleeping on your back reduces wrinkle formation, while sleeping on your side can increase wrinkles on your cheeks and chin and face-down can give you a furrowed brow.