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Old Wive's Tales You Believe Are True.... Maybe

Updated on August 29, 2014

9 Old Wives’ Tales You Probably Believe

When people grow-up hearing the same old wives’ tales over-and-over, it's just natural to believe their true. My mom used to be the biggest perpetrator of spreading old wives’ tales, as biblical fact. It wasn't until I grew up that I realized many of the things I thought were true, weren’t true in the slightest. Here is a few tales my mom told me.

1. Eating Spicy Food Will Either Give You/ or Upset Your Existing Ulcer.

I used to have ulcers when I got back from Iraq. When my mom warned me not to eat spicy food, I called my military doctor. Sure enough, the doctor says that is just a myth. In fact, chili peppers contain an enzyme which may in fact help an ulcer. Myth busted, Mom.

2. Do Not Over Shampoo Your Hair.

When you wash your hair, make sure you don’t do it so thoroughly, that you are getting rid of all the oils that is produced naturally on the scalp. Instead, try to only use shampoo every other shower. As a Marine, this is hard for me, so I figured out a compromise. I use a really expensive shampoo/conditioner 2-in-1.

3. Add a Little Brandy on Washcloth and Place in Your Infant’s Mouth, To Help With The Pain of Teething.

Parenting 101: Don't give your child alcohol.

4. If You are Pregnant and Overdue, Eat Eggplant Parmesan.

When I was overdue, my friends told me to eat eggplant Parmesan to induce labor. It did not work at first. When I went to my OB/GYN, he just laughed. To give this legendry some credence, I went back that night for eggplant parmesan, and my water broke. So I rate this rumor a 50/50.

5. Cats Can Kill Babies by Stealing Their Breath.

I never heard this one before. When I told my friend I was writing this article, she told me a few of herd, this being one of them.

6. Masturbation Causes Blindness.

When I was in the Marines, I never saw one blind Marine. If any group of people who would go blind because of this old wives’ tale was true, it would 99% of the Marine Corps.

7. Cracklings Your Finger Can Cause Arthritis.

Cracking you knuckles do not cause arthritis. The pop noise that is made when pushing down on knuckles is actually a minor release in nitrogen gas. It is not harmful. Is it incredibly annoying Yes.

8. Eating Chocolate Causes Acne.

I have had acne all my life, eating chocolate or not. I am a vegan (Marines can be vegans), and don't eat normal chocolate since it is made with milk. They make vegan chocolate as well. So therefore, this old wives’ tale is busted. I have had both normal and vegan chocolate, while eating a lot of chocolate might make you gain weight, it won’t cause you any acne.

9. Eating Carrots Does Not Help with Eyesight.

My nutritionist told me that carrots do not help vision unless the lack of sight is due to a vitamin K deficiency. I have an 8-year old; so I'll just keep this last urban legend to myself. Carrots are nutritious, and she is very lucky, she inherited her father’s eyes which are 20/10. My vision is 20/450; yeah , I am blind as a bat.


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    • Alli Rose profile imageAUTHOR

      Alli Rose Smith 

      4 years ago from Washington, DC

      Thank you. When a person is told a fable since birth, it's hard to realize they could be wrong. Thanks!

    • samsons1 profile image


      4 years ago from Tennessee

      Hi Ali, and thanks for the follow, I gladly reciprocate and welcome you to the 'mix'. Being an old mountain man myself I really enjoyed this hub and wish you much success with you future articles...;)


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