Old Wives Tales, Are They True?

"Mum always knows best", "Listen to what your Grandma says", and "These sayings all have a meaning". These are statement we heard when we were growing up. Let's take a look at some of them and see if there is any substance to their foundation;

Stop worrying or you will get ulcers - when you worry, chemicals are released into your stomach to burn up the food for energy to fight or flee. However, there is often no single cause of ulcers and, while worry certainly isn't the main contributor, it won't help.

It is always darkest before the dawn - often we are at our darkest point where nothing seems to be going right and then one thing happens to make us change our thoughts, the epiphany moment.

There's only one way to go when you reach the bottom - perhaps not the case, you could stay at the bottom. But you certainly can't go any lower so you might as well start looking for positives and moving forward.

Stop frowning or your face will stay like that if the wind changes - smiling has proven benefits for your wellbeing so tun that frown upside down.

An apple a day keeps the doctor away - A 2013 study found that if all people aged over 50 in the UK ate just one apple per day, they would actually prevent or delay 8500 heart attacks and strokes every year.

Weird things happen on a full moon - ask any emergency responder, they will tell you it is true. Unfortunately research doesn't support this assertion however one study in found that we find it more difficult to sleep around the time of a full moon. (So where did the word lunatic come from?) 

Count sheep if you can't get to sleep - this won't work, however visualisation or mental imagery can distract you from thinking stressful or anxious thoughts about not being able to get to sleep.

If you are sick, eat chicken soup - Scientists have discovered that chicken soup can actually reduce inflammation by slowing down the white blood cell activity responsible for causing the inflammation when we have a cold or flu.

Feed a cold, starve a fever - You need to keep your strength up when you are unwell so keep eating regardless of whether it is a cold or flu.

Eat fish if you want to be brainy - A recent Harvard study found that the more fish that mothers ate during their second trimester of pregnancy, the better their babies did on tests when they were six months old. Watch out for fish containing heavy mercury content.

The 'hair of the dog' for hangovers - research has shown that consuming small doses of alcohol can actually relieve alcohol withdrawal symptoms. Rather than that, have a large glass of water before bedtime to re-hydrate.

Don't eat cheese before bed - the bacterial and fungal elements of cheese contain psychoactive ingredients, which have the potential to affect your dreams. A piece of protein at bedtime stops up to 90% of people from waking at 3am. Not all cheese-induced dreams will be scary, some are just weird so enjoy them.

So, maybe our mums and grandmothers didn't know best after all, but they were on the right track nonetheless.