22 Old Wives’ Tales That Turned Out to be True

Everyone of us have heard the various old wives’ tales that we are told from our mothers, our grandmothers or our friends. Well as it turns out, there is actually truth in some of them and today we want to share the old wives’ tales that we know to actually be true.

Now obviously, not all old wives’ tales are true of course. Money spiders don’t bring money and itchy palms won’t make you rich but have you found any of those old wives’ tales you were told to be true? If so, let us know about them in the comments at the end of the article and we will get them added to the list.

1. Use Plants to Purify the Air at Home

According to NASA’s Clean Air Study, it was found that there are a number of plants that can be used around the home to detoxify your home from the airborne toxins, dusts and germs. 10 of the best air-purifying plants that you can use are:

  1. Barberton Daisy
  2. English Ivy
  3. Snake Plant (also known as Mother-in-Law’s Tongue)
  4. Chrysanthemum
  5. Spider Plant
  6. Aloe Vera
  7. Broad Lady Palm
  8. Red-Edged Dracaena or Dragon Tree
  9. Weeping Fig
  10. Chinese Evergreen

2. Use Newspapers To Clean Windows

You may have heard about combining white vinegar and water to an old newspaper for cleaning your windows is the best way to go. Well as it turns out, it is true. Most newspapers contain little to no sizing which is added to magazine paper to make it more water-repellent. Because it doesn’t contain the same amounts, it means that newspaper is super absorbent so that it can hold onto the ink that gets printed on it. The high absorbency of the newsprint is likely what makes it so effective at cleaning windows. It actually absorbs the liquid instead of just pushing it around.

3. Microwave Sponges To Keep Them Clean

Zapping your sponges in the microwave can kill bacteria, such as E. coli, that can cause illness. “Basically, what we find is that we could knock out most bacteria in two minutes,” says researcher Gabriel Bitton, professor of environmental engineering at the University of Florida. “People often put their sponges and scrubbers in the dishwasher, but if they really want to decontaminate them and not just clean them, they should use the microwave.

  • Microwave only sponges or plastic scrubbers that do not contain steel or other metals.
  • Make sure the sponge or scrubber is wet, not dry.
  • Two minutes should be enough to kill most disease-causing germs.

4. Use Peanut Butter To Remove Chewing Gum From Hair

Peanut butter will help to remove wads of chewing gum that gets stuck to your shoes and even in your childs hair.

  1. Find a jar of creamy style peanut butter
  2. Cover the gum completely with the peanut butter using your fingers. With peanut butter, the oils in the product make the chewing gum base stiffer and less sticky.
  3. Wait a few minutes to allow it to work.
  4. Remove the gum from the hair.
  5. Wash your child’s hair as normal.

5. Unclog Your Drain With Alka Seltzer

Clogs happen but they can easily be dealt with with Alka-Seltzer tablets and white vinegar.

  1. Remove the cover from the drain.
  2. Drop 2-4 Alka-Selzter tablets down the drain, breaking them into small pieces to travel deeply down the hole.
  3. Pour a cup of white vinegar down the drain immediately after inserting the Alka-Selzter tablets. Allow the items to interact and bubble up for 10 minutes or until you no longer hear or see bubbling action.
  4. Fill a tea kettle and boil the water while the substances react.
  5. Flush the drain with a fast stream of hot water from the tea kettle or bucket, using all the water held in the vessel. Run water in the shower afterwards to see if the clog has cleared; if not, repeat the process.

6. Remove Carpet Dents With An Ice Cube

If you leave heavy furniture on your carpet for a long period of time, the weight of the item deforms the fibres of the rug. The longer the furniture is in the same spot, the deeper the marks get. Did you know that you really can use ice cubes to remove those dents?

  1. Move the furniture away from the area.
  2. Fill the dents in the carpet with ice cubes. As they melt away, the marked areas will absorb the moisture. This way, the dents get swollen up by the water and will gradually disappear.
  3. Leave the ice overnight or for at least a couple of hours. The carpet fibres need time to absorb the water and puff up.
  4. Use a clean cloth to remove the leftover moisture. You won’t be able to get the rug 100% dry, but you need to remove as much of the water as possible.
  5. Use your fingers or a small brush to fluff the carpet fibres up.

7. Fill A Hole In The Wall With Soap

If you are fixing tiny holes in the walls, try the soap method. Simply rub a bar of white Ivory Soap (or whatever color matches your wall) over the hole in a circular motion, and keep rubbing until the hole is completely filled in. Then, use a rag to wipe away all the excess soap.

8. Iron Quicker Using Aluminum Foil

Adding a layer of foil under the ironing board cover can make ironing both quicker and easier. The foil reflects the heat from the iron directly onto the underside of the garments being ironed. Make sure that when placing the foil under the ironing board cover, the shiny side of the foil is facing upwards. You will only need to iron one side of the garment as the foil will take care of the rest.

9. Use Walnuts To Remove Furniture Scratches

Over time your wooden furniture is going to start getting scratched but luckily, there is an easy fix. In fact, all you need is walnuts. Simply remove the nut from the shell and rub the walnut over a scratch in the wood several times. Then, with your fingers rub the scratched area. This will help the wood absorb the oil from the nut. Lastly, use a soft cloth to buff the area.

10. An Apple a Day Keeps the Doctor Away

You should already know of the importance of eating fruit and vegetables when it comes to your health but as it turns out, an apple a day isn’t just a tale, they were actually spot on. In a study carried out in 2013, it was found that if people aged over 50 ate just one apple per day, they would actually prevent – or delay – 8500 heart attacks and strokes every year.

In a separate study carried out by the University of Western Australia, it was found that eating just 100 g (3.5 oz) of apple each day can significantly improve your life expectancy. The skin of the apple has high levels of plant compound flavonoids that help prevent cell damage, reduce cancer risk, and help people maintain a healthy weight.

11. Carrots Help Improve Your Vision

As it turns out, under certain conditions, eating carrots really will help improve eyesight. The body uses beta-carotene to make vitamin A which helps the eye convert light into a signal that can be transmitted to the brain, allowing people to see under conditions of low light. In addition, the cornea can literally disappear if the body does not get enough vitamin A. Every year an estimated 250,000 to 500,000 children become blind as a result of vitamin A deficiency.

12. The Sharper the Blast, the Sooner ‘Tis Past

We have written before here on the site about old ways of predicting the weather and here is another one for you. When a storm builds rapidly, it’s stronger and faster than when a storm builds gradually. A strong thunderstorm has an average speed of about 50 km/h (30 mph), meaning it will only last for a short period of time. A gentle rain shower, though, can travel at a fraction of that speed and can last for days.

Related: Predicting Weather the Old Fashioned Way

13. Chicken Soup Cures a Cold

Scientists believe that a bowl of chicken soup may actually reduce inflammation of the lungs. It is thought that chicken soup slows down the activity of white blood cells that can cause the inflammation. You can read more into this over at BBCGoodFood.

14. Fish is Brain Food

I am sure you were told at some point growing up that eating fish is good for the brain. As it turns out, eating fish regularly can reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. In a study carried out by Martha Clare Morris and colleagues at Rush Medical Center in Chicago, 554 Chicago residents, who died over a ten-year period were looked at. The scientists conducted autopsies to look directly in the brain for physiological changes such as neuritic plaques, which are signs of Alzheimer’s or other disease. They used questionnaire data, which they collected for everyone in the study, to measure how much fish people had been eating. It was found that the people who ate seafood at least once per week had lower levels of three different physiological signs of Alzheimer’s, but only in people with a genetic marker known as APOE ε4, which itself carries an increased risk of Alzheimer’s.

Bad news for fish oil supplement makers: The study found that “fish oil supplementation had no statistically significant correlation with any neuropathologic marker.” In other words, people who took supplements got no benefit. You just have to eat fish.

15. Chocolate Helps to Relieve Premenstrual Cramps

Dark chocolate is known to contain nutrients and antioxidants such as anandamide, which are believed to have a calming effect, keeping anxiety and moods in balance. So next time, don’t feel guilty about having an extra piece of chocolate or two but just don’t overdo it!

16. Red Sky at Night, Sailor’s Delight. Red Sky in Morning, Sailor’s Warning

Another weather related one here for you that you are bound to have heard before. When we see a red sky at night, it means that the setting sun is sending its light through a high concentration of dust particles, which usually indicates high pressure and stable air coming in from the west, usually followed by good weather. A red sunrise can mean that a high pressure system (good weather) has already passed, thus indicating that a storm system (low pressure) may be coming.

17. Old People Can Predict Weather

Growing up, my grandfather would say that it was going to rain and he knew so because he “could feel it in his bones“. Obviously I thought he had just heard the weather on the radio or something but actually the claim that older people can feel it in their bones could very well be true. Stormy weather is preceded by a drop in air pressure, which causes pain in joints of those who suffer from the arthritis.

18. Honey Relieves a Scratchy Throat

Honey is an amazing food item and can be used in many ways. One of those ways is that it can be used to sooth a sore throat by adding a few teaspoons of honey into hot tea or lemon water. You must remember though that this won’t cure the infection, it will just help to relieve it.

19. A Wooden Spoon Prevents a Pot from Boiling Over

Placing a wooden spoon into a pot will prevent it from boiling over but why exactly does this work? First off, the spoon destabilizes the bubbles when they come into contact with its water-repelling surface, which makes the boiling water retreat. Secondly, the bubbles created from boiling water are filled with steam. If the bubble touches something below 100°C (212°F), the steam will condense and break the surface of the bubble.

20. Onion Relieves Pain from a Bee Sting

This was another one I used to hear from my grandfather that does in fact work and it relives the pain from all kinds of stings from bees, wasps and other insects. Simply rub a piece of onion on the sting and it can help reduce swelling as the vegetable’s enzymes break down the toxins from the sting.

21. Hair of the Dog

I used to use this one as an excuse to keep partying when I was younger but never really actually thought it was working. I always just thought that i was numbing the pain with more alcohol. If you overdid it last night and you’re feeling the effects today with a not-so-nice hangover, it has been found that consuming small doses of alcohol can actually relieve alcohol withdrawal symptoms.

22. Eat Your Crusts

Eating your crusts won’t give you curly hair or put hair on your chest which you will have heard but studies have found that the crust of bread has eight times the level of antioxidants than the rest of the bread. So if you’re going to eat bread- go with the crusty delicious stuff!

What are some crazy old wives tales you’ve been told that actually turned out to be true?

   

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