I love reading old wives’ tales, because some of these beliefs are just bonkers when you think about them. How many of you have dutifully avoided stepping on cracks or swallowing gum for fear of terrible consequences? And this doesn’t even begin to call black cats, ladders, and broken mirrors into the equation. But for all the wackiness in some of this folk wisdom, there are some true old wives’ tales are actually backed up by scientific study.
Okay, so your cat probably will not suffocate your new baby, and swimming after eating won’t lead to spontaneous drowning. But savoring chicken soup when you’re sick or eating an apple every day may actually have great health benefits. Some of these beliefs aren’t just silly superstitions, so it looks like our forefathers (or in this case foremothers) were onto something.
So if your grandmother always made you eat the crust off your sandwich or gave you a spoonful of castor oil when you got sick, it turns out she was genuinely helping your health. Sometimes this homespun wisdom really is right, and some interesting studies have the research to back up these beliefs. Read on to find out if your favorite old wives’ tale has some basis in reality.