'Old Wives Tales' That Are Total BS (And Some That Are True)

30/04/2016 10:12 AM AEST | Updated 15/07/2016 12:52 PM AEST
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Girl eating lunch at recess

Did your folks (or maybe your grandparents) ever tell you that eating your crusts would make your hair curly, so you shoved whole sandwiches in your gob for months on end only to learn it was all in vain?

As kids we're often told some really odd things but we believe them because, hey, what would we know? And while most old wives tales are codswallop, a few have some truth to them.

Going to bed with wet hair will make you catch a cold

Great news for night time shower takers everywhere, this is not true. Colds are infectious, contagious viruses and are totally unrelated to damp hair. This most probably originated when it was thought that being cold equalled a cold. Also, your mum probably just wanted to keep the pillows from getting damp.

Applying butter to a burn will heal it faster

Step away from the tub of yellow stuff. It won't help, and not only that -- it could make things worse. Reason being, the everyday butter in your fridge isn't sterile, so you could be potentially applying bacteria to an open wound. Also, you're wasting delicious butter. A lengthy dose of cold running water from the tap is a much more effective option.

butter on toast

Butter belongs on toast, not burns.

Jelly cubes give you strong nails

Despite some people swearing by this, it's a total myth. The rationale is along the lines of gelatin being made from bone marrow, which is a collagen that makes up the building blocks of hair and nails. While it sounds viable, it's sadly not -- and has never been proven. Back to nail hardener, for now (and a look at your diet for any deficiencies).

Eating the bread crust makes our hair go curly

This is a big fat nope, obviously. Eating bread crust (or anything for that matter) can't alter the gene composition of hair shafts. More plausible is the fact that some kids dont like crusts, so it's a trick adults employ to get them to eat a whole sandwich. And cutting off the crusts is wasteful, so eat up.

If someone yawns and you like them, you yawn too

True! Yawning is thought to be 'contagious', meaning that it has a psychological effect on those who see, hear or read about yawning (are you yawning right now?). A study even hinted that the more you like someone, the more likely you are to catch a yawn off them. Empathy at its strangest.

Eating carrots can help you to see in the dark

This one is true! Well, sort of. According to Science Focus, carrots contain vitamin A, or retinol, and this is required for your body to synthesise rhodopsin, which is the pigment in your eyes that operates in low-light conditions. If you have a vitamin A deficiency, you can develop nyctalopia or night blindness. Eating carrots could possibly correct this.

carrots see in the dark

You probably need to eat a lot more than this.

If you pull a strange face and the wind changes, you'll be stuck that way

Incorrect. While anecdotally the wind has the ability to make people mighty irritable, it can't freeze a funny look on your face. Again, this was more likely a boring adult's attempt at stopping children being, well, children.

A spoonful of cod liver oil can help your immune system

This has some truth to it. Cod liver oil has a whole host of health benefits, namely because it has anti-inflammatory properties which is why it is often used to treat arthritis. Fish oils in general offer healthy cholesterol level support, as well as bone health. It's also said fish oil can help boost mood.

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