Surprisingly True Old Wives’ Tales

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Surprisingly True Old Wives’ Tales

Mother always said…but was she right?

As it turns out, some of mama’s pearls of wisdom—those popular home remedies passed down from generation to generation often known as “Old Wives’ Tales”... have actually stood the test of time.

Here is a collection of tried-and-true remedies recommended by doctors, mothers and grandmothers alike. (Keep in mind, a doctor's visit is in order any time a new or unusual symptom persists or gets worse.)

True Old Wives Tales for Colds

  • Salvation for the sniffles - chicken-noodle soup. Research proves the soup contains anti-inflammatory properties that may help prevent a cold’s miserable side effects.
  • Go for the gargle. Gargling with boiled salted water that has been slightly cooled kills germs by cleaning the back of the throat and reduces swelling that can cause a sore throat.
  • Inhale warm steam. The steam can help loosen mucus.

True Old Wives Tales for Constipation

  • Chew on a prune. Plain prunes are superior to prune juice. Eating three prunes at night before bedtime can help promote regularity.
  • Drink something warm. Start your day with a hot cup of tea or decaffeinated coffee. Within about a half hour, your body may be sending you a natural signal that "it's time."

True Old Wives Tales for Fever

  • Flush with fluid. Dehydration is the No. 1 cause of body aches and discomfort during a fever, making fluids one of the most important home remedies for a fever.
  • Vinegar cold compress. Mix two parts of white vinegar with one part cold water, soak clean cloths in the solution, wring and place the cloths on the legs, arms, chest or back. Replace the cloths as they collect body heat, resoaking and applying once again until the fever is reduced.

True Old Wives Tales for Cold Sores

  • Cool it. Apply cool milk compresses to sores or numb the pain with ice cubes.
  • Take tea. Press a warm tea bag against the sore. Black tea has tannin, an astringent-like ingredient that relieves pain.

True Old Wives Tales for Dry, Chapped Lips

  • Stay moist. Chronically dry lips that don't respond to lip balm can be a sign that your body needs more water. If you already drink the recommended 64 ounces a day, increase your intake to 100 ounces. Try sipping hot beverages that aren't dehydrating, such as decaffeinated tea or hot water flavored with lemon. The fluid will boost circulation so moisture can better reach your lips' tissue.
  • Exfoliate with a mixture of three teaspoons of vegetable oil, two teaspoons of honey and two teaspoons of sugar. Scrub lips for two minutes, and then rinse off with warm water and apply lip balm.

True Old Wives Tales for Nausea and Vomiting

  • Drink clear liquids. Wait until after your stomach has settled for a few hours, then try sipping a clear beverage such as lime or ginger-flavored soda, seltzer or clear broth are good choices. Try drinking eight to 16 glasses a day, taking sips, to avoid dehydration.
  • Ginger is one of the best stomach woe cures. Taken in any form, it may relieve nausea. Try ginger ale, ginger tea, gingerbread or gingersnaps. If you're traveling, take along ginger sticks or crystallized ginger instead of travel sickness pills or patches. Please check with your doctor before using ginger supplements as they may interact with blood-thinning drugs and diabetes medications.
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