Ready to Participate?
Ready to Participate?
Get Started!
Log In

Old wive's tales?
There was one that said drinking a concoction made from willow bark would cure headaches; it was susequently found that willow bark contains a compound that is chemically similar to aspirin.
Do you think 'old wive's tales' are dismissed too easily and that if they were more thoroughly investigated they could actually proved to have a sound basis?
asked in old remedies, medicine

siasl74 answers:

There is a vibrant field of medicine looking at "old wives tales" and "shaman cures" and whatnot to (a) work out if they do actually do anything and (b) how that happens.

I seem to recall an effort in India to write down all the tribal herbal knowledge in the country for this aim.

Some are a bit daft, though....

Supplement from 10/10/2008 09:04am:

How about the old wives tale of having sex with a virgin to cure AIDS? :-)

It takes a lot of work to separate the wheat from the chaff

/ reply

Maygs answers:

I think if they weren't affective then they wouldn't be so well known, silly things such as rubbing the area when you hurt yourself is said to be an old wives tale; but in actual fact it gets the bloo circulating and therefore helps it heal.

I definitely think the old wives knew what they were on about.

/ reply

seacommander answers:

I'm absolutely convinced that the majority of old wive's tales are founded on proven experience. We are far too quick in dismissing the observations of previous generations, especially in the field of medicine where we expect all major discoveries to come out of shiny laboratories. Take vincristine for example, this drug, derived from the periwinkle, is used in the treatment of cancer and its history goes back a long way in folk lore.
In some respects I would prefer to try an old wive's tale rememdy as a first line rather than some modern complex drug with all the possibilities of side effects.

/ reply

wumpus answers:

Another cure for headaches was for the patient to ingest curled-up woodlice.

Some of those old wives' tales need to be laid to rest with alacrity.

/ reply

reactivated answers:

Another 1 is when stung by a Nettle use a dock leaf to stop the stinging. As with most plants that are bad for you, there is always a antidote of another plant to counter the effects of the bad plant.
(why animals know what plants to eat or stay clear off when they ill.)
But i never did get the old wives tale if you have a wart or a black eye is to rub some steak over it and then bury it.

/ reply

funrunna answers:

In my personal experience. There is far more to be gained from "old wives tales" Than old mens' tales!

/ reply


No Comments