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While Mom certainly didn't mean any harm by making you wait an hour after you ate to jump the pool, she was way off base. Odds are, she learned that little lesson from her mother, who learned it from her mother and so on, and so on, and so on. This is how Old Wives Tales came into being and why they're still around today. So, how do you know what's true?

Mom wasn't all wrong. There are a few Old Wives Tales that are actually true:

Ever been given a glass of cranberry juice as a cure for a bladder infection? This one really works. According to a study at Harvard Medical School, the properties in both Cranberry and Blackberry juice will destroy bacteria that is clinging to the walls of the bladder.

Mama would be thrilled to know that eating chicken soup really does aid in fighting the congestion that accompanies a cold. Doctors at UCLA have found that the amino acid cysteine is a common byproduct of chicken soup. This amino acid holds the same properties as acetylcysteine, a common antibiotic prescribed to people with respiratory infections.

Much like the game of telephone, old wives tales tend to change with time, leaving us with partial truths and half stories. Here are few that just miss their mark:

Were you ever told to wear garlic around your neck to avoid getting a cold or flu? Don't do it. Your only end result most likely, would be that everyone around you will want to stay at arm's length. Garlic is a natural antibiotic, though, and when taken internally, it can successfully treat infection. Brigham Young University once confirmed that garlic "killed nearly 100-percent of a human rhinovirus," which typically causes colds and para-influenza. Eating garlic cloves (or even onion) when the sore throat begins to set in, is a good course of treatment.

Did you stuff down carrots to save your eyesight as a child? You can stop now. According to the University of Chicago, carrots in no way prevent night blindness, or enhance your sight. However, the beta carotene (which is found in carrots and a lot of other fruits and vegetables) can help reduce your chances of macular degeneration by as much as 40-percent.


A: Chocolate will give you ACNE. Numerous studies have failed to show any connection between the two for years and in fact, there is little evidence to suggest that your diet affects acne at all.

B: BATS are blind. Not true. Many species of bats have excellent eyesight, actually. (Maybe from eating their carrots?) Most bats are known for their exceptionally advanced echolocation, which they use in conjunction with their eyesight.

BATS will get tangled in your hair. Again, not true. The reason bats swoop around your head at night is because the movement your making is stirring the insects in the air, and you're simply flushing out their dinner for them.

C: COFFEE will sober you up. Coffee will keep you awake and the caffeine may help to relieve a headache or hangover, but it cannot change the alcohol content in your body.

D: If your DOG'S nose is dry, he's sick. According to veterinarians, the dryness of dog's nose is only an indicator that your dog has been sleeping or resting.

E: Wait an hour after EATING before swimming. Doctors agree, swimming immediately after eating will not harm you in any way. In fact, many long distance Olympic swimmers buff up on carbs right before taking to the water.

F: A FAT baby is a happy baby.

G: GREASE on a burn will help it heal.

H: A HORSESHOE is good luck.

I: If your nose ITCHES, someone must be thinking of you.

J: A JEALOUS man is a faithful man.

K: It's bad luck to close a pocketKNIFE, unless you were the one who opened it.

L: You'll hurt your eyes reading in dim LIGHT. Nope. You may get eyestrain, but it cannot damage your eyesight.

M: If you break a MIRROR, you'll have 7 years of bad luck.

N: NUETERING your pet will cause him to gain weight.

O: An ONION under your bed will help draw out poisons from a cold.

P: If you touch a POISON IVY rash, it will spread.

Q: Don't QUESTION authority.

R: A RABBITS foot will bring you good luck.

S: If you spill the SALT, throw a pinch over your left shoulder for luck.

T: Candy causes TOOTH decay. Not even close to true. Foods like crackers and salty chips can contribute to tooth decay, but not sugary candy.

U: Milk is good for an ULCER. Milk is actually the worst thing you can feed an ulcer, as it stimulates the production of gastric acid, which will irritate your ulcer more.

V: A widow wears a VEIL during mourning to hide from death and prevent others from catching death from her.

W: If you touch a frog or toad, you'll get WARTS.
WATERMELONS will grow in your stomach if you swallow the seeds.

Y: YOU will catch a cold if you're underdressed.

Z: Squeezing and popping ZITS will clear up acne faster. Not true. It will actually cause permanent scarring on your face.