If you’re an Asian, you’d have probably heard this from your parents or grandparents: “If you sit on a hot seat, you’ll have piles. Pat the seat with your hand first” or “If you want good eyesight, look out at the grass for 30 minutes every day.”
Very often, the elderly would suggest some “health tips” to us.
But do you know that some of them are just old wives’ tales with no studies to back them up?
This is where we come in. In this article, Goody Feed is going to debunk some of the “health tips” Asian parents have been telling you.
If you prefer to watch a video about this topic instead, here’s a video we’ve done (watch it till the end for a surprise!):
Now, before anything, do note that we’re just going to talk about “health tips” and not superstitious tips.
For example, it’s said that you shouldn’t cut your nails after 6pm or 7pm, depending on who you hear it from, if not you’d have nightmares or a ‘ghost’ might visit you.
Those are just superstitious tips, and since they won’t affect you in any way, we’re not going to focus on them.
Instead, we’re looking into “tips” that supposedly affect your health.
Myth #1: Looking at Grass or Looking at Anything Green would Improve Your Eyesight
The short answer is this: No.
There hasn’t been even a study that shows that looking at grass or anything green would improve your eyesight.
I mean, if there is, doctors all over the world would ask you to date a soldier to improve your eyesight. Geddit?
But there’s some truth in that “health tip”: while looking at grass or anything green won’t help your eyes, looking at things far away from you does.
You see, most of the times, we’re looking at things close to us, like our phones or our laptops.
When we look at things far away, it gives our eyes some respite; kind of like a rest for the eyes.
Of course, you can close your eyes to relax, but looking far also kind of “stretch” your eyes
But what has this got to do with grass?
Simple. When you look outside your window, you’d have to look far to see the grass and the trees.
That could’ve been how the misconception come about.
So yes: looking at grass doesn’t help, but looking far is the more accurate way.
And looking at anything green isn’t going to help. Unless your boyfriend is a soldier.
Myth #2: Sleeping with Wet Hair Will Cause Health Issues
It’s said that if you sleep with your hair wet, there would be many consequences.
Some say you’ll wake up with a headache. Others say you’ll catch a cold. While a handful says fungus will grow on your hair.
Lastly, of course, some say you’ll wake up “tao fong” (crazy).
But here’s the thing: there hasn’t been any study to back up these claims
So why the rumour?
This is pretty unclear, but maybe it’s because sleeping with wet hair is a breeding ground for old wives’ tales. Geddit?
Still, it’s not recommended to sleep with wet hair, because for people with long hair, it might get tangled at night easier, and you’ll need to spend more time in the morning working on it.
Also, the part about fungal infection is partly true—but that happens to both dry and wet hair, so the goal is to keep your pillow and hair clean, not keep them dry.
Myth #3: Using Toothpaste for Your Burn Wound
This is one of the common old wives’ tales.
But the fact is that using toothpaste will make things way worse.
You see, the misconceptions come because it feels cool when we use toothpaste to brush our teeth.
However, the ingredients in toothpaste will make a wound worse as it’ll increase the risk of infection. And also, some of them might seal the heat in the burn area, which damages your skin even more.
So if you burn yourself for just 1 second, the toothpaste might cause it to kind of burn for 3 seconds instead.
So what should you do if you have a burn wound?
Run cool running water over the wound, and if it’s serious, seek medical attention.
Myth #4: Pineapple and Pregnancy
A common old wives’ tale among pregnant woman is that the consumption of pineapple will cause miscarriage immediately.
Or that if you’re pregnant and have a full pineapple, you’ll go into labour immediately.
Heck, another tale is if you have pineapple regularly, you won’t get pregnant.
So which of this statement is true? None of them.
Once again, there hasn’t been any study to show that pineapple is linked to any pregnancy issues.
The reason why the rumour started was because pineapple contains bromelain, an enzyme that’s sometimes used in a highly-concentrated form to treat inflammation.
However, it contains such a small amount that it doesn’t pose a danger.
Unless you have pineapples 3 meals a day for 9 months. If that’s the case, pineapples are the least of your worries.
Myth #5: Drinking Soft Drinks will Make Your Teeth Smaller
It’s a well-known fact that soft drinks aren’t exactly good for our health, but some people say that drinking them would make your teeth smaller.
Heck, some even say that your teeth will dissolve completely.
As expected, this is not true.
You see, soft drinks aren’t good for your teeth because they contain sugar, and you should know that sugar likes to stay on your teeth and create a buffet line for bacteria that’ll eventually lead to cavities.
But other foods will cause that too, so why are soft drinks being discriminated against?
Simple: because soft drink, like Coke, is acidic. The rumour is that since it’s acidic, it’ll dissolve the teeth.
This is actually discriminatory too because there are many foods that are acidic too, and some could be even more acidic than a can of soft drinks, like an orange or lemon.
You don’t hear people saying that orange will dissolve your teeth, right?
Dentists often suggest that if you’ve drunk a glass of soft drink, all you need to do is to raise your mouth with a cup of water to keep the pH level in your mouth normal.
Myth #6: Sitting on a Hot Seat Causes Piles
Ah, this is fun and cute, but read this: there is no evidence to prove that piles are caused by sitting on hot seats, or on seats that someone has sat on before.
You see, piles, or you can call it haemorrhoids if you want to sound smarter, is actually a condition within your body.
So basically, if you sit at a toilet for too long, and you use so much energy that your blood vessel near your butt cannot take it and swell.
And that’s the only reason for piles.
If you bleed while you’re doing your business, it’s because the blood vessel has swelled so much that it burst, leading to blood flowing out.
The best way to prevent piles is to make sure your trip to the toilet is fast and not furious, and this means not using your phone while you’re doing your business.
Featured Image: Maxx-Studio / Shutterstock.com & Corona Borealis Studio / Shutterstock.com