Five health remedies you grew up believing, debunked
Have you ever been told that ice-creams in winter can make you catch a cold? Or eating spicy foods may cause stomach ulcers? You are not alone. We all grew up hearing many such health myths. And despite all our doubts about them, we can’t help but wonder if there had been a truth behind them after all.
So today, we bring you 5 of the most common health myths that are nothing but old wives tales.
Myth 1: Daith piercings can reduce migraine.
Daith piercing is a piercing of the small cartilage right above the opening of your ear canal. A lot of people believe that getting this piercing can help them get rid of migraines. They believe it works as acupuncture and activates certain pressure points in your ear.
Fact: No evidence says a daith piercing can relieve migraines. According to the American Migraine Foundation, during acupuncture, you put constant pressure - for a particular amount of time - on a very specific area on the skin. A piercing providing such benefits is virtually impossible even if done under the guidance of an acupuncture therapist. In a 2017 research, a 54-year-old woman got relief from her pain after a daith piercing, however, the researchers concluded that it is nothing but a placebo.
Myth 2: Girls shouldn’t wash their hair or even bathe when they’re on their period.
When it comes to menstruation and women, every country has its own set of myths. One pretty common one in India says that if a woman washes her hair during her periods, her periods could become erratic and she could lose her fertility. If she bathes during her periods, the flow would increase or decrease by a lot.
Fact: Bathing and washing your hair has nothing to do with fertility or periods. In fact, it is important to maintain good hygiene during this time of the month. Bathing with hot water might even relieve your period cramps and improve the flow - then again maybe this is where the myth is rooted.
Myth 3: Cracking your knuckles gives you arthritis.
Surely most of us have heard or used this myth at least once in our lives to stop people from cracking their knuckles. Knuckle cracking can be annoying, but did you ever wonder if it was harming your bones?
Fact: Arthritis has nothing to do with knuckle cracking. The pop sound that comes out of your knuckles when you pull or stretch your fingers is actually from gas bubbles bursting inside your synovial fluid - the fluid that lubricates joints. But that does not mean it is a safe habit. Knuckle cracking can lead to injuries. And if you already have osteoarthritis, it can worsen your symptoms.
Myth 4: Apply surma on your waterline for good eyesight.
This is one of the most common myths that is told to every new mom. No wonder every Indian newborn has a ton of kohl in their eyes.
Fact: There is no evidence to prove this fact. On the contrary, most surma brands have been found to contain some amount of lead, which can harm the baby’s brain and bone marrow. The Food and Drug Authority (FDA), U.S.A., does not even approve this cosmetic for use.
Myth 5: Spicy foods can cause stomach ulcers.
If you particularly love spicy food, this myth may have been nothing less than the bane of your existence. The good news is it is just that - a myth - and we gonna bust it once and for all today.
Fact: Stomach ulcers are usually caused by a bacteria, Helicobacter pylori. The bacteria damages your stomach walls, making them prone to its own juices - your stomach produces its own acid for proper break down of food. However, if you already have ulcers, spicy foods can irritate your stomach and worsen the symptoms.
For more information, please read our article on Period Myths.
Health articles in Firstpost are written by myUpchar.com, India’s first and biggest resource for verified medical information. At myUpchar, researchers and journalists work with doctors to bring you information on all things health.
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Updated Date: Jan 03, 2020 15:23:29 IST
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