Four Common Health Myths, Busted!

Four Common Health Myths, Busted!
Photo Credit: SIphotography / iStockPhoto.com
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Myths, Wivestales, or Superstition – Let’s Get the Facts Straight

Many health myths have survived for a long time because they contain more than a grain of truth. Other beliefs are just flat out wrong. Today we will take a look at several popular health beliefs you may assume are true — after all, it is likely you learned many of these beliefs from your mother, and mom isn’t usually wrong.

1. Cracking Your Knuckles Is Bad for You

Most people can safely crack their knuckles without worrying about causing arthritis or dislocating their fingers. However, some individuals have sprained their knuckles and had abnormal growths develop. So, cracking your knuckles is generally safe, albeit with some caveats.

It may be safer for you to crack your knuckles in private rather than in the company of others. If you crack your knuckles around some people, my 91-year-old mother included, your personal well-being could very well be in danger because many detest the sound of popping knuckles.

2. Butter Is Good for a Burn

Hopefully no one applies butter to burns anymore. When I was a child, we did.

Butter seals in heat, and if you use salted butter, the salt will make the burn hurt even more. The best thing to apply to a burn is ice or a cold compress.

My favorite home remedy for burns is lavender essential oil. Apply it directly to the burn; it kills bacteria and relieves pain almost instantly. Lavender soothes emotions, which are likely being plundered by adrenaline after the burn occurs.

3. Whiskey Cures Toothaches

Back when I was young, People used to rub whiskey on sore gums to ease toothaches — I don’t recommend this practice. There are certainly better uses for spirits!

Rubbing ground cloves or biting on a whole clove will anesthetize a sore tooth. In fact, dentists used clove oil for years as a local anesthetic.

Another practice we used was putting an aspirin directly on the tooth. I don’t recall if that worked or not. A better approach is to take ibuprofen, which is what most dentists recommend to relieve tooth pain.

4. Drink Olive Oil and Lemon Juice to Get Rid of Gallstones

Every once in a while this old remedy for gallstones pops up again. Do not drink olive oil and lemon juice if you think you have gallstones. While both are wonderful healthy items, they are not beneficial when consumed in the large amounts uninformed individuals recommend as a means to rid the body of gallstones.

The theory behind the lemon juice and olive oil treatment is consuming large amounts of any fat causes the body to increase production of bile. Increased bile production in combination with the hope that lemon juice might dissolve small gallstones is believed to flush gallstones out of the body.

Drinking lemon juice and olive oil is not a healthy treatment. Often nothing happens, but sometimes bile is released and a stone gets stuck in the outlet of the gallbladder, causing vomiting, severe pain, infection, and a potential life-threatening surgical emergency.