Modern Medical Folklore

True Folklore

Carrots are good for your eyes. Carrots have lots of carotenoids which the body converts to 11-cis retinol, the fundamental chemical in a protein found in the rods of the eyes. Foods rich in carotenoids provide this chemical and so night vision improves.

Married people live longer than single people. Statistics prove that the death rate of married people can be as much as one and a half times lower than for single people. This fact has no scientific explanation behind it.

Limes protect you against scurvy. Any food that is rich in vitamin C will help to protect against scurvy.

Eating licorice soothes an upset stomach. Candy or tea made from the root of the licorice plant can relieve irritated skin and mucous membranes, including those within the digestive system.

Eating ice cream makes you cough. Very cold foods inflame the nerves in the roof and back of the mouth. This causes a deep intake of breath, constriction of the glottis, relaxation of the diaphragm, and then muscle contractions as the air is forced out in a "cough."

Drink honeyed tea to soothe a sore throat. The sweetness in honey stimulates the production of endorphins, the body's natural painkillers, almost instantly. Saliva production is also induced, reducing dryness, and the hot liquid washes away mucous secretions in the throat.

False Folklore

Eating fruit seeds will cause a tree to grow in your stomach. Fruit seeds are indigestible and will move straight through the digestive system.

The newest medicine is the most effective one. Although sometimes true, sometimes in spite of FDA approval, all side effects may not be known because the drug has not been tested on large groups of people.

It's not natural for people to eat meat. Early man did eat more vegetables than meat but meat was eaten. The human intestinal tract is outfitted to digest plant and animal food. Tooth design demonstrates ability to eat everything.

People do not dream in color. People are not trained to remember dreams and so inconsequential details such as colors are not recalled upon waking.

Rub a frostbitten area with snow. Skin with frostbite should be warmed up not chilled. Cells in frostbitten skin are frozen; rubbing will cause more damage and could lead to gangrene. The area should be warmed with warm water only.

To stop a nosebleed, tilt your head back. This will cause the blood to drip down to the back of the throat, down to the stomach, causing choking and nausea. The victim should sit up straight, lean forward slightly, and pinch the bleeding nostril closed.

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