Before I became a music major, I was a biology major. I love and wholeheartedly embrace science. I am a little bit of a contradiction in that I also love the arts. It is possible to live in both the “artsy-fartsy” world and the analytical world and make it out of college alive :)
There are old wives’ tales, and then there are just myths. Coming from a Caribbean family, I’ve heard my fair share of “shut the front door” theories on how to remedy common problems, such as the common cold, hiccups, or even postpartum care for mothers.
There is one myth that I will never forget: how to get rid of baby hiccups. If you ever see a Hispanic baby with a very deliberately placed piece of thread on their forehead, be warned. Don’t reach for it unless you want the wrath of the baby’s mama. That thread will allegedly “take away the baby’s hiccups.”
Another health myth is for postpartum mother care. I will preface the following with this: women are well taken care of postpartum by family in the Dominican countryside, but sometimes to an extreme. It is frowned upon to leave the house for 40 days postpartum. I’ve seen women in the Dominican countryside with cotton balls stuffed in their ears after giving birth. This is supposed to protect the woman from infections and other illnesses postpartum. (To be honest, I’m still not sure I understand this one). Naturally, as someone who has a background in biology, you can understand why it takes all of me not to implode watching these scenarios unfold.
I am always curious about different methods of treating conditions, but when it comes to my family, and myself, I prefer to stick to scientific facts.
My husband suffers from cold sores from time to time. Seeing him in pain upsets me. He’s tried (almost) everything to get rid of cold sores. I have heard of a cold sore healing myth involving applying nail polish remover (acetone) with a cotton swab and holding it there as long as possible. I don’t know about you, but I almost gag just when using acetone on my nails. I can’t even imagine putting that stuff near my nose or mouth – it shouldn’t go anywhere near the face!
I am guilty of having purchased the wrong products for him once or twice (huge mistake) and sadly they only provided temporary relief of his symptoms. The cold sores kept growing in size and in pain. Since then I’ve learned to trust Abreva®, the only non-prescription cold sore medication approved by the FDA to shorten healing time and the duration of symptoms. When he senses the first signs of a cold sore, Brian goes to the local pharmacy and purchases Abreva®.
Small and easy to carry around in your pocket or carry-on bag during travel, it can heal a cold sore in as few as 2 ½ days if applied at the first sign of one*. His cold sores clear up in roughly four days (versus a week or two without Abreva®).
Fight your cold sore with medicine, not myths.
*Median Healing Time 4.1 days. 25% of users healed in 2.5 days.
Does your family or culture believe in any health myths? Tell me about it in the comments for a chance to win a $100 Visa gift card!
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