Every time someone comes up with or is told a wacky idea about how to use a product, activity, or service for something other than its marketed purpose, then the idea is generally deemed to be a myth. Myths have been challenged for years, which makes it hard to draw any valid conclusions as to if some myths are actually true or not. So I decided to become a generic myth buster and test/research whether or not some of these myths are true. My findings are as follows:
Myth 1: Washing with coca cola or tomato juice will get rid of a skunk smell.
Now before I disclose my findings on this myth, I just want everyone to know that I did not go out and torment a skunk, just to get sprayed, to test this myth. I actually can say, from my experiences, that this is just a myth. A friend of mine had a skunk spray her and her dog when they were trying to leave the house for a walk. The skunk was up on her porch eating her dog food that she had sitting out. She had heard that the acidic nature of tomato juice and coca cola would eat away the skunk smell if she bathed with them. So she tried it and the only thing that it did was make her smell like a skunk, which was eating tomatoes and drinking coca cola all day long. So I would have to rate this myth, to be just a myth.
Myth 2: Rub vinegar on a sunburn
I had gotten a really bad sunburn this last summer and a co-worker of mine told me to go home and rub vinegar on it to soothe the burning sensation. I thought this was really weird advice, but it did work to a certain extent. The vinegar only cooled the sunburn for a short period of time and then you had to keep re-applying it to keep the same effect. I also did further research on the effects vinegar has on your skin and I found that vinegar can actually restore the balance to your skin and protect it from drying out. So essentially, vinegar could be an excellent thing to use on sunburn and may help to prevent peeling as well. So on the basis of these facts; I would have to say that there is some truth to this myth.
Myth 3: Peroxide should be applied to open wounds and left to the open air.
I remember as a child that every time I got a cut, my mom would run and grab a bandage and, of course, the peroxide. And I would always cringed every time I saw that peroxide, because I knew it was going to sting. Well this is because peroxide is slightly acidic in its nature and when its applied to an open wound, it will cause a stinging sensation; just like acid would if it touched your skin. So when I became a parent I decided to put this myth to a test by using something a non acidic in place of the peroxide. My little boy is accident prone and always gets a lot of scratches and scrapes. So when he comes in injured, I run and get the baking soda. Research has shown that baking soda actually draws the fluid out of a wound and helps decrease inflammation. Plus, baking soda has a natural alkaline base, so there is no stinging sensation, and it helps cleanse the wound. So actually, this myth should be restated or kept as just a myth, but it does hold some truth to it. Because even though I do not prefer to use peroxide, it has been proven to be a good antiseptic and the air does make wounds heal faster.
Myth 4: Eating chicken soup will cure a cold
I am sure most people have heard their mothers or grandmothers say “if you have a cold, eat chicken soup”. But the question is “does it really cure a cold?” Past research has proven that there is no cure for the common cold, but chicken soup’s synergistic properties may relieve the symptoms associated with the common cold. For one it’s a hot liquid so it feels good on a sore throat and the steam will help break up mucous to help relieve congestion. Plus, the ingredients in chicken soup have been shown to have antioxidant properties, which will help boost your immune system and make your body stronger to fight the virus invading your system. So actually this myth does hold a bit of truth to it. It won’t cure your cold, but it will certainly help.
Myth 5: Brushing your hair 100 strokes every morning and night will make it grow and add shine.
Has anyone really had time to try out this myth? Well I found the time to for one straight week and I have to say that this is, again, just a myth. Not to mention the time consuming activity this myth is suggesting, but it also raises havoc with your hair. A week was probably not enough time to see if it grew, but it did not make it shine. In fact, it gave me a bunch of split ends. I guess you have to have no life and a special brush to make this myth a true fact.
Day, C. (2009). Chicken Soup: Nature’s Best Cold and Flu Remedy?
Peoples Pharmacy (2010). White Vinegar May Help Dry Skin.
Shine (2009). Don’t Be Fooled by These Hair-Care Myths.