From time immemorial, we have carried down old wives tales about remedies, superstitions, good and bad luck and fortunes if we did a random act. Some of these are based on actual fact or have been distorted over the times to a comical version of the original intention of doing something that may be a remedy for some ailment. The most commonly heard old wives tale is of eating an apple a day, keeps the doctor away. It is said that this tradition may have started because of the genuine qualities of apples such as it being rich in fibre, weight loss, nausea and overall being a nutritious food but it was probably never suggested that eating an apple everyday would keep you healthy and protected from all ailments to keep the doctor away. For years, the world believed there to be a correlation between eating spicy foods in the creation of stomach ulcers, with so many people going to the doctor’s office after consuming a hot meal complaining of burning stomach pains. However, scientists debunked this old wives’ tale in the 1980s when they found that spicy foods can’t cause ulcers. Here in the subcontinent it was said that consuming lots of milk during a pregnancy would ensure a fair coloured baby. This old wives tale was probably borne out of the necessity to encourage expectant mothers to drink mild to ensure healthy bones and overall health and since fair coloured children are generally desired that was the incentive given. For years, the world believed there to be a correlation between eating spicy foods in the creation of stomach ulcers, with so many people going to the doctor’s office after consuming a hot meal complaining of burning stomach pains. However, scientists debunked this old wives’ tale in the 1980s when they found that spicy foods can’t cause ulcers The old wives’ tale that reading in dim light damages your eyes is another one that I have heard all my life since I started complaining of not being able to see the blackboard in school around 8th grade. Reading in a dimly lit room may give your eyes some dryness or fatigue, but it most certainly will not cause any serious or long-term damage. Even if you chose to read a book in a dimly lit room every night for the rest of your life, your eyes would be fine. Tired, but fine! Curing a cold with a hearty bowl of chicken soup is just one of the many old wives’ tales that tackles how to cope with a cold. And unfortunately, it’s not really true. When you’re sick with a cold, gulping down some chicken noodle soup will definitely soothe your sore throat and cover your symptoms for a short period of time, but it won’t actually cure your illness. A lot of these tales were well intentioned and had a positive motive behind them but were given magical properties to motivate people to start practicing them. There is an old wives’ tale that drinking milk and eating fish at the same time will discolour your skin. Most people forget that popular fish sauces contain milk in them as an ingredient and yet we still hold onto the notion that drinking a glass of milk alongside a filet of fish will lead to skin discoloration or even vitiligo.