Are Old Wives’ Tale Wise?

April 6, 2021 by Kristy

What did people do back before they could just run to Walmart to get a medicine?  I have always just been told or thought that there was old wives’ tale- I didn’t really give it much concern.  That is until I became a mom and lived over 500 miles away from my Mom who always knew what to do when I was sick.  I remember one of the first times that my Riley got sick, he was a baby.  A little old helpful neighbor lady told me to take his socks off and rub Vicks vapor-rub all over his feet, and between his toes.  She told me to apply it on thick like frosting on a cake.  Then put his socks back on and put him to bed.  I thought the lady was crazy but I just had a gut feeling to give it a shot.  Besides nothing else that I had tried was helping his raspy breathing.  The next morning, his congestion really was better.  So was this all in my head?  Or is there really something to old wives’ tale?

According to the definition on Google.

old wives’ tale


plural noun: old wives’ tales

  1. a superstition or traditional belief that is regarded as unscientific or incorrect.

In most places the elderly are regarded as wise.  It almost seems to me that here in America, we view our elderly as incompetent.  I don’t really think this is fair.  I think that there have been centuries, even millenniums of Mothers and Fathers who have figured out how to help their offspring recover from sickness. That night 25 years ago when I used Vick’s on Riley’s feet, began a lifelong quest for me to try to figure out what can help to heal our bodies.  Another piece of advice that rang true to me, was in regard to administering Riley medicine to reduce fevers.  One of the doctors that he saw when I took him in for a fever explained to me that a fever isn’t a bad thing.  It can actually be a good thing.  It is the body trying to burn up the bad virus so it will die or leave.  He told me that if a person is just given fever reducer medicine, it isn’t allowing the body to fight the infection.  He also went on to explain that if we don’t allow our body to fight the infection, it can take longer to recover and there is a higher possibility of needing an antibiotic to get rid of the infection.

That concept really was foreign to me.  Like I think it is to most people. Back then I really didn’t understand that the body is the miracle.  The body does respond based upon the stimulus that we give it.  This is where I believe that natural medicine is another choice for helping the body.  The FDA here in the United States regulates all Food and Drugs and requires that I state, the statements in this blog post and on my website have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Any products, I discuss are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

My personal belief is that God created plants to help humans to take care of their bodies.  I find it extremely intriguing that most pharmaceuticals are made in a lab and they are created to replicate what happens in nature naturally.  Most people do not realize that fact.  Pharmaceutical companies can not put a patent on a plant, so from what I understand they try to create things that they can put patent on.

I know I am not tough enough that I would have survived in less modern times.  I had a C-Section with Riley after being in labor for 3 days.  I absolutely would have died during childbirth if it wasn’t for modern medicine.  I believe that modern medicine absolutely has its place in society.  But I also believe that we as parents have more power than what we think.  Many times, when our children get ill, they can safely recover at home. 

A few years ago, I started diving into the world of essential oils.  Then I began studying and using herbs.  Last year when James retired from his law enforcement job, I wasn’t too worried about losing our health insurance because we rarely need to go get medical treatment.  We go to our annual physical appointments and the medical staff are always surprised that we don’t have prescription medications that we use.  I think that is because if we have any type of problems, we use herbs to supplement. 

I am in a club.  It is a group of ladies that live close to me and we call ourselves the herb ladies.  We grow herbs and we use them in our cooking and we also use the herbs medicinally.  Last week, we got together and made some salves with herbs that had been soaking in oil for a few months.  Here are some of the pictures of making these concoctions.

So basically, to end where I began- I am now that old lady that is telling young mothers to put Vicks on their kids’ feet.  I hope they can find wisdom in my old wives’ tale.