Even as adults, the first thing you do when you get sick is turn to your mother for advice. Homemade remedies passed down through generations have a prominent place in Jamaican families. However, you might be surprised to know that your great great grandmother’s cure all has been disproved by science. Here are 9 medical lies that your Jamaican mother told you.
Swallow a seed and a tree grows inside you.
If you’ve ever had the misfortune of accidentally swallowing the seed of one of those delicious Jamaican fruits, you’ve no doubt been warned that a tree will sprout from your intestines someday. Thankfully, this scare tactic used by many parents is only a myth. Anything that the body cannot break down and digest will be expelled soon enough. That includes seeds.
You can get gas in any part of your body.
Your “Jamaicanness” will be questioned if you’ve never been told that you have gas in some obscure part of your body. Gas is a common intestinal discomfort but for some reason, some parents believe that it can move about your body and be the main culprit behind many ailments. Other than the lungs, there is no medical evidence to suggest that gas, which is really excess air, exists outside of the intestines.
You can catch a cold anywhere in the body.
In years past, it was common place for parents and grandparents to warn children to take precautions against catching a cold in their feet, their hand and especially the ‘mole’. The cold that they are referring to is really ‘inflammation’ which of course can occur in any part of the body. Pain and headache caused by inflammation has nothing to do with the common cold which itself is caused by a virus and primarily affects the nasal cavity.
Swallowing gum will tie up your intestines.
This myth is often used to scare children to avoid swallowing gum. But when you think about it, the likelihood that a tiny, fragile piece of gum has the ability to wrap itself around your intestines is just not plausible. Like the seed, the digestive juices are there to break down anything that is ingested and the body will naturally expel whatever remains. Therefore, it is unlikely that gum will remain in your body long enough to tie up your intestines
Tea cures everything.
There is no denying that herbal medicine has its merits but the wholesale drinking of tea as a cure all for every ailment is unwise. In fact, there are some illnesses that can actually be aggravated by drinking a hot liquid. Before you rush to drink some obscure tea because mom told you it will cure any sickness you have, learn about the benefits of each tea and decide which one might be helpful for that particular ailment.