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Old Wives Tales

The collection of old wives tales below are based on my personal experience that I have tested over the years. However, I do not guarantee that they will or will not work for everybody.

Black thread myth

Tie a piece of black thread on the ring finger to cure or prevent a stye from becoming worse. Reason

I am not sure but according to my late grandmother, the thread is supposed to tie the root of the stye and kill it.

True or False?

Answer: True

I am sure some of you are asking “what is a stye?” Well a stye is a bacterial infection of the cells surrounding the sweat glands or hair follicles on the edge of the eyelid. Western treatment is to apply warm compresses on the affected eyelid for 20 to 30 minutes 3-4 times a day until the signs of infection are gone. If this does not work, the doctor will prescribe an antibiotic ointment to apply to the affected area.

As a trained nurse I cannot see the connection between the eye and the finger but I remember my grandma tying my finger with black thread the moment I showed signs of getting a stye and the next day it is gone. My mother always did this for my daughter Marie as well.

Last month, I had a very itchy right eye and this huge stye appeared and every time I rubbed my eye small drops of pus would ooze out. The doctor prescribed antibiotic cream which did not help much after 2 days of application. Then Marie asked me “Mummy, do you remember grandma used to tie my finger with black thread whenever I have a sore eye?” I must confess I had totally forgotten all about the black thread so I let Marie tie this black thread on my ring finger. Lo! And behold my stye had almost disappeared when I woke up the next morning and the itch had stopped. Should have saved my RM 50.00 fee to the doctor.

Yesterday, Jean came to the centre with a red eye which looked like a stye was forming. I tied a piece of black string on her finger and today the stye is gone. Magic eh?

Before

After

Can you believe this?

Date added: 14 April 2007

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