And who better to talk about old wives' tales than an old wife?! I actually had a particular one in mind: the health benefits of copper jewelry. What do you think?
I'd heard about stuff like magnets and copper, as well as other metals, in jewelry for some time. You know what I mean--the claims that wearing particular metals help ailments such as arthritis. I was always a skeptic. Here's the basic theory behind the health claims:
"Copper, when in contact with the skin, forms chelates with human sweat (sometimes seen as a green deposit under the bracelet) and is thus absorbed into the skin," writes Dr. Ray Walker, of the University of Newcastle, Australia. And what does that copper do for a person? Well, according to Dr. Helmar Dollwet, copper is an essential element of an enzyme necessary for the production and regeneration of the cartilage lining the bone surfaces. Copper (and zinc) he explains, are also essential to Super-oxide Dismutase (SOD) which cleans up superoxide radicals that can be destructive to human body tissues.
Yeah, whatever. Sounds like a bunch of bull to me.
Several years ago, Hubby and I were on a driving vacation in Oregon when I had a flare-up of what I thought was probably arthritis in one of the joints of a finger in my right hand. I had brought an applique project with me to work on in the car, but my finger hurt too much to sew. Some days were a little better than others, but the pain was always there to some extent.
One day, we stopped in a little touristy town and walked along the main street's shops. In a gift shop, I saw some pretty bracelets--turned out they were made with copper and other metals. The one I liked best was rather delicate appearing and looked like this:
I decided to buy it. I thought that if nothing else, at $15 it would be a fairly inexpensive reminder of a fun vacation, and if there was anything to the copper/arthritis "myth," maybe it would help.
As I mentioned, I'm really a skeptic when it comes to health claims. Imagine how surprised I was when the pain in my finger joint subsided a day or two after I started wearing the bracelet. Really weird and unexpected. But I didn't think it would last.
I'd had the same pain on and off for a couple years before--usually not as bad as this time, but definitely noticeable. So, when it went away after I started wearing the bracelet, I fully expected it would return at some point. Nope. Not really, and it's been several years now. I'll say that at most, I've felt that joint get a little achy a couple times.
I don't really wear jewelry, but I ALWAYS wear that bracelet. And I'm thinking about getting another. (Click HERE if you're interested in seeing some of the other styles this company makes.) Seriously, I don't know how, but the bracelet seems to work--and I don't think it's a mind over matter thing because I didn't expect it to be successful.
Have you ever tried copper jewelry or "proved" another old wives' tale to be unexpectedly true for you?