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How does this old saying go?

  1. Goody5 profile image72
    Goody5posted 5 years ago

    How does this old saying go?

    Which way is this saying suppose to go? "Feed a cold & starve a fever" or "Starve a cold & feed a fever" And why is this suppose to work?

  2. Bonsie007 profile image60
    Bonsie007posted 5 years ago

    That's a good question because I have wanted to know myself for a long time! Hope somebody answers for ya cause I want to know! Good luck!

  3. profile image0
    JThomp42posted 5 years ago

    The phrase is from Chaucer in "The Canterbury Tales." In Middle English, the phrase was "Fede a cold and starb ob feber" translated as "feed a cold and DIE of fever." It wasn't medical advice, it was a cautionary statement: If you eat when you're sick, you'll die of fever.

    Because so many people didn't eat when they were sick and they died, "starb" became "starve" and the definition was changed from just "die" to "die from lack of food." Considering that people at that time believed bathing caused illness (hence the wearing of perfumed pomanders to hold at your nose to ward of the stench of the person you were talking to), and that they believed that Jews were the cause of the Black Plague, I'm thinking even if they meant it as medical advice, it's probably not something we should be taking seriously today!

  4. snapbackbetty profile image69
    snapbackbettyposted 5 years ago

    I have always heard "feed a cold; starve a virus"... I have heard of lots of other  home remedies for getting rid of fever though.

  5. gail641 profile image70
    gail641posted 5 years ago

    I think the saying goes: "Feed a cold & Starve a fever." People with colds should eat when they are hungry to keep the nutrients up to fight the viruses that cause the cold. People should never starve, though. Drinking plenty of fluids such as water or gatorade should thin the muscous secretions out to get rid of the cold quicker. Good hygiene is essential when having a cold or flu. Part of the saying may be true, but starving the fever isn't good advice. The body needs nutrients and electrolytes to fight off the infection. The saying is an old wise tale that started a long time ago.

    1. gail641 profile image70
      gail641posted 5 years agoin reply to this

      The fever can be brought down by taking medicine like aspirin for adults. Teenager and kids might need to take what ever a doctor would recommend for them.

  6. manatita44 profile image82
    manatita44posted 5 years ago

    I have returned to this question a few times. In this modern era, if you feed something, you give it life. A fire, for example. So we 'starve' the cold. That is to say, we take rest, use vitamins, drink plenty, eat well, etc. Then the fever will also disappear. But I am groping in the dark here. I use logic rather than knowledge.

  7. visionandfocus profile image72
    visionandfocusposted 5 years ago

    The old saying goes: "Starve a fever; feed a cold."
    Dutch researchers have actually confirmed that nutritional status does have an effect on the regulation of the immune response. Apparently, different types of immune cells increase in numbers according to whether one is or is not fed a (presumably nutritious) meal.

    When, after overnight fasting, volunteers were fed a liquid meal, their levels of gamma interferon increased 6-fold. In other volunteers fed nothing but water, interleukin-4 nearly quadrupled. While gamma interferon is a hallmark of the type of immune response directed against viral infections (e.g. the common cold), interleukin-4 is characteristic of the immune response directed against most bacterial infections (responsible for most fevers).
    I guess those old wives knew what they were talking about.