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?
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
by Sherry Hewins5 months ago
I knew it couldn't be that good forever, but I am concerned that it's Healdove that seems to be getting hit.
by irmisol3 years ago
Authors should be free to write about alternative medical treatments that they personally found useful for a minor ailment, but claiming a recipe cures all forms of stage 4 cancer, or any other serious terminal illness,...
by Christin Sander4 years ago
How do you manage cabin fever and/or winter blues?It has been a very long, cold winter throughout much of the US. Often in places that are not used to such extremes. It can lead to anxiety, feeling claustrophobic...
by Arthur Fontes8 years ago
I know there are some health care workers in the forums.HypotheticalSomeone comes into the emergency room unconcious and was stabilized. Upon awaking the person insists on leaving with no further treatment. ...
by Kelley Eidem7 years ago
Hello,I hope this is the right forum to report threats of violence.A poster with the screen name Mikeydoes has posted a comment threatening, "I would punch you right in the face if I saw you sir."Profile:...
by North Wind4 years ago
How do you know who is following you?When you get a new follower, how do you find out who it is? I used to be able to see in 'My Activity' now I do not have a clue.
Copyright © 2018 HubPages Inc. and respective owners.
Other product and company names shown may be trademarks of their respective owners.
HubPages® is a registered Service Mark of HubPages, Inc.
HubPages and Hubbers (authors) may earn revenue on this page based on affiliate relationships and advertisements with partners including Amazon, Google, and others.