Health and Wellness

‘Feed a Cold and Starve a Fever’ – Yes or No?

Posted by Mehreen Fatima, M.D. on Nov 7, 2018 8:21:00 AM

Eat carrots – they will improve your vision. Don’t shave if you can help it – it makes the hair grow back thicker. Wait 30 minutes after eating to swim or you’re in more danger of drowning. Old wives’ tales like these, which aren’t always accurate, are responsible for more bad practices from patients than you’d realize. And while a lot of people know some of these well-meaning but misguided pieces of advice shouldn’t be adhered to, there is one myth that persists in the collective conscious – “Feed a cold, starve a fever.” Maybe it persists because it’s half true – let’s talk about which half you should follow and what the right practice is for the bad advice in this old adage.

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Topics: feed a cold starve a fever, old wives tales

Should You Feed a Cold, Starve a Fever?

Posted by Yasodara Udayamurthy, M.D. on Jun 3, 2017 9:11:00 AM

The belief you should feed a cold and starve a fever goes all the way back to at least the 1570s, when it was thought that fasting was the best remedy for a fever and eating would help you get rid of a cold. The method behind this madness was that people with colds needed to be kept warm and eating would warm the body, while those with fevers needed to be cooled down, which could be accomplished by nixing food. Let’s talk about this saying and whether or not you should follow the advice. 

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Topics: feed a cold starve a fever

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