Cold and Flu

Is the saying 'starve a fever and feed a cold' true?

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Wiki User
2010-12-20 14:32:35

It is a misunderstanding that most assume this refers to eating

and/or drinking. In actuality this phrase concerns


To 'Starve a Cold' means to get away from the most common cause

of colds, cold weather, and stay warm. To 'Feed a Fever' you are

trying to break the fever into a sweat, by getting warmer.

The correct term is "Starve a Cold, Feed a Fever" and it means

the same thing in both cases, bundle up and stay warm.

Another take, based on known fact, is that temporarily avoiding

food improves immune response. A fever is part of how the body

fights infection. It is thought that loss of appetite is in this

way part of the body's natural infection-fighting process. So the

best advice is indeed to avoid eating temporarily when one has a

fever and a loss of appetite. A cold in contrast typically has no

fever, and appetite is not diminished.

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