Rethinking Old Health Adages in Light of Modern Research

Rethinking Old Health Adages in Light of Modern Research

Dec 12, 2023

Jeremiah Scheible

The adage "feed a cold, starve a fever" has been passed down through generations, suggesting that dietary changes can influence the outcomes of common illnesses. However, modern medical understanding, as highlighted by experts like Sharon Bergquist from Emory University, challenges this old wisdom. Current medical advice emphasizes the importance of maintaining proper nutrition and hydration for both colds and fevers to support the immune system's fight against infections.

In exploring contemporary approaches to health and well-being, recent studies on natural substances like kratom (Mitragyna speciosa) have opened new conversations. Kratom, a tropical plant native to Southeast Asia, has been subject to various research efforts to understand its potential health benefits and risks.

For instance, studies (Behnood-Rod et al., 2020; Farah Idayu et al., 2011) have explored the effects of kratom's alkaloids, such as mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine, on brain reward functions and their antidepressant-like effects. These studies indicate that kratom might affect mood and cognitive responses, which could be relevant in treating symptoms of depression and mood disorders.

Moreover, amidst the recent global health crisis, kratom has been examined for its potential to alleviate symptoms associated with COVID-19. A case study (Metastasio et al., 2020) reported a patient experiencing relief from fatigue and weakness after kratom administration, suggesting its potential role in symptom management.

The pharmacological properties of kratom, including its impact on liver enzymes as studied by Kamble et al. (2020), also highlight the complex interactions of natural substances with the human body. Such research underscores the need for a deeper understanding of traditional remedies and their place in modern medicine.

These findings, while preliminary, suggest that natural compounds like kratom warrant further study to fully ascertain their therapeutic potential and safety. As with the evolution of advice from "feed a cold, starve a fever" to a more nuanced understanding of illness management, the exploration of natural substances like kratom represents the ongoing journey of medical science to understand and harness various remedies for health and wellness.

In conclusion, as we continue to explore and understand the intricacies of human health, it becomes increasingly clear that age-old adages and traditional remedies should be examined and understood in the context of modern scientific research and clinical evidence.