Vitamin-C, also called as ascorbic acid, is one of the vital vitamins our body needs. It is responsible for the production of collagen. Collagen is a protein, which forms the building block of skin, bones, blood vessels, and cartilage. Unlike some vitamins, the body cannot produce vitamin-C and has to be supplied through food sources.
A deficiency of vitamin-C leads to a scarce production of collagen, which ultimately causes scurvy. The insufficient supply of collagen results in tissue breakdown exhibiting a range of symptoms. Some of them are – tiredness, fever, irritability, joint pain, bleeding and loosening of gums, the appearance of red spots on the skin, tenderness and discomfort in legs, and fragile hair which easily fall.
A straightforward treatment for scurvy is taking vitamin-C supplements. Apart from this, there are abundant of food sources, which help overcome the disease. Mentioned below are the same.
Natural Treatments For Scurvy
1. Lime And Lemon
Since the 19th century, lime and lemon have been used in the prevention and treatment of scurvy. Both these fruits are rich in vitamin-C and impart a tangy flavor. Just two tablespoons of lime and lemon juice provide 10% and 15% of the recommended dietary allowance of vitamin-C respectively. Every 100 gm of lemon also contains 26 mg of calcium, which boosts bone health.
A squeeze of lemon and teaspoon of honey when mixed together in one glass of water combat scurvy effectively. The therapeutic properties of vitamin-C and calcium in the lemon and the calcium absorption capability of honey do the task. Consuming a glass of this magical potion every day is recommended.
2. Raw Mango Powder
As the name suggests, raw mango powder is the powder made from sliced and sun-dried unripe mangoes. Due to its sour and tart taste, it has been widely used in the Indian cuisine. It is rich in vitamin-C and thus, helps fight scurvy.
One part of raw mango powder mixed with 2 parts of jaggery powder, during your breakfast time is a good option to boost your vitamin-C levels. Jaggery has healing properties, which soothe your tender and painful joints. But, in case you are diabetic, cut down on jaggery, and simply mix half a tablespoon of mango powder in a glass of water and have it on an empty stomach.
3. White Lilac Flowers
White lilac flowers are the flowers of Syringa – a flowering woody plant, which belongs to the family of olives. The flowers have anti-scorbutic (anti-scurvy) properties and help manage the symptoms of the disease.
To 1 liter of boiled water, add a handful of white lilac flowers and cover the container with a lid. Let the flowers steep in for 15 minutes. Filter this concoction and drink about 2–3 glasses of it throughout the day. The remedy works best when taken consecutively for 3 days in a week until your vitamin-C levels shoot up.
4. Indian Gooseberry
Indian gooseberries are loaded with vitamin-C and antioxidants. While vitamin-C aids collagen production, antioxidants prevent further damage to your body tissues.
The best way to intake gooseberries is by consuming them raw or as a juice. However, some might find the unique tartness quite overpowering, in which case, dried gooseberry powder can be used. Mixing 1 teaspoon of this powder with 2 teaspoons of sugar makes a tangy and tasty mix. If you follow a sugar-free diet, add a teaspoon of gooseberry powder to a glass of lukewarm water and drink it before going to bed.
This powder is easily available in stores or can be made at home by sun-drying and grinding the gooseberries. Alternatively, few stores also sell Indian gooseberry supplements, which are equally effective.
5. Jaundice Berry
Jaundice berry is a thorny shrub with a cluster of thin, egg-shaped leaves. The leaves have anti-scurvy properties and have proven therapeutic benefits.
In 500 ml of water, boil 15 grams of jaundice berry leaves until the water reduces to one-third. Consume about 150 ml of this concoction twice a day.
Every 100 grams of potato contains 17 gm of vitamin-C. As potato is being largely used in a range of recipes, it is one of the easiest remedies available. However, some studies contradict this therapeutic effect. It is due to the presence of solanine alkaloid in potatoes, which reportedly elevates joint pains and inflammation. Consuming potatoes as a remedy for scurvy should, therefore, be discussed with your doctor. Also, make sure the potatoes are thoroughly cooked or baked before consuming them.
Apart from these remedies, including vegetables and fruits rich in vitamin-C, as a part of your daily diet also helps. Some of them are oranges, red and yellow bell peppers, broccoli, kale, Brussels sprouts, kiwi, guava, strawberries, grapefruit, and cantaloupe.