Scurvy is, perhaps, the oldest known deficiency disease. The disease is common among children and is often mistaken for rheumatism, rickets, or paralysis.
Scurvy was often subsisted for long periods on salt, fish, meats, and breadstuffs, and were entirely deprived of any fresh food. Later, limes and lemons were included in the supplies, since they were found to be anti-scorbutic, that is, they prevented scurvy.
Causes and Symptoms of Scurvy
Scurvy is caused by lack of vitamin C or ascorbic acid. Inadequate intake of fresh fruits and vegetables can lead to this condition. Another important cause of scurvy is stress which increases the utilisation of ascorbic acid.
Home Remedies for Scurvy
Indian Gooseberry :
(Pure Amala Juice ) – The Indian gooseberry is one of the most effective home remedies for scurvy. It is the richest source of vitamin C. Dry amla should be powdered with an equal quantity of sugar. This powder should be given in doses of one teaspoon, three times daily, with milk.
Lime and Lemon :
The use of lime and lemon is highly beneficial if\ the prevention and treatment of scurvy. Being rich sources of vitamin C, lime and lemon are regarded as foods of exceptional therapeutic value. They have saved the lives of innumerable crews of ocean-going vessels from scurvy. The juice of one lime or lemon mixed in a glass of water, with a teaspoon of honey, should be taken for treating this condition.
Mango Powder :
Another effective remedy for scurvy is the use of aamchur, a pepular article of diet in Indian houses, consisting of green mangoes – skinned, stoned, cut into pieces, dried in the sun and powdered. Fifteen grams of aamchur are believed to be equivalent to thirty grams of good lime on account of its citric content.
Potato is regarded as an excellent food remedy for scurvy. It contains up to 17 mg of vitamin C, can be found in 100 mg of potatoes. It has been noted that scurvy in Europe has become more and more uncommon with the progress of potato cultivation and it makes its appearance only when the crop fails.
Jaundice Berry :
Jaundice berry is a valuable herbal remedy for scurvy. The leaves of the plant are anti-scorbutic or anti-scurvy. A decoction of the leaves can be prepared by boiling 15 gm of dried leaves in 500 ml of water till it is reduced by one-third. About 150 to 175 ml of the decoction can be taken at a time. The juice of the berry is also beneficial and can be taken in doses of 2 to 4 ml.
Diet for Scurvy
Any diet for scurvy should include lots of foods that are rich in vitamin C. Citrus fruits such as oranges, kiwifruits, grapefruits, and gooseberries should be consumed on a regular basis. Your doctor can help you make a scurvy diet plan. Since scurvy is induced by dietary deficiency, it can be completely prevented. Scurvy food allergies are one of the many causes of this condition, so if you have food allergies, take vitamin C regularly. Consume a lot of scurvy food to prevent the condition. Some of the foods to prevent scurvy include citrus fruits and green vegetables.