The disease is common among children and is often mistaken for rheumatism, rickets, or paralysis. Scurvy was widely prevalent in the 19th century among sailors on long voyages. They 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 he anti-scorbutic, that is, they prevented scurvy
Causes Of Scurvy
Inadequate intake of vitamin C
Long sea voyages (historically)
Food faddism
Ignorance (eg, boiling of fruit juices)
Neglect (eg, self-imposed restrictive diets in anorexia nervosa)
Restrictive diets imposed by food allergies
Neurodevelopmental disabilities associated with compromised oral intake of foods
Symptoms of Scurvy

The symptoms associated with scurvy are very noticeable. They start off by being signs of weakness and aching joints and muscles, and weakening of capillaries which then progresses to bleeding of the gums and other spontaneous haemorrhage, loosening of the teeth, anemia, drying-up of the skin and hair and general debility. It leads to the formation of livid spots on the skin. These spots are most abundant on the thighs and legs. A person victimized by this disease looks pale, feels depressed and can be partially immobilized. Severe phases of this disorder can cause death.
Infants with scurvy have their bone development interfered with, because of the lack of the vitamin.
The most common symptoms are:
black-and-blue marks on the skin
joint pain
gum disease
corkscrew hairs
Preventing Scurvy
Eating foods that are rich in Vitamin C can go a long way in ensuring protection from scurvy. Foods that are a good source of Vitamin C are:
Citrus fruits (limes, oranges etc)
Leafy green vegetables
Vitamin C supplements can also be taken.
Scurvy can be beaten, and we should consider ourselves much more fortunate than those sea explorers hundreds of years ago.
Treatment Of Scurvy
The Indian gooseberry is one of the most effective home remedies for scurvy. It is the richest source of vitamin C. Dry indian gooseberry should be powdered with an equal quantity of sugar. This powder should be given in doses of one teaspoon, three times daily, with milk
The use of lime and lemon is highly beneficial in 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
Another effective remedy for scurvy is the use of aamchur, a popular 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 is a valuable herbal remedy fur 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.

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