HEALING HERBS

Jul 13, 2007 at 08:02 o\clock

SCURVY

                      SCURVY

INTRODUCTION:          

Scurvy is a deficiency disease that results from insufficient intake of vitamin C. In infants, scurvy is sometimes referred to as Barlow's disease, Scurvy is also known as Moeller's disease and Cheadle's disease.Scurvy leads to the formation of liver spots on the skin, spongy gums, and bleeding from all mucous membranes. The spots are most abundant on the thighs and legs, and a person with the ailment looks pale, feels depressed, and is partially immobilized. In advanced scurvy there are open, suppurating wounds and loss of teeth. 

SYMPTOMS:

In children, the deficiency can cause painful swelling of the legs along with fever, diarrhea, and vomiting. In adults, early signs of scurvy include feeling weak, tired, and achy. The appearance of tiny red blood-blisters to larger purplish blotches on the skin of the legs is a common symptom. Wound healing may be delayed and scars that had healed may start to breakdown. The gums swell and bleed easily, eventually leading to loosened teeth. Muscle and joint pain may also occur. 

CAUSES:

A lack of vitamin C in the diet is the primary cause of scurvy. This can occur in people on very restricted diets, who are under extreme physiological stress and in chronic alcoholics. Infants can develop scurvy if they are weaned from breast milk and switched to cow's milk without an additional supplement of vitamin C. Babies of mothers who took extremely high doses of vitamin C during pregnancy can develop infantile scurvy. 

ROLE OF VITAMIN C:                                    

Ascorbic acid is important in the formation of collagen (an element of normal tissues), and any deficiency interferes with normal tissue synthesis. Vitamin C is an important antioxidant vitamin involved in the development of connective tissues, lipid and vitamin metabolism, biosynthesis of neurotransmitters, immune function, and wound healing.      

The recommended daily allowance for vitamin C is 50–60 mg/day for adults; 35 mg/day for infants; 40–45 mg/day for children 1–14; 70 mg/day during pregnancy; and 90–95 mg/day during lactation. The body's need for vitamin C increases when a person is under stress, smoking or taking certain medications. 

DIAGNOSIS:

Scurvy is often diagnosed based on the symptoms present. A dietary history showing little or no fresh fruits or vegetables are eaten may help to diagnose vitamin C deficiency. A blood test can also be used to check the level of ascorbic acid in the body. 

TREATMENT:

Adult treatment includes supplementing usually 300–1,000 mg of ascorbic acid per day. Infants should be treated with 50 mg of ascorbic acid up to four times per day.Other Scurvy treatments include outdoor exercises and fresh air exposureThe patient should also undertake outdoor exercises like walking, swimming, and cycling. He should sleep in a well ventilated room, and spend as much time as possible in the fresh air.

 DIET:          

 After the age of one year, the child may be given fruits and vegetable juices, besides milk and occasional intake of whole meal bread. After the age of two years, the child can be gradually allowed to embark upon a well-balanced diet, with emphasis on fruits, steamed vegetables, wholegrain cereals, and milk.              

 Diet also plays an important role in the prevention and treatment of scurvy in adults. The patient should take a well-balanced diet consisting of seeds, nuts, grains, vegetables, and fruit. This diet should be supplemented with certain special foods such as milk, vegetable oils, and honey. The patient should be given liberal quantities of foods rich in vitamin C. This vitamin is found in fruits, especially citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, and grapefruit, and in green leafy vegetables like broccoli and spinach.It can be taken in tablet form also. 

HOME REMEDIES:

Using Indian Gooseberry

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.  

Using Lime and Lemon

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. The juice of one lime or lemon mixed in a glass of water, with a teaspoon of honey, should be taken.

Using Mango Powder

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. Using PotatoPotato 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.

Using Jaundice Berry

Jaundice berry is 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.  

Mother's milk

The most important factor in the prevention and treatment of scurvy is proper feeding. Mother's milk is pure and fresh and contains, in correct proportions, most of the nutrients necessary for the growth and development of the baby.  

 HERBAL REMEDIES:

Rosa canina, Rosa rugosa, Rosa centifolia also known as Hip berry are high in Vitamin C. Rose hips are useful in preventing scurvy. Preparation: Infusion of 2-3 teaspoons of dried, crushed, hips per cup of water.

Amla (Amalaki) is believed to be the richest natural source of antioxidant vitamin C, with up to 720 mg/100g of fresh pulp or up to 900 mg/100g of pressed juice. It contains 20 times the amount of Vitamin C found in oranges. The fruit juice and its sediment, and residue, have antioxidant properties due to Vitamin C content.

Also visit http://www.herbsandcures.com  

  


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