As the chill of winter wraps around us, bringing with it the season of coughs, colds, and a greater need for immune support, there's no better time to delve into the world of Vitamin C.
This remarkable nutrient is a powerhouse of health benefits.
Lack of Vitamin C causes serious illness - In historical times, a deficiency of this crucial vitamin led to the plight of many sailors who suffered from scurvy, a condition marked by bleeding gums, weakness, and joint pain. Thankfully, scurvy and true deficiency is incredibly rare these days, but many people are lower than they should be with this vital vitamin.
In the heart of winter and beyond, understanding the importance of Vitamin C is more crucial than ever.
The Amazing Nutrient: Vitamin C
Vitamin C has a multitude of health benefits. Let's explore some of these amazing attributes:
Did you know that most animals are able to make vitamin C in their bodies, even without eating vitamin C-rich foods. It is thought that human`s used to be able to do this too, but due to some evolutionary anomaly we lost the ability, along with guinea pigs and certain primates.
Because we can not make this nutrient, it is essential that we get it from out diets.
Sources of Vitamin C
Our body doesn't produce Vitamin C; therefore, it's vital to consume it through our diet.
Vitamin C is present in all fruits and vegetables, but some are particularly potent sources.
Citrus fruits like oranges and lemons, berries such as strawberries and blackberries, and vegetables like bell peppers, broccoli, and kale, contain higher concentrations of this essential nutrient, making them exceptionally beneficial for boosting your Vitamin C intake
It's important to note that Vitamin C is sensitive to light, heat, and air. Global food transportation and storage often lead to significant nutrient loss through oxidation - a process where Vitamin C reacts with the air and degrades.
Understanding Vitamin C Deficiency
Vitamin C, though essential, is often overlooked in our diets. Recognising the signs of deficiency is critical. Common symptoms include:
A Shield for Immunity
During the colder months, our immune system requires extra support, and Vitamin C is a key player in providing this.
While supplements can never fully replace the rich, natural sources of Vitamin C found in fruits and vegetables, I often recommend supplementing with Vitamin C to ensure adequate intake. This approach helps bridge any nutritional gaps in our diet, especially in today's fast-paced lifestyle where obtaining sufficient nutrients solely from food can be challenging.
The Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) is around 90-100mg which is not enough by far for optimal dosage. Some research advocates for up to 1000mg per day for optimal health benefits.
Optimal Dosage and Absorption
To maximise Vitamin C's benefits, consider splitting the 1000mg dose throughout the day or using slow-release tablets, which ensure a steady nutrient supply and minimise gastrointestinal discomfort.
Special Considerations: Iron Overload Conditions
In cases of iron loading conditions like haemochromatosis or thalassemia, Vitamin C supplements should be avoided and dietary intake should be monitored, as it enhances iron absorption, which can exacerbate these conditions.
Vitamin C Injections
When it comes to maximising the benefits of Vitamin C, injections stand out as the most effective method of supplementation.
Unlike oral forms, Vitamin C injections bypass the digestive system, allowing for direct entry into the bloodstream and ensuring almost 100% bioavailability. This means your body gets to utilise the entire dose, without the loss of potency that can occur with oral supplements due to breakdown in the digestive tract.
Furthermore, injections provide an immediate therapeutic effect, quickly elevating Vitamin C levels in the body, which is particularly beneficial for those needing an urgent immune boost or rapid recovery from illnesses.
In essence, Vitamin C injections are a powerful tool for those seeking a direct, efficient, and potent means to replenish this crucial nutrient, offering benefits that far surpass traditional oral supplementation.
If you plan on receiving Vitamin C injections, I usually recommend a weekly Vitamin C injection for the first four weeks, followed by monthly maintenance sessions.
In conclusion, the importance of Vitamin C supplementation cannot be overstated, especially in an age where the nutritional potency of our food is often compromised due to factors like long-distance transportation, storage conditions, and cooking processes.
Whether it's through high-quality oral supplements, dietary adjustments, or the more direct approach of Vitamin C injections, ensuring adequate intake of this vital nutrient is key to maintaining our health and well-being.
For those interested in exploring the immediate and potent benefits of Vitamin C injections, I encourage you to get in touch. Together, we can tailor a Vitamin C regimen that best suits your health needs, ensuring that you receive all the incredible benefits this essential nutrient has to offer.
It`s late September and my house is smelling all lovely and fruity. That`s because I have a load of Rosehips in my dehydrator that I have picked this morning in-between the showers we are having this week, here in England. Honestly, it`s hard to know whether we`re coming or going this week. One minute we have blue skies, the next torrential rain. I`m sure it is timed everyday for 3pm when it`s time to go and pick up little B from School. Never mind...
Well, whilst the sun was shining I managed to get outside with my basket and snips and get a great haul of Rosehips. They are starting to get on the squishy side so if you are thinking about getting some, get them now!
When you pick your rosehips, you want the glossy red ones that are firm with a slight squeeze to them. They will go dull and lose their shine as they go past their best. They will mush when you squeeze them and go a brownish colour. Only get the ruby red ones.
The old advice was to wait until the first frost had sweetened them, but with our current warmer climate, they will be far too squishy if you wait for a frost in the UK. You can encourage them to sweeten by putting them in your freezer for a day or two at least before using them once defrosted.
Rosehips are so good for you in so many ways. Herbally, they are cooling, which is great if you have a fever but also have a calming influence. This means they are great for angry things like skin issues such as eczema or hives.
They are astringent, Stomach strengthening, great for diarrhoea, good for warding off coughs and colds (and also getting rid of them quicker), asthma, heart palpitations, immune system strengthening, mood lifting and nervous system supporting. They have great quantities of vitamin C in them which makes them an excellent choice to use as a supplement if you have any joint problems, cartilage issues (like Ehlers Danlos), osteoporosis and painful joints. This is because the pathway to create great functioning cartilage relies on having the right amount of vitamin C.
If you struggle with your immune system or are having immunomodulatory medicine or a condition where your immune system is compromised then you should explore them further also.
Rosehips have such an amazing amount of vitamin C within them that the UK Ministry of Defense looked into them during the war as a substitute for oranges (which were unavailable at the time)
It was found that the humble rosehip had 20 times more vitamin C than oranges!
The Ministry of Defense went on to get communities to gather rosehips across the UK and made rosehip syrup to be distributed across the nation to mothers and young children. People were taught how to make it and it was widely available to buy in chemists right up until the 1970s.
The Rosehip is grown on the wild rose bushes that you see in hedgerows. It is more commonly known as the Dog Rose. It was thought that the name "Dog Rose" pertained to the plants ability to heal the sufferer from the bite of a mad dog! It`s more commonly accepted that "Dog" was actually "Dag" and meant "dagger" due to the thorns and the serrated edges of the leaves.
It`s thorns can be quite brutal, so do be careful when you are foraging for the fruits. On the plus side, any medicinal plant with thorns is thought to be super - protective to the picker, both physically and mentally.
The rosehip is also supportive to our mood. It contains not only Vitamin C, but manganese, selenium, Vitamin K and B vitamins. All needed for brain health. Supplementing with rosehips can give you extra support with anxiety and depression by gently nurturing our nervous system.
Rosehips are pretty renowned for their ability to give us beautiful skin. Not only is rosehip oil extremely nourishing but the high vitamin C content is rejuvenating for the collagen in the skin. Rosehips are packed with antioxidants so will also go about removing all those free-radicals that can accumulate in our skin. They will also set about removing them all the way through your body if you consume them.
I love looking into the folklore and energetics of plants, I find it fascinating and usually the message that is being told can be linked to scientific studies that have revealed similar benefits.
In this case, when we work with the rose in general, it is said that we should think about wearing our own thorns. Perhaps you say yes too often to things you don`t want to do. Are you in the habit of self-sacrificing when you shouldn`t? Maybe you don`t stand up for yourself when you should. The rose is said to encourage us to have outward kindness and loveliness but also remember to protect ourselves by being a little more assertive.
It is also a good plant for those who are better at loving others than themselves. It can help you remember to find the good in yourself rather than looking for imperfections.
Looking at the evidence of the rosehip being supportive for anxiety, I guess this fits together nicely. Whether it does or not, they are good messages to listen to anyhow as each time we put ourselves last, our cells know about it!
Our immune response has been proven to react negatively when we are under stress, watch something that upsets us or generally feel like we are at the bottom of the pile. So put your thorns out a little... protect your emotions a little more, whilst retaining the grace and beauty of the rose and it`s fragrance.
So... what lovely things can you do with the rosehip?
Well... most commonly, people make syrups with it. It`s tasty and kids will usually happily take a spoonful. If you start taking a measure each day from the Autumn to the Spring, it will benefit them greatly over coughs and cold season. If you can double up with elderberry as well then all the better!
If you like making tinctures then that is an easy way of extracting their goodness and a glycerite tincture with rosehips would be great for kids.
If you prefer less of a sweet product, then try them in a tea. Rosehip tea is delicious and very nurturing. Let it steep for a good 15 minutes to get as much goodness out of the little hips as you can.
Herbal vinegars are also very good for extracting the phytonutrients so you could have a look into rosehip vinegar. You can use it as a dressing or dilute a little in water to drink.
More culinary recipes you can find are jams, powders and even ketchup!
Here comes a red flag alert so pay attention carefully to the next bit...
Rosehips are completely non-toxic but as you open them up, there are tiny little hairs inside, a bit like the ones on a cactus. You must remove them before making anything that you are going to consume. Do your research and look into how to do this - there`s plenty of tutorials out there on the internet.
The hairs are very irritating to the digestive tract and you don`t want them in there. Our digestive tract has enough to deal with already without having all those little hairs in their poking around. There are also little seeds that you need to remove so please be careful!
Ok.. warning over.
So what will I be doing with rosehips this season?
At the moment I am drying rosehips so that I can use them throughout the year. You can freeze them also, but I take up far too much room in our freezer with herbal products so I find jars of them to be convenient, and pretty to look at. I`ll be storing my dried ones for further use and making various remedies with fresh ones.
I will definitely be making syrups and tinctures and getting as much into my little girl and my family as possible. We choose to avoid the flu vaccine in our household so we will be fighting off any nasties with our usual routine of supplements and elderberry and rosehip. I`ll also be making rosehip oil to help with any skin issues and to use in my skin care routine.
I am without a kitchen at the moment as the building work is still happening here so no ketchups or jams for me!
You`ll have to let me know if you make any though how they turn out.
So Rosehips are wonderful, help with numerous things and are tasty and pretty. Go out and get some before they go mushy!
The contents of this blog are for informational purposes only and are not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you have regarding a medical condition, and before undertaking any diet, dietary supplement, exercise, or other health program.