Health Guide: The Benefits Of Vitamin C

Learn the advantages of using vitamin c and how to make your own lozenges.

The cost of vitamin supplements seems to get higher by the day and, for many, have reached a point where the family budget can no longer afford them.

Fruit and vegetables can provide many of the necessary vitamins. It has been said that whatever nutrients the body needs, that it does not itself produce, can be obtained from the plant kingdom. In other words, if you can't get those nutrients from fruit, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds and sprouts then your body probably doesn't need them. As far as vegetables are concerned, it is essential not to overcook them as this destroys the vitamins and many other nutrients. Use the cooking water for soup base as it will contain a lot of the good "╦ťstuff' leached out of the vegetables by cooking.

One very important vitamin, in fighting colds and helping to boost the body's immune system, is vitamin C. This can be found in good quantities in citrus fruits, strawberries, kiwi fruit and sweet peppers. It can also be found in large quantities in rose hips.

There are a number of methods of obtaining and preserving the vitamin C from rose hips and these include making jelly and puree. There are many recipes for these and we do not need to consider them now.

One of the best methods I have found, however, is making one's own frozen lozenges.

I am indebted to Joan Lindeman of Hornell, NY for this idea. I can assure you that it works very well and leads to far less waste than with jellies and purees.

You can use rose hips from any one of the many varieties of roses but some with the most vitamin C per 100 gms of hips are Rosa rugosa (3000 mg/100gm), Rosa laxa (3 -4000), Rosa acicularis (1800 - 3500) and Rosa cinnamomea (3000).

Collect the rose hips when they are ripe. They will be very red and sometimes a little soft. Chill the hips to deactivate the enzymes that might otherwise destroy the vitamin content.

Remove all the blossom ends and stalks and wash thoroughly. To cook use half a cup of boiling water for every cup of hips. Cover the pan and simmer for about 15 minutes

Remove from the heat and mash the hips with a fork and then leave to stand for 24 hours in a pottery container.

Strain off the extract and add two tablespoons of lemon juice for each pint. Pour the mixture into ice cube trays and freeze. Once frozen, they can be removed from the trays and stored in the freezer in plastic bags.

The cubes can be added to drinks or almost anything that you want. They can even simply be sucked like a conventional lozenge.

Try it. It is easy and inexpensive and a great addition to your natural medicine cabinet.

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