I was looking through some of my Great Aunt Ann's medical books the other day and came across something very interesting. It was a hand-written note with a simple recipe for making vitamin C at home.
I've written about my great aunt before. She was an osteopath who practiced in Colorado until she died in the 1960s. Unfortunately, she died before supplements became popular in the 1970s, but she was well ahead of her time. We have a few of her books and notebooks that date back to the late 19th century and early 20th century, many of which discuss various nutrients. I'm not sure when she wrote this particular recipe. Probably later in her life, after vitamin C started to gain some attention in the medical community.
Anyway, the recipe is about as easy as they come. All you need is some orange or lemon peels. After you eat the fruit (giving you a dose of vitamin C), cut the peels into small pieces, and set them out to dry for a couple of days. Once they're dry, you can swallow them with water like you would a pill. Or you can mix them into tea or another beverage.
The only downside I can see with this recipe is that there's no way to know exactly how much vitamin C you're getting with the peels (I'll have more on this in a moment). But the upside is tremendous.
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For one thing, most of the vitamin C you buy in the store is made with corn. And most corn is genetically modified. Even though the processing removes the corn and extracts only the ascorbic acid, it’s still possible the modification could impact the vitamin C you take. So this recipe gives you a very safe form of vitamin C – assuming you use organic fruit peels. (Note: Advanced Bionutritionals does not use genetically modified corn as a source for its vitamin C.)
Another benefit is that the peels contain live enzymes that will help your body digest and absorb all of the nutrients of the peels. As you may know, antioxidants require antioxidant enzymes in order to work effectively. So this is a huge plus. If you heat the peels or put them in hot tea, it will destroy these enzymes.
After discovering the recipe, I went online to see if anyone else had ever done this. Seems so simple, I was sure others were using it. Sure enough, Dr. Ian Shillington has a similar recipe. Only he suggests cutting the peels in strips and using a dehydrator. He also says you can store them in a dry container for about a year.
Dr. Shillington has a great idea for taking the peels — and how much you should take daily. He says you can "place the peel strips into your coffee grinder and grind them into a powder (which won't hurt the enzymes) and use to mix with your early morning smoothie. One rounded teaspoon will supply you with more organic vitamin C complex, rutin, hesperidin, and bioflavonoids than your body needs for the day, regardless of your size. And this homemade citrus peel powder mixed in your blender with some fresh organic apple juice tastes good, too."
Sounds like great ideas. And an easy and tasty way to get some extra vitamin C.
Your insider for better health,
Steve Kroening is the editor of Nutrient Insider, a twice-a-week email newsletter that brings you the latest healing breakthroughs from the world of nutrition and dietary supplements. For over 20 years, Steve has worked hand-in-hand with some of the nation's top doctors, including Drs. Robert Rowen, Frank Shallenberger, Nan Fuchs, William Campbell Douglass, and best-selling author James Balch. Steve is the author of the book Practical Guide to Home Remedies. As a health journalist, Steve's articles have appeared in countless magazines, blogs, and websites.