Vitamin C
Ascorbic acid is called a "vitamin" C because it is the only component of the citric acid (TCA) cycle that your body cannot manufacture by itself and you must get from your food. All the TCA components, however,  are important for health and may need to be supplemented if you are not getting or making enough. Citric acid is almost identical to ascorbic acid, and fulfills many of the same functions in the body. When taking citric, ascorbic or any acid as a supplement, always be sure to take enough minerals with it so the acid does not leach minerals away from any part of the body. When the ascorbic acid is sold with minerals already attached to it, it is called "ascorbate".

 Making A Vitamin C Supplement 

1/4 cup of ascorbic acid
1/4 tablespoons of citric acid
1/2 cup of ground or powdered bioflavonoid sources (plant material)
1/4 cup of dried, powdered pine needles
1 tablespoon of ground cinnamon
1/2 cup of powdered minerals such as dolomite, clay or dry earth.

Mix together and pack into empty gelatin capsules (UK)
Three "00" capsules, three times a day to start, and then use your own body biofeedback to determine or increase dosage.

 Why Those Ingredients? 

Ascorbic acid -- vital, prevents scurvy, cannot be synthesized in human body except in small amounts when  gulonolactone from other sources is present.

Citric acid -- Does most of the same things as ascorbic acid except prevent scurvy. As vital as ascorbic acid, maybe more so, but is synthesized  in the human body and has no known deficiency diseases so it does not have a "Vitamin" name.

Bioflavonoids -- These are plants' version of "Vitamin C". Some people claim they are the real vitamin C. Like roses that by any other name will smell the same, plant bioflavonoids do many wonderful things in the human body, often in concert with ascorbic and citric acid, and you can take them and get the full benefit from them regardless of whether or not they are called vitamin C, or components of the vitamin C complex.

Cinnamon -- Contains an enzyme called gulonolactone that is
needed to convert glucose (sugar) to ascorbic acid. The reason that humans cannot produce our own ascorbic acid is because the human body cannot manufacture gulonolactone. It is theorized that you can make some of your own internally manufactured ascorbic acid, as long as, and for as long as, there is gulonolactone present along with all the other necessary substances. You could substitute dessicated liver for the cinnamon, as that is another source of gulonolactone.

Dolomite, clay or earth -- Any acid, even vitamins, will deplete the body of minerals if there are not enough minerals in the body. "Buffering" (adding minerals) these acids will make them easier to assimilate and prevent them from leaching minerals from the body. Powdered dolomite is one of the easiest to get and use, but many other sources of powdered minerals can be used such as clay or earth. See my page on Minerals. Technically, you could use baking soda, which is a mineral, as your chelate but, as long as you're going to all the trouble of making this supplement, I recommend you  take minerals your body needs and is more likely to be short of like magnesium rather than carbon and sodium, which are the minerals in baking soda (bicarbonate of soda). If you use dry earth or clay that is palatable to eat from a spoon, you can reduce the minerals in the capsules by half as long as you take the extra minerals on the side. Almost all negative reactions to large doses vitamin Care caused by depletion of minerals.

Pine needles -- When the first Europeans arrived in America sick with scurvy, the Indians gave them pine needle tea. Pine needles are a good source of terpenes. Terpenes are what makes pine needles smell like medicine and are closely related to bioflavonoids. 

 Sources and Substitutes 

Ascorbic acid -- can be bought online and available in some health food stores.
Citric acid -- can be ordered online but will not be sold as a food or medical product. It is usually sold as lime de-scaler.
Cinnamon -- can be found in any spice section. It is better if you can buy it in stick form and grind your own, but already-ground will work. It doesn't matter if it's really cassia. Substitutes: dessicated liver, red chili pepper.
Bioflavonoids --  can be found as a
cai powder, acerola powder, camu-camu powder, ground, dehydrated citrus peel (lemon, orange, grapefruit), cayenne powder, powdered ginger, mango powder (amchoor), red chili pepper, powdered rose hips, paprika and turmeric. You can use any of those, or any mixture of those.
Minerals -- are all around you. It's the main ingredient in rocks and dirt. See Minerals for all the sources of minerals available, or you can order powdered dolomite, powdered bone meal, French green clay, red desert clay or powdered kelp online, or can be found in some health food stores. Substitute: take powdered dolomite tablets and bonemeal tablets when you take the vitamin C capsules.
Pine needles -- Collect in the woods, dry and grind in blender. Substitutes: eucalyptus, terebintha, tea tree, sweetgum tree, gingko biloba.. Any plant that has that similar "medicine-y" smell (and is safe to eat) contains various and a different number of terpenes. Substitutes from the spice section (grind in the blender): sage, oregano, bay leaves, star anise..


Our soil, food and waters are being depleted of minerals because of acid rain and pollution. You can re-mineralize them by getting alkalizers and ionizers to put the minerals back into your drinking water, but the easiest way is to eat naturally sourced, full-array mineral salts dug from the ground, blended into powders which can be done with a home blender, amd then pack it into gelatin capsules. You can't get any closer to the dirt than that.
Mineral salts can be harsh or unusable as is, so it is best to chelate them with a weak food acid.There are many such acids, but you may as well use ascorbic acid and citric acid. They're inexpensive and after they chelate your mineral salts to the ascorbate or citrate form you'll have extra vitamin C. (You may have to buy citric acid online. It is sometimes sold as lime de-scaler but I don't know of any way to insure that there are no chemical additives.)
Ascorbic and/or citric acid may be fractionates of the full-array vitamin C complex, according to some people. If you're taking them, you should add other of their companion products to try to balance the ascorbate and citrate. These companion products are the bioflavonoids that are made by plants and that some people say are part of what constitutes "Vitamin C", while others say they are "Vitamin P" and not necessary to get the full value of ascorbic acid vitamin C. I recommend taking minerals, ascorbic acid and plant  bioflavonoids together. Ascorbic acid makes the minerals more usable, the minerals prevent the ascorbic acid from depleting the body's mineral supply and the plant bioflavonoids are good for you whether they are part of the vitamin C complex or not.

Ascorbic acid has been linked to heart attacks
All acids will deplete the body of minerals if you take them without additional mineral supplements. Mega-doses of ascorbic acid without the necessary extra minerals could lead to magnesium deficiency which could lead to heart attacks. You could solve this problem by purchasing expensive Vitamin C in the ascorbate form or taking cheap ascorbic acid and eating approximately 3 times its volume in dirt along with it. If eating dirt doesn't appeal to you, see Minerals for other suitable sources.

Ascorbic acid causes mineral deficiency.

Answer: Yes, so take minerals if you take ascorbic acid.
Any acid will deplete the body of minerals. If you take ascorbic acid, always take a good source of minerals along with it. If you read anywhere that ascorbic acid is bad for you for some reason (
such as it causes copper deficiency or erodes tooth enamel), you can ignore such warning that are about loss of minerals as long as you take a good, natural supply of minerals with the ascorbic acid. It does not have to be the specific mineral that ascorbic acid is blamed for depleting -- any natural source of mixed minerals will bond with the acid and keep it from depleting other scarce minerals. Good sources of minerals are garden fertilizers, dirt, clay and sea salt.

Cinnamon and terpenes
Cinnamon is said to supply the missing enzyme that allows us to process ascorbic acid in our bodies. The enzyme, gulonolactone, is a terpene, one of the many compounds  found in evergreen and other trees that have a "medicine-y" smell to them and from which the word "turpentine" is derived.

How much cinnamon would it take to replace the missing gulonolactone so we could make all the ascorbic aicd we need?
They say, anecdotally, about 8 teaspoons a day, but that's an awful lot of cinnamon and at those levels there may be some toxic reaction. Still, there are people who take that amount and think it's great. They can't all be cinnamon growers.

How do I know it's cinnamon and not cassia?
Cinnamon is sweeter than cassia but for vitamin C purposes it doesn't matter.

Is ascorbic acid the same as citric acid?
Citric acid and ascorbic are not exactly the same, but they are very similar. Their molecular structure is only different by one oxygen molecule. They do many of the same tasks in the body. The only thing abscorbic acid can do that citric acid can't do is prevent scurvy, and for that, the amount of absorbic acid needed is very little. Unlike ascorbic acid, citric acid can be created in the human body. Knowing this, however, won't help your health much, but it can help your pocketbook, as citric acid is much cheaper than ascorbic acid, often sold in industrial-sized containers for industrial purposes.  If you're cool with off-label uses, you can buy a large box of lime descaler which is citric acid, mix 9 parts of citric acid with 1 part of ascorbic acid and you 're good to go with whatever purpose you had in mind for ascorbic acid.

Is ascorbic acid a "nourishing tradition"?
There are no easy answers with vitamin C ascorbic acid. Generally, something is considered a "nourishing tradition" if it has been used over centuries, passed on from generation to generation and continues to support health. Ascorbic acid as a supplement has only been available since the 1930's, however in that time it has been taken by many people who praise and recommend it and have  passed it from generation to generation. The theory is that ascorbic acid is synthesized in a lab[*] and therefore isn't natural, however "nourishing traditions" are not strictly defined by theory but by practice, based as it is on the work of W. Price. Price went out in the field and looked at what people actually ate that was healthy, rather than devise some theory about what ought to be healthy. I would say that if vitamin C ascorbic acid hasn't proved itself to be a nourishing tradtion yet, that it only has to continue for the next 20 years as it has for the last 80, with more and more people attributing their good health to it and passing this knowledge down to their children, for it to become a nourishing tradition.
[*] Actually, most vitamin C ascorbic acid is made in China by fermenting potatoes, so it is not far removed from "food-based" and while it is "synthesized", it isn't "artificially".synthesized. The ascorbic acid made in the liver of many animals (but not us) can be said to be "synthesized". That's how ascorbic acid is made, by synthesis.

Why is it so controversial?
What you call "Vitamin C" may depend more on your politics than on the actual characteristics of the substances involved. People who took mega-doses of ascorbic acid at the recommendation of Linus Pauling without taking extra minerals as a supplement, and who ended up with a mineral deficiency as a result, are more likely to say that "Vitamin C" is a complex including bioflavonoids. Ascorbic acid is made in the livers of most animals but not us because our livers lack the enzyme  gulonolactone needed to synthesize it. This enzyme is found in the livers of other animals, so we can, in fact, synthesize ascorbic acid in our bodies -- we just have to eat the liver of some other animal first. For this reason, vegetarians also balk at considering ascorbic acid to be "Vitamin C" because it lends credence to the idea that humans are, and by rights ought to be, carnivores. Conversely, militant carnivores and Atkins or lo-carb dieters are more likely to embrace the idea that only ascorbic acid is "Vitamin C" because it justifies eating meat, especially liver. And scientists like to call ascorbic acid "Vitamin C" because it has its own disease -- scurvy -- and is easy to test for in the lab. Since we are more concerned with being healthy than the scientific definition of a substance, I suggest taking everything and let the body use what it can and discard the rest.

 Make Your Own Bioflavonoids 

Peel lemon or other citrus fruit(s). (Use lemon pulp to make lemon pudding)

Cut peel into small pieces and set in a cool, dark place to dry.

When it has dried sufficiently to grind, put it in a blender and grind on high until it becomes a fine powder.

 Penicillium and Vitamin C

Penicillium mold (the blue-green mold found on citrus fruit and bread, and used to make bleu cheese -- see
Mold ) will eat glucose (sugar) and excrete citric and ascorbic acid. Does this mean we could mix sugar and penicillium in a gelatin capsule, swallow it and it will make vitamin C as it transits through our digestive system? In theory, it seems possible. We eat yogurt to to replenish our gut with probiotic bacteria. Why wouldn't the penicillium pass through the stomach and do what it always does -- make vitamin C -- before it is eliminated from the body? Unfortunately, there is no way to find out, except anecdotally. Sick people spend money, and the large companies who sell them medicine are not inclined to support research to determine if people would be healthier eating mold from lemon peels.

Disclaimer: The information on this site is provided for informational purposes only and if followed is done so solely on the initiative of the reader.

Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon
Food Enzymes for Health & Longevity by Dr.Edward Howell

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