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Herbs high in vitamin C, and ways to include them in daily life?

 
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Elderberry springs to mind as a good way to do this. I’ve also heard that rosehips have a lot of vitamin C too, but have no idea what the best approach to getting the vitamin C from them would be - is a herbal tea enough?

Are there any other cold/temperate-climate herbs that are good for vitamin C and/or helping the immune system to function well? What are the best ways to prepare them?
 
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Have you tried pine needle tea? Available year round! We need to make some up again.
 
author & pollinator
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Vitamin C Per 100 grams of plant
Dog rose (Rosa canina), fruit, 1252 mg
Elderberry (Sambucus nigra), fruit, 116 mg
Wild leeks (Allium tricoccum), leaves, 80 mg
Wild garlic (Allium vineale), leaves, 130 mg
Balsam fir (Abies balsamea), needles, 270 mg
Eastern white pine (Pinus strobus), bark  200 mg  and needles 32 mg
Common blue violet (Viola sororia), basal leaves, 130 mg
Coriander 567 mg
Parsley 122mg
Dill weed 85 mg
Saffron 81 mg
Cayenne 76 mg
Basil 61 mg
Thyme 160 mg
Rosemary 61 mg
Marjoram 51 mg
Oregano 50 mg
tarragon 50 mg
Bay 46 mg

These were calculated from dry plant material and since vitamin C disappears pretty quickly (potatoes loose 50% in 5 months of storage and cabbage looses 45% in winter storage), fresh herbs will have higher levels of vitamin C. Processing also destroys vitamin C.
You are probably aware that cooking destroys vitamin C.
Drying and freezing has also been shown to remove the vitamin C. From one study they found: "After processing of herbs in both observed species of celery and parsley the vitamin C content decreased, in case of freezing it was about 65% (celery) and 61% (parsley), after drying about 86% (celery) and 82% (parsley) in comparison with fresh herb."
Basically, the best way to get vitamin C is to eat a variety of fresh wild or grown greens and fresh varied fruits. The young spring greens are usually high in vitamin C. These are those on most of the new leaves of wild ground greens as well as the fresh bough tips we find on evergreens.  Just make sure whatever you are eating is edible and not toxic.
We need small amounts of vitamin C when we are healthy and not under a lot of stress, but who fits in that category nowadays? The more ill health and the more general stress, the more vitamin C we use up.
 
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Ditto on the pine needle tea! it has a very bright taste not resiny or really "piney" at all. Remember pine= long (4-5 inch needles) fir, and other evergreens = short needles.
Fiddlehead ferns in spring are loaded with C, almost all the berries, even the "mealy" ones such as service berry. The white blossom of Yucca is delicious (tastes like snow peas! shake the bees out first!) the Yucca fruit is also edible but far too peppery for my taste. (Yucca can be pressed for juice that acts almost as good as Rotenone for a fish anesthesia (spread a net downstream, totally illegal, probably immoral too!)) Not that fish are a good source of vitamin C!
I used to believe you could never have too much vitamin C but after watching my mother regularly dose herself with 4-5000 IU of C for years I also noticed a regular pattern of UTI's, With a drastic drop in C there was a drastic drop in UTI's too....FWIW her colds and flu's just as regular as the community she was involved with and their incidence did not change remarkably with the loss of the heavy C load.
The classical sign of impending scurvy (vitamin C deficiency) is loosening teeth and infusion of vitamin C at that point will rapidly reverse it, While I'm not recommending that as a guidepost, if your teeth are sound and your not on a protein only diet any daily intake of fresh fruit in a palm sized portion, will usually keep scurvy at bay.
Bright yellow urine is a sign that you are passing more C through you, than your body can put to use.
 
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Taking vitamine C can give oxalate issues if we are part of the people who convert it!!!
And this seems to be the case here, because frequent UTIs are a common sign of too much oxalate:

Bill Haynes wrote:  I used to believe you could never have too much vitamin C but after watching my mother regularly dose herself with 4-5000 IU of C for years I also noticed a regular pattern of UTI's, With a drastic drop in C there was a drastic drop in UTI's too....



It is worth for her to considere the issue, because she probably also has a store of oxalate, as the body does not eliminate all of it, it cannot. Or else she would not have reacted. The storage phasse is invisible.

It is just incredible how many posts I saw that seem to match an oxalate issue, and the problem is still not widely known, so I hope to make more people aware of it: it is much more frequent than we think, and not diagnosed!

A lot of new diets are making more likely to eat too much oxalate foods, like eating gluten-free (quinoa and buckweat and almonds), vegan (smoothies with the wrong greens, nuts and beans and grains), paleo (if a lot of nuts and certains greens). Add guts issues and antibiotics even if long ago...
 
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My big concern is how to prepare many of those fruits/veg so I don't destroy the Vit C.
So some specific questions I have are:
1. Rose hips - can you make a "fresh rose hip tea" and approximately how many hips would you need in how much tea to get a reasonable winter dose? In our climate, the hips often stay on the plants until Dec at least.
2. Would frozen raspberries once a week (home grown and frozen) give enough to keep my level of Vit C healthy (those I'm willing to eat without heating or cooking!)
3. Anyone know how much would be left in kiwi stored in a cool place to ripen for a couple of months? I got my first crop and have been eating a pair every 2-5 days and I think they're giving me something my body wants, although I'm not sure it's Vit C.
Thanks to anyone with ideas on this!
 
Sharol Tilgner
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The thing with vitamin C is to have small amounts often, which most diets provide if eating fresh fruit and vegetables in your diet. Our bodies urinate it out quickly.
 
Xisca Nicolas
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Jay Angler wrote:My big concern is how to prepare many of those fruits/veg so I don't destroy the Vit C.


I think I saw the reduction in % in a previous post. So you would have to calculate accordingly, to use more? But is there such a precise fixed amount? I don't think so, and I love the way you just felt you got something you needed! What if the best was to dare take more contact with our body feedback?

I also got an information from the carnivore diet, they say we don't need vitamine C when we don't eat carbs. Let me first say that this is not true for everybody though some carnivore people indeed seem to do well without any. I also know cases of scurvy, two exactly that I know. But the point is that nature seems - again - well made, if we need less vitamine C in winter when carbs were not available! It can be a fair possibility that instead of fighting about humans doing better when burning carbs or fat, the best in cold climate is to burn more carbs in summer and more fats in winter! Then we can manage with less vitamine C in winter. And nordic people used to chew and spit spruce sprouts. Any pine will do and they stay green and fresh. What ever we consume raw will have more vitamine C.

A lot of fruits, bringing good vitamin C, are ok with the oxalate levels, except 3, kiwi, guava and fig. Berries are higher than fruits, blueberry being one of the best. Blackberries are the highest, and black raspberries.
If you eat them in a rather traditionnal way, with yogurt, the calcium is the best way humans had found to bind to oxalate in their diet. You need to consume dairy WITH the food containing oxalate. Even when we have no issues, it is better to take care about not accumulating too much, because the problems start only at this moment. It depends on genetics, on the gut microbiome, on the quality of our digestion. Eating enough sulfur is also essential because oxalate use the same transporter in the body. Sulfur is also good in winter to avoid colds. Garlic, onion and cruciferous are all quite available in winter!  
 
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