Nutrition

Raw Juice Therapy

Raw juice therapy is a method of treatment of disease through an exclusive diet of juices of fruits and vegetables. It is also known as juice fasting. It is the most effective way to restore health and rejuvenate the body.

During raw juice therapy, the eliminative and cleansing capacity of the organs of elimination, namely lungs, liver, kidneys and the skin, is greatly increased and masses of accumulated metabolic waste and toxins are quickly eliminated. It affords a physiological rest to the digestive and assimilative organs.

After the juice fasting or raw juice therapy, the digestion of food and the utilization of nutrients is vastly improved. An exclusive diet of raw juices of fruits and vegetables results in much faster recovery from diseases and more effective cleansing and regeneration of the tissues than the fasting on pure water.

Dr. Ragnar Berg, a world-renowned authority on nutrition and biochemistry observes:

“During fasting the body burns up and excretes huge amounts of accumulated wastes. We can help this cleansing process by drinking alkaline juices instead of water while fasting.

I have supervised many fasts and made extensive examinations and tests of fasting patients, and I am convinced that drinking alkali-forming fruit and vegetable juices, instead of water, during fasting will increase the healing effect of fasting. Elimination of uric acid and other inorganic acids will be accelerated. And sugars in juices will strengthen the heart.

Juice fasting is, therefore, the best form of fasting. ”

As juices are extracted from plants and fruits, they process definite medicinal properties. Specific juices are beneficial in specific conditions. Besides specific medicinal virtues, raw fruit and vegetable juices have an extraordinary revitalizing and rejuvenative effect on all the organs, glands and functions of the body.

Favorable Effects

The favorable effect of raw juices in the treatment of disease is attributed to the following facts : Raw juices of fruits and vegetables are extremely rich in vitamins, minerals, trace elements, enzymes and natural sugars. They exercise beneficial effect in normalizing all the body functions. They supply needed elements for the body’s own healing activity and cell regeneration, thereby speeding the recovery.

  • The juices extracted from raw fruits and vegetables require no digestion and almost all their vital nutrients are assimilated directly in the bloodstream.
  • Raw juices are extremely rich in alkaline elements. This is highly beneficial in normalizing acid-alkaline balance in the blood and tissues as there is over-acidity in most conditions of ill-health.
  • Generous amounts of easily assimilable organic minerals in raw juices especially calcium, potassium and silicon help in restoring biochemical and mineral balance in the tissues and cells, thereby preventing premature ageing of cells and disease.
  • Raw juices contain certain natural medicines, vegetal hormones and antibiotics. For instance, string beans are said to contain insulin-like substance. Certain hormones needed by the pancreas to produce insulin are present in cucumber and onion juices. Fresh juices of garlic , onions, radish and tomatoes contain antibiotic substances.

Precautions

Certain precautions are, however, necessary in adopting an exclusive diet of raw juices. Firstly, all juices should be made fresh immediately before drinking. Canned and frozen juices should not be used. It will be advisable that one should have one’s own juicer for extracting fresh juices.

Secondly, only fresh ripe fruits and vegetables, preferably organically grown, should be used for extraction of juices.

Thirdly, only as much juice as needed for immediate consumption should be extracted. Raw juices oxidize rapidly and lose their medicinal value in storage, even under refrigeration.

Fourthly, the quality of the juices has a distinct bearing on the results obtained. In case of incomplete extraction of juices, their effective power is proportionately reduced due to the absence of the vitamins and enzymes which are left behind in fiber and the pulp.

Finally, if juices are too sweat they should be diluted in water on 50 : 50 basis or mixed with other less sweet juices. This is especially important in some specific conditions such as diabetes, hypoglycemia, arthritis and high blood pressure.

The Six Main Types of Juices

Fruit and vegetable juices may be divided into six main types. These are :

  • Juices from sweet fruits such as prunes and grapes
  • Juices from sub-acid fruits like apple, plum, pear, peach, apricot and cherry
  • Juices from acid fruits like orange, lemon, grapefruit, strawberry and pineapple
  • Juices from vegetable fruits, namely, tomato and cucumber
  • Juices from green leafy vegetables like cabbage, celery, lettuce, spinach, parsley and watercress
  • Juices from root vegetables like beetroot, carrot, onion, potato and radish. Generally speaking, fruit juices stir up toxins and acids in the body, thereby stimulating the eliminative processes.

Vegetable juices, on the other hand, soothe the jaded nerves and work in a much milder manner. They carry away toxic matter in a gentle way. Owing to their differing actions fruit and vegetable juices should not be used at the same time or mixed together. It is desirable to use juices individually. In any case not more than three juices should be used in any one mixture.

Rules For Mixing Juices

The following broad rules apply when using mixtures of juices. Juices from sweet fruits may be combined with juices of sub-acid fruits, but not with those of acid fruits, vegetable fruits or vegetables.

  • Juices from sub-acid fruits may be combined with juices of sweet fruits, or acid fruits, but not with other juices.
  • Juices from acid fruits may be combined with those of sub-acid fruits or vegetable fruits, but not with other juices.
  • Juices from vegetable fruits may be combined with those of acid fruits or of green leafy vegetables, but not with other juices.
  • Juices from green leafy vegetables may be combined with those of vegetable fruits or of the root vegetable, but not with other juices.
  • Juices from root vegetables may be combined with those of green leafy vegetables, but not with other juices. A proper selection of juices in treating a particular ailment is very essential.

Thus, for instance, juices of carrot, cucumber, cabbage and other vegetables are very valuable in asthma, arthritis and skin disease, but juices of orange and mosambi aggravate their symptoms by increasing the amount of mucus.

Treatment of Diseases

Some common ailments and fruit and vegetable juices found beneficial in their treatment are mentioned below :

  • Acidity : Grapes, orange, mosambi, carrot and spinach.
  • Acne : Grapes, pear, plum, tomato, cucumber, carrot, potato and spinach.
  • Allergies : Apricot, grapes, carrot, beet and spinach.
  • Arteriosclerosis : Grapefruit, pineapple, lemon, celery, carrot, lettuce, and spinach.
  • Anemia : Apricot, prune, strawberry, red grape, beet, celery, carrot and spinach.
  • Arthritis : Sour cherry, pineapple, sour apple, lemon, grapefruit, cucumber, beet, carrot, lettuce and spinach.
  • Asthma : Apricot, lemon, pineapple, peach, carrot, radish and celery.
  • Bronchitis : Apricot, lemon, pineapple, peach, tomato, carrot, onion and spinach.
  • Bladder Ailments : Apple, apricot, lemon, cucumber, carrot, celery, parsley and watercress.
  • Colds : Lemon, orange, grapefruit, pineapple, carrot, onion, celery and spinach.
  • Constipation : Apple, pear, grapes, lemon, carrot, beet, spinach and watercress.
  • Colitis : Apple, apricot, pear, peach, pineapple, papaya, carrot, beet, cucumber and spinach.
  • Diabetes : Citrus fruits, carrot, celery, lettuce and spinach.
  • Diarrhea : Papaya, lemon, pineapple, carrot and celery.
  • Eczema : Red grapes,carrot, spinach, cucumber and beet.
  • Epilepsy : Red grapes, figs, carrot, celery and spinach.
  • Eye Disorders : Apricot ,tomato, carrot, celery, parsley and spinach.
  • Gout : Red sour cherries, pineapple, tomato, cucumber, beet, carrot, celery and spinach.
  • Halitosis : Apple, grapefruit, lemon, pineapple, tomato, carrot, celery and spinach.
  • Headache : Grapes, lemon, carrot, lettuce and spinach.
  • Heart Disease : Red grapes, lemon, cucumber, carrot, beet and spinach.
  • High blood pressure : Grapes, orange, cucumber, carrot and beet.
  • Influenza : Apricot, orange, lemon , grapefruit, pineapple, carrot, onion and spinach.
  • Insomnia : Apple, grapes, lemon, lettuce , carrot and celery.
  • Jaundice : Lemon, grapes, pear, carrot, celery, spinach, beet and cucumber.
  • Kidney Disorders : Apple, orange, lemon, cucumber, cucumber,carrot, celery, parsley and beet.
  • Liver ailments : Lemon, papaya, grapes, carrot, tomato, beet and cucumber.
  • Menstrual Disorders :Grapes, prunes, cherry, spinach, lettuce turnips and beet.
  • Menopausal Symptoms : Fruits and Vegetables in season.
  • Neuritis : Orange, pineapple, apple, carrot and beet.
  • Obesity : Lemon, grapefruit, orange, cherry, pineapple, papaya, tomato, beet, cabbage, lettuce, spinach and carrot.
  • Piles : Lemon, orange, papaya, pineapple, carrot, spinach, turnip and watercress.
  • Prostate Troubles : All fruit juices in season, carrot, asparagus, lettuce and spinach.
  • Psoriasis : Grapes, carrot, beet, and cucumber.
  • Rheumatism : Grapes, orange, lemon, grapefruit, tomato, cucumber, beet, carrot and spinach.
  • Stomach Ulcers : Apricot, grapes, cabbage and carrot.
  • Sinus Trouble : Apricot, lemon, tomato, carrot, onion and radish.
  • Sore Throat : Apricot, grapes, lemon, pineapple, prune, tomato, carrot and parsley.
  • Tonsillitis : Apricot, lemon, orange, grapefruit, pineapple, carrot, spinach and radish.
  • Varicose Veins : Grapes, orange, plum, tomato, beetroot carrot and watercress.

When on a raw juice therapy, the prescribed juice should be drunk every three hours. One can thus take juices five to six times a day. A glass of water mixed with lemon juice and 20 to 30 grams of honey may be taken first thing in the morning on arising. Thereafter, the prescribed juice may be taken at three-hourly intervals.

The quantity of juice on each occasion may be 250 ml on the first day. This quantity may be increased by 50 ml each succeeding day till one takes 600 ml on each occasion. The juice diet can be continued for 30 to 40 days without any ill-effects.

The patient should take adequate rest during the raw juice therapy. Raw juices act as a cleansing agent and start eliminating toxins and morbid matter from the system immediately. This often results in symptoms such as pain in the abdomen, diarrhea, loss of weight, headache, fever, weakness, sleeplessness and bad breath.

These reactions, which are part of the cleansing process, should not be suppressed by the use of drugs. They will cease when the body is able to expel all toxins. After the raw juice therapy, the return to normal balanced diet should be gradual, and in stages. In the beginning, two juice meals may be replaced by milk and fruits. Then gradually juice meals may be substituted by a balanced-diet.

From: A Complete Handbook of Nature Cure

The Amazing Power of Amino Acids

In 1838, a Dutch chemist, G.J. Mulder, described a certain organic material as “unquestionably the most important of all known substances in the organic kingdom. Without it, no life appears possible on our planet. Through its means the chief phenomena of life are produced. ” This complex nitrogen-bearing substance was called protein from the Greek word meaning ” take the first place.”

Protein is now a group name signifying the principal nitrogenous constituents of the protoplasm of all plant and animal tissues. Proteins are extremely complex organic compounds of the elements carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, and,with some exceptions, sulfur. Most proteins also contain phosphorous, and some specialized proteins contain iron, iodine, copper and other inorganic elements.

The presence of nitrogen distinguishes proteins from carbohydrates and fats. Proteins are thus vital substances, which form important constituent of muscles, tissues, and the blood. Proteins supply the building material for the body and make good the wear and tear of tissues. Several substances concerned with vital life processes such as enzymes, which help in digestion of food, are chiefly protein in nature.

There are several varieties of protein. Each type contains a specific number of “building blocks ” known as amino-acids. Before they can be absorbed by the body, all proteins must first be broken down into amino-acids. When food stuffs are ingested, the nutrients and amino-acids do not immediately diffuse into all the different tissues. There are a series of biochemical reactions in the digestive tract which collect these proteins, break them down and then utilize them as needed. Any interference with the normal digestive process causes in-complete protein digestion resulting in gas, bloating etc.

There are about 22 amino acids needed for the normal functioning of the body. The body can manufacture many amino acids if it has no adequate nitrogen source, but it cannot produce certain others in sufficient amounts to meet its needs. The amino acids that the body cannot synthesize in adequate amounts are called essential or indispensable because they must be supplied by the diet in proper proportions and amounts to meet the requirements for maintenance of growth. Non-essential or dispensable amino acids are those that the body can synthesize in sufficient amounts to meet its needs if the total amount of nitrogen supplied by protein is adequate.

Classification of Amino Acids with respect to their essentiality:

Essential Amino Acids
  • Histidine*
  • Isoleucine
  • Leucine
  • Lysine
  • Methionine
  • Phenylalanine
  • Theronine
  • Trypophan
  • Valine
  • Hydroxyproline
  • Proline
  • Serine
  • Tyrosine

*Histidine is required for infants but its essentiality for adults has not been clearly established.

Nonessential Amino Acids
  • Alanine
  • Arginine
  • Asparagine
  • Aspartic acid
  • Cysteine
  • Cystine
  • Glutamic acid
  • Glutamine
  • Glycine

It will be seen from this statement that nine amino acids are essential for maintenance of nitrogen equilibrium in human bodies. The estimated requirements of essential amino acids for infants, children and adults are given below. Men in the older age group appear to differ in their requirements. Studies seem to suggest an increase need for methionine and lysine for them. Infants and children have proportionally greater demands for essential amino acids than adults. In addition, infants require histidine as an essential amino acid.

Daily Requirements:

Estimating the daily requirement for the indispensable amino acids has proven to be difficult; these numbers have undergone considerable revision over the last 20 years. The following table lists the WHO and United States recommended daily amounts currently in use for essential amino acids in adult humans, together with their standard one-letter abbreviations. 

Amino acid(s) WHO mg per kg body weight WHO mg per 70 kg US mg per kg body weight
H Histidine 10 700 14
I Isoleucine 20 1400 19
L Leucine 39 2730 42
K Lysine 30 2100 38
M Methionine+ C Cysteine 10.4 + 4.1 (15 total) 1050 total 19 total
F Phenylalanine+ Y Tyrosine 25 (total) 1750 total 33 total
T Threonine 15 1050 20
W Tryptophan 4 280 5
V Valine 26 1820 24

The recommended daily intakes for children aged three years and older is 10% to 20% higher than adult levels and those for infants can be as much as 150% higher in the first year of life. Cysteine (or sulfur-containing amino acids), tyrosine (or aromatic amino acids), and arginine are always required by infants and growing children. 

Factors in addition to the age, sex and physiological condition of an individual influence the requirements for specific amino acids. If total protein intake is low, small surpluses of certain amino acids can increase the need for others.

The non-essential amino acids in protein also affect the quality of protein. For example, the amount of sulphur – containing essential amino acid methionine required may be somewhat reduced if cystine, a sulfur-containing nonessential amino acid,is supplied in the diet. Likewise, the presence in the diet of tyrosine, a non-essential amino acid similar in structure to phenylalanine, may reduce the requirement for phenylalanine.

Much research has been done on amino acids in recent times and this has paved the way for dramatic treatment and cure of different problems by their judicious use. They are now dubbed as ” the nutrients of the 80’s” and “medical foods”.

The various functions of the essential and frequently investigated non-essential amino acids, their deficiency symptoms and their therapeutic uses are discussed below :

Tryptophan

Of all the essential amino acids , tryptophan is the one that is most investigated by nutrition researchers. It is essential to blood clotting, digestive juices and the optic system. It induces sleep and quietens the nervous system. It wards off signs of premature old age – cataracts of the eyes, baldness, deterioration of sex glands and malformation of teeth enamel. It is also necessary to the female reproductive organs and for proper utilization of vitamin A by the body.

Major sources of this amino acid are nuts, and most vegetables.

Lack of tryptophan causes symptoms similar to those of vitamin A deficiency. A number of scientists feel that it can be used as a safe and effective food remedy for insomnia and pain. Under experimental conditions, tryptophan in doses of one gram or more has been shown to be most effective for persons who suffer from mild insomnia and for those who take a long time to fall asleep.

Tryptophan may also be a natural painkiller. Researches at Temple University in Philadelphia have indicated that it worked without causing the side effects associated with other anesthesia or analgesics. Tryptophan as a food medicine should be taken between meals with a low protein food such as fruit juice or bread. One to three grams a day seems to be the range favored by most researchers.

Methionine

This is a vital sulphur -bearing compound which helps dissolve cholesterol and assimilates fat. It is required by haemoglobin, the pancreas , the lymph and the spleen. It is necessary to maintain normal body weight and also helps maintain the proper nitrogen balance in the body.

Rich sources of methionine are Brazil nut, Hazal nut, and other nuts. It is also found in brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, pineapples and apples. Its deficiency can lead to chronic rheumatic fever in children, hardening of the liver (cirrhosis) and nephritis of the kidneys. Studies show that methionine and chorine prevent tumours and proliferation.

Lysine

Lysine inhibits viruses. Its use along with vitamin C, zinc and vitamin A helps eliminate virus infections. Vitamin C protects this amino acid while in the body so that lysine plus vitamin C has a much stronger anti-virus effect than if either is used separately. Lysine also influences the female reproductive cycle.

Lack of adequate lysine in the diet may cause headaches, dizziness, nausea and incipient anemia. The main sources of this amino acid are most kinds of nuts, seeds, vegetables and sub-acid fruits. Lysine upsets in the body have also been associated with pneumonia, nephrosis and acidosis as well as malnutrition and rickets in children.

It is considered a natural remedy for cold, sores, shingles and genital herpes. In a study published in 1983, a group of researchers polled over 1,500 people whose daily intake of lysine was over 900 mg. 88 per cent said that lysine seemed to reduce the severity of their attacks of herpes virus and accelerated the healing time. These results have, however, been disputes by some scientists.

Valine

Valine is an essential body growth factor, particularly for mammary glands and ovaries. Valine is directly linked with the nervous system. It is essential for the prevention of nervous and digestive disorders.

Major sources are almonds, apples and most vegetables. Lack of this amino acid makes a person sensitive to touch and sound.

Isoleucine and Leucine

This amino acid is essential for maintaining the nitrogen balance vital to all body functions. It also regulates metabolism of the thymus, spleen and pituitary glands. Rich sources are sunflower seeds, all nuts, except cashew nuts, avocados and olives.

Leucine is the compliment of isoleucine, with a similar chemical composition although in different arrangement. Its functions and sources are also similar.

Phenylalanine

This is essential to the production of hormone adrenaline; to the production of the thyroid secretion and the hair and skin pigment, melanin.

It is effective in weight control because of its effect on the thyroid. Its use before meals suppresses the appetite substantially. Patients taking half a teaspoon of the powder 30 minutes before each meal, lose from a quarter to half a pound a day. It is also essential for the efficient functioning of kidneys and bladder.

Major source are nuts, seeds, carrots, parsley and tomatoes. An important recently discovered therapeutic use of phenylalanine is its ability to overcome most conditions of lethargy through stimulation of adrenaline.

Throenine

This amino acid is found in various types of milk and is a major constituent in cow’s milk. Other sources are nuts, seeds, carrots and green vegetables. Without threonine, a child’s development will be incomplete and there will be malfunctioning of the brain. This amino acid has a powerful anti-convulsive effect.

Histidine

This helps tissue growth and repair. It is active in producing normal blood supply. It is also vital to the formation of glycogen in the liver. It is found in the root vegetables and all green vegetables.

Studies indicate that the free form of histidine in the blood is low in cases of rheumatoid arthritis and if taken orally, may possibly depress the symptoms of this ailment. Oral histidine has , however, a tendency to stimulate hydrochloric acid secretion in the stomach and persons who are susceptible to an overabundance of acid and also those who have ulcers should avoid taking pure histidine.

Orthopaedic and joint pains are caused by lack of histidine.

Arginine

This is called the ” fatherhood ” amino acid as it comprises 80 per cent of all male reproductive cells. It is essential for normal growth. Serious lack of this amino acid reduces the sex instinct causing impotence. It is found in most vegetables, especially, green and root vegetables.

Cystine

Cystine provides resistance by building up white-cell activity. It is an indispensable amino acid. It is one of the mainstays of health as it is essential for the proper formation of skin and helps one recover from surgery.

It promotes the formation of carolene which helps hair growth. It is used in the treatment of skin diseases, for low white blood-cells counts and for some cases of anemia.

Tyrosine

This can be called an anti-stress amino acid. Dr. Richard Wurtman who recently conducted experiments on the use of this amino acid says: ” Supplemented tyrosine may be useful therapeutically in persons exposed chronically to stress. ”

Tyrosine is also beneficial for depression, nervousness, irritability and despondency. Research has established this amino acid to be effective in the management and control of depression in conjunction with glutamine, tryptophan, niacin and vitamin B6. It is also helpful in the treatment of allergies and high blood pressure.

Although individual nee may vary, Dr. Wurtman considers 100 mg. per kilogram of body weight per day an optional dose. This works out to about 5.4 grams of tyrosine a day for a person weighing 120 pounds. The supplement may be divided into three separate doses each day. When tyrosine is taken, a supplement of valine, another essential amino acid should not be taken as valine may block tyrosine’s entry to the brain.

Glutamine

This little known non-essential amino acid known as ” sobriety nutrient ” . It is considered beneficial in the treatment of alcoholism. According to Roger J. Williams , a world-known nutritionist, glutamine reduces the usually irresistible craving for alcohol that recovering drinkers almost inevitably encounter.

Cysteine

There is some evidence that cysteine (not to be confused with cystine) has certain therapeutic value as a nutritional supplement.

Dr. H. Ghadimi, chairman of the nutrition committee at Nassau country, (New York) medical center uses cysteine supplements to treat his patients suffering from obesity. He considers that there is link between obesity and over-production of insulin and that cysteine supplements taken along with vitamin C at the end of the meals somehow neutralizes some of the excess insulin, which is responsible for fat production.

He regards this amino acid as ‘ anti-cancer and anti-ageing’ and claims that like vitamin C, cysteine protects the body from damage by oxidants.

Amino Acid Deficiencies

When one or more of the essential amino acids are left out of the diet, symptoms similar to those of vitamin deficiencies may be experienced such as low blood pressure, anemia, poor muscle tone, slow healing of wounds, loss of weight, poor resistance to infections and bloodshot eyes. Children who do not get the required amounts of amino acids in their daily diet suffer from stunted growth and permanent damage to the glands.

On the other hand, those getting the full quota of amino acids in their diet will be rewarded with vigor, vitality and long life.

The best food proteins with all the essential amino acids are found in almonds, cheese and eggs. Amino acids are being increasingly and successfully used in the treatment of several diseases, such as stomach ulcers, burns, kidney diseases and liver diseases.

It has also been observed that the diseases of old age can be largely prevented if elderly persons obtain the proper food supplements of amino acids , vitamins and minerals. Amino acids are needed at every stage from infancy to old age – to repair worn out tissues and to create new ones.

From: A Complete Handbook of Nature Cure

The Importance of Minerals


The term ‘ minerals ‘ refers to elements in their simple inorganic form. In nutrition they are commonly referred to as mineral elements or inorganic nutrients. Minerals are vital to health. Like vitamins and amino acids, minerals are essential for regulating and building the trillions of living cells which make up the body. Body cells receive the essential food elements through the blood stream. They must, therefore, be properly nourished with an adequate supply of all the essential minerals for the efficient functioning of the body.

Minerals help maintain the volume of water necessary to life processes in the body. They help draw chemical substances into and out of the cells and they keep the blood and tissue fluid from becoming either too acidic or too alkaline.

The importance of minerals, like vitamins, is illustrated by the fact that there are over 50,000 enzymes in the body which direct growth and energy and each enzyme has minerals and vitamins associated with it. Each of the essential food minerals does a specific job in the body and some of them do extra work, in teams, to keep body cells healthy.

The mineral elements which are needed by the body in substantial amounts are calcium, phosphorous, iron, sulfur, magnesium, sodium, potassium and chlorine. In addition the body needs minute (trace) amounts of iodine, copper, cobalt, manganese, zinc, selenium, silicon, fluorine and some others.

  • Calcium

The human body needs calcium more than any other mineral. A man weighing 70 kg. contains one kg. of calcium. About 99 per cent of the quantity in the body is used for building strong bones and teeth and the remaining one per cent is used by the blood, muscles and nerves.

Calcium performs many important functions. Without this mineral , the contractions of the heart would be faulty, the muscles would not contract properly to make the limbs move and blood would not clot. Calcium stimulates enzymes in the digestive process and coordinates the functions of all other minerals in the body.

Calcium is found in milk and milk products, whole wheat, leafy vegetables such as lettuce, spinach, and cabbage , carrots, watercress, oranges, lemons, almonds, figs and walnuts. A daily intake of about 0.4 to 0.6 grams of calcium is considered desirable for an adult. The requirement is larger for growing children and pregnant and lactating women.

Deficiency may cause porous and fragile bones, tooth decay, heart palpitations, muscle cramps, insomnia and irritability. A large increase in the dietary supply of calcium is needed in tetany and when the bones are decalcified due to poor calcium absorption, as in rickets, oesteomalacia and the mal-absorption syndrome. Liberal quantity of calcium is also necessary when excessive calcium has been lost from the body as in hyperparathyroidism or chronic renal disease.

  • Phosphorus

It combines with calcium to create the calcium-phorphorus balance necessary for the growth of bones and teeth and in the formation of nerve cells. This mineral is also essential for the assimilation of carbohydrates and fats. It is a stimulant to the nerves and brain. Phosphorous is found in abundance in cereals, pulses, nuts, egg yolk, fruit juices, milk and legumes. Usually about one gram of phosphorous is considered necessary in the daily diet.

A phosphorous deficiency may bring about loss of weight, retarded growth, reduced sexual powers and general weakness. It may result in poor mineralization of bones, deficient nerve and brain function.

While taking calcium in therapeutic doses for calcium deficiency conditions or for treating ailments, it is advisable to take the calcium supplement in which phosphorous has been added in the correct proportions. This is necessary as calcium cannot achieve its objectives unless phosphorous is present in a proper balance.

  • Iron

Iron is an important mineral which enters into the vital activity of the blood and glands. Iron exists chiefly as hemoglobin in the blood. It distributes the oxygen inhaled into the lungs to all the cells. It is the master mineral which creates warms, vitality and stamina. It is required for the healthy complexion and for building up resistance in the body.

The chief sources of iron are grapes, raisins, spinach, all green vegetables, whole grain, cereals, dried beans, dark colored fruits, beets, dates, liver and egg yolk. The Indian Council of Medical Research has recommended an allowance of 20 to 30 mg. of iron in a balanced diet for an adult.

Iron deficiency is generally caused by severe blood loss,malnutrition , infections and by excessive use of drugs and chemicals. Deficiency of dietary iron may cause nutritional-anemia, lowered resistance to disease, a general run down condition, pale complexion, shortness of breath on manual exertion and loss of interest in sex.

Iron is the classic remedy for anemia. However, there are several forms of anemia, and iron deficiency anemia is only one. If one is taking iron pills due to insufficient intake of iron in the normal diet, one should also take at least 40 mg. of folic acid or folate every day, along with 10 to 25 mg. of vitamin B12. Both these vitamins are essential in building healthy blood cells.

  • Sulphur

All living matter contains some sulphur; this element is therefore essential for life. The greater part of the sulphur in the human body is present in the two sulphur-containing amino acids, methionine and cysteine, or in the double form of the latter cystine.

The main purpose of sulphur is to dissolve waste materials. It helps to eject some of the waste and poisons from the system. It helps keep the skin clear of blemishes and makes hair glossy. It is also valuable in rheumatic conditions.

The main sulphur-containing foods are radishes, carrots, cabbage, cheese, dried beans, fish and eggs. There is no recommended dietary allowance. But a diet sufficient in protein will generally be adequate in sulphur.

Deficiency of sulphur may cause eczema and imperfect development of hair and nails. Sulphur creams and ointments have been remarkably successful in treating a variety of skin problems.

  • Magnesium

All human tissues contain small amounts of magnesium. The adult human body contains about 25 gms. of this mineral. The greater part of this amount is present in bones in combination with phosphate and carbonate. Bone ashes contain less than one per cent magnesium. About one-fifty of the total magnesium in the body is present in the soft tissues, where it is mainly bound to protein.

Next to potassium, magnesium is the predominant metallic action in living cells. The bones seem to provide a reserve supply of this mineral in case of shortage elsewhere in the body. Biochemists call magnesium the “cool, alkaline, refreshing, sleep-promoting mineral”. Magnesium helps one keep calm and cool during the sweltering summer months. It aids in keeping nerves relaxed and normally balanced. It is necessary for all muscular activity.

This mineral is in activator for most of the enzyme system involving carbohydrate, fat and protein in energy-producing reactions. It is involved in the production of lecithin which prevents building up of cholesterol and consequent atherosclerosis. Magnesium promotes a healthier cardiovascular system and aids in fighting depression. It helps prevent calcium deposits in kidneys and gallstones and also brings relief from indigestion.

Magnesium is widely distributed in foods. It is a part of the chlorophyll in green vegetables. Other good sources of this mineral are nuts, soy beans, alfalfa, apples, figs, lemons, peaches, almonds, whole grains, brown rice, sunflower seeds and sesame seeds.

The recommended dietary allowances for magnesium are 350 mg. per day for adult man, 300 mg. for women and 450 mg. during pregnancy and lactation.

Deficiency can lead to kidney damage and kidney stones, muscle cramps, arteriosclerosis, heart attack, epileptic seizures, nervous irritability, marked depression and confusion, impaired protein metabolism and premature wrinkles. Chronic alcoholics often show a low plasma magnesium concentration and a high urinary output. They may, therefore, require magnesium therapy especially in an acute attack of delirium tremens.

Magnesium has also proved useful in bladder and urinary problems and in epileptic seizure. This mineral together with vitamin B6 or pyridoxine has also been found effective in the prevention and treatment of kidney stones. Magnesium can be taken in therapeutic doses up to 700 mg. a day.

  • Sodium

Sodium Chloride , the chemical name for common salt, contains 39 per cent of sodium, an element which never occurs in free form in nature. It is found in an associated form with many minerals especially in plentiful amounts with chlorine. The body of a healthy person weighing about 65 kg. contains 256 g. of sodium chloride. Of this the major part, just over half, is in the extra-cellular fluid. About 96 g. is in bone and less than 32 g. in the cells.

Sodium is the most abundant chemical in the extra-cellular fluid of the body. It acts with other electrolytes, especially potassium, in the intracellular fluid, to regulate the osmotic pressure and maintain a proper water balance within the body. It is a major factor in maintaining acid-base equilibrium, in transmitting nerve impulses, and in relaxing muscles. It is also required for glucose absorption and for the transport of other nutrients across cell membranes.

Sodium can help prevent catarrh. It promotes a clear brain, resulting in a better disposition and less mental fatigue. Because of its influence on calcium, sodium can also help dissolve any stones forming within the body. It is also essential for the production of hydrochloric acid in the stomach and plays a part in many other glandular secretions.

There is some natural salt in every food we eat. Vegetable foods rich in sodium are celery, cucumbers, watermelon, lemons, oranges, grapefruit, beet-tops, cabbage, lettuce, corn, lady’s fingers, apple, berries, pears, squash, pumpkin, peaches, lentils, almonds and walnuts. Animal food sources include shell fish, lean beef, kidney, bacon and cheese.

The sodium chloride requirements for persons living in the tropics have been estimated at 10 to 15 g. per day for adults who are engaged in light work and 15 to 20 g. for those engaged in hard work. The requirements of children are from five to 10 g. and those for adolescent boys and girls from 10 to 25 g.

Both deficiency and excess of salt may produce adverse effects o the human body. Deficiencies of sodium are, however, rare and may be caused by excessive sweating, prolonged use of diuretics, or chronic diarrhea. Deficiency may lead to nausea, muscular weakness, heat exhaustion, mental apathy and respiratory failure.

Over-supply of sodium is a more common problem because of overuse of dietary sodium chloride or common salt. Too much sodium may lead to water retention, high blood pressure, stomach ulcers, stomach cancer, hardening of arteries and heart disease.

In case of mild deficiency of sodium chloride, taking a teaspoon of common salt in one half liter of water or any fruit juice quickly restores the health. In severe conditions, however, administration of sodium chloride in the form of normal saline by intravenous drip may be restored to.

The adverse effects of excessive use of sodium chloride can be rectified by avoiding the use of common salt.

  • Potassium

Potassium is essential to the life of every cell of a living being and is among the most generously and widely distributed of all the tissue minerals. It is found principally in the intracellular fluid where it plays an important role as a catalyst in energy metabolism and in the synthesis of glycogen and protein. The average adult human body contains 120 g. as potassium and 245 g. as potassium chloride. Out of this body potassium, 117 g. is found in the cells and 3 g. in the extracellular compartment.

Potassium is important as an alkalizing agent in keeping a proper acid-alkaline balance in the blood and tissues. It is essential for muscle contraction and therefore, important for proper heart function. It promotes the secretion of hormones and helps the kidneys in detoxification of blood. Potassium prevents female disorders by stimulating the endocrine hormone production. It is involved in the proper functioning of the nervous system and helps overcome fatigue. It also aids in clear thinking by sending oxygen to the brain and assists in reducing blood pressure.

Potassium is widely distributed in foods. All vegetables, especially green, leafy vegetables, grapes, oranges, lemons, raisins, whole grains, lentils, sunflower seeds, nuts, milk, cottage cheese and butter milk are rich sources. Potatoes, especial potato peelings, and bananas are especially good sources. Potassium requirements have not been established but on intake of 0.8 to 1.3 g. per day is estimated as approximately the minimum need.

Potassium deficiency may occur during gastrointestinal disturbances with severe vomiting and diarrhea, diabetic acidosis and potassium-losing nephritis. It causes undue nervous and body tiredness, palpitation of the heart, cloudiness of the mind, nervous shaking of the hands and feet, great sensitivity of the nerves to cold, and excessive perspiration of the feet and hands.

In simple cases of potassium deficiency, drinking plenty of tender coconut water daily, can make up for it. It is advisable to consume plenty of figs, apricots, prunes, almonds and tomatoes during the use of oral diuretics. Potassium-rich foods should be restricted during acute renal failure and Addison’s disease.

  • Chlorine

In the human body, chlorine is liberated by the interaction of common salt, taken along with food, and hydrochloric acid liberated in the stomach during the process of digestion. It is essential for the proper distribution of carbon dixoxide and the maintenance of osmotic pressure in the tissues.

This food element is necessary for the manufacture of glandular hormone secretions. It prevents the building of excessive fat and auto-intoxication. Chlorine regulates the blood’s alkaline -acid balance and works with Potassium in a compound form. It aids in the cleaning out of body waste by helping the liver to function.

Chlorine is found in cheese and other milk products, green leafy vegetables, tomatoes, all berries, rice, radishes, lentils, coconuts and egg yolk. No dietary allowance has been established, but an average intake of daily salt will ensure adequate quantity of chlorine. Deficiency of this mineral can cause loss of hair and teeth.

  • Iodine

The chief store-house of iodine in the body is the thyroid gland. The essential thyroxine, which is secreted by this gland, is made by the circulating iodine. Thyroxine is a wonder chemical which controls the basic metabolism and oxygen consumption of tissues. It increases the heart rate as well as urinary calcium excretion. Iodine regulates the rate of energy production and body weight and promotes proper growth. It improves mental alacrity and promotes healthy hair, nails, skin and teeth.

The best dietary sources of iodine are kelp and other seaweeds. Other good sources are turnip greens, garlic, watercress, pineapples, pears, artichokes, citrus fruits, egg yolk and seafood and fish liver oils.

The recommended dietary allowances are 130 mcg. per day for adult males and 100 mcg. per day for adult females. An increase to 125 mcg. per day during pregnancy and to 150 mcg. per day during lactation has been recommended.

Deficiency can cause goiter and enlargement of the thyroid glands. Small doses of iodine are of great value in the prevention of goiter in areas where it is endemic and are of value in treatments, at least in the early stages. Larger doses have a temporary value in the preparation of patients with hyperthyroidism for surgical operation.

  • Copper

There are approximately 75 to 150 mg. of copper in the adult human body. Newborn infants have higher concentrations than adults. Liver, brain, kidney, heart, and hair contain relatively high concentration. Average serum copper levels are higher in adult females than in males. Serum copper levels also increase significantly in women both during pregnancy and when taking oral contraceptives.

This mineral helps in the conversion of iron into hemoglobin. It stimulates the growth of red blood cells. It is also an integral part of certain digestive enzymes. It makes the amino acid tyrosine usable, enabling it to work as the pigmenting factor for hair and skin. It is also essential for the utilization of vitamin C.

Copper is found in most foods containing iron, especially in almonds, dried beans, peas, lentils, whole wheat, prunes and egg yolk. The recommended dietary allowance has not been established but 2 mg. is considered adequate for adults. A copper deficiency may result in bodily weakness, digestive disturbances and impaired respiration.

  • Cobalt

Cobalt is a component of vitamin B12, a nutritional factor necessary for the formation of red blood cells. Recent research in vitamin B12 has shown that its pink color is attributed to the presence of cobalt in it. The presence of this mineral in foods helps the synthesis of hemoglobin and the absorption of food- iron.

The best dietary sources of cobalt are meat, kidney and liver. All green leafy vegetables contain some amount of this mineral. No daily allowance has been set. Only a very small amount up to 8 mcg. is considered necessary.

  • Manganese

The human body contains 30 to 35 mg. of manganese, widely distributed throughout the tissues. It is found in the liver , pancreas, kidney, pituitary glands. This mineral helps nourish the nerves and brain and aids in the coordination of nerve impulses and muscular actions. It helps eliminate fatigue and reduces nervous irritability.

Manganese is found in citrus fruits, the outer covering of nuts, grains, in the green leaves of edible plants, fish and raw egg yolk. No official daily allowance of manganese has been established, but 2.5 to 7 mg. is generally accepted to be the average adult requirement. A deficiency of this mineral can lead to dizziness, poor elasticity in the muscles, confused thinking and poor memory.

  • Zinc

There are about two grams of zinc in the body where it is highly concentrated in the hair, skin, eyes, nails and testes. It is a constituent of many enzymes involved in metabolism. Zinc is a precious mineral.

Our need for this mineral is small but its role in growth and well-being is enormous, starting before birth. It is needed for healthy skin and hair, proper healing of wounds, successful pregnancies and male virility. It plays a vital role in guarding against diseases and infection. It is needed to transport vitamin A to the retina. There are 156 enzymes that require zinc for their functioning. It has long been known that growth and sexual maturity depend on zinc.

The main dietary sources of zinc are milk, liver, beans, meat, whole grains, nuts, and seeds. The recommended dietary allowance of zinc is 15 mg. daily.

Deficiency can result in weight loss, skin diseases, loss of hair, poor appetite, diarrhea and frequent infection. Those suffering from rheumatoid arthritis may have a zinc deficiency. Heavy drinkers lose a lot of zinc in their urine.

  • Selenium

Selenium and vitamin E are synergistic and the two together are stronger than the sum of the equal parts. Selenium slows down ageing and hardening of tissues through oxidation. Males seem to have a greater need for this mineral. Nearly half of the total supply in the body is concentrated in the testicles and in the seminal ducts adjacent to the prostate gland.

Selenium is useful in keeping youthful elasticity in tissues. It alleviates hot flushes and menopausal distress. It also helps in the prevention and treatment of dandruff.

This mineral is found in Brewer’s yeast, garlic, onions, tomatoes, eggs, milk and sea food. There is no official dietary allowance for selenium but, 50 to 100 mcg. is considered adequate. Deficiency of this mineral can cause premature loss of stamina.

  • Silicon

This is known as the ” beauty mineral ” as it is essential for the growth of skin, hair shafts, nails and other outer coverings of the body. It also makes the eyes bright and assists in hardening the enamel of the teeth. It is beneficial in all healing process and protects body against many diseases such as tuberculosis, irritations in mucous membranes and skin disorders.

Silicon is found in apples, cherries, grapes, asparagus, beets, onions, almonds, honey, peanuts and the juices of the green leaves of most other vegetables. No official dietary allowance has been established for this mineral.

Deficiency can lead to soft brittle nails, ageing symptoms of skin such as wrinkles, thinning or loss of hair, poor bone development, insomnia, osteoporosis.

  • Flourine

Fluorine is the element that prevents diseases from decaying the body. It is a germicide, and acts as an antidote to poison, sickness and disease. There is a strong affinity between calcium and fluorine. These two elements, when combined, work particularly in the outer parts of bones. They are found in the enamel of the teeth and the shiny, highly polished bone surface.

Fluorine is found in goat’s milk, cauliflower, watercress, garlic, beets, cabbage, spinach and pistachio nuts.

Minerals Are Important

Minerals thus play an important role in every bodily function and are present in every human cell. Although the amount needed may be small, without even the trace of the mineral, dysfunction is bound to occur at some level in the body. A zinc deficiency may show up in ridged fingernails with white spots. Lack of sulfur can cause lack-luster hair and dull-looking skin. Less obvious deficiencies may surface as fatigue, irritability, loss of memory, nervousness, depression and weakness.

Minerals also interact with vitamins. Magnesium, for instance, must be present in the body for utilization of B-complex, C and E vitamins. Sulfur also works with the B-complex vitamins. The body needs all the trace minerals in proper balance.

Coffee, tea, alcohol, excess salt and many drugs can rob the body of minerals or make them ineffective. Industrial pollutants cause toxic minerals to enter the body. Minerals at toxic levels also have the effect of destroying the usefulness of other vitamins and minerals.

Exercise improves the activity of certain vitamins and minerals while stress and fatigue work against them. A well-balanced diet provides as abundance of minerals and vitamins. In refining cereals, grains and sugar, we have robbed them of their natural vitamins and minerals.

The dietary sources of these nutrients are whole grains, cereals, bran and germ. It is the bran and germ which are removed in processing. To obtain a balance of nutrients, it is, therefore, necessary to avoid refined and processed foods but an intake of adequate green leafy vegetables which are an excellent source of many nutrients should be ensured.

From: A Complete Handbook of Nature Cure

The Importance of Vitamins


The word ‘ Vitamine’ meaning a vital amine was proposed by a Polish Researcher, Dr. Cacimir Funk, in 1911 to designate a new food substance which cured beri-beri. Other terms were proposed as new factors were discovered. But the word vitamin , with the final ‘e’ dropped, met with popular favor.

Vitamins are potent organic compounds which are found in small concentrations in foods. They perform specific and vital functions in the body chemistry. They are like electric sparks which help to run human motors. Except for a few exceptions, they cannot be manufactured or synthesized by the organism and their absence or improper absorption results in specific deficiency disease.

It is not possible to sustain life without all the essential vitamins. In their natural state they are found in minute quantities in organic foods. We must obtain them from these foods or in dietary supplements.

Vitamins, which are of several kinds, differ from each other in physiological function, in chemical structure and in their distribution in food. They are broadly divided into two categories, namely, fat-soluble and water-soluble.

Vitamins A, D, E and K are all soluble in fat and fat solvents and are therefore, known as fat-soluble. They are not easily lost by ordinary cooking methods and they can be stored in the body to some extent, mostly in the liver. They are measured in international units.

Vitamin B Complex and C are water soluble. They are dissolved easily in cooking water. A portion of these vitamins may actually be destroyed by heating. They cannot be stored in body and hence they have to be taken daily in foods. Any extra quantity taken in any one day is eliminated as waste. Their values are given in milligrams and micrograms, whichever is appropriate.

Vitamins, used therapeutically, can be of immense help in fighting disease and speeding recovery. They can be used in two ways, namely, correcting deficiencies and treating disease in place of drugs. Latest researches indicate that many vitamins taken in large doses far above the actual nutritional needs, can have a miraculous healing effect in a wide range of common complaints and illnesses.

Vitamin therapy has a distinct advantage over drug therapy. While drugs are always toxic and have many undesirable side effects, vitamins , as a rule are non-toxic and safe. The various functions of common vitamins, their deficiency symptoms, natural sources, daily requirements and their therapeutic uses are discussed in brief as follows:

Vitamin A

Known as anti-opathalmic, vitamin A is essential for growth and vitality. It builds up resistance to respiratory and other infections and works mainly on the eyes, lungs, stomach and intestines. It prevents eye diseases and plays a vital role in nourishing the skin and hair. It helps to prevent premature ageing and senility, increases life expectancy and extends youthfulness.

The main sources of this vitamin are fish liver oil, liver, whole milk, curds, pure ghee, butter, cheese, cream and egg yolk, green leafy and certain yellow root vegetables such as spinach, lettuce, turnip, beets, carrot, cabbage and tomato and ripe fruits such as prunes, mangoes, papaya, apricots, peaches, almonds and other dry fruits.

A prolonged deficiency of vitamin A may result in inflammation of the eyes, poor vision frequent colds, night blindness and increased susceptibility to infections, lack of appetite and vigor, defective teeth and gums and skin disorders.

The recommended daily allowance of vitamin A is 5,000 international units for adults and 2,600 to 4,000 international units for children. When taken in large therapeutic doses, which are usually 25,000 to 50,000 units a day, it is highly beneficial in the treatment of head and chest colds, sinus trouble, influenza and other infectious diseases. It is also valuable in curing night blindness and other eye diseases as well as many stubborn skin disorders.

This vitamin can be given up to 1,00,000 units a day for a limited period of four weeks under doctor’s supervision. In a recent year-long study, huge doses of vitamin A given twice a year reduced death by about 30 per cent among Indonesian children. This has raised the hope in the fight against a significant cause of childhood mortality in developing countries.

B Complex Vitamins

There are a large variety of vitamins in the B group, the more important being B1 or thiamine, B2 or riboflavin, B3 or niacin or nicotinic acid, B6 or pyridoxine, B9 or folic acid, B12 and B5 or pantothenic acid. B vitamins are synergistic. They are more potent together than when used separately.

  • Thiamine

Known as anti-beberi, anti-neuritic and anti-ageing vitamin, thiamine plays an important role in the normal functioning of the nervous system, the regulation of carbohydrates and good digestion. It protects heart muscle, stimulates brain action and helps prevent constipation. It has a mild diuretic effect.

Valuable sources of this vitamin are wheat germ, yeast, the outer layer of whole grains, cereals, pulses, nuts, peas, legumes, dark green leafy vegetables, milk, egg,banana and apple.

The deficiency of thiamine can cause serious impairment of the digestive system and chronic constipation, loss of weight, diabetes, mental depression, nervous exhaustion and weakness of the heart.

The recommended daily allowance for this vitamin is about two milligrams for adults and 1.2 mg. for children. The need for this vitamin increases during illness, stress and surgery as well as during pregnancy and lactation. When taken in a large quantity, say up to 50 mg, it is beneficial in the treatment of digestive disorders, neuritis and other nervous troubles as well as mental depression.

For best results, all other vitamins of B group should be administered simultaneously. Prolonged ingestion of large doses of any one of the isolated B complex vitamins may result in high urinary losses of other B-vitamins and lead to deficiencies of these vitamins.

  • Riboflavin

Vitamin B2 or riboflavin, also known as vitamin G, is essential for growth and general health as also for healthy eyes, skin, nails and hair. It helps eliminate sore mouth, lips and tongue. It also functions with other substances to metabolize carbohydrates, fats, and protein.

The main sources of this vitamin are green leafy vegetables, milk, cheese, wheat germ, egg, almonds, sunflower, seeds, citrus fruits and tomatoes.

Its deficiency can cause a burning sensation in the legs, lips and tongue, oily skin, premature wrinkles on face and arm and eczema.

The recommended daily allowance for this vitamin is 1.6 to 2.6 mg. for adults and 0.6 to one mg for children. Its use in larger quantities, say from 25 to 50 mg. is beneficial in the treatment of nutritional cataracts and other eye ailments, digestive disturbances, nervous depression, general debility, and certain types of high blood pressure.

  • Niacin

Vitamin B3 or niacin or nicotinic acid is essential for proper circulation, healthy functioning of the nervous system and proper protein and carbohydrate metabolism. It is essential for synthesis of sex hormones, cartisone, thyroxin and insulin. It is contained in liver, fish, poultry, peanut, whole wheat,green leafy vegetables, dates, figs, prunes and tomato.

A deficiency can lead to skin eruptions, frequent stools, mental depression, insomnia, chronic headaches, digestive disorders and anemia.

The recommended daily allowance is 12 to 20 mg. for adults and 4.8 to 12 mg. for children. Large doses of this vitamin say up to 100 mg. with each meal, preferably together with other B group vitamins, affords relief in case of migraine and high blood pressure caused by nervousness, high cholesterol and arteriosclerosis.

  • Pyridoxine

Vitamin B 6 or pyridoxine is actually a group of substance – pyridoxine, pyridoxinal and pyridoxamine – that are closely related and function together. It helps in the absorption of fats and proteins, prevents nervous and skin disorders and protects against degenerative diseases.

The main sources of this vitamin are yeast, wheat, bran, wheat germ, pulses, cereals, banana, walnuts, soy beans , milk, egg, liver, meat and fresh vegetables. Deficiency can lead to dermatitis, conjunctivitis, anemia, depression, skin disorders, nervousness, insomnia, migraine headaches and heart disease.

The recommended daily requirement is 2.0 mg. for adults and 0.2 mg. for children. This vitamin used therapeutically from 100 to 150 mg. daily can relieve painful joints and the discomforts of pregnancy and pre-menstrual symptoms.

Vitamin B6 is now the most intensively studied of all vitamins. Researches are on the threshold of a number of promising developments involving treatments of various ailments with this vitamin. They include hyperactivity in children, asthma, arthritis, kidney stones, blood clots in heart attack victims and nervous disorders.

  • Folic Acid

Vitamin B9 or folic acid, along with vitamin B12 is necessary for the formation of red blood cells. It is essential for the growth and division of all body cells for healing processes. It aids protein metabolism and helps prevent premature graying.

Valuable sources of this vitamin are deep green leafy vegetables such as spinach, lettuce, brewers yeast, mushrooms, nuts, peanuts and liver.

A deficiency can result in certain types of anemia, serious skin disorders, loss of hair, impaired circulation, fatigue and mental depression.

The minimum daily requirement of this vitamin is 0.4 mg. To correct anemia and deficiencies 5 mg or more are needed daily. Some authorities believe that folic acid is contraindicated in leukemia and cancer.

  • Pantothenic Acid

Vitamin B5 or pantothenic acid helps in cell building, maintaining normal growth and development of the central nervous system. It stimulates the adrenal glands and increases the production of cortisone and other adrenal hormones. It is essential for conversion of fatty and sugar to energy. It also helps guard against most physical and mental stresses and toxins and increases vitality.

The main sources of this vitamin are whole grain bread and cereals, green vegetables,peas , beans, peanuts and egg yolk. It can be synthesized in the body by intestinal bacteria. A deficiency can cause chronic fatigue, hypoglycemia, graying and loss of hair, mental depression, stomach disorders, blood and skin disorders.

The minimum daily requirement of this vitamin has not been established, but is estimated to be between 30 and 50 mg a day. The usual therapeutic doses are 50 to 200 mg. In some studies, 1,000 mg or more were given daily for six moths without side effects. It is useful in the treatment of insomnia, low blood pressure and hypoglycemia or low blood sugar.

  • Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 or cobolamin, commonly known as “red vitamin” , is the only vitamin that contains essential mineral elements. It is essential for proper functioning of the central nervous system, production and regeneration of red blood cells and proper utilization of fat, carbohydrates and protein for body building. It also improves concentration, memory and balance.

Valuable sources of this vitamin are kidney, liver, meat, milk, eggs, bananas and peanuts. Its deficiency can lead to certain types of anemia, poor appetite and loss of energy and mental disorders.

The recommended daily allowance of this vitamin is 3 mcg. Taken in large therapeutic doses from 50 to 100 mcg., it is beneficial in the treatment of lack of concentration, fatigue, depression, insomnia and poor memory.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C or ascorbic acid is essential for normal growth and the maintenance of practically all the body tissues, especially those of the joints, bones, teeth, and gums. It protects one against infections and acts as a harmless antibiotic. It promotes healing and serves as protection against all forms of stress and harmful effects of toxic chemicals. It helps prevent and cure the common cold. It also helps in decreasing blood cholesterol.

This vitamin is found in citrus fruits, berries, green and leafy vegetables, tomatoes, potatoes, sprouted sprouted bengal (a variety of chickpea) and green grams (mung beans).

A deficiency can cause scurvy marked by weakness, anemia, bleeding gums and painful and swollen parts, slow healing of sores and wounds, premature ageing and lowered resistance to all infections.

The recommended daily allowance is 50 to 75 mg. for adults and 30 to 50 mg. for children. Smokers and older persons have greater need for vitamin C. It is used therapeutically in huge doses from 100 to 10,000 mg. a day.

It prevents and cures colds and infections effectively, neutralizes various toxins in the system, speeds healing processes in virtually all cases of ill health, increases sexual vitality and prevents premature ageing. According to Dr. Linus Pauling, a world famous chemist and nutrition expert, ” because vitamin C is one of the least toxic vitamins, it is very safe to use in high doses. ” Your body will take exactly what it needs and excrete any excess naturally.”

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is necessary for proper bone and teeth formation and for the healthy functioning of the thyroid gland. It assists in the assimilation of calcium, phosphorus and other minerals from the digestive tract.

This vitamin is found in the rays of the sun, fish, milk, eggs, butter and sprouted seeds. A deficiency can cause gross deformation of bones and severe tooth decay.

The recommended daily allowance of this vitamin for both adults and children is 400 to 500 international units. Therapeutically, up to 4,000 to 5,000 units a day for adult or half of this for children, is a safe dose, if taken for not longer than one month.

It is beneficial in the treatment of muscular fatigue, constipation and nervousness. It can be toxic if taken in excessive doses, especially for children. Signs of toxicity are unusual thirst, sore eyes, itching skin, vomiting, diarrhea, urinary urgency, abnormal calcium deposits in blood vessel walls, liver, lungs, kidneys and stomach.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is essential for normal reproductive functions, fertility and physical vigor. It prevents unsaturated fatty acids, sex hormones and fat soluble vitamins from being destroyed in the body by oxygen. It dilutes blood vessels and improves circulation. It is essential for the prevention of heart diseases, asthma, arthritis, and many other conditions.

It is available in wheat or cereals germ, whole grain products, green leafy vegetables, milk, eggs, all whole, raw or sprouted seeds and nuts.

Its deficiency can lead to sterility in men and repeated abortions in women, degenerative developments in the coronary system, strokes and heart disease.

The official estimated requirement of this vitamin is 15 international units. Expert nutritionists estimate the actual requirement at 100 to 200 I.U. a day. The therapeutic doses are from 200 to 2400 I.U. daily.

It is beneficial in the treatment of various forms of paralysis, diseases of the muscles, atherosclerotic heart disease by diluting blood vessels. It prevents formation of scars in burns and post-operation healing. It protects against many environmental poisons in air, water and food. It also has a dramatic effect on the reproductive organs and prevents miscarriage, increases male and female fertility and helps to restore male potency.

Vitamin K

Vitamin K is necessary for the proper clotting of blood, prevention of bleeding and normal liver functions. It aids in reducing excessive menstrual flow.

This vitamin is contained in egg yolk, cow’s milk, yogurt, alfalfa, green and leafy vegetables, spinach, cauliflower, cabbage and tomato. Its deficiency can lead to sufficient bile salts in the intestines, colitis, lowered vitality and premature ageing.

From: A Complete Handbook of Nature Cure

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