Crystallized vitamin C

Anyone who has played Oregon Trail can attest to the many trailblazers who suddenly perished from scurvy, a disease caused by a lack of vitamin C. Symptoms of advanced scurvy include pus-filled wounds, teeth loss, spongy gums, and bleeding mucous membranes. Nasty stuff. So what happens in patients with scurvy? Without vitamin C, the body has trouble making stabilized collagen, a protein found in the connective tissues of mammals. Loose tissue prevents wound healing and disrupts tissue integrity, leading to infection if left untreated. While scurvy is less prevalent today, it remains a very real threat to health wherever malnutrition exists, especially in impoverished and underdeveloped countries.

Image by Raul Gonzalez.

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Alasa (Ah-lah-sah) Fruit – Suck the pulp from the seed, chew the inner membrane until it turns to gum, play games with the seeds by flicking it into a hole, etc.

Besides its many uses, it packs more vitamin C than an orange. The bark from the tree has anti-plasmodial effects thus serving as a remedy for yellow fever or malaria. English and botanical names are African star apple (white star apple) and Chrysophyllum albidum