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Self care start with a C

My friend and Kelly and all her family had covid last month and since then they kept picking up colds and infections. This is not a normal flow for them since, she is a master herbalist and she is on top when it comes to taking care of her body and her children. Like I notice with a lot of people that had covid, their minds struggled to focus, and their nerves were exhausted. She took herbs and foods rich in vitamin C and as she did a great amount of vitamin C-rich herbs and foods, a great peace came over to her nervous and immune systems, which led me to research and really learn how vitamin C works.

I am sharing with you what she had found:

Vitamin C is an essential nutrient, which means the body does not make it on its own. It can store in our system for only a brief time. We have heard vitamin C is good for us. Let’s understand why!

  1. Tissue/Collagen Building: vitamin C is a reducing agent, to help the body oxidize iron from Fe 2+ to Fe 3+, which is necessary for collagen production. Collagen is important for our connective tissues. When mariners get sick with scurvy, it would cause gum disease, anemia, skin issues, and more, due to lack of collagen production. Vitamin C helps prevent this!

Fat metabolism/Energy: Vitamin C is a cofactor in making L-Carnitine, a substance required for the transportation of fatty acids across the mitochondrial membrane to be used for energy. Lack of vitamin C can cause fatigue (due to lack of fats being used for energy production), as well as inability to lose weight.

  1. Hormone/Neurotransmitter Production: Vitamin C is essential as a cofactor in catecholamine synthesis which helps the body convert dopamine to norepinephrine. These hormones help the body adjust to stressful situations. Dopamine helps your body regulate movement, emotion, memory, and reward mechanisms in the brain. It is converted to norepinephrine and then to epinephrine, which helps the body increase blood flow to the muscles, heart, and lungs as a “fight or flight” mechanism.

  1. Immune Protecting: vitamin C accumulates in phagocytic cells which help the body kill an infection. It is also needed for apoptosis, to stop cell division. This helps old immune bodies to leave an infection site once they are used up. Vitamin C also helps enhance motility in immune bodies and increases B and T immune cells to fight infection.

  1. Antioxidant: When the body has more oxidative stress than it can handle, this can cause cellular damage to our body. Vitamin C is an electron donor, so it helps to stabilize and protect cells and get rid of free radical damage.

We can get vitamin C from herbs and food. Rosehips, pine needles, Schisandra berries, hawthorn berries, acerola cherries, lemons, limes, oranges, kiwis, bell peppers, onions, tomatoes, parsley, kale, Brussel sprouts, and even potatoes can be great sources of vitamin C for us to consume.

Since I know that Moringa has 4 times more vitamin C than oranges, I take it faithfully every day with hibiscus since my children like it as a juice. I just sweet a bit with maple syrup and Voilà!

Begin this new year with some self-care that begins with a C, vitamin C!

Perpetue Robert, Naturopath

Kelly Pomeroy, Master Herbalist

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