With Cathy Schram

Vitamin C and Essential Oils For Better Health

Q: I know that Vitamin C is good for you. How much should I take per day to ward off illness?

A: Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is one of our most studied vitamins. Long ago it was determined that scurvy was found to be a gross deficiency of Vitamin C. The most important function of Vitamin C is in the formation of of collagen protein. Collagen is basically the glue that holds us together. It is present in all our tissues; skin, cartilage, tendons and bones. It is somewhat difficult to establish dosages because the need for Vitamin C differs with each individual. For example, under times of stress or illness, your requirement would be higher than normal. Smoking or being on antibiotics will negatively affect absorption of Vitamin C. I would recommend anywhere between 2,500 and 4,000 milligrams per day, in divided doses for an average adult. It is a water soluble vitamin so you don’t have to worry about toxicity. If you begin to develop loose stools, cut back the dosage. If ascorbic acid tends to bother your stomach, buffered forms of Vitamin C are available. Some symptoms of Vitamin C deficiency are: bruising, bleeding gums, anemia, shortness of breath, joint pain, decreased healing of wounds, broken capillaries and excessive hair loss.

Q: I have been feeling a little stressed out lately but do not want to take any medications. I would really like to try some essential oils but am not sure which ones to use, other than lavender. What would you suggest?

A: Essential oils are very powerful and can be used with wonderful results. Aromatherapy can change your mood, lift your spirits or totally relax you. Depending on the type of stress you are experiencing, you may want to try one of the following blends:

  • For tension, lavender & orange are good choices.
  • For anxiety, you may want to try frankincense, cedar and ylang-ylang.
  • For irritability or anger, try bergamot and chamomile.
  • For relaxation or sleeplessness, lavender is the best way to go.

There are a variety of ways to use the oils, either by diffusing, in a bath, a sachet or just simply sniffing, to name a few. With the exception of lavender oil, never put these oils directly on your skin without diluting in a carrier oil.

There are many books available on the uses of essential oils. I highly recommend you pick one up so that you can be well educated on the oils you choose.

This herb information is for health education purposes only. It is not intended to replace the services of licensed health practitioners. Consult with a physician for any condition that requires professional care.

Do you have questions about herbs or vitamins? Send them to Cathy Schram, CNHP and Certified Herbalist. Write to: Herbs & More, 16021 Manchester Rd., Ellisville, MO 63011.