The scurvy disease has been known as the “Black Death of the sea” and was once considered deadly as smallpox. The sailors knew nothing about their vitamin C deficiency until Dr. William Paul Crillon Barton found a cure against scurvy while aboard the USS United States in 1809. Barton administered a citrus concoction to the crewmembers and spread the word of his cure which he described as a “clarified lemon-lime ration.” His correspondence was unanswered by the Secretary of the Navy, so he reached out to individual ship captains to introduce “antiscorbutic rations” to their crews.
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