Alleviating Allergies with Vitamin C

by Andrew W. Saul

 I don't know if the world is full of smart men bluffing
 or imbeciles who mean it.
(Morrie Brickman)

Common-sense caution: The author is not a physician and, as will become abundantly clear from reading this article, is certainly not a close colleague of very many allergists. If you have a known allergy, work directly with your doctor before making any medication or other treatment changes.

 Most allergies usually disappear while you wait if you use the safest, most powerful, cheapest and most effective antihistamine-antitoxin in existence: vitamin C. As Jacob Marley's ghost said to Ebeneezer Scrooge, "You don't believe in me." Well, you don't, do you? How can a simple vitamin replace a medical specialty, and I'm telling you, it very nearly could. You could start a drive-in allergy clinic, with only one prescription:

 "Take C.  Ninety dollars, please.  Do you want fries with that?"

 Wisdom is inherent in simplicity and safety. Hippocrates, the father of medicine so-called, said: "Of several remedies, the physician should choose the least sensational." That is genius, and it is practical, reproducible advice good for modern man. Vitamin C therapy is safe, simple and effective.

 So you question this naive approach? Naturally, since we've all been taught that anything safe and simple cannot possibly be medically effective.  So I give you the case of my friend Tim.

 Tim brought in his wife and family to talk about scarlet fever. They'd had a touch of it in their family, and a touch is enough of that. We discussed vitamin C's role as an antipyretic (fever-lowerer) and value as an antibiotic. They were keen to focus on this. Just in passing, Tim also mentioned some unspecified allergy problems. I briefly mentioned that vitamin C had great usefulness there as well.

 Tim called me a few weeks later.

 "Good resolution with the fever," he said. "We gave all the kids grams of vitamin C and only one of them had scarlet fever symptoms. That was Jeffrey, and he got over it much faster than the doctor expected him to."

 "That's really good, Tim," I said.

 "There's more to tell," he responded. "I was stung by a bee last week."


 "And I'm allergic to bee stings."

 Ulp.  He hadn't previously told me that.

 "I have medicine and an inhaler," Tim continued. "The whole kit and kaboodle. When I was stung, I took 25,000 milligrams of vitamin C in the first hour.  By the end of the day, I'd taken 100,000 milligrams. No symptoms at all. Not even any swelling. You had to look hard to find where the sting was, even."

 "But you used your medicine, right?"

 "No!" Tim said. "That's the amazing thing. Normally I would have had to, or I would probably die. But this time, all I did was the C. Talk about an antitoxin-antihistamine! That vitamin C really works."

 I was unnerved at the high stakes Tim had played for, but impressed with his findings.

 Allergy, like most disease names, tells you little about cause and nothing about cure. Robert F. Cathcart, MD, looks at allergy (and many other conditions as well) simply in terms of how much vitamin C it takes to cure it. He has much experience as a clinician and has published numerous papers on the topic.

 And he is correct.

 A young woman, age 20, was brought to see me once by her family. She was allergic to horses and hay. Since she loved to ride, and her parents kept several horses in their barn, this was a big problem. The young lady was not readily going to change her eating habits, but was willing to take a lot of vitamin C.  It was effective, as she tells it:

 "Whenever I was taking 20,000 milligrams of vitamin C a day, I had no allergies at all. The only time I got them back was when I drank beer. So I either avoided beer, or if I drank, I took an extra 10,000 mg of C. I never had problems with horses or hay again."

 I had a client once who was allergic to everything, literally. She said that she'd tested out positive as allergic to 72 different substances. I'd never heard of that severe a condition before, and apparently, neither had her allergist. He said that she could take a "megadose" of perhaps 1,000 milligrams a day. It was not doing anything. I suggested she take vitamin C to bowel tolerance, and hold the C level just below the amount that caused loose stools. This turned out to be nearly 40,000 milligrams a day.

 She took all the C she could hold. That was the end of her 72 allergies.

 And I've seen more of the same with children and teenagers, friends and neighbors, all ages and stages. Take enough C to be symptom free, whatever the amount might be... but stay a few thousand milligrams under the amount that would cause loose bowels.

 Think about this: what would actually happen if everyone were actually healthy? If each person took vitamins? If doctors and hospitals and pharmaceuticals, all of which prosper from sickness, were not needed? In America, there is a vested interest in disease. There is no profit in prevention.

 The United States Recommended Daily Values (or Dietary Allowances, or Reference Intakes, or whatever other claptrap they offer you) are forms or nutritional communism, or dietetic socialism. The government-set levels are incontestably right and ample for all, and that's the end of it. A socialist state might say that you may earn your pay, but only keep a subsistence income, say a few thousand dollars above the federal poverty level.  Would your needs be met with ten or twelve thousand dollars a year? Would you be best off that way? Does the government have either the knowledge, or the right, to decide either your financial needs or your nutritional needs for you? 

 RDA's: one size fits nobody.

 Let's temporarily assume that orthodox dietitians are correct when they tell us that vitamin supplements can only cure vitamin deficiency diseases, and nothing else. If this is true, when any disease is cured by supplements, it indicates deficiency. If zinc speeds recovery from the common cold (and many studies do confirm this), then people with colds are zinc deficient. If lots of vitamin C shortens the intensity and duration of the common cold (and there are dozens of scientific studies that prove this), then people with colds are vitamin C deficient as well. The RDA's and pitiful American intakes are therefore below the deficiency levels.

LAW: The quantity of a nutritional supplement that cures an illness indicates the patient's degree of deficiency.  It is therefore not a megadose of the vitamin, but rather a megadeficiency of the nutrient that we are dealing with.

 Allergies evidently constitute one such megadeficiency.

 You must use vitamins correctly to get the job done. Large amounts work; small amounts don't. The dose depends on the patient. Think big: you have to use as much as it takes to get results. Dr. Frederick Robert Klenner said, "If you want results, use adequate ascorbic acid. Don't send a boy to do a man's job." If I were to die tomorrow, I'd want you to remember that I told you this today: "Take enough C to be symptom free, whatever that amount might be."

 The safety of vitamin C therapy is unassailable. Dr. Klenner writes, "Vitamin C is the safest substance available to the physician."

 Vitamin therapy: don't knock it until you've tried it. And especially, until you have personally read Nutritional Influences on Illness, by Melvyn Werbach, MD;  How to Live Longer and Feel Better by Linus Pauling;  The Vitamins in Medicine, by Bicknell and Prescott; Clinical Guide to the Use of Vitamin C, edited by Lendon Smith, MD; The Healing Factor, by Irwin stone; The Vitamin C Connection, by Emanuel Cheraskin, MD; A Physician's Handbook on Orthomolecular Medicine, edited by Roger Williams; and Orthomolecular Psychiatry, by David Hawkins, MD and Linus Pauling.  Do not be dismayed by these high-falutin' titles. "Orthomolecular" is usually just another term for megavitamin. These are the books you want to look into.

Dr. Klenner's Clinical Guide to the Use of Vitamin C is now posted in its entirety at
The complete text of Irwin Stone's book The Healing Factor is now posted for free reading at


 I raised my kids all the way into college without either of them ever having a single dose of any antihistamine (or antibioic), not even once. Why? Because we used vitamins instead, that's why. And this especially meant lots of vitamin C.

For more on allergies, I have an additional article at

"I Don't Believe in Allergies"

Decades ago, an English friend of mine told me that he'd hardly even heard of allergies until he came to the United States. "Allergies were quite rare in Britain " he said. "In America, it seems everyone has them, children especially." If you asked Grandma, she might say the whole allergy business is ridiculous. There are genuine allergies, of course: one would be the fatal result of transfusing the wrong type of blood into a person. Anything else is simple by comparison, and deserving of nutritional therapy.

First of all, what we now label "allergies" could just as easily be called "undernutrition" and I think should be. The majority of Americans are demonstrably scorbutic, or on the very verge of scurvy (McCormick, 1962).  Insufficient vitamin C results in exaggerated sensitivity to even average levels of irritants, toxins, chemicals, pollution and microorganisms. Deficiencies of vitamins A, B-complex and E frequently manifest as skin problems or hypersensitivity to foods, stress, germs or shock. Millions of vitamin deficient but overstuffed persons are literally waiting to be allergic to something. Food that fills and fattens but doesn't fortify the body is like trying to build a wall with bricks and no mortar: it will hold up only until you lean upon it.

Can you imagine how you'd explain the theory of evolution to a classroom full of kids allergic to housedust? I can't see any way that humankind could have evolved at all if people were always stopping to itch, scratch or sneeze. Allergy shots have only been available in recent medical history. So have allergies. So has our chemical-laden, overcooked, overly processed, overly meaty-and-starchy diet. If you look at someone cross-eyed and they get sick, they were primed and ready by years of bad diet.

What's more, "allergy" tells you nothing. In Botany class, I once learned that plants turn towards the light because of phototropism. Phototropism means "moves towards light". The name tells you nothing that you couldn't have observed yourself. Same with allergies. Rashes, hives, troubled breathing and such when gathered together in one body are collectively called "allergy". When some people get near such and such, they have an "allergic reaction". What do you do, then? Just keep them away from what triggers the reaction. No milk, no dust, no cats, no feathers, etc. Nothing concrete is accomplished. How can avoidance be cure? If your son got sweaty palms, hives or "butterflies" every time he telephoned a girl to ask her for a date, would you conclude that he's allergic to women and send him to a monastery? Of course not. You'd find out why he got so nervous and strengthen him, encourage him and most of all allow him to get over it.

So why not do the same for your body?

"Allergic" tells you nothing more than any other symptom. Symptoms tell us that our body is not quite right. Naturopaths tell us that if our body is not quite right, we should take a good look at the way we take care of it. Check your diet first, not merely for the presence of "allergens" but rather for an absence of nutrients. You can start with a saturation test with vitamin C, as mentioned above.

Other questions to ask yourself: Are you avoiding chemical preservatives, artificial food colorings, and other unnecessary food additives? Avoiding drugs, non-prescription and otherwise? Are you getting enough rest? Do you need a cleansing fast? Eating a mostly plant-based diet? These questions should replace battery after battery of allergy tests.

Great-grandma might have said (mine did, anyway) that you have to eat a peck of dirt before you die. One of my brothers once confidently reassured me that I could eat dog droppings, flies and all, and it still wouldn't kill me. Regardless of the merits of that particular gem of wisdom, it is safe to say that a naturally healthy body will not be troubled by allergies. The way to have a naturally healthy body is to NOT eat as so many misguided consumers do.  As Dr. John A. Myers said long ago in "The Role of Some Nutritional Elements in the Health of the Teeth and their Supporting Structures" from Annals of Dentistry (22)2, June 1958:

"Modern civilized diet, after much processing, modification, staleness, and complete cooking, produces children with rampant dental caries, skeletal defects, allergies and fatigue, along with the emotional and nervous changes seen in the experimental animals." (p. 38)

Rather, the way to be healthy is almost annoyingly simple:

1.) Stop eating processed meats, sugar, and junk food. . .  or reduce as much as possible. Reducing intake of dairy foods, especially milk, may be of real help and is worth a therapeutic trial. If dairy is non-negotiable for you, then at least choose aged cheeses or yogurt.

2.) Instead, eat whole foods including the seeds, nuts, and grains that do not cause you trouble. Also go in big for fruits, beans, sprouts, lots of greens and lightly cooked or raw vegetables. And, take vitamin food supplements, especially vitamin C!

3.) Clean out body wastes by occasional juice fasts and an everyday natural diet which is high in fiber and free of artificially colored or preserved foods..

This is more than "folk" medicine. This is a lifestyle change. I think that is the real remedy.  

Copyright  C  2009, 2002 and prior years Andrew W. Saul. Revisions copyright 2019.  

Andrew Saul is the author of the books FIRE YOUR DOCTOR! How to be Independently Healthy (reader reviews at ) and DOCTOR YOURSELF: Natural Healing that Works. (reviewed at )


Andrew W. Saul


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