Scurvy is probably one of the oldest recorded diseases encountered by man. When Magellan circumnavigated the world in 1522 the majority of his men were stricken with the disease. In 1535 Cartier noted that it could be cured by a decoction of spruce tips. Even so the disease continued to be a formidable problem on long voyages for many years to come. Thus during Anson's voyage from 1740 to 1744 a total of 626 men are reported to have died of scurvy whilst rounding Cape Horn. Dr. James Lind, Physician to the Fleet in the seven‐teenth century, was largely instrumental in overcoming the problem. He rediscovered the cure by pine needles, and by citrus fruits, and greatly extended their use for preventing the disease.
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