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Limeys and Scurvy

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The Royal Navy and other British explorations used to depart with a certain amount of crew members and return with far less. Most of the deaths can be attributed to scurvy at sea. Scurvy is a vitamin C deficiency that results in bleeding under the skin and in the gums. Further symptoms include bodily weakness and eventually death.
Eventually, those who traveled at sea discovered the benefits of limes in treating scurvy. The first to discover this were seen as invincible, returning with all of their crew intact. After this was a popular subject, someone discovered their secret: limes from the tropics. In turn, the rest of the world adopted the term limeys for the British navy and later the British themselves.


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