Students’ e-course James Lind and the therapy of scurvy



Welcome to this e-lesson about James Lind and the therapy of scurvy.

In this e-course lesson:

  • you will view a video about the therapy of scurvy.
  • you will learn about James Lind and the therapy of people afflicted by scurvy.
  • you will learn about the symptoms of scurvy.
  • you will cultivate your language, by writing abstracts in the context of the lesson. That   will help you to better understand the science concepts.
  • you will learn about vitamin C and its importance on everyday diet.


This e-lesson has six activities that require approximately 90 minutes to complete. In the beginning of each activity you will read what you are going to learn and the time required to complete it. However, if you feel interested in the topic presented here you will find initial resources to further your studies. All activities have enough space to write in if you print them.


1st Activity: Getting to know James Lind and his cure for scurvy

When you finish this activity you will have learned the story of James Lind and the therapy of scurvy.


time required:  15’

You will watch a video with a narration about the work of James Lind and the therapy of scurvy.





2nd Activity: The characters in the story about James Lind

This activity will help you to locate the characters within the story of James Lind and the therapy of scurvy and also to attribute them with a characteristic you find appropriate.

time required:  10’

Write down the names of the characters involved and find an adjective that you think is suitable for each character of the story.

Names of characters






















3rd Activity: The structure of the story

This activity will help you summarise the story of James Lind and the therapy of scurvy.

time required:  15’

Try to write the answers to the following activities. You may go back to the video or the text of the story whenever you need it. Note with a sentence the beginning (1), the middle (2), and the end (3) of the story.











**Which is the turning point in this story?



4th Activity: The nature of science

This activity will help you think that “While science cannot “prove” its knowledge, its conclusions are still accepted and durable.” and that “There is no single step-by-step method by which all science is done”. These are essential ideas about the Nature of Science.

time required:  15’

Describe the highly systematic approach Lind used to find a cure for scurvy in the story. You may need to view the story again.


Explain why Lind’s research couldn’t prove any knowledge, however its conclusions are still acceptable and durable.







5th Activity: The science behind scurvy

This activity will help you better understand the story of James Lind and the therapy of scurvy.

time required:  15’

Visit the following webpage

Now, study the picture below that is on the cover of a book on the history of Medicine. Why the treatment of scurvy was of great importance at the time? Find two examples/argument of the significance of scurvy and the necessity of finding its cure.







6th Activity: The modern science on scurvy

This activity will help you understand the role of vitamin C, that James Lind ignored at the time, at the therapy of scurvy.

time required:  20’

The following is an extract from

Scurvy is an avitaminosis resulting from lack of vitamin C, since without this vitamin, the synthesised collagen is too unstable to perform its function. Scurvy leads to the formation of brown spots on the skin, spongy gums, and bleeding from all mucous membranes. The spots are most abundant on the thighs and legs, and a person with the ailment looks pale, feels depressed, and is partially immobilized. In advanced scurvy there are open, suppurating wounds and loss of teeth and, eventually, death. The human body can store only a certain amount of vitamin C,[ and so the body stores are depleted if fresh supplies are not consumed. The time frame for onset of symptoms of scurvy in unstressed adults on a completely vitamin C free diet, however, may range from one month to more than six months, depending on previous loading of vitamin C (see below).

It has been shown that smokers who have diets poor in vitamin C are at a higher risk of lung-borne diseases than those smokers who have higher concentrations of vitamin C in the blood.

Nobel prize winner Linus Pauling and Canadian researcher G. C. Willis have asserted that chronic long term low blood levels of vitamin C ("chronic scurvy") is a cause of atherosclerosis.

 Now visit the webpage again In the sources of vitamin C there tables illustrating the quantity of vitamin C contained in 100 grs of plant and animal sources. Now choose 8 foods that you can easily include in your diet in order to enrich it with vitamin C that will shield against scurvy.









 Create  an online poster about one of the following issues:

a)Is Scurvy Making A Comeback

b) Teenagers are high risk of scurvy


You may also use a free program on poster creation


Further study:,168647