Vitamin C and insect, snake bites and allergies

Vitamin C and insect, snake bites and allergies

From "Clinical Guide to the Use of Vitamin C" The full text of this book by Lendon H. Smith, M.D. is posted at

Bites, Toxins, Allergies

In another Tri-State Medical Journal of December, 1957, he outlined the physiology and treatment of Black Widow Spider poisoning in a case history. Some of those bitten are not affected at all because the spider was out of poison, but some can be devastated and may die, partly because of poor resistance but also due to the quantity injected. It can be confused with pancreatitis, renal colic, food poisoning, tetanus, angina, bowel obstruction, pneumonia, perforated ulcer. The abdominal wall muscles become rigid, the victims have cold sweat, their temperature and blood pressure shoot up, they vomit, have muscle twitches and spasms, cyanosis, chills, convulsions and delirium. The painful muscle spasms occur within minutes of the original bite. The cramps occur in all the large muscles of the body; the victims roll and toss and moan in agony.

Until someone used calcium gluconate, there were 90 ineffective treatments. An anti-venom is on the market, but severe reactions and even death have been attributed to its use. The treatment Dr. Klenner suggests is his friend, Vitamin C, 350 mg per kg of body weight intravenously along with calcium gluconate.

His three and a half year old patient had been getting worse for 24 hours with abdominal cramps which the parents assumed were due to food poisoning. She became quieter, feverish, constipated and her abdomen was exquisitely tender. She was becoming stuporous.

Dr Klenner noted the red, swollen area around her naval, and two tiny spots about one eighth of an inch apart were noted in the middle: the fang marks of a Black Widow Spider. He gave one gram of calcium gluconate and 4 grams of Vitamin C intravenously. In 6 hours she was more responsive, and her temperature had dropped from 103 degrees to 101 degrees and she was given another four grams I.V.

In another six hours, her temperature was but 100 degrees, and she could swallow fluids. The next day she was active, and 50% of the discoloration had disappeared. She received another 4 grams of C intravenously and 3 grams intramuscularly. At home she swallowed one gram of C every three to four hours. An enema produced a bloody return. When she recovered, she remembered brushing “a big black bug off her stomach,” before she took ill.

Dr. Klenner had treated eight cases of Black Widow Spider bites. “It is criminal to give these patients an opiate to relieve their pain, for in so doing you might add to their distress and actually precipitate a fatality.”

“Some ascorbic acid behaves much like calcium in the body, and also acts synergistically with it, we elected to observe its action.” The child was destined to die. “Some physicians would stand by and see their patient die rather than use ascorbic acid because in their finite minds it exists only as a vitamin.”

Dr. Klenner was very confident about the benefits of intravenous Vitamin C to treat the poisonous effects of insects and reptiles,. He felt all emergency rooms should be adequately stocked. He used sodium ascorbate, 7.5 grams in 30 ml. The syringes are 5 to 60 cc. The needles are 20 gauge (big), one inch long to 31 gauge (I have trouble believing this) one inch long. I get “miracle like responses.”

Case 1: An eighteen-year-old female was treated just twenty minutes after a hornet bite. She was covered with hives and had shortness of breath and difficulty swallowing. In minutes after twelve grams of sodium ascorbate intravenously were pushed in with a 50 cc syringe her allergic symptoms were gone. Dr. Klenner took ten grams of C dissolved in water orally and again in fifteen minutes to counteract the stings of fifteen yellow jackets. No symptoms.

Snakebite: He reported on a four-year-old girl bitten by a Highland Moccasin. She had severe pain in her leg and was vomiting within twenty minutes after the bite. Dr. Klenner gave four grams of C intravenously and within half an hour she had stopped crying and could now drink orangeade and began to laugh. “I’m all right now.” She slept well all night, but because of a slight fever and tenderness, Dr. Klenner gave her another four grams intravenously and again that late afternoon. No antibiotics and no anti-serum were necessary. Dr. Klenner had worked the schedule out on dogs and published it in hunting and fishing magazines. He has had many testimonials from satisfied doctors.

“All the venom that will be encountered exists as you see the patient. It is important to give sufficient sodium ascorbate to neutralize the bite. The more you give; the faster will be the cure. We now routinely give 10 to 15 grams sodium ascorbate depending on the weight of the victim. Then as much of the drug as can be tolerated by mouth is given, usually 5 grams, every four hours.”

Usually without the use of Vitamin C patients are stuck in the hospital requiring hot packs, antibiotics, anti-serum and nursing care. Many end up with much scarring.

He recited the case of a man who was treated at another emergency room. The doctor tried to cut out the local bite area.

When Dr. Klenner saw him it was badly infected and the temperature was 104°. Fifteen grams of C intravenously twice daily, 5 grams of C orally every four hours. Penicillin injected for the infection. He was back to work in seven days.

“Sodium ascorbate will cure any type of snake bite.” The amounts and the speed of injection are critical. Forty to 60 grams intravenously as a starter. Klenner cites the 6500 deaths a year from snake bites, but many more from insects, bees, spider, plants and some caterpillars. They produce formic acid, histamine and specific toxin albumins. Some are neurotoxins; some cause capillary damage and hemorrhage. When cells are damaged proteins are deaminized, producing histamine and other toxic products; shock may occur. These deaminizing enzymes from the damaged cells are inhibited by Vitamin C. The pH of cells changes when cells are damaged; enzymes become destructive instead of constructive. C reverses this. Vitamin C is reduced in the serum of those in shock. 350-700 mg per kg body weight is the saving intravenous dose. In children up to two grams can be given in each of several areas (a twenty kg five year old could get two grams in each of four sites. Ice before and after the injection would control the pain).

He reports a case of a bite by a Puss caterpillar. The patient was going into shock with asphyxia and cyanosis. Dr Klenner whipped out his trusty syringe, filled it with 12 grams of C, squirted it into the man’s veins and before he was done, the patient was improved enough to exclaim, “Thank God.” And thank Dr. Klenner for figuring out what to do; the man would have died from shock if it had not been for the rapid infusion of C. Again, Dr. Klenner’s maxim adds weight: Give the C while pondering the diagnosis.

Mosquito bites: eleven grams of C per day and 200 to 400 mg of B complex daily, both by mouth.

Poison Oak or Ivy: oral Vitamin C plus a paste of C powder will control the contact allergy in 24 hours.