A condition caused by a deficiency in vitamin C, resulting in spots on the skin, spongy gums and bleeding from the mucous membranes. A person sufering the condition feels weak and depressed.
Scurvy was common among sailors as fruits and vegetables could not be stored for long on board, and they subsisted on cured meats and dried grains. Scurvy's effect on long-distance travel had an enormous impact on the Age of Discovery in the 15th century, and on exploration and warfare right up to the 20th century. In 1753, James Lind, a surgeon in the British Navy, postulated that it could be treated with citrus fruit. But it was not until 1932 that vitamin C deficiency was officially isolated as the cause of scurvy.