Whole Food Vitamin C Pills

Make Your Own Whole Food Vitamin C Pills with Herbs

People commonly use Vitamin C as a supplement to support immune system health. However, while supplementation is sometimes necessary, it’s almost always better to get our nutrients from whole food sources.

This recipe is about making your own whole food Vitamin C Pills from herbs. These little pills are not only high in Vitamin C but also high in a plethora of important antioxidants and nutrients that work in synergy with the vitamin C.

Red rose hips from close

Rose hips (Rosa spp.)

Rose hips are famously high in vitamin C. This was “discovered” in Britain during WWII when citrus foods were hard to come by and scurvy (extreme lack of vitamin C) was an increasing problem. Scientists began testing local food sources and found that rosehips actually have more vitamin C than oranges!


Acerola (Malpighia glabra)

Acerola is native to the tropics of South America and growers are now cultivating it as far north as Texas. This plant is famous for its high vitamin C content although it also contains other important nutrients such as B vitamins and bioflavonoids. According to the book Plants in Human Health and Nutrition Policy there are 1677.6 mg of vitamin C in 100 g of fruit.

Whole Food Vitamin C Pills

Amla (Phyllanthus emblica)

Amla is a cherished herb from India where it is famously used in the Triphala formula. Like the other herbs in this recipe, amla has an incredibly high vitamin C content.

How Much Vitamin C Is In Each Vitamin C Pill?

Honestly I don’t know. Vitamin C content varies with the plant, the location where it grew, the way it was dried, the date it was dried and on and on. That’s why it’s a good idea to get a variety of vitamin C sources in your diet. Rest assured though, these pills do have a good amount of vitamin C as well as other important nutrients.
Whole Food Vitamin C Pills

Whole Food Vitamin C Pills

What you’ll need…

  • 1 tablespoon rose hip powder
  • 1 tablespoon amla powder
  • 1 tablespoon acerola powder
  • Honey
  • Orange peel powder (optional)
  1. Mix together the powdered herbs, breaking up any clumps.
  2. Pour slightly warmed honey into the powdered mix. I never measure how much honey I use. Just pour a tiny bit, stir, add a bit more, stir. You want the final consistently to hold together but not be too moist or sticky.
  3. Once you mix the powders with the honey, form the mixture into pea sized balls. You can then roll these in orange powder or another one of the powders in the mixture.

Yield: Makes 45 pea-sized pills.

Whole Food Vitamin C Pills

Store in an airtight container. These should last a very long time.

Whole Food Vitamin C Pills

To use: Take 1-3 balls per day. It’s safe to take more than 3 pills a day; the adverse effect from getting too much vitamin C is loose stools. If you get loose stools, then stop using them for the day and use less in the future.

Note: Vitamin C shouldn’t be taken in excess during pregnancy.

  1. Will you be making the Vitamin C pills? Thanks Rosalee!

    • I’m going have to try this! Never heard of Alma and Acerola Berry….How does this taste? Good enough for little kids?

      • I’m curious about the taste, too…

      • It tastes great! Very tart but delicious.

  2. $24.75 to purchase the ingredients.. how many tablespoons in 4oz. herb package? trying to figure how many pea-sized vitamin C pills I can make for herb purchases of $24.75

    • I’m sorry, I have no idea how many tablespoons are in a four oz package.

      • A tablespoon is 1/2 ounce. Also, there are 3 teaspoons to a tablespoon. 4 ounces = 8 tablespoons or 24 teaspoons. I learned this in my Culinary Arts classes which has really helped me as an Herbalist.

        Love Learning Herbs and you and John! Can’t wait to meet you both, one of these days!

        Thank you!

  3. We have loads of rose hips on the rose bushes around our yard. Do you know how we would use fresh rose hips in this recipe? Would dehydrating at a low temp, then grinding into a powder work? Any way to use fresh rose hips for vitamin C without going to all that trouble? Do you know if there are rose varieties we would not want to use for some reason? Thanks!

    • I love infusing fresh rose hips into honey. You need to take out all the seeds and hairs from the hips first which can take awhile but the end result is delicious!

  4. There are 8 tablespoons in 4 ounces

  5. My system doesn’t handle honey very well…any ideas on what to use instead of honey? Maybe agave nectar?

    • I would try maple syrup. I have concerns about the healthiness of agave syrup.

      • I did not think about maple syrup! Thanks! :)

  6. 2 Tablespoons of dry equals 1 oz of dry ingredients

  7. surely, if you have to use “powdered/dried fruits” you are defeating the object of the exercise – most people are unable to dry their own, so would shop for them
    Also, do not Wolfberries have the highest vitamin C source

  8. What website do you recommend for purchasing the rose hips etc.? Also, what’s the dose for kids?

    • We have an orange button above, which is below the ingredients list. That’s a great place!

      • Thanks!

  9. I love your logo…herbal cold care! I ways back you sent a label that we could download and put on the jars. It would be a nice touch for this series! You always give so much in your online classes and I would like to thank you for that.

  10. Thank you guys for all your hard work to give us so much information! I love your emails, classes, website, etc. I would be ungrateful if I didn’t tell you how much both are appreciated! You are a blessing in many people’s lives, I’m sure!

    • You’re SO very welcome! :)

  11. Just thinking maybe of putting the mixed powders together in capsule form. Then taking a couple of pills daily as needed.

  12. According to Ask.com “In general, 1 dry ounce of an ingredient is equivalent to 2 tablespoons.”

    • It’s hard to come up with a standard like that for herbalism because herbs weigh different amounts and come in different consistencies.

  13. This is how many pills you can make when ordering 1 ounce of powdered herbs.

    There are 8 tablespoon in 4 ounces of powder. If you make up 8 batches, you’ll have 43 pills X 8 = 344 pills, or there about, depending on the size of the pill…that is about .07 per pill…

    This is a good recipe. Thanks for sharing.

  14. Hi Rosalee. I’m so lucky to have a prolific Barbados cherry (acerola) tree I grow in a
    containter here in SW Florida. I made Barbados cherry jelly which didn’t set well
    (requires extra pectin which I didn’t know). I keep it in the fridge and add a couple of
    teaspoons to Red Tea (hibiscus, rose hips & roobos) along with 1-2 teaspoons of
    honey and with some cold-stopper herbs mentioned in Rosalee’s class. Wow! It
    kicked that cold in less than a day! Barbados Cherry is one of my favorite tropical
    fruits that grows well in my yard. Delicious, productive and healthy. I’m so blessed!
    I love whole food/herb remedies. Thanks for your classes. I love LearningHerbs too..

    • You are lucky Cass! Your jelly sounds delicious. :)

  15. I’m wondering if I could mix the dry herbs together in water with a bit of honey ( as needed) instead of making a bunch of pea size balls. Hot or cold make a difference? I’m thinking everything would last longer if it weren’t mixed with the honey.

    • This recipe will last indefinitely when using honey. Although the vitamin C content will degrade with time. Using water will make this recipe spoil very quickly.

      • I’m sorry I wasn’t very clear. I meant just mixing the dry powders together in a jar and taking a scoop to add to a glass of water with a bit of honey when I felt I needed to use this. Thanks.

  16. Ordered the goodies as soon as I read this!

  17. I would like to know if I can just add dry mixture in capsules. How much Vitamin C does this equal? 1000milgrams or less or more? How do you find that out.? Can I give to children?

    • I address how much vitamin C is in this in the article above. You can certainly give it to children – this is food!

  18. Thanks so much for all you do!

  19. Is the Indian gooseberry (Phyllantus embilica) related to regular Gooseberries (Ribus grossularia) and can I use the American gooseberry instead of the Indian?


    • They are not related and I am not sure how much vitamin C is in Ribus grossularia. That could be something interesting to look into!

  20. I would love to use wild crafted plants from western Washington instead of buying powdered ingredients. Besides rose hip honey, which I love, do you have other ideas for vitamin C bearing plants.

    • You can make all sorts of wonderful rose hip recipes. I have a whole booklet of recipes on HerbMentor.com including rosehip soup, rose hip jam, rose hip preserves…

      Many evergreens are high in vitamin C too. I love doug fir tea.

      • As Rosalee said, many conifers are high in vitamin c and combining them with rosehips creates a wonderful, well-rounded flavour. You can grind or blend conifer needles to make a powder for vitamin c balls, or just make a tea by steeping the rosehips and chopped needles together. Yum!

  21. Bravo another great yet practical recipe! I have had all these ingredients in my cupboard and never thought of such a delicious way to use them. Thank you

  22. I’m curious how to take these pills…do I chew them or swallow whole!

    • You can chew them. They are soft and have a great tart flavor.

  23. These look great! Any idea how much (even a ball park number) vitamin C is in each pill?

  24. I have been making this type of vitamin C pill for many decades. Nothing new here

    • Then, do you have some wisdom to share to help others? Or you just wanted to let us know you’ve made these for a really long time?

      • Love that answer, John!

  25. I would like to know something, the powder is made with the raw fruits, seeds or the leaves??

    • The powder is made from the dehydrated fruit.

  26. These look great. This will be so much more pleasant than a capsule. Thanks Rosalee and John. ANOTHER winner! Have a great day.

  27. Would this be okay to give to dogs too? My puppy takes vitamin C and I’d love to be able to give her my homemade ones!

    • Probably should be okay, they are just fruits. But I admittedly don’t know anything about herbs and animals.

  28. We do all sorts of purchased herbal things. I can’t wait to make my own and I’m getting an order ready for Spring to grow my own (at least the ones that will grow in our zone). We try to live a self sufficient lifestyle, so when our son was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, we were shocked. It is my/our goal to keep him health! So, my question is this, how can I find carb counts in herbs? Also, could a person in the northern climate make this only with rosehips?

    • There are lots of yummy things you can make with rose hips including rose hip honey, rose hip soup, syrups, jams and on and on. I am not sure where to find carb counts of herbs.

    • Marla Landis, The honey is also a sugar, which should be avoided by cancer patients as it feeds the cancer. I would take a suggestion from another person on here to put the powder in a capsule. These can be purchased empty.

  29. Which variety of Rose plant/flower is used for rose hips? Or will any one do?

    • All rose hips from various rose species will work. You just want to avoid any that have been sprayed.

  30. I really appreciate your sharing this recipe just in time for the change in seasons!

    Many seem concerned about the amount of vitamin C in each “pill”. But something to remember when taking WHOLE vitamin C is that just a few milligrams is more effective than many grams of ‘ascorbic acid’ or other fractions of the C complex. I learned much about vitamin C from this wonderful video by Chiropractor Darren Schmidt: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ePzJbllNCPg

    Thanks again, and please keep sending us such helpful tips!

  31. OMG I just made these. Wicked good and so simple. My balls were a little bigger. But after I made then I found it easy to divide in half. I hope I don’t eat then all tonight. Thank you Rosalee

  32. Very excited to make these. Was wondering what you think about adding camu camu powder to this recipe for additional Vitamin C?

    • Or possibly the camu camu in place of acerola. I’ve been taking a whole food Vitamin C powder with the main ingredient acerola but my body is not reacting to it well. So I’m thinking camu camu might be a good replacement?

  33. So excited to see this! My 4 year old was just diagnosed with a rare cancer and we were told that he needs high doses of vitamin c as it a great form of antioxidants. They recommended emergen c which i refuse to use. I will be placing an order as soon as I finish this comment. Thanks so much!!!!

    • Why do you refuse to use emergen c?

  34. Is it ok to take during nursing? These sound great. I checked on contraindications for alma and acerola and there is no conclusive evidence against ten during pregnancy. Can you just omit the alma and acerola?

  35. I ordered the goods as soon as I seen Johns Email. I cant wait to make these!

  36. I am going to try and make these. Are these chewables? I looked on the mountain rose website and it doesn’t look like they sell tart cherry juice (For elderberry syrup) Any suggestions where someone can find that?

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