Suck a lemon
Scurvy is a disease more strongly associated with sailors on long voyages at sea, but it has not spared the inhabitants of the Old West. To avoid it easily, you need to consume enough vitamin C, hence the advice to suck a lemon. Lemon is highly recommended, as are all acidic juices that are beneficial to the human body. There were lemon trees and orange trees, but these are seasonal fruits, and you couldn’t find them in the Old West during the cold winter months. There were alternatives, such as fresh apples, which are also high in vitamin C and have the advantage of almost always growing.
Regardless, some of those who arrived by sea in the California gold fields did not have sources of vitamin C for long periods of time. It is therefore not surprising that they were victims of unpleasant episodes of debilitating scurvy resulting in the most serious cases by loosening of the teeth, purulent gums, haemorrhages, and eventually death. This was extremely hard, but it was a harsh reality for people who lived at the time; the human body is a beautiful system that works flawlessly as long as enough new fuel and nutritious food is added on time.