Lillian and I grew up together. I contacted her after she replied to one of my Facebook posts where mentioning she had cured herself of asthma long ago.
What is fascinating for me about speaking with people who cured asthma is learning the various approaches they took to become asthma free. Sometimes their approaches to an asthma cure are very similar to one another and sometimes they are wildly unique. Lillian’s story was unique in that her asthma symptoms began after she had her tonsils out. Similar to others I have spoken to in regards to their journey towards an asthma cure Lillian, grew tired of filling herself with the prescription drugs and inhalers and decided to do some research on her own.
Lillian’s research and efforts, like the others I have spoken with, proved very fruitful. She has not used her asthma inhalers or any asthma medication in 10 years.
Here is a bit of her story.
When were you diagnosed with asthma?
I was diagnosed with asthma when I was 26. Doctors could not explain what was going on. I went to the ER three, four or maybe five times. I had the doctors treating me for bronchitis and hospitals treating me for asthma. I had a tonsillectomy in my 20s. Afterwards, I was experiencing allergy symptoms and then it developed into full bronchitis and asthma symptoms.
At what point did you decide you wanted to cure your asthma?
At first I went with the flow and took the prescriptions but then I realized, ‘this is not helping me get better.’ I started looking at my diet. I cut out dairy. I ate less red meat. I ate less chicken. I went back to my original diet I had when I was growing up. I kept my asthma inhaler in case I needed it and I probably ended up using it once or twice. I know what I was ingesting and inhaling are what were causing the asthma symptoms.
What was your diet when you were growing up?
My mom is a great cook and she prepared nutritious and delicious Korean meals. We ate lots and lots of vegetables, grains, and fruits and very little cow milk products and refined carbohydrates. Our desserts, if we had them, were fruits or less sugary treats. I grew up in Seoul, Korea until age 10 and our diets and eating habits were very different from the U.S. Buying and stocking up on grocery-bought foods were rare. Meaning, fresh foods were readily available and close by [in South Korea]. Good tasting food meant it was fresh and healthy and even though I moved away a long ago, people that recently moved to South Korea say that food tastes different…better. One of the things I remember during my first week in U.S. is biting into an apple and thinking ‘this is really big and doesn’t taste very good’.
Was there anything else you did to support curing your asthma?
I changed my diet. I tried to stay out of pollution. I did homeopathy. I stay away from pharmaceutical drugs and over the counter medicine. Last night I went for a walk. There was so much pollution. I could smell it. I felt a little raspy when I got home, so I drank some hot tea and that helped. Sinus sprays and rinses are great too. I stick with non-medicated and chemical free solutions such as water, Kosher salt and baking soda.
What are the proportions of baking soda, salt and water?
One teaspoon Kosher salt and one teaspoon baking soda in 8 ounces of water for mild asthma symptoms and two teaspoons Kosher salt and one teaspoon baking soda in 8 ounces of water for severe asthma symptoms. The mixture should then be irrigated through the nasal passages with a Neti Pot.
What type of tea do you drink?
Green and roasted barley tea. I once went out to lunch with a doctor who was not practicing at the time. I showed her my inhalers and she told me the reasons inhalers work is because they are like a shot of caffeine and that hot, black coffee would have the same effect. After that whenever I felt like I was going to have an asthma attack, I would run and get black coffee and it helped. It is just black coffee without the dairy products or sugar.
How much coffee would you have to drink to get to the point where you felt your asthma symptoms were under control?
Maybe a few sips or about 4 ounces
Were you working with a homeopath?
I did it on my own. At the time there was no one in the area. I read Gary Null books to help me. I also did steams and then I started to wean myself away from them because I think they can make your asthma symptoms worse if they cause mold to develop around you.
The environment around me and the things I eat are what were causing my asthma symptoms. Stress is another factor. It can compromise the body’s ability to function optimally.
How often were you going to get acupuncture to cure your asthma?
I went for three months about twice a week, I think, when my asthma was really bad. After that I was completely asthma symptom free for three to six months.
And then your asthma symptoms came back?
Yes. So I ended up doing acupuncture for six months to a year more. The regimen became shorter with greater benefit. I would also use pressure points on my hands and face. On my hand, the pressure point I used was the first joint on the middle finger on the palm side.
Did you use any supplements or vitamins to help you in curing your asthma?
That is really interesting too. In the US we are discouraged from using vitamins and minerals. I took a lot of vitamin C, vitamin D, zinc and calcium. I studied what I ate and where I may be deficient. A lot of doctors will tell you not to take too many vitamins or supplements.
Was there any particular brand of vitamins you would recommend?
No, but I read labels. If I can find a product that contains non-synthetic ingredients, I choose that. Here is an example: the natural vitamin E is called D-alpha tocopherol and synthetic form is DL-alpha tocopherol. I also look for complex supplements instead of isolated components.
How do you know which vitamins are isolated components and which are complex supplements?
Complex supplements are indicated with the word ‘complex’. As an example if it is an isolated component it will just say ‘vitamin C’. Whereas if it is a complex supplement it will say ‘vitamin C complex.’ The complex supplements include all of the possible benefits. They are like eating the apple and the peel whereas isolated components are eating the apple without the peel. You want all of the possible benefits so you want the vitamins that are the complex supplements.
Do you remember the doses of vitamins and supplements you were taking?
I was taking close to the maximum recommended. At first I was hesitant because doctors were telling me not to take them because my nutrition was ‘good enough,’ but I knew that my nutrition was not good enough.
You are still on the diet you used to eliminate your asthma symptoms?
I am still on it. I am not as good about it as I used to be. My life is so busy. I do eat junk food here and there. I eat everything in moderation. If I ate red meat, which I don’t love, I know that I need to make sure that I get enough other things to fight the effects of red meat. The longer an animal lives the more toxins it has within it, the more I am exposed to [those toxins] when I eat them.
What would be something you would eat to compensate for eating red meat?
I make sure I eat extra undercooked or raw veggies if I recently ate red meat. I go through the color spectrum of vegetables – the dark greens, the whites, the yellows, the reds. The other night I ate four servings of spinach in one meal. Instead of chips, I try to eat string beans with hummus.
Do you believe any one thing was more influential than anything else in curing your asthma?
When I got acupuncture it worked right away. I knew acupuncture would work but for a long time I was afraid of needles so it took me a while to go. After I had acupuncture I felt better than I ever did. I could prevent my asthma symptoms by strengthening my inner body with acupuncture.
Were the acupuncture needles as bad as you thought they would be?
I was scared, but you just feel pressure when you have the needles.
There were times when I thought I was going to die because I could not get air in my body so it was a no brainer that I had to do whatever I had to do to get over this. I don’t know if you have ever had the experience of not being able to breathe?
I haven’t, but witnessing with my husband David is bad enough. I can’t imagine actually experiencing it. Were there any books you found to be particularly helpful?
Most of the information out there will keep you on the asthma drugs doctors prescribe you. The information won’t tell you why you are experiencing asthma symptoms it just tells you how to deal with them. The one source at that time I found helpful was Gary Null who I saw on PBS and I bought his books which are all about re-supplementing your body with things you do not get in the modern age diet in the U.S.
Did you ever talk to your original Western medical doctors about curing yourself of asthma?
I did. She would not come out and openly support how I was dealing with it, but she would agree with me that I was doing the right thing.
Why do you think your doctor would come not out and openly support your efforts in curing your asthma?
I think, and I have heard other people say the same thing it is because they are licensed to sell medicine. They have an invisible boss, which is the drug industry.
Do you have any recommendations for someone who was just diagnosed with asthma?
One thing we can truly control is what we eat. It does take some study on what you are eating and what you should be eating. There is not a lot you can do about cleaning up the outside environment, but diet is one thing we can definitely control.
David switched to a Paleo Diet and literally in two weeks he went from severe lifelong asthmatic to almost no symptoms. I love to hear stories like yours.
That’s great. No processed foods.
I think about David’s parents a lot. I can’t imagine the stress of sending a little high energy kid off to school hoping he remembers to bring and always have his inhaler. I think people need to hear stories like your’s and David’s.
Also important with the diet are the oils you cook with. Most oils or fat-especially animal fats you cook at a high temperature will become toxic to your body.
Now we only cook with coconut oil. David’s acupuncturist told us to do it. I thought it was going to make everything take like piña coladas, but it actually makes the food taste really good and it is best for a healthy diet as olive oils and different oils become toxic when you heat them.
Yes, exactly. I try to educate myself as much as I can about food. Asthma inhalers are over 100 dollars here, so it is worth spending the extra money on good food.
Those asthma inhalers cost 30 cents in Spain without a prescription and 3 Euros with a prescription.
So everyone can get them. That is both good and bad. The commercials in the US for some prescription drugs are so ridiculous. They say the side effects can include ’cancer and death’ and some people still take them.
Then there are the commercials that are like, ‘this could cause sudden and uncontrollable bowel movements AND suicidal thoughts,’ and people are still taking it. I am like ‘WHAT?!?!?!?’
The one I heard recently is a cancer medicine that the side effect can be giving you other cancers. I don’t know how doctors can write prescriptions for this.
There is so much dogma in Western medicine. I have tried to talk to doctors just in social situations about how David is curing himself before my eyes and they kind of just give me the little pat on the head. I just stand there thinking, ‘Aren’t you a scientist??! Is this not your job to at least be interested in this?!?’
You can be highly educated or not educated at all — everyone is available to be manipulated.
Anything else you would like to add?
I do not think asthma is a scary disease you develop. It is a symptom of something else going on and a lot of people get that confused. Inspect your environment, the things you consume and ask questions.
You can learn more about Lillian and her family business at: http://www.mrsongmillinery.com/