By Lita Lee, Ph.D.

Published Date: Revised 01/31/07

Recent reports indicate that about 20 million Americans have asthma. Deaths from asthma have more than doubled in recent years, from 2,322 in 1970 to 4,668 in 1989. Historically, steroids were first used to control asthma, either orally or in nasal sprays. Despite the terrible side effects of these drugs, such as diabetes, seizures and osteoporosis, people taking them did not have sudden deaths due to heart failure. Then came the second generation of asthma drugs, commonly called bronchodilators or beta agonists. They are adrenalin mimics (act like adrenalin). They include Ventolin, Albuterol, Proventil and so on. Right after these drugs were introduced, the asthma death rate increased while the number of asthma cases remained the same. This information was reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association in a 1986 article. These drugs are still being used.

Bronchodilators are available in canisters. One canister is equal to one month’s supply of the drugs at the recommended maximum dose, which is about two puffs every four to six hours. A recent study reported widely on television and in the San Jose Mercury News, Friday, February 20, 1992, stated that the risk of death doubled with each canister per month of drug.

One of my professional colleagues recently made an alarming comment to me. He said, “half the children in my son’s class at school have asthma.” His son is 15 years old. Not only is asthma increasing among young children, but also they are now dying of asthma whereas in the past, asthma was not considered a potentially fatal disease. Is this because of the beta agonists? Or is there another factor: are diseases that were previously considered non-fatal becoming life threatening because of the steady physical degeneration of the human race? This physical degeneration is a phenomenon related to our diet, our polluted environment, and our synthetic way of life - synthetic foods and drugs.

Dietary Factors Associated with Asthma

Sugar intolerance: Dr. Howard Loomis has observed that asthmatic children are sugar intolerant. This is not surprising in view of the increased sucrose consumption from five pounds per year per person in 1922 to 135 pounds per year in 1990. Sugar intolerance includes more than sucrose. It also includes ALL artificial and synthetic sugars: fructose, corn syrup, NutraSweet, Saccharin, Sorbitol and Mannitol.

By artificial, I mean a substance extracted from its mother plant, such as fructose from fruits or sucrose from cane sugar. When you extract the fructose from the mother plant (whole raw fruit), its nature changes and it no longer acts like fructose embedded in the fruit along with the fiber, vitamins and minerals.

By synthetic, I mean a chemical synthesized in a laboratory by a chemist, such as NutraSweet and Saccharin. These are touted as great undigestibles with only the sweet taste. Anything ingested that is not digested may cause allergic reactions by becoming a circulating immune complex (CIC). This includes synthetic substances we gleefully ingest thinking that we won’t gain weight if we don’t digest them.

Asthma is frequently characterized by hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) and the corollary factor of B-vitamin deficiency. Again, anyone who eats refined sugar will develop a B-vitamin deficiency, since there are no B- vitamins in any refined sugar or any other refined carbohydrate.

Because of the twin factors of sugar intolerance and B-vitamin deficiency, most asthmatic children do quite well on a multiple digestive enzyme formula which contains the four food enzymes plus three disaccharidases - sucrase, lactase and maltase (PAN). Other formulas are added if there are severe symptoms from sugar intolerance (SvG; Adr).

Other dietary intolerances: Other foods can initiate asthma attacks. For example, milk, especially commercial pasteurized milk may cause the classic lactose intolerance symptoms (abdominal cramps, diarrhea) but also asthma, croup, rashes, and many other symptoms.

There are food additives, which can trigger asthma, most commonly sodium metabisulfite and related sulfite derivatives used as preservatives in canned and bottled foods and sprayed onto salad greens in restaurants to keep them crisp. Bisulfite-sprayed salad greens have caused serious and sometimes fatal respiratory distress among asthmatics who unwittingly ate at a restaurant salad bar.


Chronic infections are common in hypothyroid people and this can include chronic lung conditions, such as asthma, pneumonia, and bronchitis. The sad thing is that the standard blood chemistry tests for thyroid function are less than 30% accurate, resulting in high toxic drug use among asthmatics who could be cured with a simple whole food - a good thyroid glandular, in addition to enzyme therapy and the proper diet, which avoids all substances that trigger asthma.

I have observed that many asthmatic patients have underlying colon toxicity such as chronic appendicitis. A toxic colon is yet another result of hypothyroidism. If so, colon cleansing, though ameliorative, will not cure the condition unless the underlying hypothyroid condition is also addressed. Equally important is a good diet. Simple things such as eliminating zero fiber junk foods and replacing them with high fiber, whole foods have often given great relief.

Environmental Factors

This list is endless. It includes any chemicals to which the asthmatic is exposed -- pesticides, insecticides, Malathion, and common chemicals such as PVC film, which causes “meat-wrappers asthma.” Many environmental factors can cause asthma, such as pollens, spores, danders, dusts, air pollution chemicals, cigarette smoke and radiation.

An unrecognized contributing factor to asthma is geopathic zones, narrow bands of radiation from the earth that cause immune suppression. Health conditions associated with geopathic zones include bedwetting and learning disabilities in children, asthma and cancer. This has been determined by epidemiological studies in Germany. These zones can be detected by dousers. The good thing is that they are very narrow zones and the bed can easily be moved away from them.

Emotional Factors

Any emotional stress can trigger asthma. These conditions should not be neglected. There are wonderful homeopathic remedies for stress. I use homeopathics by Bioenergetics and an enzyme herbal formula (CLM). But there are hundreds of others, some of them available in health food stores. Sometimes the simple recognition that there is an unhappy situation can alleviate an asthma attack or prevent one from occurring.
Nutritional Support for Asthmatics with Enzymes, Herbs and Thyroid Glandular

Enzymes. There are several:

  • A digestive formula, which includes disaccharidases (PAN). This is essential, but the avoidance of refined and artificial sugars is also essential. These include NutraSweet, Saccharin, fructose, sucrose (white sugar), corn syrup and others.
  • A respiratory formula containing enzymes and herbs, which nourishes the lungs, helps expectorate mucous and relieves coughing and wheezing (Rsp). In addition, this formula contains herbs that help drain the kidneys and the lymphatic system.
  • An enzyme formula to relieve allergic-induced asthma (Kdy). This can be used whenever the person is exposed to allergens that trigger asthma.

Lagundi: Lagundi, an herb from the Philippines, which became available November 1999. It is for all types of lung conditions including asthma, bronchitis, pneumonia, etc. In addition, it is excellent for the flu (stomach or influenza), inflammation, parasites and sinus problems. This formula can relieve an asthma attack in less than 15 minutes.

Other Herbal Formulas for the Lungs: There are many. I will list only a few. Try one at a time; however, there may be some combinations available at your health food store, which are excellent. With Lagundi, you may not need other herbs.

  • Coleus forskohlii: an Ayurvedic herb useful in lung, heart and skin problems.
  • Ephedra, Ma huang: these are adrenal stimulants, just like caffeine. Some people cannot tolerate these.
  • Lobelia: an excellent remedy for acute asthma attacks but beware, too much causes vomiting.
  • Licorice: expectorant plus adrenal support.
  • Coltsfoot: a classic lung formula.
  • Grindelia: a classic lung formula.

A natural thyroid glandular: Lung problems are just one of the many conditions that are common in people who have a sluggish thyroid gland. This is due to immune suppression that results from low thyroid function.

Aromatic oils by Young Living: There are two essential oils specifically for asthma and lung problems: RC and Raven. They are used daily, two or three drops each alternating on the soles of the feet and the chest.

Can Asthmatics Who Use Steroids and Epinephrine Analogs Get Off Them By Using Nutrition?

I can only answer this from my own experience. I have seen many clients who either reduced or entirely eliminated these toxic drugs by using appropriate nutrition. In my experience, age or the length of time on drugs does not matter. What does matter is determining the causal factor, supporting the client nutritionally, and client compliance. I advise all asthmatics to keep in touch with their primary care physician.

Case Histories

The Man Who Couldn’t Breathe for Six Decades

A robust, handsome 75-year-old man presented with asthma since the age of 14, which required the use of an inhaler (Proventil) four to six times daily. Other complaints included arthritis, which produced a throbbing pain that awakened him at night. A more recent complaint was painful shingles on his legs, arms, and the back of his neck, of four years duration. This man’s 24-hour urinalysis showed excess acid reserves, calcium and magnesium deficiency, poor digestion, and poor assimilation of food, excess fat consumption and sugar intolerance. A physical exam plus other tests confirmed sugar intolerance and the need for herpes, arthritis and asthma remedies, plus thyroid glandular therapy.

Here is what I gave him:

  • For sugar intolerance, a full digestive formula containing the four food enzymes (protease, amylase, lipase and cellulase) plus three disaccharidases (sucrase, lactase, maltase) - Pan.
  • For nutritional support for herpes (shingles), a potent amylase formula (DERM) and recommended chiropractic or acupuncture until well.
  • For arthritis, an enzyme-herbal arthritis formula - OSTEO
  • For his asthma, a lung formula - Rsp. I added an Ayurvedic herb, coleus forskohlii, which is used for asthma, skin diseases and hypothyroidism. I told him to reach for these formulas before he did his inhaler. I felt that it would take a long time to reduce his inhaler dosage.

Two days after he started this program he called me to gleefully tell me that he had tossed his inhaler! He was happy as a clam! Three weeks later he called me to add the following. The arthritis and shingles were so much better that he was no longer awakened by pain at night. There was only one area of shingles left which was shrinking. He reported having to use his inhaler only once in three weeks - because he had forgotten his enzymes. Within several weeks, he was able to maintain his condition on a reduced dosage of the lung formulas.

A Letter from a Woman with Severe Asthma (reprinted from To Your Health, November 2000)

A beautiful woman, age 57 presented with severe asthma, female problems (had hysterectomy) and a weak bladder. Other problems included: sinusitis, stomach problems requiring antacids, arthritis, environmental sensitivity, edema (hands and ankles), and a weak immune system. Her asthma drugs included ZyFlo (600 mg 2x/d), Albuterol spray as needed, Seravent spray (two daily), and Flovent spray (two daily). In addition she was taking Lasex (20 mg) and KDur (10 mg) for her edema. Her urine test showed severe sugar intolerance, low calcium and the allergy pattern. I gave her Stm for her gastric problems, PAN for her sugar intolerance, Rsp for her asthma, Kdy for her allergies, including allergic asthma and TRMA for her immune system. In addition, I gave her thyroid glandular, progesterone oil and pregnenolone. She reported that she responded in 24 hours and that the swelling in her ankles disappeared in 48 hours. She said, “I have my ankles back. I can’t believe it.” She said that she had minor breathing problems and only took one inhaler. One month later, in December 1999, during a terrible flu epidemic, she got the flu, which developed into pneumonia and was hospitalized. After her recovery, she returned to her enzyme, herbal and hormonal balancing therapy. By this time, the new lung herb, Lagundi was available and she got a bottle. We went out for dinner later that evening. At the restaurant, she started getting congested. By the time we left the restaurant and got into her car, she said, “I can’t breathe.” I grabbed the bottle of Lagundi and gave her two caps with water. She started the car and, in less than 15 minutes exclaimed, “I can breathe!” To date (September 2000), she is off all of her drugs and feels great.
Recently, she wrote me a note: “Dear Lita, thank you for saving my life! In 1999, when they put me in the hospital during the Christmas season, I couldn’t be with my family. I knew that this would never happen to me again. Your advice gave me hope and freedom from the drugs the doctor’s put me on. Since I have been on your enzymes, I have been free of all drugs. I have my life of quality back and I look forward to new beginnings and a wonderful life. I forgot to mention not only did I lose my brother in 1998, but also I lost my husband in 1999 and, I have a very successful business to run. So again, thank you for giving me back a life filled with new wonders…” K.V.

While these results may not be typical, they do show what some people have been able to achieve. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The formulations listed above are not intended to diagnose or treat, prevent, mitigate or cure any human disease. They are intended for nutritional support only. If you suspect a medical condition you should seek the advise of a physician.

"Disclaimer: I am a chemist and an enzyme nutritionist, not a medical doctor. I do not diagnose, prescribe for, treat or claim to prevent, mitigate or cure any human diseases. I do not provide diagnosis, care, treatment or rehabilitation of individuals, nor apply medical, mental health or human development principles. I do not prescribe prescription drugs nor do I tell you to discontinue them. I provide enzymes and other dietary supplements to improve digestion and to nourish and support normal function and structure of the body. If you suspect any disease, please consult your physician."

Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. They are not intended to diagnose, prescribe for, treat or claim to prevent, mitigate or cure any human disease. They are intended for nutritional support only. The FTC requires that we tell you that the results in case notes and testimonials published here are not typical, however, they do show what some people have been able to achieve. Individuals vary, which is why we must always consider the whole person when recommending a course of action. The third party information referred to herein is neither adopted nor endorsed by this web site but is provided for general information purposes. The listing of specific disease terms is based upon medical literature and is not a substitute for competent medical advice. If you suspect a medical condition, you should consult a physician.

Copyright 2001 - 2007. Neither this article, nor any part of it, may be reproduced without permission. If permission to reprint is granted, the article must include author and URL information.

Lita Lee, Ph.D.


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