Do all patients with serious illnesses have to eat only vegetables?

Serious Illnesses and a Vegetarian Diet

May, 1994     

Light and Salt

Dr. Dowon Kuon

Today the number of vegetarians is increasing. Some say that people who have incurable or serious diseases eat only vegetables, and there is no question that some have had their health restored through maintaining a vegetarian diet. However, there are nevertheless quite a number of people who benefit from eating meat. These cases, which might have occurred accidentally, tell us that we should exercise discretion in how we select our food; our diet should be according to our constitution. Therefore, it would be benefitial for people to know what body constitution they have. If they cannot find out their body constitution, however, the best thing to do is to eat a balanced diet. Adopting a vegetarian diet recklessly can be equally dangerous as feeding only grass to a tiger.


In the Eight Constitutions theory, food items that contribute to a beneficial diet or a harmful diet for each constitution have been identified. This theory has been applied to patients for thirty years, and it was presented as a thesis in Vol. 7 of the Myoung-ji University journal in 1974.


The Principle in Classifying Food


So how do we discern between those who should eat a vegetarian diet and others who should maintain a meat diet? In order to digest meat, the liver must secrete bile. Thus, those who have a strong liver by birth are able to consume a considerable amount of meat. However, if these individuals do not require the nutrients from the meat, a diet of meat can lead to disease. But amazingly, the lungs and the colon in our body, which have an antagonistic relationship with the liver and the gall bladder, are the organs that are more in need of nutrients from meat than other organs.


We can also see this principle by observing animals. Carnivores have short colons, which means that they also have strong livers. This explains why they ended up being meat-eaters; they needed to strengthen their weak lungs and weak gall bladders by eating meat.


Conversely, those who have weak livers and have a hard time digesting meat have strong lungs and a long colon, so a vegetarian diet is better for them. This is because vegetables supply the nutrients to strengthen the liver and gallbladder. Therefore, an individual with the hepatonia constitution, who has a strong liver and weak lungs, and an individual with the cholecystonia constitution, who has a strong gallbladder and a weak colon, must eat meat. An individual with the pulmotonia constitution, who has strong lungs and a weak liver, and an individual with the colonotonia constitution, who has a strong colon and a weak gallbladder, must eat vegetables.


Moreover, pork usually enhances the function of the urinary organs, and chicken strengthens the digestive organs. Pork is therefore beneficial for the pancreotonia and gastrotonia constitutions, which are characterized by weak urinary organs, and chicken is beneficial for the renotonia and vesicotonia constitutions, which are characterized by weak digestive organs. Also, cabbage, lettuce, and cucumbers are the best foods for pulmotonia and colonotonia, and radishes, carrots, balloon flower, and garlic are the best foods for hepatonia and cholecystonia.


The distinctions between the constitutions make the Eight Constitutions diets indispensable. Witnessing how a proper lifestyle and diet that are according to the Eight Constitutions theory can significantly improve health would discourage anyone from raising any objection to this theory.


When You Do Not Know Your Constitution


If an individual with the pulmotonia constitution does not know his constitution and continues to eat meat, he will never be healthy. If he arbitrarily begins to keep a vegetarian diet, he will become well, and then he may become a vegetarian. If a friend of his who has the hepatonia constitution hears from him about this and decides to go on a vegetarian diet, then his friend will become sick. But if he goes back to eating meat, he will end up being an endorser of meat. Probably, there are those who think, “How can you get protein and fat by eating only vegetables?” or, “How can you deal with all the cholesterol and fat from meat and still avoid disease?” But how do elephants and cows get protein and fat from feeding only on grass? And how can lions and tigers, who eat only meat, be so agile?


The Danger of Common Knowledge


One day a paralytic patient, an individual with the hepatonia constitution and who was diagnosed with a brain infection, came to see me. After a period of treatment, he was able to return to work. Toward the end of his treatment, I told him that he must maintain a diet of meat even after the treatment. But he probably thought that this was not that necessary. One month later, he came to me again and told me in astonishment that he had been on a vegetarian diet for a month since he found out that his cholesterol level had dropped to 400. But when he had his blood examined after a while, the level had risen up to 1,700. After listening to him, I told him to revert back to a meat diet again for a month. Eventually his cholesterol level went down to 400 again. Through this experience he realized not only that a meat diet is able to recover an individual’s cholesterol level to normality but also how dangerous it is to have the concept that a meat diet can only raise one’s cholesterol level.


At another time, a director of a hospital visited me to ascertain his constitution. After he found out that he was an individual with the hepatonia constitutiton, he said, “That's why I have felt tired since I started keeping a vegetarian diet.” When I saw him again after a while, he was happy to report to me how his health condition had improved since he started trying to keep a meat diet.


Recently, quite a few patients with atopic dermatitis have come to see me. Cases of atopic dermatitis emerged in Korea when people started eating large quantities of meat, and it is known to be an incurable disease that affects only pulmotonia individuals. The cure for this disease, which is abstenance from meat, was developed from the Eight Constitutions Theory.


Vegetarian Syndrome


Some time ago, a vegetarian syndrome broke out in Korea after a doctor, on television, strongly insisted on vegetarianism. Some businessmen got together for a meeting in the Chamber of Commerce and Industry in In-Cheon, Korea, and had an argument over whether to have a vegetarian diet. They concluded that their experience largely proved that a vegetarian diet is more harmful than beneficial. Among them was one of my patients, Mr. Kim, who was treated for chronic hepatitis. He came to see me with another patient who was suffering from sclerosis of the liver. They were both treated successfully by their adhering to a meat diet and a vegetarian diet, respectively. Mr. Kim had the opportunity to explain his experience at the meeting, and he said that whether one should have a vegetarian diet or a meat diet depends on the person. The people who attended the meeting then asked me to come and have a meeting with them.


On the day of their next meeting, I examined the body type of each member. After my examination I found that all except two of them should be on a meat diet, and it was therefore natural that they had an argument about having a vegetarian diet. The doctor who appeared on television must have a constitution that benefits from a vegetarian diet, and this diet must have been very effective for him. However, this is only his personal case, which cannot be applied to everyone. By the same principle, ginseng can be a miraculous medicine to some people but a poison to others.


The Secret to Longevity


When patients suffering from serious illness or incurable diseases receive their lists of food restrictions, they usually complain that they are not allowed to eat any foods that they enjoy. But a healthy person would say, “I can eat the foods that I enjoy.” This example indicates how food consumption is the reason why certain people contract serious diseases and whereas others remain healthy. The foods you habitually eat determine how healthy you are. Many people start to enjoy certain foods from a young age without any instruction concerning what kinds of food are good for their particular constitution. Now people who are ill must first know which constitution they have, because giving up the foods that they have been enjoying and picking up a taste for the foods that are beneficial for them requires a shift in their thinking.


Caucasus is a country adjacent to Turkey and is famous for having many people who live long lives. It would be difficult to discover the secret of longevity simply by going to Caucasus and analyzing the people who live there. Rather, if the constitutions of these people were ascertained, the key to their longevity might be discovered. When elderly people on Che-ju Island who live long say that the only two foods that they have eaten throughout their entire lives are rice and bean paste soup, they are certainly either pulmotonia individuals or colonotonia individuals.


We should know what constitution we have and select our food accordingly, rather than being persuaded by others’ opinion about diet.


Long period of studies and research have shown that human beings can be categorized into 8 constitution (body type) and according to each constitution, they will have different diet, different way of exercise and treatment.


The constitutions are the different patterns of organ relations and they are grouped into 8. Everyone is born with a certain constitution out of 8 possible patterns. It is one's own physiological destiny designed by God even before one is born. If one lives a life as the way he is created, he will remain healthy. If one does not, he will suffer. To know one's own constitution is the KEY to one's own well being.


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