Health
Swallowing live fish to treat asthma
Publish Date: Jun 11, 2014
Swallowing live fish to treat asthma
An Indian member of the Bathini Goud family administers "fish medicine" to a patient at the exhibition grounds in Hyderabad. PHOTO/AFP
  • mail
  • img
newvision

HYDERABAD - With pinched noses and watery eyes, thousands of Indians have lined up to swallow live fish in a traditional treatment for asthma administered annually in the country's south.

Asthma sufferers gather every June in the southern city of Hyderabad to gulp down the fish stuffed with a yellow herbal paste, in hopes it will help them breathe more easily.

The wriggling five-centimetre (two-inch) fish are slipped into the throats of patients in a bizarre treatment that leaves them gagging.

The Bathini Goud family, which administers the treatment, says the fish clear the throat on their way down and permanently cure asthma and other respiratory problems.

But the family has declined to reveal the secret formula which they say they got from a Hindu saint in 1845.


An Indian member of the Bathini Goud family holds a live murrel fish and medicine. PHOTO/AFP


 


Indian residents wait to receive 'fish medicine' from the Bathini Goud family. PHOTO/AFP

Parents are often forced to pry open the mouths of reluctant children who cry at the site of squirming fish, while others pinch their noses, tip their heads back and close their eyes.

Thousands of people travel from across India for the free medicine during a two-day period, the specific dates of which are determined by the onset of the monsoon every June.

Rights groups and doctors have complained that the medicine is "unscientific", a violation of human rights and unhygienic, claims rejected by the family.

The Indian government arranges special trains for the "fish medicine" festival every year and extra police are on duty to control crowds.

After digesting the treatment, patients are told to go on a strict diet for 45 days.

AFP

The statements, comments, or opinions expressed through the use of New Vision Online are those of their respective authors, who are solely responsible for them, and do not necessarily represent the views held by the staff and management of New Vision Online.

New Vision Online reserves the right to moderate, publish or delete a post without warning or consultation with the author.Find out why we moderate comments. For any questions please contact digital@newvision.co.ug

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
Freezing eggs to halt the biological clock
She is 44 and single, but Sarah still dreams of having a child, while another waits for her younger boyfriend to be ready....
African funeral rites are
Traditional funeral rites that include kissing and touching a dead body are "superspreaders" of Ebola, researchers say....
Genetics
The Ebola virus is often deadly and a study on mice suggests that genetics may play a role in the severity of the illness....
UN chief launches campaign to end FGM
UN chief Ban Ki-moon launches a global campaign to end the often deadly practice of female genital mutilation within a generation...
China
China is "vulnerable" to the deadly Ebola outbreak due to the soaring number of Chinese working in Africa and poor infection control at home....
Africans in New York complain of Ebola stigma
Africans in New York complain that their children are being bullied at school and businesses are losing money because of hysteria over Ebola....
Should the absence of bride price prevent couples from wedding?
Yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter