Bizarre treatment: Indians swallow live fish to cure asthma (w/gallery)

Published: June 10, 2014


Picture 1 of 16

A member of the Goud family administers ìfish medicineî to an asthma patient in Hyderabad, India, Sunday, June 8, 2014. Started by the Bathini Goud family, the therapy is a secret formula of herbs, handed down by generations only to family members. The herbs are inserted in the mouth of a live sardine, or murrel fish, and slipped into the patient's throat. (AP Photo/Mahesh Kumar A.)

VANCOUVER DESI

Bizarre news India

A member of the Goud family administers fish medicine to an asthma patient in Hyderabad, India, Sunday, June 8, 2014.

Thousands of Indians in Hyderabad swallow live fish every year in what they believe to be a traditional treatment for asthma, according to Agence France-Presse (AFP).

Every June, Indians line up to gulp down a small fish stuffed with a herbal yellow paste. And while left gagging in the process, they believe the remedy will help them breathe easier.

According to AFP, the Bathini Goud family – who administers the treatment – claims this is a permanent cure for asthma and other respiratory problems.

The family has refused to reveal their secret formula, which they say comes from a Hindu saint in 1845, AFP reported.

People of all ages can be seen at the free medicine camp – including reluctant young children,  forced to undergo the treatment by their parents.

While rights groups have called the procedure “unscientific,” the Bathini Goud family rejects the claim.

The Indian government arranges special trains for the two-day fish medicine festival every year. The dates of the event are determined by the onset of the monsoon each June, according to AFP.

In order to complete the asthma-curing treatment, patients are asked to go on a strict 45-day diet after swallowing the fish.

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