Asthma is one of the most common chronic lung diseases to affect people in the world. And if you have been battling it for a while, you could head to Exhibition Grounds, Hyderabad, for the very well-known "fish prasadam," which is said to cure the breathing issue.
Wondering how the medicine works? Well, a 5-cm long live and wiggling murrel fish is stuffed with a yellow paste – said to be the herbal medicine – and then slipped down the throat of the one suffering from asthma. While even the thought of it is icky and makes one gag, thousands of people queue up each year to swallow the live fish and this year is no different.
The Bathini Goud family administering the weird treatment believes that the fish clears the throat on its way down and cures all kinds of respiratory issues. They claim that the procedure was passed on to them by a Hindu saint in 1845 and haven't divulged the details of the secret treatment, reported AFP.
After the treatment, the patients are put on a strict diet for 45 days and are given a list of things that they can and cannot consume. They are also given tablets that they need to consume for a few days.
So does the medicine really work? "It is all about the faith that the medicine will work. Some come here, take the medicine and see the change within a year and some don't. People are coming only because it works, otherwise why would they come,'' the New Indian Express quoted M Prakash Goud, a volunteer at the event, as saying.
A few people have also spoken about how all their respiratory issues were sorted after they took the medicine in Hyderabad. "I have seen my brother recover from the disorder after he had taken the medicine and since then I wanted to try. I am sure it will reduce my asthma problem," Rakesh Kumar, an asthma patient from Karnataka, told the daily.
Many human rights groups have also slammed the treatment for being unhygienic, unscientific and even a violation of human rights.
For those who get queasy at the thought of swallowing a live fish, the medicine is administered with jaggery.
Take a look at the patients swallowing the fish