Hyderabad : In another shocking event which depicts the height of superstitions that exist in India, thousands of asthma-sufferers thronged a southern Indian stadium on Friday to swallow live sardines coated with a yellow herbal paste, in a hope to cure their breathing problems.
As per the therapy, the herbs are inserted in the mouth of a live sardine, or murrel fish, and slipped into a patient’s throat.
This therapy was started by the Bathini Goud family, which consists of a secret formula of herbs, handed down by generations only to family members. The Goud family claims that they received the herbal formula from a Hindu saint about 170 years ago.
They provide it annually on a day chosen by astrologers without charging anything from the patients and refuse to reveal the mix, as they say that the saint warned them not to disclose the secret of the wonder therapy or else it would lose its potency if commercialised.
After swallowing the live fish, believers are told to desist from indulging in fried foods and keep to a strict 45-day diet of 25 different foods, including lamb, rice, white sugar, dried mango, spinach and clarified butter.
However, doctors have criticised the practice time and again.