It may sound very odd, but thousands of people from across the country and abroad are making their way to the southern city of Hyderabad to receive ‘fish prasadam’ - a homemade medicine composed of small live murrel fish.
The ‘fish prasadam’ is supposed to cure asthma and other chronic illnesses and is being made by the Bathini Goud family since more than 100 years in Hyderabad. The fish is swallowed live by the patients and before that a yellow paste is filled into the fish.
On Thursday, it was narrated that around 47000 received the ‘fish prasadam’ from the Bathini Goud family at the Nampally Exhibition Grounds, with many more expected to take the phenomenal treatment till Friday morning which marks the end of Mrigasira Karthi.
Even though many intellectuals, especially the scientists and rationalists, have raised doubts about the validity and healing ability of the prasadam, the annual has received support from people such as NCC cadets from local city colleges and other volunteers and many groups.
“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 who has come from Hubli in Karnataka, was quoted as saying.
The undisclosed herbal therapy is said to have been passed on to the Goud family by a Hindu saint in 1845. Since then, the family has been distributing the 'fish prasadam' totally free to lakhs of asthma patients annually.
The Goud family says that the therapy works by the small live fish wiggling inside the person's throat, pushing the phlegm and making it easier for the individual to breathe, thereby helping to tackle the asthma.
After the 'fish prasadam' treatment, patients are directed to go on a strict diet for 45 days. They should also not consume water until half-an-hour after the fish therapy.