WONDER DRUG FOR ASTHMA
Monsoon brings with it the chill of the breezy winter,
the warmth of a summer night, and the showers of a rainy
day. With the stepping in of Mrigasira Karte,
the first day of monsoon according to the Hindu calendar,
at least one area in Hyderabad can be seen completely
crowded with people queuing up to receive the fish
medicine, considered to be the nectar of life.
On this day, the Goud brothers, residents of Doodhbowli
(near Charminar), administer this to thousands of
asthmatics. The herbal medicine is given to asthma patients
by placing it either in the mouth of a 2-3 inch-long live
Murrel Fish or in the jaggery paste for
The medicine along with the fish is put into the throat
of the patient and the mouth is closed. The fish remains
alive for a few minutes after it is swallowed. It glides
smoothly down the throat and cleans the esophagus and
the digestive system in the process. The medicine
is be taken on an empty stomach and the patient should
not eat anything for the next three hours.
The medicine itself is free but the fish has to be bought
by the patients themselves. People from all over the world
get to Hyderabad on the appointed day and wait patiently
in sinuous lines for their turn. For effective remedy,
it should be taken for three consecutive years. Three
more doses of medicine are given to the patients to be
taken on 15th, 30th and 45th days (Arudra, Punarvasu
and Pushyami). For the next 45 days rice,
dry mango, leafy vegetables, ginger, garlic and cow
's milk, form the patient's diet.
The secret formula for the medicine was given by a sadhu
to the Bathini Goud family's progenitor Veeranna
Goud around 152 years back in return to the hospitality
shown to him by the family. The formula, which is currently
in the possession of the five Goud brothers - Shivaram,
Somalingam, Vishwanath, Harinath and Uma Maheswar,
their wives and children and is not patented.
Toddy tappers by profession, the Goud brothers
do not have the real knowledge of the medicine except
for the formula handed over to them by their ancestors.
The preparation of the medicine starts two months before
it is advocated. In April, one of the brothers goes to
Hrishikesh in search of the herbs. The actual preparation
is done at the Goud's home using well water. This medicine
is first offered to their family deity. After performing
satyanarayana vratam, it is administered.
Due to traffic problems the medicine is being administered
at the Nizam College Grounds for the past two years.
A rage with the asthmatics, the medicine breathes new
life into the afflicted lungs.