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Traditional Indian remedy for asthma challenged in court

BMJ 2004; 328 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.328.7454.1457-b (Published 17 June 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;328:1457
  1. Sanjay Kumar
  1. New Delhi

    A 159 year old traditional remedy of offering “fish medicine” to cure asthma has been challenged in the Indian courts. The Indian Medical Association has questioned the secrecy surrounding the ingredients of the medicine, invoking the provisions of the Drugs and Magical Remedies Act 1954.

    Thousands of people with asthma travel to Hyderabad for the annual gathering where the medicine is delivered free to the patient in the mouth of a live fish.

    “Any substance other than food used for curing [people] falls under the category of a drug and its ingredients must be disclosed to the consumers,” says Dr C L Venkata Rao, secretary of the Charminar branch of the …

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