Jashmi Shankar Narapula,
who could neither swallow nor speak,
underwent surgery at KEM Hospital
Baba Ramdev’s cure for hair loss blocks woman’s food pipe
39-yr-old Bhayandar resident had to undergo a three-hour surgery after docs at KEM realised the ‘medicine’ had started solidifying in her throat
In an attempt to get out of the frying pan, she jumped right into the fire. A 39-year-old Bhayandar resident, who consumed ayurvedic powder to prevent loss of hair promoted by and sold at Baba Ramdev's yoga institute had to undergo surgery lasting three hours to clear out the block from her food pipe to the abdomen. Normally, such surgeries take about 15 minutes.
Jashmi Shankar Narapula, who could neither swallow nor speak, underwent surgery at KEM Hospital, Parel on Friday.
A medico-legal case has been registered at the Bhoiwada Police Station, while the powder, prescribed by yoga guru Baba Ramdev's Patanajli Yogpeeth, has been sent for analysis.
The institute has refuted the allegation, saying that they had received no other complaints of the kind.
Narapula said that she had been losing hair for the last few years and was tempted to try the quick fix after seeing an advert of the yog patanajali medicine on Baba Ramdev's show on television.
Narapula purchased the powder from the Yog Patanjali shop located in Shanti Nagar in Bhayandar on Wednesday. “An ayurveda consultant at the store prescribed two types of powders which I was advised to take in the morning on an empty stomach,” she said. “I took the powder once a day for two days. Suddenly, I realised I could not speak or swallow. When I tried to speak, I experienced a sharp pain.”
That’s when her husband took her to a general physician. “The doctor said she would have to undergo an endoscopy surgery for which she would have to be hospitalised,” said her husband Shankar.
At the hospital, an x-ray showed a foreign body lodged in her food pipe. “We advised her to eat bananas for an entire day, as we generally advise patients with a blocked food pipe,” said head of KEM Hospital’s Ear Nose Throat Department, Dr Neelam Sathe, terming it a rare case. “I was surprised she could not eat anything, not even sip liquids.”
“We decided to put her through endoscopic surgery. Her food pipe was clogged with some black, sticky material. Being hard, we were unable to pull it out using forceps.
We tried to suction it (using vacuum pressure) but it did not help,” said Dr Sathe. “A vigorous saline flush with a repeat suction helped pull out the material.”
Dr Sathe said that the patient had, in her medical history, said that she had consumed powder given by “Baba Ramdev’s ayurvedic store”. “It appears that the powder had not dissolved 24 hours after she swallowed it.
This is very strange and we have alerted the police. The material pulled out from her food pipe has been sent for analysis. Narapula’s food pipe has been damaged but she is out of danger now. A little delay could have proved fatal,” said Dr Sathe.
‘Products tested in lab’
Owner of Yog Patanjali store where Narapula bought the powder, Punnalal Gupta, said, “I have been running Baba’s Yog Patanjali shop since a month and half, but nobody has come with any such complaint. “For hair loss, we usually recommend oil, not powder.”
Yog Patanjali’s Mumbai spokesperson, Sudhir Naik, said, It is the first complaint we have received in the last five years since we set up our stores in Mumbai. Our product has already been tested in laboratories at our main centre in Hyderabad. We will conduct a proper inquiry of this particular sample.”