The death of Sushil Kumar Saxena, a city scientist, after consuming lauki and karela juice, prescribed by yoga guru Baba Ramdev to cure diabetes, has led to a raging debate on how safe such traditional remedies really are. Saxena, 59, who had been consuming the homemade juice for four years, died of bottle gourd poisoning on June 23.
“It’s dangerous to have such juices. People should not have them as they can be poisonous, especially when the fruit or vegetable tastes bitter,” says Dr Rajneesh Gulati, gastroenterologist.But, Ramdev is unfazed. "Swamiji has time and again mentioned not to go for juices made of bitter vegetables as it can be harmful. All we can do is to constantly repeat... we even run a warning during our shows. But, if people still don’t pay attention, then it’s wrong to blame Babaji for the same," says Baba Ramdev’s spokesperson, Surender, who maintains that the juice is healthy and safe.
While some who’ve been taking the juice are now cautious, others aren’t affected by the incident. “It’s really beneficial — I’ll continue to have it,” says Shivani Gupta, 28. “I’m through with taking Ramdev’s advice... this guy should be sued,” says Rahil Sharma, 23.