A “Breatharian” couple is making a remarkable claim that many are treating with a lot of skepticism.
Here’s a story that will almost certainly make you go, ‘what?’ A couple that claims to be part of a movement made up of so-called “Breatharians” says they hardly ever eat, and they’ve led perfectly happy lifestyles as a result.
Camila Castello, 34, and Akahi Ricardo, 36, say that as Breatharians, they eat just three times a week, and even then only a piece of fruit or some vegetable broth. The couple lives in both California and Ecuador, and they say they don’t even feel hungry anymore as a result of their lifestyle.
Of course, many people dismiss the claims as ludicrous, noting that human beings cannot survive that long on so little food. Castello and Ricardo claim that they can survive on the “energy that exists in the universe and in themselves,” and that “cosmic nourishment” is all the food they need.
The couple has even claimed that they didn’t eat at all for three years.
“For three years, Akahi and I didn’t eat anything at all and now we only eat occasionally like if we’re in a social situation or if I simply want to taste a fruit,” Castello said, according to numerous reports. “With my first child, I practiced a Breatharian pregnancy. Hunger was a foreign sensation to me so I fully lived on light and ate nothing. My blood tests during all three trimesters were impeccable and I gave birth to a healthy, baby boy.”
The following is a Wikipedia excerpt on Inedia, another name for breatharianism.
Inedia (Latin for “fasting”) or breatharianism is the belief that it is possible for a person to live without consuming food. Breatharians claim that food, and in some cases water, are not necessary for survival, and that humans can be sustained solely by prana, the vital life force in Hinduism. According to Ayurveda, sunlight is one of the main sources of prana, and some practitioners believe that it is possible for a person to survive on sunlight alone. The terms breatharianism or inedia may also refer to this philosophy when it is practiced as a lifestyle in place of the usual diet.
Breatharianism is considered a lethal pseudoscience by scientists and medical professionals, and several adherents of these practices have died from starvation and dehydration. Though it is common knowledge that biological entities require sustenance to survive, breatharianism continues.
Nutritional science proves that fasting for extended periods leads to starvation, dehydration, and eventual death. In the absence of food intake, the body normally burns its own reserves of glycogen, body fat, and muscle. Breatharians claim that their bodies do not consume these reserves while fasting.
Some breatharians have submitted themselves to medical testing, including a hospital’s observation of Indian mystic Prahlad Jani appearing to survive without food or water for 15 days, and an Israeli breatharian appearing to survive for eight days on a television documentary. In a handful of documented cases, individuals attempting breatharian fasting have died. Among the claims in support of Inedia investigated by the Indian Rationalist Association, all were found to be fraudulent. In other cases, people have attempted to survive on sunlight alone, only to abandon the effort after losing a large percentage of their body weight.
Jasmuheen (born Ellen Greve) was a prominent advocate of breatharianism in the 1990s. She said “I can go for months and months without having anything at all other than a cup of tea. My body runs on a different kind of nourishment.” Interviewers found her house stocked with food; Jasmuheen claimed the food was for her husband and daughter. In 1999, she volunteered to be monitored closely by the Australian television program 60 Minutes for one week without eating to demonstrate her methods. Jasmuheen stated that she found it difficult on the third day of the test because the hotel room in which she was confined was located near a busy road, causing stress and pollution that prevented absorption of required nutrients from the air. “I asked for fresh air. Seventy percent of my nutrients come from fresh air. I couldn’t even breathe,” she said. The third day the test was moved to a mountainside retreat where her condition continued to deteriorate. After Jasmuheen had fasted for four days, Dr. Berris Wink, president of the Queensland branch of the Australian Medical Association, urged her to stop the test.
According to Dr. Wink, Jasmuheen’s pupils were dilated, her speech was slow, and she was “quite dehydrated, probably over 10%, getting up to 11%”. Towards the end of the test, she said, “Her pulse is about double what it was when she started. The risks if she goes any further are kidney failure. 60 Minutes would be culpable if they encouraged her to continue. She should stop now.” The test was stopped. Dr. Wink said, “Unfortunately there are a few people who may believe what she says, and I’m sure it’s only a few, but I think it’s quite irresponsible for somebody to be trying to encourage others to do something that is so detrimental to their health.” Jasmuheen challenged the results of the program, saying, “Look, 6,000 people have done this around the world without any problem.”
Jasmuheen was awarded the Bent Spoon Award by Australian Skeptics in 2000 (“presented to the perpetrator of the most preposterous piece of paranormal or pseudoscientific piffle”). She also won the 2000 Ig Nobel Prize for Literature for Living on Light. Jasmuheen claims that their beliefs are based on the writings and “more recent channelled material” from St. Germain. She stated that some people’s DNA has expanded from 2 to 12 strands, to “absorb more hydrogen”. When offered $30,000 to prove her claim with a blood test, she said that she didn’t understand the relevance as she was not referring to herself.
In the documentary No Way to Heaven the Swiss chemist Michael Werner claims to have followed the directions appearing on Jasmuheen’s books, living for several years without food. The documentary also describes two attempts at scientific verification of his claims. As of 2017, five deaths had been directly linked to breatharianism as a result of Jasmuheen’s publications. Jasmuheen has denied any responsibility for the deaths