Jasmuheen (born Ellen Greve; 1957) is a proponent of “pranic nourishment” or breatharianism, a practice defined as living without food or fluid of any sort and regarded by the scientific community as a lethal pseudoscience. She makes appearances at New Age conferences worldwide, has hosted spiritual retreats in Thailand and has released books and audio recordings.
Jasmuheen developed financial and business management skills working full-time in the finance industry. In 1992 she began combining her experience in business and finance with meditation, selling access to workshops and seminars on the topic and, by deed poll changed her name to Jasmuheen.
In 1998, she appeared in her first film, a six-part direct to video documentary called The Legend of Atlantis: Return of the Lightmasters. The Australian television programme 60 Minutes challenged Jasmuheen to demonstrate how she could live without food and water. The supervising medical professional Dr Beres Wenck found that, after 48 hours, Jasmuheen displayed symptoms of acute dehydration, stress, and high blood pressure. Jasmuheen claimed that this was a result of “polluted air”. On the third day, she was moved to a mountainside retreat about 15 miles from the city, where she was filmed enjoying the fresh air, claiming she could now successfully practice Inedia. But as filming progressed, Jasmuheen’s speech slowed, her pupils dilated, and she lost over a stone (6 kg or 14 lb) in weight. After four days, she acknowledged that she had lost weight, but stated that she felt fine. Dr. Wenck stated: “You are now quite dehydrated, probably over 10%, getting up to 11%.” The doctor continued: “Her pulse is about double what it was when she started. The risk if she goes any further is kidney failure.” Jasmuheen’s condition continued to deteriorate rapidly due to acute dehydration, despite her contrary insistence. Dr Wenck concluded that continuing the experiment would ultimately prove fatal. The film crew agreed with this assessment and stopped filming.
Regarding her intake of food, Jasmuheen is quoted by the Correx Archives as saying: “Generally not much at all. Maybe a few cups of tea and a glass of water, but now and then if I feel a bit bored and I want some flavour, then I will have a mouthful of whatever it is I’m wanting the flavour of. So it might be a piece of chocolate or it might be a mouthful of a cheesecake or something like that.”
Jasmuheen has stated that she has lived on approximately 300 calories per day for the past fourteen years, maintaining full health through supplementing a fluid intake with “cosmic particles” or “micro-food”, which she describes as prana. She has stated that she has not yet mastered the ability to be fluid-free for more than short periods.
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 was also awarded the 2000 Ig Nobel Prize for Literature for her book Pranic Nourishment – Living on Light, “which explains that although some people do eat food, they don’t ever really need to.”
Jasmuheen maintains that some of her beliefs are based on the writings and “more recent channelled material” of the Count of St Germain. She states that her DNA expanded from 2 to 12 strands to take up more hydrogen. The extra strands of DNA have not been scientifically verified. When offered $30,000 to prove her claim with a blood test, Jasmuheen stated “you cannot view spiritual energy under a microscope”. She claimed that such a challenge would be a deliberate attack on her beliefs, and that she refuses to act as an example of her alleged paranormal attributes.
In 2005, James Randi offered her the James Randi Educational Foundation US$1 million prize to demonstrate her claims. In 2010, she appeared in the documentaries 3 Magic Words and In the Beginning There Was Light.