23/04/2017 12:44 PM IST | Updated 23/04/2017 1:00 PM IST

Pakistani Man Who Has Been Eating Leaves For Over 25 Years Has Reportedly Never Fallen Ill

"Eating wood and leaves has become my habit now."

Grace's photo via Getty Images

LAHORE -- A man in Pakistan's Punjab province has been surviving on fresh leaves and wood for the last 25 years and has never fallen ill.

Mehmood Butt, 50, who hails from Gujranwala district in Punjab province, started eating on leaves at the age of 25 as he had no work and could not afford a basic meal.

"There was too much poverty in my family. Everything was beyond limit and it was very difficult for me to get a meal, so I thought it is better to eat wood rather than begging on a street," Butt said.

"Eating wood and leaves has become my habit now," Butt was quoted as saying by The News International.

Years later, as he took up work and could afford meals, he found himself strangely keen on maintaining his unique eating practice, the report said.

Butt, who earns Rs 600 a day by transporting things from one place to another on his donkey cart, has never fallen ill and is always looking to consume fresh wood and leaves.

He said wood from Banyan, Tali and Suck Chain trees were his favourites.

"He has never visited a doctor or any hospital. We are shocked how can a person not fall ill despite eating wood all these years," his neighbour Ghulam Mohammad said.

"He will stop his cart on the roadside anytime and will eat fresh tree branches," Mohammad said.

Butt is popular in his area for his eating habits as people see him munching leaves but never taking ill, the report said.