Every Indian must have heard about the Sanjeevani herb from Ramayana. Sanjeevani is reputed to be a miracle herb which could even revive the dead. Intense research has been going on in India to find this elusive herb.
The Sanjeevani herb which has innumerable mentions in the ancient religious and Vedic texts is now a research project topic for scientists around the globe. It is an homage being paid to the ancient Vedas of India that their work is now being researched on without changing its authentic name. Sanjeevani herb that had been discovered years ago in India now is getting an international recognition.
Most people ponder upon a lot of texts to figure out what exactly is this Sanjeevani herb. The most authentic accounts say that Sanjeevani herb wasn’t simply a small plant and rather a set of protocols and medical practices that were only known to Lord Shiv. Later Shukracharya, son of famed sage Bhrigu was enlightened by Lord Shiva himself with the knowledge about Sanjeevani herb. It is also mentioned that the same Sanjeevani herb was used to bring Parshuram and Bhargav back to life after death by Lord Shiva. There are citations which say that mythical figures Brihaspati were also given the knowledge about Sanjeevani herb.
Ramayana which was written by Sage Valmiki has a verse that says that it was mandatory for the Amrit Srijan to cultivate the lifesaving godly herbs on the Chandra mountain. These mountains were situated around Shrirodhsagar. The mythologically significant Dron Parvat (mountain) is also located amongst these mountains, where Lord Hanuman was sent by Sage Sushend Ji for getting Sanjeevani herb for Lakshman, younger brother of Lord Ram. At the present day, the particular verse of Ramayana is being interpreted by scientists over the world to rediscover this lifesaver herb.
Sanjeevani herb is exclusively found in Uttarakhand. Uttarakhand has plantations of Sanjeevani herb which has been mentioned in mythological scriptures as being potent for reversing death. The biggest question about Sanjeevani herb to be answered by the researchers is that which plant has been labeled Alabeledvani in the scriptures. It is equally a mystery that whether actually this herb, has the potential to restore a dead human. In this context Dr. Ganeshan had published a research article that presented Selaginella bryopteris as the scientific name of Sanjeevani herb. The article was published in 2009 in ‘Current Science’. Desmoticum fimbriatum and Cressa Cratica are also suspected to be near varieties of Sanjeevani herb. The conclusion was drawn after studying and comparing eighty different languages, biological database and Ramayana.
There are over 750 species of Selaginella that grow in various parts of the world. However the only specie considered as Sanjeevani is the Selaginella bryopteris and is endemic to Uttarakhand. Uttarakhand’s Chamoli region has a village named Dronagiri where the Drona Parvat is located. Vast plantations of Selaginella bryopteris are covering this mountain situated in Uttarakhand.
The reason why Selaginella bryopteris is advocated as the most probable Sanjeevani herb is because it is grown in the upper most range of Himalayas and has a high tolerance of water scarcity. A small amount of water can rejuvenate this herb even if it dies due to water unavailability.
A scientific literature titled ‘The Doctrine Signature‘ had presented a scientific principle which applies to this property of Sanjeevani herb. The principle is interpreted as that a particular phenomenon that is seen in a herb is its mechanism for healing processes.
Also Selaginella bryopteris has anti inflammatory properties. There are mainly five bioflavonoids present in the Sanjeevani herb that give it the medicinal properties. These were studied at National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research.
The latest scientific journal edition of ‘Frontiers in Plant Science’ published that Selaginella bryopteris can survive dehydration for a week without any evident effects on metabolic systems.
Another citation of Selaginella bryopteris is the article published in The Telegraph in September 2005 that said that the Sanjeevani herb has ability to promote cell growth. This was further proven experimentally at the Department of DNA fingerprinting and diagnostics of Madhav Institute of Technology and Sciences. A study of Sanjeevani herb’s ability to promote cell growth was conducted on insect cells. Other healing properties of Selaginella bryopteris, Sanjeevani herb are protection from damage by UV radiation, preventing cancerous growth and expansion of blood vessels and even undoing the damage caused to the dead blood vessels.
Selaginella bryopteris is both a financial and bio-resource of India that is grown only in Uttarakhand. Scientists around the globe are trying to study every property of the Sanjeevani herb. This was the reason why the government of Uttarakhand took up the project of search and study of Sanjeevani herb in 2016. Various search operations were conducted around the boundaries of Drona Parvat near the Indo-China border. It is extremely important that India gets a patent for this lifesaving herb and thus progresses further in the in-depth study of it.