Life Giving Herb : - Sanjivani Booti (Selaginella bryopteris)

Discussion in 'Ramayana' started by garry420, Apr 7, 2015.

  1. garry420

    garry420 Well-Known Member


    Selaginella bryopteris
    , known commonly as sanjeevini and sanjivini booti.

    Selaginella bryopteris is full of medicinal properties, hence also known as ‘Sanjeevani’ (one that infuses life). Indian prehistory’s most famous medicinal herb, Sanjeevani booti, is now being studied by scientists for its most gifted quality, being able to survive even without water.
    From time immemorial, generations in India and other countries have grown up hearing the grand Hindu Epic Ramayana. In this world famous epic, there is also a description of a wonder herb called as Sanjeevani booti (Life giving herb), which according to the popular belief had given life to the dying Lakshman, the younger brother of Lord Shree Ram.
    Since then, the question of existence of such life-giving herb has been floating in the minds of people. According to the Ramayana, the Sanjeevani booti is found in the Indian Himalayas and has the unique property of bioluminescence, which helps in its easy identification.

    The herb (Sanjeevani booti) S. bryopteris does not die, even without water. It just curls up and loses colour, becoming brown in the absence of moisture. It can even grow on rocks and arid land and however, regains its original green colour within hours of coming in contact with water.
    In the Valmiki Ramayana, Jambavan tells Hanuman, "O Hanuman you are the only one who can save the lives of the two brothers, as well as the lives of all the vanaras. Go immediately to the golden peak on the mountain called Himavan which is rich in herbs and bring back the four magic herbs. The one called Mritasanjivi (‪‎Mrithasanjeevani‬, Sanjeevani, "restores life") will bring the dead back to life, and ‪‎Ishalyakarani‬(Vishalyakarini, "arrow remover") will heal all wounds and the other two (‪Sandhanakarani‬, "frame restorer", ‪‎Savarnyakarani‬, "color restorer") will reset fractured bones and give a glow to the skin".

    Unable to pinpoint what helped this four-inch fern to stay alive for the last 300 million years [4], scientists from the National Botanical Research Institute (NBRI) have embarked on a five-year programme in 2007 to actually identify the gene responsible for the plant's drought tolerance property. Sanjeevani' finds mention in other ancient texts too, including Ayurveda, for its several medicinal benefits, including stomach disorders. It is also used as tonic to augment human growth." Its benefits are widely utilised by the tribal community even in present times due to their traditional knowledge base and wisdom. [2]

    BOTANICAL ANALYSIS: Now the real scientific question arises: Is there really a wonder herb called Sanjeevani booti in the Indian Himalayas, with the property of bioluminescence?

    In fact according to the botanical science, this does not looks to be exactly the same plant described in the Ramayana, but yes- there is a plant from Indian Himalayas, with certain medicinal properties and high drought resistance, which has been given the name “Sanjeevani booti” by the local people and scientists. The Sanjeevani booti is actually a heterosporous Indian Himalayan Pteridophyte, which in botanical language known as Selaginella bryopteris. However it is a fern plant, a ‘Pteridophyte or vascular cryptogams’, and not a flower bearing ‘Angiosperm’ plant. Moreover it also does not have the power of bioluminescence, as described in the Ramayana. [1]

    Result of Experiment done on locally called Sanjeevani Booti [3]
    The group of scientists from India carried out experiments on cultured insect S. frugiperda (Sf9) and mammalian mouse macrophage (BMC2) cells to test its potential.
    1) 5% herbal extract did not show a significant effect on the Sf9, but enhanced growth in BMC2 cells by about 75%.
    2) 10% extract in the cell culture medium enhanced number of cells by 41% in Sf9 and about 78% in BMC2 cells which is a mammalian cell.

    Mammalian cell (BMC2) responded well (75% enhancement in cell growth). Reduction of oxidative stress by certain ingredients of the Selaginella extract may be among the factors that help the stressed and even dying cells to recover and multiply to increase the number of cells. This interpretation was further supported by the observation that aqueous extract of Sanjeevani Booti protects cells against oxidative stress-induced cell death, too. It is, therefore, likely that Selaginella extract contains some potent antioxidants that protect the cells from death.

    According to an Indian mythological description, S. bryopteris was able to infuse life in ‘Lakshman’ (a legendary angel brother of Lord Ram) when he was fatally hit by a fierce fire-power (Shaktibaan). Further it was also examined if this herbal extract could protect against heat-induced cell death. The result demonstrates that thermal radiation suppressed growth of cells by about 40–50% in Sf9 as well as BMC2 cells. Pre-treatment of cells with 1–10% of the herbal extract for 1 h reversed suppression of growth completely.

    Investigating is under process whether these substances alone or in combination with others are responsible for reversal of the heat shock effects by Selaginella extract.
    Sah, P. (2008). Does the magical Himalayan Herb “Sanjeevani Booti” really exist in Nature. The Journal of American Science, 4(3), 2008, ISSN, 1545-1003.
    Sah N K, Singh S N P, Sahdev S, Banerji S, Jha V, Khan Z and Hasnain S E 2005 Indian herb ‘Sanjeevani’ (Selaginella bryopteris) can promote growth and protect against heat shock and apoptotic activities of ultra violet and oxidative stress; J. Biosci. 30 499–505

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