Sanjeevani Booti – a herb for real?


The use of medicinal plants, herbs, spices and herbal remedies are known to Ayurveda in India since a long time. Men used the extracts from plant life to soothe and relieve aches and pains. This leaves one thinking, ‘is Sanjeevani, a herb for real?’



Many generations have grown listening to the Ramayana, which presents the history of Treta yug. The text mentions the magical herb called ‘Sanjeevani Booti’ (Life-giving herb) to be found in the Himalayas. This herb was used to revive Lakshman, who had succumbed to Meghnaad’s deadly weapon Shakti. Lord Hanuman went to fetch the herb from Dronagiri Mountain in the Himalayas (currently in Uttarakhand, India). Unable to identify the herb, he brought the entire mountain.


Many Indian botanists have done research on finding such a herb. Out of preliminary listing of about 17 plant species, which could be Sanjeevani; Selaginella bryopteris deserves a special mention. Found in the Indian Himalayas, with certain medicinal properties and high drought resistance, Selaginella bryopteris is known as poikilohydric lithophyte, heterosporous Indian Himalayan Pteridophyte. It is a fern plant. It is observed that this fern can withstand years of drought very effectively.

Many experiments have been conducted to establish the medicinal properties of the fern. As the name, ‘Sanjeevani’ suggests the plant extract should have an ability to invigorate vital activities in cells/tissues, leading to the hypothesis that this herb possesses a growth-promoting activity as well as protective action against stress-induced cell death that play vital roles in organismal growth and development, tissue homeostasis, and maintenance of genomic integrity. The results suggest that Selaginella species have a large number of bioactive compounds, which possess such properties.


The herb has been found to contain bioflavonoids (secondary metabolites). These compounds act as anti-oxidants, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, anti-allergic, anti-microbial, anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, anti-viral, protect against UV irradiation, vaso-relaxants, heart boosters, anti-hypertensive, anti-clotting and affect the metabolism enzymes. A bioflavonoid, hinokiflavone, present in Selaginella is also effective against HIV infection. Selaginella is said to be effective as follows:

1) Provides relief from heat stroke and burning sensation during urination

2) Restores menstrual irregularities to normal

3) Helps in easy delivery of pregnant women (in minimizing the labour pain)

4) Helps in the treatment of jaundice

There is no doubt that this plant has several important medicinal properties and is worshiped among locals as the magical herb, Sanjeevani.

You should understand that with change in climate, the extremely potent herbs of earlier times have become extinct as the climate doesn’t suit them. And as we know climate is dependent on human consciousness, so degrading of human consciousness and pollution in human thought process has direct consequence on the ancient potent herbs. Now since the GM foods will flood our planet, one can be rest assured that whatever is left will also disappear.


Rima Anand

Rima Anand

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