Selaginella bryopteris is a lithophytic plant that is native to India. It is called as “Sanjeevani, or “Sanjivani Booti” in Devnagri. It is mostly found growing in tropical areas like the Aravalli Hills in India.
It is described as a supernatural herb which has the ability to cure various diseases. It is also believed that it has power to revive a dead person, although its effectiveness has not been scientifically validated. It can be used to cure heat stroke, dysuria, irregular menstruation, jaundice etc. It also has the ability to reduce the killing potential of ultra violet (UV). As stated in Ramayana, Sanjeevani Booti brought back life to Lakshmana. Ravana's son Indrajit injured Lakshmana with a powerful weapon. When Hanuman could not find the herb, he decided to carry the Mount Sumeru in the Himalayas or Valley of Flowers. In the 21st century, it is believed that people are able to locate two groups of plants that could be Sanjeevani in the Dronagiri Hills in Joshimath, Garhwal. The discovery still needs to be verified. This herb is not only used to cure unconsciousness, cerebral disorders, respiratory problems, bodily pains but also used for worshipping the mountain god and houses of rural folk living in the valleys of Dronagiri. However, scientific literature declares Selaginella bryopteris as the Sanjeevani Booti, a search of ancient texts in CSIR laboratories has not revealed any plant that can be confirmed as Sanjeevani The truth is that the existence of Sanjeevani is still a mystery.
By: Anuja Arora