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Rare ‘resurrection’ herb found in Lower Subansiri

Picture Credit: Wikipedia

Itanagar: Researchers from the Botanical Survey of India (BSI), Itanagar regional centre and Hapoli divisional forest office recently came across ‘Selaginella bryopteris’, a lithophytic plant which is also known as the resurrecting herb or Sanjeevani, in the Lower Subansiri district of Arunachal Pradesh.

Hapoli divisional forest officer (DFO) Abhinav Kumar who took to twitter to share the information on Saturday said “the rare herbal plant was found near the Kee River in the Pistana circle of Lower Subansiri district.”

Kumar was a part of the survey team led by researchers Ashish K Soni and Vineet K Rawant from the Itanagar regional centre of BSI.

The ‘Selaginella bryopteris’ was discovered in the Pistana circle during the survey and collection of Pteridophytes (vascular plants) from the forests of Lower Subansiri district and Tale Wildlife Sanctuary earlier this year.

During the survey, Soni came across a healthy population of Selaginella and the plants were identified based on the book ‘Selaginellaceae of India’ by R D Dixit. The plant’s body coils to form a ball-like structure during the dry season and as soon as the atmospheric humidity is restored, the plants uncoil and become green.

Further research and identification confirmed it to be the ‘Selaginella bryopteris’ which has been recorded for the first time in the fern allies of the state.

According to the journal published in the East Himalayan Society for Spermatophyte Taxonomy, around 23 more species of the Selaginella have been reported Arunachal Pradesh, however, the discovery of the ‘Selaginella bryopteris’ in the hilly state is a first.

Popularly known for its medicinal qualities, the ‘Selaginella bryopteris’ is also one of the plants that is considered as a candidate to be the Sanjeevani or the Sanjeevani Booti which has found its mention in the Ramayana, one of the two major Sanskrit epics of ancient India and important text of Hinduism.

According to various reports, Selaginella which contains a variety of secondary metabolites such as alkaloids, phenol and terpenoids, etc. has been used traditionally to treat wounds, irregular menstruation, uterine disorders and other internal injuries.

Some also use it as a tonic to improve fitness and expand their life span.

3 Comments

  1. Then what we should do for this herb….and how to make medicine.
    There are lots of found our areas this herb.i kamle district

  2. A lithophytic fern allies plant called Selaginella bryopteris has been discovered by the joint venture undertaken by the researchers from the Botanical Survey of India,Itanagar regional centre and Hapoli Divisional forest office.

    They have come across this rare herbal plant in Pistana circle under Lower Subansiri District.It has come to media under the caption, ”Rare resurrection herb found in Lower Subansiri”written by Damien Lepcha,a renowned journalist.

    It’s well known that there is a large number of herbal plants found in Arunachal Pradesh.But it is really a proud moment for the denizens of Pistana to have such a Sanjeevini plant in their area.

    The plant circulated through the news is available enormously on the bank of Keyi and Panior rivers.

    Earlier people were not aware of this particular plant but after its finding, they have come to know about its worth.

    It is one of the greatest discoveries apart from many such virgin plants yet to be traced.

    Arunachal Pradesh has an abundant of herbal plants which are very rarely found in other parts of our country.

    This resurrection herb known as Sanjivini in Hindi may have a connection with the ”Sanjeevini Buti” used by Hanuman to bring back the unconscious Laxman to life.

    According to Hindu mythology, Laxman,the younger brother of Lord Ram was shot at by an arrow during a fierce fighting with Ravan.He was wounded and lay unconscious in the battlefield.

    Hanuman,the devotee of Ram flew away to find a Sanjeevini Booti in a mountain called Giri.He brought Sanjeevini Booti from there and thus revived Laxman to a normal life.

    If the above mentioned Selaginella bryopteris is one of such plants,then it’s really a matter of feeling proud of both the teams which made it explicit by launching a joint venture to find it out from Pistana circle, Lower Subansiri District of Arunachal Pradesh…..[ Pill Tayam ]

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