Indian panacea

Sanjeevani may prove a wonder herb

Published: Monday 31 October 2005

an indian plant, Sanjeevani (Sellaginella bryopteris), may prove as miraculous as revealed in the epic Ramayana, where it brings a mortally wounded Lakshman, the brother of Lord Rama, back to life.

A team of scientists led by Nand K Sah from Gwalior-based Madhav Institute of Technology and Science claims a bioactive compound extracted from Sanjeevani was found to have several beneficial effects.

In-vitro studies on mammalian cells showed the extract triggered biochemical reactions that can arrest genetic damage as well as produce anti-oxidants such as beta-carotene. Anti-oxdiants suppress cell damage to varying degrees and so the plant could help against several diseases such as cancer, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease. The findings appear in the Journal of Biosciences (Vol 30, No 4, September, 2005).

The team, which included researchers from CM Science College in Darbhanga and Hyderabad-based Centre for dna Fingerprinting and Diagnostics, found the Sanjeevani extract could also reverse cell death caused by ultra-violet radiation and heat waves. It is traditionally used to cure jaundice, restore normalcy of menstrual irregularities and as an aid to pregnant women while giving birth.

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