Uttarakhand wants central funds to hunt for mythical herb

  • Anupam Trivedi, Hindustan Times, Dehradun
  • Updated: Mar 03, 2016 08:20 IST
According to the Ramayana, the mighty Hanuman had to carry the entire Dronagiri mountain all the way to Lanka just because he was unable to locate the Sanjeevani Booti. (Representative photo)

Uttarakhand is on a quest for a mythological herb, and it wants the Centre to fund the operation.

The Harish Rawat government has asked the central ministry for Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy (Ayush) to provide funds and the expertise for recovering the Sanjeevani Booti, a magical herb made famous by the Ramayana.

Stating that the term also finds mention in Ayurveda and other ancient texts, Dehradun-based herb expert Vaidya Balendu said: “Any herb that gives life to a seriously ill person is termed as Sanjeevani. Many herbs that Ayurveda practitioners use are named after it.”

The Sanjeevani Booti was always a tricky thing to find, even in legends of the past. The Ramayana says that the mighty Hanuman had to carry the Dronagiri mountain all the way to Lanka just because he was unable to locate the herb. Capable of resurrecting people, it is said to have brought Lakshmana back to life.

The Dronagiri mountain range, named after a village in Uttarakhand’s Chamoli district, is located 400 km from the city.

State Ayush minister Surendra Singh Negi said that as nobody has been able to locate the magical herb, he has requested Sripad Nayak – his counterpart at the Centre – to lend a hand.

“We strongly believe that the herb exists in Chamoli area of Uttarakhand, but we need funds and expertise to carry our research. The herb could be the answer to various ailments,” Negi told HT on Wednesday.

The Uttarakhand minister had recently made an informal request in this regard to Naik, during a meet of Ayush ministers in Delhi. A formal proposal will be forwarded to the ministry shortly, he said.

This, however, is not the first time the administration has decided on hunting for the Sanjeevani Booti. In 2009, then chief minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ had given a three-member team the nod to locate the mythical herb. The decision was taken after Balkrishna – a close associate of yoga guru Ramdev – reportedly sighted it in the Dronagiri mountain range.

VP Bhatt, a scientist with the Chamoli-based Herbal Research and Development Institute, was a member of that team. Countering Balkrishna’s claim about the herb, he told HT: “It is next to impossible to locate the Sanjeevani Booti in just six days, which is what he contended in September 2008.”

The Himalayan range in Uttarakhand is said to be a treasure-trove of herbs. According to the forest department, nearly 100 herbs of high medicinal value are found in the upper regions of the state.

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