"Rhodiola is a wonder plant that has immunomodulatory (enhancing immune), adaptogenic (adapting to difficult climatic condition) and radio-protecting abilities due to presence of secondary metabolites and phytoactive compounds unique to the plant," R.B. Srivastava, Director, DIHAR, said. Srivastava said the herb can mitigate the effects of gamma radiation used in bombs in biochemical warfare. "A concerted effort involving conservation, propagation and sustainable utilization of this unique medicinal herb will surely result in rediscovery of Sanjeevani for the troops deployed in extreme climatic condition along Himalayan frontiers," said the director. The Leh-based lab of the Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO), the world's highest agro-animal research laboratory, has been researching on this wonder plant for more than a decade.
"While its adaptogenic qualities can help the soldiers in adjusting to the low pressure-low oxygen environment, the plant has also been found to have anti-depressant and appetizer properties," said Srivastava.
In the barren glacier of Siachen where white is the only color visible for miles, depression is a problem troops face. The high altitude and harsh climate also make them lose appetite.
DIHAR has already developed Herbal Adaptogenic Appetizer, and Herbal Adaptogenic Performance Enhancer that improves performance in extreme high altitude conditions, and has been highly appreciated by the Army. Rhodiola is also found in other parts of the world with other countries like the US and China engaging in research on the wonder herb.