BHUBANESWAR: ‘Tulsi’, the sacred herb of the country, will soon throw a protective shield around the members of the Armed Forces and civilians against radio-active attacks.
Faced with radio active threat, the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has already made significant progress in its herbal- protection project which uses basil as a major component. The project has successfully entered its second and crucial phase.
Chief Controller (Research and Development), DRDO, Dr W Selvamurthy on Thursday said the project will be revolutionary in nature because it is for the first time that a herbal radio-active protection is being prepared, that too by India.
“Today, there is only one chemical radio active protection available which is highly toxic in nature. What we are now looking into is a safe and effective herbal protection,” said the distinguished scientist at the ongoing 99th Indian Science Congress (ISC) here. Basil’s anti-oxidant property will counter the radio- active threat.
The scientist said scores of herbal species were screened to find radio active protection components. Besides basil, two other plants were zeroed in on. “The radio active protection using basil has entered its phase two of clinical trial,” he said. The research work is underway at the Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Life Sciences, New Delhi.
Protection against radiation apart, the DRDO scientists are looking at applications of various herbal species and have readied a Composite Immuno Herbal Preparation (CIHP) which will give soldiers, stationed at higher altitudes, improved adaptability and protection.
Selvamurthy said the CIHP is a poly-herbal preparation using 15 species including ‘aswagandha’, asparagus and basil. The poly-herbal preparation was put to in-vitro test and then measured again. The DRDO, he said, found the outcome very useful. The CIHP was then put to human trial on 4,000 soldiers following which a random study was conducted by the Army doctors who found the preparation very effective.
“It is now complete and the Director General of Armed Forces (Medical Services) is considering its induction into the Armed Forces as part of their regular acclimatisation exercise,” the top scientist said.
Besides, an Aloe Vera-based cream has already been prepared by the DRDO to protect the soldiers against frostbite and related injuries which often result in amputation of limbs. Selvamurthy said after tests were conducted on the cream, it was found to be effective as a prophylactic as well as corrective medicine to minimise cold bites and to advance healing.
The cream, five lakh units of which have been supplied to the forces, works as anti-inflammatory, anti-septic and mood healer. “It has reduced morbidity and injury among the soldiers,” said the DRDO Chief Controller (R&D).