Top secret plant found in Russia

Top Secret Plant Found in Russia
Top Secret Plant Found in Russia

Was this plant a cold war military secret? Believe it or not, yes, and now it's being grown by a farmers collective right here in the United States.

Native to Siberia, the so-called "Golden Root" is said to have a whole slew of health benefits. It's used in traditional Asian teas and has long been thought useful in treating depression, to improve endurance and even as an aphrodisiac.

But during the Cold War, Petra Illig, a doctor who founded the collective told "Atlas Obscura" the Kremlin considered Golden Root a military secret. Illig believes it was used to improve the physical and mental endurance of soldiers and athletes and she claims it was also tested on Soviet cosmonauts.

Native to Siberia's Altai mountain ranges, Golden Root is right at home in the permafrost of Alaska, where the farmers collective is located.

Golden Root has not been approved by the FDA for any use, but demand is growing and it could become a money crop for the state in the future.

Click through the slideshow below for more photos of cool plants: