Contemplating to digest the content of a BBC documentary “The Story of India” a few months ago, which, during a conversation between the presenter and an old afghan native, described the ingredients of Somras!, brought my senses back to a chapter of the book “Immortals of Meluha” (Indian Mythological story given a try to be written in a cool way) for a moment, where Lord Shiva is chatting up with Daksha who is describing the Somras as an Elixir created by Lord Brahma, the Creater god, who is supposed to have written all 4 Vedas (Fact: The Vedas are the most ancient scriptures in the whole world). This conversation describes Somras as ‘ the drink of Gods’ which keeps them young eternally – mentally and Physically! Brahma never gave out this elixir to anybody knowing what would happen if it fell in wrong hands. He chose his disciples himself and trained them to be social helpers and never to take any cash or kind in return for their work and live only on donations.
This was a very rigorous lifestyle, but then to remain young forever and have the best health physically and mentally forever is a big incentive!
So,back to the interesting bit; the ingredients for Somras as described in the BBC documentary were – Marijuana, Poppy Seed and Ephedra. Now we all know what Marijuana and Poppy Seed are. Ephedra, as described in Wikipedia:
‘Ephedra is a medicinal preparation from the plant Ephedra sinica. Several additional species belonging to the genus ephedra have traditionally been used for a variety of medicinal purposes, and are a possible candidate for the Soma plant of Indo-Iranian religion. It has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for more than 2,000 years. Native Americans and Mormon pioneers drank a tea brewed from other ephedra species, called “Mormon tea” and “Indian tea”.’
This definition is backed by a lot of scientific and medicinal sites too.
Excerpt from another site: “Ephedra is used for weight loss and obesity and to enhance athletic performance. It is also used for allergies and hay fever; nasal congestion; and respiratory tract conditions such as bronchospasm, asthma, and bronchitis. It is also used for colds,flu, swine flu, fever, chills, headache, inability to sweat, joint and bone pain, and as a “water pill” to increase urine flow in people who retain fluids.”
Now adding the Known (Facts) and the Mythological, It is quite possible that a drink called “Somras” existed back in time which kept humans young for a very long time (I did not use the word Immortal because lets not exaggerate too much and stay real! and not to forget – No pollution or Population problem at that time, May be not even AIDS or CANCER!).
Upon more research, I found that Ephedra was a very famous dietry pill in America until it was banned! Ephedra helps with controlling the diet and preventing Obesity. It was banned due to health issues and even deaths caused by its wrong or over dosage.
On the other side of the ingredients of this elixir, Marijuana is being established as the modern day alternative for psychological and neuro- related drugs. It has been legalized in a couple of states America already and is gaining medicinal value by the second.
Poppy Seed seems to be flavor element here. It seems pretty reasonable that such an elixir existed (or still exists in Afghanistan as shown in the documentary) and maybe helped stay young for a long time! Maybe we will never find out how it worked, or why!
Note: Do your own research, Don’t be lazy and spout my words out to your social circle!
Picture Acknowledgement: BBC Documentary: The Story of India – Episode 1 – Beginings – 37.37 (This is where the presenter is drinking the modern day Somras in Afghanistan)