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Books - The History and Natural History of Ephedra as SOMA
Written by S. Mahdihassan   


Another energizer would be Catha edulis, Khat of Yemeni Arabs. (Moser 1917) writes that only fresh leaves are chewed. "With it the labourer performs prodigies of strength. A bale a coolie could not lift before, after chewing fresh leaves, feels it a feather on his back." Then what is an energizer is also an euphoriant so that Khat "exalts the spirits and the gloomiest man becomes cheerful under the influence." In contrast to an intoxicant and a narcotic an energizer is an antisomnolent. Thus writes Moser that "after taking it myself that night, I was still awake in late hours." The Yemeni Arabs then had a drug similar to the Coca of Red Indians and were as much inspired by a feeling of gratitude. But being Muslims they could not deify the plant so that instead they have extolled it as "the Flower of Paradise." We again find three properties together: first the conferring of physical strength next, the elevation of spirits, and thirdly reduction of sleep. Then we expect to find these three properties also in Soma. Summarizing we find, Energizer.Euphoriant.Antisomnolent. Such a drug -would be ideal for an ascetic, as also for a nomad, always liable to over-exertion. As euphoriant, it can be enjoyed in small quantities but one who had to exert oneself from morning to evening would require to drink Soma thrice a day. The basis for this is obvious if one recognizes Soma as ephedra, since the effect of ephedrine is known to last for four hours.

Our valuable member S. Mahdihassan has been with us since Sunday, 24 March 2013.

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