Medicine: Brave New Soma

The ancient Aryan invaders of India found that from the fermented juice of a vine (probably Asdepias acida) they could get a drink that made them feel happy, courageous and of superhuman strength. They called it "soma." It was so potent that it gained the status of a deity (the Rigveda is repetitive with praises of the divine potion). That was about 3,500 years ago.

When Aldous Huxley saw a Brave New World in his crystal ball (1932), he borrowed the name soma for his panacea: "There is always soma, delicious soma, half a...

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