The Soma plant was not only associated with the Rig Vedic people; but was also known as ‘Haoma’ by Avastan people. The divine power of Haoma is much praised in Avasta (the sacred book of the Zoroastrians), that it bestowed its worshippers with the best of the world i.e. the celestial world. Its medicinal property confers health and longevity, victory over the enemies and elevates the heart of everyone irrespective of the economic status. The twig known as ‘Ansu’ in Rig Veda is designated as ‘Asu’ in Avasta. The name Soma still restored in the regions of Baluchi and Pashto as ‘Hum’ and in Gilgat, Chitral, Nuristhan as ‘Sum’, which reminds the ethnobotanical aspects of Aryan culture pertaining to this plant.
The simple and sacred description of the Soma plant in Vedic literature; dicta in Manusmruti in favour of Somarasa and against Suraa; expanded research in Aayurveda to project 24 varieties of plants as Soma and 18 more plants as alternatives to Soma with rigorous treatise of Soma drinking demarcates the way that the plant being ethnobotanically associated with human life since the time immemorial. Moreover, the identification of about 20 different plants as Soma with different old and new schools of thought on morphological, biochemical, narcotic and hallucinogenic basis and from phyto-geographic and socio-cultural point of view, has opened a new vista of independent research.
Other than Soma, Indian Aayurvedic research, through centuries has identified a good number of drugs for restorative treatments. The Ginseng in China is famous for its rejuvenating property and elsewhere, such drug on regional basis as Indian Ginseng (Trichopus zeylanicus ssp. Travancoricus Burkill and Narayan) is established (Pushpangadan et al., 1995). Moreover, the modern man wonders with ‘Vigra’ to enjoy his youthfulness irrespective of age and time. In this context, the effect of Soma Rasa was said to be multidimensional; may be aphrodisiac, restorative or elevator of mental stature; but it was never intoxicating or a hallucinogenic product.