Salvia divinorum: Salvia divinorum is the plant that contains the most powerful psychoactive, hallucinogenic substance known


There Salvia divinorum it is the plant that contains the most potent natural psychoactive substance known.

This article contains information that can generate situations of danger and harm as it deals with hallucinogenic substances. The data present are for informational purposes only, not exhortative and in no case medical.

Botanical classification





: Angiosperms


: Eudicotyledons


: Asteris












Salvia divinorum

There Salvia divinorum is a plant that has all the characteristics of the common sage that we are used to using to flavor our dishes. family of Lamiaceae and also to the same genus of common sage (Salvia officinalis) however it deviates considerably from this as it has the particularity of being a psychoactive plant, it is the plant that contains the most powerful natural psychoactive substance known. It is defined as psychoactive because it is active on the psyche or to use a more common term, hallucinogenic.

It is originally from Mexico and grows in the Oaxaca region, in the Sierra Mazateca and is considered sacred to Our Lady and known asska Maria pastora(which in the Hispanic-Mazatec language means 'leaves of Mary the shepherdess').

Its name derives from Latin salvus "Safe, sound" or salus "Health" which indicate the virtues of sage e divinorum which means "of the seer" which derives from the Mazatec indigenous people who, since ancient times, used its leaves for their rites.

There Salvia divinorum it has been used since time immemorial by Mazatec Indians of the Oaxacaa region (Mexico) for religious rites of divination and curae from shamanic communities, together with other hallucinogenic plants or mushrooms, to seek contact with the divinities. Fresh leaves are used and bites are prepared which are chewed until visions manifest. Or the leaves are squeezed to make a juicy drink. Its use takes place with the aim of identifying the causes of an illness or discovering the author of a crime or to find lost objects.

This plant was first heard of in 1939 when the ethnographer J. B. Johnson described the use of a plant calledhierba Maríaby the Mazatec shamans, which was used together with fungi and the seeds of other plants for divination purposes.

Later in 1952 was described by Roberto J. Weitlaner as Yerba de María (from Jalapa de Díaz, a small village in the state of Oaxaca in Mexico) but the merit of having first understood what it was and to have collected material that identified this new species goes to R. Gordon Wasson (scholar of shamanic rites) who accompanied by Hoffman, in 1961 identified it as such a species Sage and he was also the first foreigner who experienced the ska Pastora ola hembra to ayahutls.

But you have to wait several years before you can find out which active ingredient was responsible for the hallucinogenic effects.

In the eighties, Ortega and Valdes managed to isolate the salvinorin A and salvinorin Bbut they could not understand its effects.

In 1993 Daniel Siebert tested 1 mg of salvinorin A discovering that she was the psychoactive substance.

As a result of this experiment it was realized that the amount used by Siebert was excessive and the dosage for humans was established: 200 micrograms (mcg)! A very small amount.

This discovery caused a sensation as it was discovered that this substance was the most potent natural psychoactive substance known.

Since then the Salvia divinorum began to spread and to be used as a hallucinogen and several countries, first of all theAustralia(in 2002) declared this substance and its related plant illegal. In Italy, in Official Gazette N. 54 of 07 March 2005 (Decree of 11 January 2005) this plant and its derivatives have been included in Table I of psychotropic substances and therefore it is prohibited both as a trade and as a use.

From a botanical point of view, the Salvia divinorum it is a plant that closely resembles sage we only know that the flower is white in its youth and then over time becomes blue.

It is a plant whose seeds have a very low germinability so most of the plants in the world of this species have been obtained by cuttings.

The species of Salvia divinorum that we find currently in circulation are all derived from cuttings of theSalvia Divinorum collected by Hoffman and Wasson.

Scholars to date are very uncertain on the fact that it is a species or a natural hybrid produced in past times by man even if it is not possible to understand which are the mother plants as in nature, in the wild, it has not yet been found.

The testimonies of those who have experienced this plant can be summarized as follows: total separation between body and spirit with loss of consciousness and sensory perceptions. Obviously the perceptions are subjective but from the various testimonies it seems that there are recurring sensations such as reliving past moments, loss of one's identity and the identity of one's body, being in several places at the same time, seeing oneself outside of one's body.

The effects have been described as fascinating but often considered unpleasant due to the fact that they were too intense and most people who have tried it have stated that they do not wish to repeat the experience. Its effect lasts from 10 to 30 minutes (in some cases up to an hour).

The methods of recruitment used today are: smoking it pure or mixed with tobacco in special pipes or rolled up like a cigarette. Many consumers separate the active ingredient from the leaves by means of acetone and subsequent evaporation. The sublingual intake of salvinorin A in acetone and DMSO (a solvent) is very powerful as it is taken in enormous quantities.

Online bibliographic sources

  • UNICRI - Bulletin for drug addiction and alcoholism
  • CESAR (Center for substance Abuse Research) University of Meryland (English)

Video: Terence McKenna: Salvia DivinorumA New Incredible Psychedelic 1994

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