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Salvia Divinorum

Salvia divinorum is a native plant which has been used by the Mazatec people of Oaxaca, Mexico. It is a Mexican sage, a member of the mint family which has been used as a psychotropic in divination and healing ceremonies of the Mazatecs.  The discovery and inquiry of this "magic plant" began as early as the 1930's as expeditions sought for and brought back plant material for research (see Early History of Salvia divinorum).  It has been researched from every possible aspect for over twenty years by Daniel Siebert, who is considered the "Guru of Salvia."


What is an entheogen?
The definition as stated by the Council on Spiritual Practices is: "en·theo·gen [god within; god- or spirit-facilitating] a psychoactive sacramental; a plant or chemical substance taken to occasion primary religious experience. Example: peyote cactus as used in the Native American Church."

What is different about Salvia divinorum?
It does not contain alkaloids. Basically, the alkaloid family of plant constituents is large and are known for their "pharmacological activities". They range from mild to extremely toxic such as nicotine in tobacco to cocaine in coca. (For more examples see Alkaloid Containing and Other Poisonous Plants). The diterpenes salvinorin-A and salvinorin-B are the constituents responsible for the plants actions as well as possible synergistic qualities of other constituents. From what I can tell by reading testimonials and journal pages of experimenters is that the effects can vary greatly ranging from no effect at all, to mild euphoria, but most report an unpleasant experience that they would not choose to repeat.

Are there any medicinal qualities of Salvia?
The historical uses include several ailments it was being used for such as headache relief, diarrhea, rheumatism, debilitation and ascities (abdominal edema) which was also believed to be a magical disease [1]. At the time of writing this feature, it is not recognized by modern medical authorities, but a report by the DEA regarding Salvia in April 2003, stated that they were aware that it had medicinal value for the Mazatecs. A case study focused on Salvia divinorum for depression and could possibly further the research focus for psychiatric conditions. It may even prove to be extremely useful as an anti-addictive for those troubled with addiction, such as talk show host Rush Limbaugh.

Where do I find out more?
Daniel Siebert's Salvia divinorum Research and Information Center is by far the most complete and educational site on Salvia divinorum as well as the first. As an ethnobotanist, educator and author, he has researched and worked with the plant for over 20 years under the guidance of the Mazatec people. He was the first person to work on the human pharmacology of salvinorin-A. It is all there; from historical papers to chemical structure, growth and cultivation, suppliers, usage stories, legal developments and frequent updates.

There are many names for it, but what is most commonly called Salvia, or by its proper name salvia divinorum, is a legal psychoactive sage that has been used in shamanic cultures for centuries. The potency of salvia d can vary greatly, depending on the type of Crushed salvia leaves, and how you are ingesting them. Infused Salvia extract has been smoked or eaten, as well as plain leaves of the plant.

It is also quite easy to grow sage by yourself, as this unassuming sage is rather small, so of repeated use, it would be advisable to buy salvia seeds and only small amounts of leaves are needed, and salvia effects, when consumed orally, and not smoked, can be increased with the use of an MAOI, but much caution is needed with this method, as with all chemicals. Most importantly, Salvia is not illegal, and its legal to buy salvia, so its presence should not be of concern even if testing is possible.

There are some modern psychonauts who call it "mint" or "sadi" (short for Salvia divinorum). However, most commonly it is simply referred to by its genus name, "Salvia". Traditional names for the plant include "ska Pastora" (Shepherdess" herb), "ska Marķa Pastora" (Mary Shepherdess" herb), "hojas de la Pastora" (leaves of the Shepherdess) , "hojas de Marķa Pastora" (leaves of Mary Shepherdess), "hierba Marķa" (Mary"s herb), "yerba de Marķa" (herb of Mary), and "la hembra" (the female). R. Gordon Wasson proposed that S. divinorum might represent the ancient Aztec herb pipiltzintzintli ("most noble little prince").

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Oaxacan product fresh from the Sierra Mazateca of Mexico, harvested by the indigenous Mazatec people without the use of pesticides or herbicides. We test every new shipment, and the quality is a consistent salvinorin-a content.

As a result, I think Salvia d is still legal to buy because someone, somewhere realizes what massive repercussions lie waiting if a hasty move were made in a system already feeling the weight of its own failed policies. But, I also think that it partly because many of us believe in the power of the spirit to change the dream. For example: If you think one person can't affect a change, just imagine what the world would be like if there were no opposition whatsoever to the failed Drug War or any of the policies and laws you disagreed with. The government is doing what they can in face of the opposition, who makes their job increasingly difficult. Use your voice and the internet to educate and inform. Many websites were inspired by the outrageous actions of the government as we realized that we can't be afraid to act against, and to spread the word about what we believe in. If we sit around doing nothing; the government automatically wins. Bullied into non-action and thinking that we are powerless is what they dream of.

The greenhouse and growth-chamber experiments indicated that Salvia d is an obligate short-day plant. Plant height is a minor factor in flower development, as several (growth chamber) specimens were less than 0.5 m tall when they flowered. Pollination experiments showed that the mint is probably self-sterile, but it remains to be demonstrated that S. divinorum will set viable seed.

To test for the hallucinogenic activity of S. divinorium in human beings, we drank the infusion of the leaves and waited for the effects to occur. Within 30 min we began to see visions, which lasted for several hours. This allowed rapid confirmation of the mint's psychotropic activity. But more interesting from a therapeutic standpoint are the other properties attributed to the plant; properties that are much more difficult to assess. Are these concepts that are translatable into our western (orthodox) healing theory, or is salvia divinorum being used as a magical treatment (for a placebo effect)? Extended observations in the field by an acute observer would undoubtedly be more fruitful than immediate attempts to isolate compounds responsible for these purported activities.

Salvia divinorum produces unique effects that are very hard to accurately describe by comparing them to the effects produced by other psychoactive plants or drugs. The most important psychoactive chemical in Salvia divinorum is salvinorin A, but there may be other less important psycho-active chemicals that affect its action. Effects vary, based on dose and method of ingestion. Effects range from very light, at lower doses, to overwhelmingly strong at higher doses. While crushed salvia leaves' effects are usually grouped with other visionary-class psychoactive such as smoked DMT, its effects are so radically different that such comparisons can often just lead to misunderstandings

S. Divinorium contains a chemical named salvinorin A. Salvinorin A is the most powerful naturally occurring vision enhancer. Salvinorin A is a molecule that contains only carbon, hydrogen and oxygen atoms. In reality it is actually a neoclerodane diterpenoid. Salvinorin A is a unique sight inducing catalyst, of great potency. It is NOT an cheaper version of another substance.

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"Our Salvia divinorium plants come established and ready for vigorous growth! Salvia Plants are typically 4-8 inches tall and this Hoffman & Wasson strain is shorter and slightly hardier than the Blosser, but reportedly the leaves are somewhat more bitter."

Also Available from iamshaman.com (where you can buy salvinorin a infused material):

We infuse pure salvinorin a extracted and washed with pure grain alcohol onto carefully crushed organic, pesticide free Hawaiian leaves, providing a consistent quantity of exactly 25mg of salvinorin per gram for 10 times strength. Not for human consumption!

Salvia Divinorium is a perenial herb in the mint family native to certain areas of the Sierra Mazateca region of Oaxaca, Mexico. It is one of 500 species of Sage in the New World is in similar to the sage plant. The plant grows in large groupings to well over 3 feet in height. It"s large green leaves, hollow square stems and flowers are it's characteristic features. S. Divinorum is one of several vision-inducing plants employed by the Mazatec Indians There has been a recent interest among young adults and adolescents to re discover the ethnobotanical plants that can induce some changes in perception, hallucinations, or other psychologically-induced changes. Since Salvia d, or any of its active ingredients are not specifically listed in the Controlled Substances Act, some on-line botanical companies and drug promotional sites have advertised S. divinorum a legal alternative to other plant hallucinogens like mescaline. The plant material is smoked for the induction of "mystical" or hallucinogenic experiences.

Four hundred milligrams of Salvia d leaf produces quite a lot of smoke, and it requires several large inhalations to consume it all. Because salvinorin A is rapidly metabolized in the body, it is essential that the full dose be ingested within a two to three minute period. It is also essential that the smoke is absorbed as efficiently as possible, otherwise much of it will be wasted. People vary in their ability to inhale and retain large amounts of smoke. Some people have no trouble obtaining strong effects from ordinary, non-enhanced leaves; others find it very difficult.

usdoj.gov website on salvia plants

In 2002, the US Congress considered placing Salvia plants into Schedule I of the federal Controlled Substances Act. (See CCLE archive on HR 5607). CCLE sent key members of the US Congress our report on Salvia divinorum and its active principle, along with letters from an array of scientists who expressed concern that scheduling salvia d would negatively impact important research on the plant. HR 5607 failed to pass before Congress adjourned at the end of 2002.

In 2003, two bills introduced in Oregon also failed to pass. The CCLE sent our Salvia divinorum report to all members of the Oregon Judiciary Committee. Both bill's died in that committee upon adjournment.

Historically, S. officinalis has always been a very important addition to the medicinal arsenal. The Chinese valued it above their tea for its healing properties. Sage tea was then and still is primarily used as a gargle for sore throat and as an aid to digestion. Sage is now also being examined closely for the value of the natural estrogens it contains and the possibility that it may help with some symptoms of menopause, hot flashes in particular. There are many powerful active constituents in sage some of which have been found to be antioxidant.
mountainvalleygrowers.com article
Entheology.org Private salvia divinorum Forum There has been a great deal of controversy regarding this private forum for the intelligent discussion of plants such as the Diviner's Sage. Only a small number of the large amounts of applications get approved, and as a result, they have been called "elitist" by some, but it shows in the kindness and family-like atmosphere there, as well the unusually intelligent discussion on the forum. They've cultivated quite a family of wondrous explorers and researchers there; they are almost 1,000 members strong, and any public complaints and bad press simply offers them another opportunity to find new perspectives for their growing community of explorers!

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