Salvia also known as Maria Pastora, Sage of the Seers, Diviner’s Sage, Salvia Divinorum, Sally-D, and Magic Mint is an herb that belongs to the mint family located near specific areas of the Sierra Mazateca region of Oaxaca, Mexico. The Mazatec shamans still use this plant to enhance visions for divination, a ritual that tries to gain insight into a question of situation. The plant has long green leaves, hollow square stems, white flowers with purple calyces and can reach up to three feet in height.
In the 1960’s a well known botanist, Gordon Wasson, brought back a small particle of the plant which became an idea for scientific research. Although salvia is very well known and sold throughout the world, there is still more research to be done on the effects and chemistry of the plant.
The most common effect from the usage of this plant is the psychedelic experiences but there are still some other effects caused as well.
Although salvia is legal in most parts of the world, its usage is not to be consumed as alcohol or cannabis would be used. The effects above are only a small sum of what can happen after using salvia. The plant is commonly used for deep meditation and therapeutic experiences and not intended as a ‘party drug’.
THE BACKBONE OF SALVIA
Salvia is the most commonly used and considered the most effective herb out of all the Salvia species. Salvinorin is the substance found in Salvia that differentiates the plant from all the others. There are two types of Salvinorin found, Salvinorin A, which contains 96% of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen atoms and where Salvinorin B only contains 4%. Salvinorin B is not known to have any psychoactive effects as of where Salvinorin A is the most effective psychoactive substance. The potency of this herb is very unusual. Micrograms of the plant are at 250 when inhaled. Taking proper doses is very important because if not used carefully the risk of overdosing is high. To this day it is still not known why Salvinorin A is psychoactive but there are some records of its neurological action inside the brain. Salvinorin A is a powerful selective kappa opioid receptor agonist. More importantly this means that it joins and sets off activity in a specific class of proteins (kappa opioid receptors) in the human body. Other opiate drugs such as morphine are also known as opioid receptor agonists, but the difference with Salvinorin is that it triggers off kappa and mu receptors. The point is that Salvinorin A is a powerful selective kappa agonist.