View Full Version : Salvia Divinorum: The Diviner's Sage

09-24-2009, 05:10 PM
Anyone heard of this, or tried it even?

Salvia divinorum has a long and continuing tradition of religious use as an entheogen by indigenous Mazatec shamans, who use it to facilitate visionary states of consciousness during spiritual healing sessions.

Its primary psychoactive constituent is a diterpenoid known as salvinorin A, which is a potent κ-opioid receptor agonist. Salvinorin A is unique in that it is the only naturally occurring substance known to induce a visionary state this way.

Salvia divinorum can be chewed, smoked, or taken as a tincture to produce intense and profound alternative states of consciousness, and, occasionally, unpredictable behaviors that range from laughter to unintelligible speech. The duration of effects is much briefer than those of other, better-known psychoactive compounds, typically lasting minutes only.

The most commonly reported after-effects include an improved mood and sensations of insight, calmness, and connection with nature—though rarely it may also cause dysphoria (unpleasant or uncomfortable mood).

Salvia divinorum is not generally understood to be toxic or addictive, and as a κ-opioid agonist, it may have potential as an analgesic and as a therapeutic tool for treating drug addictions. While not currently regulated by USA federal drug laws, several states have passed laws criminalizing the substance and the DEA has listed Salvia as a "drug of concern". - source (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salvia_divinorum)



09-24-2009, 08:07 PM
Excerpt from my essay of earlier this year (black text is my prose, coloured is interview subjects. Format somewhat changed from original. The preceding section was dealing largely with what sets "drugs" apart from other substances -- ie, though we acknowledge that many things are psychoactive, we persist in thinking of the more potent ones as a separate category from other herbs):

Sage , despite containing various psychoactive chemicals, is thought of very differently than cannabis, or even its close botanical relative, diviner’s sage, which is oddly enough commonly known as Salvia, the genus name that both plants share, and which just means “sage.” When I set out to research contemporary alchemy, I expected that plants like Salvia officinalus would be common. However, nobody who I interviewed reported having ever experimented with it, whereas Salvia divinorum is apparently a quite popular plant for contemporary alchemists to work with, despite the fact that its traditional use was restricted to present-day Mexico, and so medieval alchemists could not possibly have worked with it at all.

Mr E: I tried working with Salvia… which was interesting. I didn’t get any psychoactive properties from it, but its energetic properties were very… high vibration, I suppose one could put it. [why Salvia?] For its psychoactive properties, mainly. I was quite curious with it as a plant. It was the most easily accessible plant material as well… I probably would have done marijuana had I been able to afford it. And there’s not many plants that stand alone as being “psychoactive” in the same, safe kind of way. I mean, you have your Nightshade plants of course, but those I wouldn’t touch with a ten foot pole, too much respect and fear of them. There’s some of the ayahuasca vines as well… but Salvia seemed the most accessible.
Heraclitus: I experimented for a while with an acetone Salvia tincture. … I had mild success, but frankly Salvia scares the crap out of me and I did not experiment with it as much as I could have, I did not want to do big doses anymore. Someday maybe I’ll go back to it… it’s one of the unfinished projects that I wish I’d spent more time on.

Salvia, it’s worth noting, is completely legal in Canada, both as raw leaves and in the concentrated form in which it can be openly purchased at various stores around Toronto. Extracting it oneself is time consuming and requires access to both equipment and solvents, rendering the process laborious and unnecessary for someone who only wants to get high, as they could simply purchase it legally in an already concentrated – not to mention reliable – form. This reinforces my belief that there is a spiritual component to spagyric practice which goes beyond just a way to ensure access to drugs.

Lavender: It’s the whole reason for trying to grow mushrooms, for example. You can get mushrooms if you know who to ask, but growing them and eating them yourself means that the actual act being performed is something over a period of time with many elements, which makes it more worthwhile
Heraclitus: I actually differentiate between alchemy proper, and just cooking drugs. Sometimes somebody will ask me for something and I’ll just make it, and there’s not much of a spiritual or psychological dimension. Sometimes I do what I consider to be actual alchemy: self transformative manipulation of particles, for the purpose of self development

Salvia is illustrative. Although both Mr. E and Heraclitus did extractions of it, neither did so for the purpose of selling them. Furthermore, Mr. E did not successfully extract the psychoactive compound, but was nevertheless pleased with the result.

Mr E: The active principle salvinorin can only be extracted through binding to a solvent. I was using basic alchemical preparations of making a tincture, calcining the plant body and then putting it back in, and at some point in the process it didn’t extract the psychedelic qualities. I’m sure I extracted… it DID extract the energetic qualities, and probably the medicinal properties, but whatever was in it that was psychoactive either wasn’t in a high enough concentration or wasn’t present.

Paradoxically, the fact that Salvia is psychoactive is what made it appealing to Mr E, and yet he favoured a traditional technique of extraction which he presumably knew ahead of time would not, in fact, produce a psychoactive end product.

Mr E: My desire with the plant when I was first doing it was partially for the psychoactive properties, but I also wanted to get a deeper connection with the plant. I am a big fan of herbs in general… I do have a deeper relationship with other plants, not from alchemical preparation, but I found through the process that there is a deepening of connection that goes on between the individual and the plant that’s being worked on. So in that sense I would continue using alchemical preparations in order to get to know the plant better. And of course the psychoactive properties of a plant are a part of getting to know a plant, so getting to know its psychoactive properties I think is very crucial to understanding the overall spirit that resides in the plant. So I would probably do both sides of it.

I transition from there into a discussion of DMT extraction from Mimosa hostilis. :)

09-24-2009, 08:47 PM
Some notes on the drug itself, outside the context of alchemy:

Salvia is weird. There is no other drug that's similar to it; unlike the popular psychedelics (LSD, DMT, psilocybin, etc) there's no euphoria or elation, more just a sense of "holy wtf." The trip is very short... 5-10 minutes for the most intense part, and then a gradual 20 minute trail-down after which you're totally sober. During that 5-10 minutes, it's likely that you will not remember that you took a drug, and the visions can be extremely disorienting and sometimes terrifying... but the chemical is nontoxic and it ends quickly enough, so it's relatively safe.

Safety concerns:

- you may end up being completely removed from your body, which means don't take it while standing or you may fall and hurt yourself.

- although most people are basically motionless during the trip, some flail their limbs, and so you could end up injuring yourself or breaking something

To deal with both of those, just do it somewhere comfortable (like your favourite armchair) and have a trip sitter with you, someone who can take the pipe out of your hands once you've finished smoking and can make sure nothing bad happens. That can also be really useful in terms of dealing with a disorienting or frightening experience: it's less likely that the trip sitter will need to talk you out of an existential crisis, and more likely that simply having an actual human present with whom to connect can reassure you and give you something tangible to grasp amidst the madness and chaos. "Okay, you seem real, at least there's that."

Now that I've built it up as extremely intense, I should also point out that a lot of people don't have success reaching that level of intensity. Common wisdom is to use an unusually hot flame source (such as a jet lighter) and to hold it in your lungs for as long as is comfortable -- approximately 30 seconds, as opposed to cannabis which you only need to hold for 10 at most. The commonly available extraction (an infusion onto raw leaves) comes in 5x (extract of 5 grams infused onto 1 gram), 10x, 20x, 30x and as high as 60x. Consensus among psychedelic drug users seems to be that the 10x and 20x are favourable... the higher concentrations are simply overwhelming, and the 5x and raw leaves often don't achieve the desired result. Note that the leaves are bitter (not unlike particularly awful green tea) and some people find the smoke foul tasting and/or harsh, although I've never had a problem with it. Some users report better results from chewing than smoking, but the bitter taste and the amount necessary to consume that way deters most people, and smoking remains by far the most common means of ingestion.

From my own experience, I've smoked the 10x twice. First time I had it out of a normal metal marijuana pipe, took a couple hits, and had the peculiar experience of gravity pulling me toward one corner of the room while also feeling like objects I was looking at were part of my body (vision/proprioception synesthesia: particularly angular things felt like they were limbs I never knew I had before. This lasted only a few minutes, and wasn't pleasurable so much as bizarre). I did not have visual effects, nor did I lose contact with my body. The second time I smoked another 10x, this time from a water bong, and took two large hits which I held a long time, and quickly went into one of the most disturbing visions I've ever experienced: I felt that I (my soul?) had literally been kicked out of the body it used to reside in, and maliciously at that: "it is not yours anymore." There was a sense of descending into some kind of spiritual repository, possibly where souls await new bodies, and also some visions of flying around my apartment and seeing in it such things as a chest of toys I owned as a child and hadn't seen in 10 years. The scariest part was how familiar the whole thing seemed, like I had returned to the normal state of being and that my everyday confidence in the reality of my experience was a pathetic illusion: a voice in my head repeated the ominous phrase "don't you remember" at least 10 times, and I was very distraught when I came to, went to my bed and tried to sleep, hoping the awful feeling would go away.

Haven't done the stuff since. Some people do enjoy it and use it regularly, but they seem to be a minority. I don't regret trying it, and nor do most of the other people I've talked to who are similarly scared off of it... our consensus is that it's a great drug if you want to find out what your mind is capable of, and aren't particularly worried about whether or not it's going to be enjoyable. It probably won't be... but it'll definitely be interesting, and it'll definitely be unlike anything else you've ever done.

The gravity effect is extremely common with this drug... lots of people talk about it; it's like there's a black hole somewhere in the room, usually lower than eye level and off to the side a bit, and you're being sucked towards it. Lower doses which don't have a "break through" generally still report this, and the break through can maybe in some cases be described as falling through that hole into another world which seems to be distinctly "underneath" this one. The sense of horrible familiarity is also very common, particular with repeated use -- while on Salvia, the other times you've been on Salvia seem like the only actual reality and normal life is a dream in comparison. Not everyone gets that, but enough have told me very similar things for it to be noteworthy.

Bottom line: go ahead and use it if you're curious, but I really do recommend having a trip sitter, and don't expect it to be "fun."

09-24-2009, 10:47 PM
Wow that was a great explanation for only trying it twice! You really hit the nail on the head!

I have done Salvia many times in many strengths...

I find that a 20x or 30x is the best ... you just use a pinch
( sprinkled over cannabis is best but if you will not smoke cannabis then by its self is fine.)

I have found that this herb is not good to do in the city... bad energies there.

I go to the local mountains and hike to a nice peak overlooking everything and get comfortable.

I have had all sorts of experiences with this herb.

If enough is taken in the dark you will hear voices speaking a strange language.
The shamans in Mexico say they are "angels".

I have had visions where issues were resolved and future solutions to current problems were proposed that later happened.

The gravity effect is always there and can be very different with each use.

I have also been pulled into the earth before, like it swallowed me and them set me free again at the end of the trip.

OH! and as far as going to the place were souls wait for a body... the way me and my friends have understood it (jokingly). Is like you just got unplugged from the matrix and your waking up in the real world... but then its like you woke up in surgery and the doctors are going "quick get him back under!" Then when herb wears off, you return to your body.

I am in California, u.s.a. too and there were many Native Indian tribes in the area of mountains were I go to do this herb, and I have had visions depicting them as well.

Some people have bad trips though.... the most common thing is that they smoke it and then freak out and say everyone around them is against them and they run away... have seen this a few times.... think there friends are plotting against them. Most everyone else seems to be fine on it though.

Anyways.... I like salvia... I think it is not for the weak minded though... the trip is hard to control but once you master it I believe it can be a powerful spiritual herb.

Peace, :D

09-25-2009, 03:19 AM
The few times a put a pinch in my old hash pipe, nothing happened. Someone gave me a bit to try. Since then, the ass-backward state of Florida, a place where the age of sexual consent used to be 12, and where a girl could marry at 14 to any man with a note from her mom, has declared Salvia divinorum to be a Schedule I drug! That means that it's in the same legal category as heroin, cocaine and the dreaded LSD.

09-25-2009, 01:11 PM
Wow that was a great explanation for only trying it twice! You really hit the nail on the head!Thanks! I try to make it my business to understand drugs well enough to give good, balanced, useful information about them.

Since then, the ass-backward state of Florida, a place where the age of sexual consent used to be 12, and where a girl could marry at 14 to any man with a note from her mom, has declared Salvia divinorum to be a Schedule I drug! That means that it's in the same legal category as heroin, cocaine and the dreaded LSD.Do you know what the relevant piece of legislation is called? Nationwide, cocaine is actually a Schedule II drug, not Schedule I, so I'm curious how it works in California.

My understanding of US law is that Schedule I means the drug has "no medicinal application" whereas Schedule II means it has at least one "legitimate" use -- cocaine happens to be excellent for heart surgery (both a general stimulant and a local anaesthetic, meaning you can apply it topically and it'll allow you to perform surgery, but won't slow the heart rate as will opiods; ketamine is useful for the same purpose, except it isn't used topically), although I'm not sure whether anyone actually uses it for surgery anymore.

Of course, the fact that cannabis (which blocks nausea, seizures, inflammation and neurogenic pain while also treating glaucoma, preventing Alzheimer's and fighting cancer) and LSD (which prevents and aborts migraine and cluster headaches) are both in the "no medical application" category makes the whole system look arbitrary and stupid... but that's because the whole system is arbitrary and stupid. Canada's system, by contrast, is excessively harsh and generally unnecessary, but at least the order of severity makes somewhat sense, with cocaine in Schedule I and the psychedelics in Schedule III.

09-25-2009, 09:41 PM
has declared Salvia divinorum to be a Schedule I drug!
Unfortunately, that's what happens when you smoke Salvia. The plant is not intended for smoking! One (especially the beginner) should take the tincture. It gives smooth, controllable trip for ~30min (not only 5min). You are supposed to close your eyes and lay in a quiet, dark place (close to nature if possible).
At proper dosage, the trip is dreamlike, not scary, you can interrupt it anytime by opening your eyes. It clarifies your feelings and sets you in an "out of body" condition. Then, the Spirit may meet you and shed light on the aspects of yourself.
It must be used seriously for introspective reasons, not for fun.

Ab Roek
09-26-2009, 12:47 AM
"Unfortunately, that's what happens when you smoke Salvia. The plant is not intended for smoking! One (especially the beginner) should take the tincture. It gives smooth, controllable trip for ~30min (not only 5min). You are supposed to close your eyes and lay in a quiet, dark place (close to nature if possible).
At proper dosage, the trip is dreamlike, not scary, you can interrupt it anytime by opening your eyes. It clarifies your feelings and sets you in an "out of body" condition. Then, the Spirit may meet you and shed light on the aspects of yourself.
It must be used seriously for introspective reasons, not for fun."


What in your experience is the proper dosage, and can the tincture be made from the 10x concentrated form which is commonly sold?

Also, when you speak of the "Spirit" that meets you, in your experience is this Spirit peculiar to the herb itself? If you would, enlarge on the pedigree of this Spirit.

09-26-2009, 07:10 AM
hi Ab Roek,

What in your experience is the proper dosage, and can the tincture be made from the 10x concentrated form which is commonly sold?[

The dosage I guess depends on how far one wants to reach. Because there is no standard tincture, check with the supplier this info. Your idea to extract the tincture from the dried fortified herb is nice and would provide sth standard but I have no experience on this.

Also, when you speak of the "Spirit" that meets you, in your experience is this Spirit peculiar to the herb itself? If you would, enlarge on the pedigree of this Spirit.
Yes, some see it as the spirit of the plant. It is something very personal for every individual. In my opinion, it is something broader than the "spirit of the herb" it is your subconscious personified. But as I said all those are personal things and I wouldn't like to elaborate on this more. Erowid.org has a lot of stories.

09-27-2009, 07:46 PM
Many different drugs give a sense of contact with an outside spirit or entity, and generally that spirit will be radically different for each drug. That could be interpreted as the spirit of the plant, different aspects of your subconscious, interdimensional creatures you can only communicate with when your brain is "tuned in" to a particular wavelength, or just a product of the differing states of mind that the plants facilitate. But they're definitely different, and the "personalities" seem to be especially with plant drugs rather than synthetics, which generally feel less "personal" and more "general," if that makes sense to you.

Couple examples... mushrooms are often compared to mischievous children, and the DMT creatures are often described as over-excited teachers or guides.

09-29-2009, 03:26 AM
In California you can buy salvia in several different strengths at many local smoking accessories stores. Its perfectly legal here and there are no current regulations regarding it in California. It usually will not be sold to minors of course.

10-09-2009, 08:58 PM
Just tried my first salvia...intense :D amazing...tut naughty :o but nice..:D


10-11-2009, 08:02 AM
Tried the salvia again but this time alone...no sitter...tried to meditate as I would normally but found it impossible. I was too restless and could not relax so I just enjoyed the buzz...don’t think I will try it again.


09-20-2010, 09:24 AM
I have tried this a few times (smoking it), and I can almost get it to work. I have bought what in Amsterdam is sold as both 10x and 20x. Anyone with any more tips?

I have done it with a water bong... but I somehow can't get it to work? It is also a very strong smoke to inhale, which makes it harder.

Is smoking it not as good as getting the non-dried stuff and instead masticate it?


09-20-2010, 12:56 PM
I bought mine from here (http://headshop.co.uk/acatalog/SALVIA_DIVORNIUM.html)
in ready rolled joints. only got half way through one...:)

I read that the psyco-active ingredient burns hotter than the normal ciggy and so kept a blow torch on the ash.

High for about 5 mins but seems a lot longer

Like acid it is no good trying another straight after the first...no buzz. You have to give it a while


09-20-2010, 01:15 PM
Ok, well I did do this... adding a lot of heat... but then the smoke is so damn strong and warm it burns... no pain no gain I guess...

I give it another go!


09-20-2010, 06:16 PM
I wonder if the water bong takes something out of it as the experience
was so strong there would not be any 'almost' about it....pretty colourful as well.

I said to the people that were with me that they should come in too...
it was as if I wasn't quite with them and I wanted them to share the experience.

You get pushed into your seat...that is a bit weird.


09-20-2010, 06:43 PM
I got the push but then it went away at the same time. Anti-climax 100 %!

Can you mix it with herbal tobacco and smoke it then?


09-20-2010, 07:35 PM
Hello, I'm a new member to this great forum but have been reading from the sidelines for a couple of years now. If you have the 10x 20x extract you should only need a couple good hits. If you have the straight salvia leaf it will take a bit of effort to get the full effect. You'll probably need a water bong to cope with the hot burning smoke. Salvia builds a very quick tolerance like D.M.T., so you'll need to consume the entire required amount in less than a minute. You'll need to smoke 1/2 to a whole gram in about 45 seconds for it to work correctly. Load the entire amount you plan to smoke into the bowl. Then inhale as much smoke as you can handle without coughing and hold it in for about 5 seconds. As soon as you exhale, repeat the process. Continue taking large hits and holding for 5 seconds until the entire amount is smoked or you are thrown out-of-body and forget your even holding the bong. When you've done it correctly you'll know for sure, it is a very intense experience. On most of my break-through experiences I've felt contact from the feminine spirit of the plant and it seems very real, not a hallucination. Good luck, and have fun!! I plan to give a formal introduction when I have a little more time. Thanks again for every-one's contribution to such an enlightening forum.... -Peace

10-08-2010, 08:35 PM
Ok I will give it a go. I guess it is just like the nasty taste of the ayahuasca that you have to tolerate, just as with the heavy smoke of the salvia. No pain, no gain.

I am alone at the moment, but in a week I won't be. I always use a sitter.


11-27-2010, 07:49 AM
Well I made it!

I got another brand, not sure if this is why I was successful, but I shall stick to it in the future (here in Amsterdam the Salvia is sold by different suppliers, with different logos etc).

It was interesting and I am not sure I can put it in words. Stuff like this is using such a visual language... telepathy of sorts... words are futile. Brief is perhaps the best word. Too brief... but to the point.

I was informed that the apartment I did it in was a good waiting room.

In other words the feng shui is excellent (and the Salvia was correct in this), but during the trip the apartment kind of morphed into some sort of airport terminal. This life is like a waiting room for the next... and I could sense people being pulled up from my apartment (previous tenants now dead or something).

The feeling is very similar to ayahuasca, only quicker. When it hits you it kind of feels like you are in a tub where the water rises till it finally covers your whole body... best description I can give (although it is not a wet feeling, just that you are covered over, some reverse skin shedding of sorts).

I got more of it, and I will have another go when the time is right.


11-27-2010, 09:58 AM
Glad you finally broke through!! Salvia is a very strange though rewarding experience. It's not that euphoric but quite informative. There is definitely a spirit involved with that plant! She is female... She can teach you a lot. I haven't been able to do a lot of salvia myself, the experience is always just a little to real/weird. It is good for an occasional reprogramming...

11-27-2010, 10:46 AM
The trick is to get all the smoke in properly, but it is such a strong smoke and this makes it difficult. Like ayahuasca that tastes like shit, and is difficult to drink. Although mushrooms I don't think taste bad at all.

I would like to get hold of the leaf itself, and place it in my mouth... but they only sell the dried stuff.


solomon levi
11-27-2010, 12:15 PM
"It is good for an occasional reprogramming..."

:) That's how I've used Psilocybes in the past. Great wording! It's good to know that others use
these types of things that consciously.

11-27-2010, 09:18 PM
Thanks Soloman! That's why I prefer the term entheogen to psychedelic when describing these substances, it seems much more appropriate.

Dev, you can add just enough water or mouthwash to the amount of leaves you would like to chew to re-moisten them and then chew and hold in your mouth until it takes effect. It usually takes 5 to 10 grams of dried leaves this way, that is if you're not using an extract in which case it would take much less...

11-28-2010, 03:17 PM
I think it is extract. And I agree that entheogen is the best word!


12-12-2010, 10:40 PM
Your response is quite right (if you're still out there. I realize this I took a ridiculously long time to respond). Cocaine is Schedule II, and holding a Master Addictions Counselor certificate, I'm embarrassed. Nevertheless:

05-09-2011, 08:39 PM
Not sure if I've posted this link before, but good resource: