Everything You Need To Know About Salvia Divinorum
Salvia divinorum has many names. It is called sage of the diviners, seer’s sage, ska maría pastora and yerba de la Pastora. Many people refer to it as just salvia. The perennial herb of the mint or Labiatae family is a native of Sierra Mazateca at Oaxaca in Mexico. The herb thrives in the humid regions spanning high altitude forests and ravines. The herb usually grows more than a meter tall, it has square but hollow stems, white flowers, and green leaves. The flowers have purple calyces. Salvia is potentially psychedelic but it is not a narcotic. It is not a banned or illegal herb. Salvia divinorum is not a regulated or controlled substance in the United States. It is actually unscheduled right now. Salvia divinorum has become popular in recent times for its effects on pain, addiction, and depression.
History of Salvia Divinorum
Salvia divinorum has been used by the Mazatec Indians in the Oaxaca region. The tribes actually revered the herb as the incarnation of Virgin Mary. The local name of the plant is hierba de Maria or hojas de María. Hierba means herb and hojas means leaves. In folk medicine among these tribes, salvia has been used for divination and healing. It is a sacred herb. The herb requires a moist and shady environment at a substantial altitude to flourish. The growth of the herb can be stunted and the plants would be shorter than a meter if the conditions are not ideal. The shamans of the Mazatec region used the herb in religious rituals. The herb was integral to various spiritual healing processes. The herb has a transient effect on the state of consciousness, mostly aided by visionary impacts. This is the perhaps primary reason why it became a part of spiritual and religious rituals. The main psychoactive component of the herb or its extract is a unique diterpenoid known as salvinorin A. The powerful K-opioid agonist is being studied by scientists to explore its full potential. The chemical formula of Salvinorin A is C23H28O8
The first ever record of salvia divinorum dates back to 1939 when Jean Basset Johnson was exploring Mazatec shamanism and that lead to the growing interest of anthropologists in the thirties through the fifties. The first extensively documented experience and observation of using salvia divinorum date back to 1960s when R. Gordon Wasson, Albert Hofmann, and Anita Hofmann noted the patterns and colorful visions they encountered after infusing leaves of the herb with water and consuming the blend. Salvia divinorum did remain a secret for many years but the youth of Mexico City had taken up smoking the herb by the mid-seventies. These were not the Mazatec youth who brought the secret with them from their native land. Salvinorin A, the active psychoactive component of salvia divinorum, did not get isolated till 1982. Further research and studying took two more decades to find out how exactly this substance worked.
Uses of Salvia Divinorum
People use salvia divinorum as an herb and chew its leaves as they are. Many people smoke-dried and powdered leaves of the herb. Others like to brew a pot of tea with the powder or extract of salvia divinorum. It was traditionally believed that the herb lost its psychoactive properties when dried and powdered. This has turned out to be an assumption. People who smoke dried and powdered leaves of the herb or an extract do experience its effects. The herb anyway has a transient effect. The effects may be mild or strong depending on the quantity consumed but they are usually short-lived. Salvia divinorum is used as a diuretic but in low dosage. It is recommended as a cure for diarrhea, headache, anemia, and rheumatism. It has also been used to treat a disease called panzón de Borrego, also known as the swollen belly. Panzon de Borrego literally means lamb belly.
You may choose to smoke or chew the herb. You may buy purified tincture of the herb. Beginners should restrict their first dose to two hundred micrograms. The maximum dose for those who are familiar with herb or its extract is a thousand micrograms or one milligram. Beginners should not go for doses higher than a few hundred micrograms. Staying considerably short of one milligram is a wise move. The quality of the strain and hence its potency will determine the exact dosage. Some strains are really effective at just two hundred micrograms. Some are effective only when you go upwards of five hundred micrograms and close to one milligram. Most smokers settle for half a gram of dried leaves of the herb. They usually prefer natural extract without any other ingredient. You may also make some tea or chew the herb. The doses mentioned here pertain to dried leaves and their net weight, not the quantity or weight of fresh leaves. The weight of fresh leaves is usually five times that of the dried version.
Effects of Salvia Divinorum
Whether you are vaporizing or smoking salvia, the effects would be quick and you will feel them in a minute to three minutes. The effects would be at their peak as you keep vaporizing or smoking. You can expect the effects to subside in five minutes after you finish your session. Some effects linger till around half an hour. It is unlikely you would feel much after thirty minutes unless you have chosen a dose much higher than the range recommended.
Many people prefer quidding or quid chewing salvia because the effects take a while to kick in and then stay much longer. People who like a sustained experience will want to chew quid or quid but one must get familiar with the process. This method allows the effects to set in after fifteen to twenty minutes and the sensations last half an hour to an hour. If you choose purified tincture then you can readily get the effects as you would with quidding. The onset of the effects would be faster but they would be as sustained as with quidding.
Beginners opting for low doses will experience a range of sensations. Tingling, heightened awareness of the physical self, improved clarity and alertness are common. As one increases the dose, the self-awareness wanes and there would be transient visuals, dizziness for some and physical impairment. There may be some revelatory experiences, almost mystical in nature. It is not uncommon for some people to experience tunnel vision, the sense of objects merging or things becoming other entities, objects or beings they are not, people hear voices and often burst into uncontrollable laughter. The psychedelic properties of the herb or its extract may lead to an unworldly experience of different realities.
Anyone who is not accustomed to the effects of salvia should have someone around during their first few sessions. Anyone who is about to increase the dose should also be around some friends or reliable people. Many people start consuming salvia as a group or partners. The issue of being alone may not seem relevant but it is better if someone who is not high or on a trip be around.
Buy Quality Salvia Divinorum
Salvia is not an herb found abundantly anywhere in the country. As is the case with such herbs, there are quite a few brands that claim to offer genuine extracts but they do not. You must find a trusted brand and buy salvia through a credible retailer or online store. This is the only way to truly explore and experience salvia divinorum.