Diviner’s Sage (Salvia divinorum): Origin, History, Leaves & Psychoactive Properties

Salvia divinorum, commonly known as Diviner’s Sage or Sage of the Diviners, is a semi-tropical perennial herb native to the southwest regions of Mexico. It is a member of the mint family (Lamiaceae) and is known for its large, velvety, vivid green leaves and small white blooms. The plant can grow up to 4-5 feet tall with a spread of 3-4 feet.

Salvia divinorum has a long history of use by the Mazatec shamans in northern Oaxaca, Mexico, for spiritual rituals, healing ceremonies, and as a medicinal herb. It is often used in conjunction with other sacred plants, such as Ololiuhqui (the seeds of the Morning Glory vine) and Teonanacatl (psilocybe mexicana mushrooms), to facilitate spiritual journeys and healing practices.

The plant contains a psychoactive compound called salvinorin A, which is a potent and exclusive κ-opioid receptor agonist. Salvinorin A is responsible for the plant’s hallucinogenic effects when ingested, which can include changes in mood and body sensations, physical incapacitation, feelings of detachment, delirium, paranoia, uncontrollable laughter, mystical experiences, and altered perceptions of self and time.

Salvia divinorum is also known by various common names, including Lady Salvia, Sage of the Diviners, Magic Mint, Sage of the Seers, Sally D, Diviner’s Sage, and Purple Sticky. The plant is legal in many places, but its use as a hallucinogen outside of its traditional context has led to concerns about its potential for abuse and negative effects on cognition.

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