Salvia Divinorum Help Guide for Research

“Salvia divinorum is a spiritual medicine. It can bring us in touch with the Divine within us and can put us in balance with our precious Earth. Salvia divinorum is also a sacrament, a teacher, and a way of life. We have but a brief moment in these human frames, and when we combine Salvia divinorum with a meditative life, we can experience our true nature and the nature of eternity. Once we gain such perspective, we can realize the importance of compassion, love, the preservation of the Earth and all of its people. Then, by shining as brightly as we can, through example, we can help to make the world a more loving, compassionate, peaceful, and non-trivial place than it was before.”

Family:

Lamiaceae/Labaiatae ( mint family )

Common names:

Diviner’s mint/sage, Pipiltzintzintli (Aztec), Mexican mint, Ska Maria Pastora, the Shepardess, Yerba de Maria.

Traditional/Medicinal uses:

This plant has a long history of Medicinal uses. The Mazatec are known to use infusions of Salvia to this very day. It has been recorded that the fresh or dry leaves are used as a relaxant for the elderly as well as treating headaches, diarrhea and rheumatism. Mazatec shamans routinely chew from 6 – 60 leaves in their ceremonies for purposes of divination. The leaves are always consumed in pairs. It is also often made into a tea that can be very relaxing and help with quiet meditative states. Salvia is neither a stimulant, a sedative, a narcotic, nor a tranquilizer, and a team of researchers have just shown that this herb may have great promise as a safe and natural antidepressant for the medical industry. We support the natural world’s ability to heal the human body, and hope that Salvia divinorum will find widespread acceptance and use in the mainstream, just as so many other natural remedies have.

Modern Potentials:

Psychedelics was THE field to be involved in for over 20 years prior; the rapid breakthroughs described by researchers using psychotherapy was nothing short of miraculous. As stated by Rick Strassman, M.D.; “The use of ‘psychedelic psychotherapy’ by researchers has yielded some astonishing results in a wide variety of medical patients. Though there was no effect on any of these patients’ underlying medical conditions, there was an immensely positive effect on their psychological condition. Depression was lifted, requirements for pain medication fell dramatically, and patients’ acceptance of their disease and its prognosis improved markedly. In addition, patients and their families were able to address deep-seated and emotionally charged issues in ways never before possible.”

Salvia divinorum presents us with a unique opportunity to legally pick up where this research left off. There is no way to know how long Salvia will remain unscheduled, but we have a rare opportunity to provide data that can show the positive and beneficial uses for this sacred plant.

Dried Leaf – Helpful Notes:

Fresh Salvia divinorum leaf is used by the Mazatac Indians, but it’s not as easy to find a field of Salvia in any other part of the world than it’s native corner of the world in Oaxaca. So, when dired leaf is received via mail order from an online shop, it can easily be rehydrated by soaking in water for 10-15 minutes. The leaf will not be frshly-picked fresh, but it can be much easier to work with for research purposes if the leaf is not dried, but hydrated.

Alternatively, dried leaf can be placed in hot (not boiling) water for 15 minutes, drained, then dried it on a cookie sheet in an oven at 140-180 degrees, it would remove tannins, impurities, and some bitterness, and only a small amount of the Salvinorin-a. It also makes for a cleaner burning incense with fewer carcinogens. Salvinorin-a has a very high vaporization temperature, so the low heat of an oven would have almost no effect. Salvinorin-a is also concentrated in the glands of the Salvia leaf, so until a leaf is rehydrated with either water or another liquid such as alcohol, most of the salvinorin is retained in the leaf.

Reported Methods of Use:

People have often complained that they can’t feel the effects from Salvia, even after they have tried it several times. It has been reported that this is for no other reason than Salvia divinorum is a Shamanistic experience in the truest sense of the word and completely UNLIKE any of the innumerable “quick fix” drugs that exist today.

It’s also said that Salvia is not a passive experience; the participant must take part in it. Getting to know this plant takes time to learn to recognize and understand as the participant gradually lets go of their fears of the unknown, and as they learn the subtleties within their own perceptions. For additional insight and to help deepen appreciation for the Salvia experience, we highly recommend reading “The Teachings of Don Juan” by Carlos Castaneda.

Smoked Leaf:

Salvia reportedly has a very high vaporization temperature, so, when conducting research, vaporization can take place ONLY when a flame is DIRECTLY and CONSTANTLY on the leaf. Animals also reportedly metabolizes Salvia slowly, so salvia would have to be held in the lungs for 20 seconds as well.

Salvia Quid:

This sacred sage plant is also known by many names; it has been used by the Mazatec Indians for thousands of years for purposes of divination; the leaves are often made into something called a “quid”, which is simply fresh Salvia divinorum leaves rolled into a smaller size, and chewed for 15 to 30 minutes. The size of the leaves can vary greatly; leaves larger than an average size hand are common, but they reduce to about 1/8 of their original size when dried. One of the most-asked questions is regarding what the size of the leaves used by the Mazatecs for quids are. There can be a huge difference between chewing 6 fresh leaves that are the size of a credit card as opposed to chewing 6 leaves that are the size of an average person’s hand. To answer that question: When the leaves are the size of an average person’s hand, the Mazatecs would chew only 4-6 of them. When the leaves were younger and much smaller…smaller than the size of a credit card, they would chew many more…up to 60 of them.

It is difficult to tell what size the original Salvia leaf was when it comes dried in a package, and this is why rehydrating the dried leaf material can be very helpful. Te leaf will still not hydrate back to its original size, but it gives the researcher a better idea. Once the leaf shrinks, it will never return to its original fresh size, because the cell walls collapse when the leaf is dried.

Tinctures:

Tinctures were originally created by Daniel Siebert as way to creating a smoke-free environment and experience, but there have been several improvements on tincture formulations since then, and some Salvia divinorum tinctures available online today, can actually be only slightly bitter. Generally, if a tincture will have a maximum salvinorin-a concentration of 44mg/oz. Alcohol cannot hold any more salvinorin than that. .

Mild Effects: 3 droppers tincture / 6 droppers water
Moderate Effects: 6 droppers tincture / 9 droppers water
Strong Effects: 9 droppers tincture / 12 droppers water

Set and Setting Notes:

There are a few essential steps for any Shamanistic journey, regardless of the exploration method. We include this as a general reference for any meditation session:

  1. Dim lights to absolute darkness is the best environment.
  2. Quiet is also essential…get as far away as you can from any and every distraction. Please don’t explore in a public place or in an inappropriate setting.
  3. Always relax into as deeply a meditative state as you are able to, before you proceed any further. The deeper meditation you are in, the less of a leap you have to take when deeper meditative states are reached.
  4. Some quiet, meditative, music can offer some grounding, as can incense or other pleasing aroma.
  5. ALWAYS have a familiar sitter present with whom you are comfortable with.

Onset Time:

Depending on the method of ingestion, the time for the onset of effects varies. When taken sublingually, through chewing leaves or from tinctures, it is reported that initial effects begin about 5-10 minutes, gradually increasing for the next 30 minutes, where it plateaus and begins to gradually taper off for the next hour at most. When smoked, it is said that the onset of effects is almost instantaneous. It has been reported that the participant in the experience would sometimes sit back and close one’s eyes for a minute to see what develops; we have been told that sometimes Lady Salvia can creep up on one unexpectedly. Effects only last about 5-10 minutes, and one will feel completely “normal” a short while thereafter. There is no immediate tolerance to Salvia divinorum, so the meditative state could be extended for a longer time.

Clinical Case Study:

It is reportedly different than anything one has ever experienced before, even if one is already well-versed in theories regarding psychedelics. It is reported that a state like waking lucid dreaming occurs at the onset of effects, and that out-of-body experiences (OBE) sometimes occur spontaneously, though reports are widely varied.

A sense of profound connection with the Universe and one’s true nature is supposed to be common, as well as feeling as though one is the center of a consciousness that has nothing to do with a body. Truly, it seems that the Salvia experience has everything to do with the participants state of mind, and how one interprets the things one sees and feels. Positive Thought = Positive Experience. It has been said, and cannot be stressed enough, that “Set and Setting” can be everything.

Common Questions:

Q: Are there any known long-term negative effects with Salvia divinorum?

A: There are no known dangers or side effects to Salvia divinorum when used in the proper environment. It has been used medicinally for centuries.

Q: Though not sold for consumption, has anyone ever died from intentionally or unintentionally ingesting Salvia divinorum?

A: No one has ever died from ingesting Salvia divinorum, and there is presently no known lethal dose.

Q: Is there medical potential for this mint plant?

A: YES! – Salvia divinorum may be an anti-addictive.

Q: How long can I store my Salvia divinorum?

A: If kept in an airtight container, in a cool, dry place away from light, Salvia divinorum will keep indefinitely; Salvinorin-A is a very stable molecule.

Q: How can I find out more?

A: There is a wealth of information on the web, but the best places we’ve found are: www.sagewisdom.org or www.entheology.org . There is also a private forum at www.entheology.org which reportedly has the best reputation on the web for their discussion.

Q: What can I do to protect my freedom to study Salvia divinorum, besides being completely responsible?

A: That is the absolute BEST thing one can do…if there’s no reported misuse of this sacred plant, no injuries, and if researchers can continue to show beneficial medicinal uses, then there’s no legitimate reason to outlaw it.