Salvia Divinorum is likewise known as Diviner’s Sage, Magic Mint, María Pastora, Sage of the Seers, or simply Salvia. This plant has green leaves which are large in size, square stems and flowers with attached purple calyces. This is likely where the name purple sticky salvia comes from. It grows to an average height of 1 meter and has fewer seeds compared to other variety of Salvia. This kind of Salvia is mainly grown by cuttings or layering method.
This plant is widely known for its psychoactive effects. Mazatec healers have used this plant to induce “divine inebriation”. By giving the right dose to an individual, this unique state is said to be attainable. Mazatec healers have likewise described that the aforementioned inebriation is far different compared to the effects of drugs and alcohol intake. Louis Lewin, the father of psychopharmacology coined the term ‘phantastica’. A term used to categorize vision inducing drugs such as the Salvia Divinorum.
Indigenous Shamanic healers of Sierra Madre Oriental in Oaxaca, Mexico used this plant as their sacred medicine. The “Curanderos” as Spanish would call them, soulfully believe that there is a necessity to explore the supernatural world in order to see the underlying cause of a patient suffering from unexplainable illnesses. This plant is carried in a ceremonial manner to induce ‘divine inebriation’ and allow a patient to experience a visual stupor state. In this condition, remedies are determined to make the patient well.
Leaves of Salvia Divinorum are taken orally and are consumed fresh and uncooked. They are consumed in two ways: by chewing or by drinking water infused with the juice of crushed Salvia leaves. It is sometimes taken by the curandero or served to the patient. Such ritual has likewise served as their extraordinary way to determine the whereabouts of missing objects. Mysteries are believed to be unfolded using this method.
The modern methods of ingestion of this plant include smoking and chewing. Leaves are dried and are smoked in pipes. However, most users use Water pipes to easily cool down the smoke. The chemical component salvinorin that is present in this plant requires a temperature of 240 degrees Celsius before it can be released. For some people, ingesting untreated dried Salva leaves produce minimal or unnoticeable effects. Users find chewing the leaves more effective. Active chemicals of this plant is better absorbed through the oral muscosa. In this case, the ‘quid’ of leaves is placed in the mouth for the longest time possible to prolong its effects. This method is more time-consuming but the effects are much long-lasting.