I did this for the first time at a party this weekend, and was pretty surprised by its potency. Only one of us had done it before, and only once, so we were looking around the web (lycaeum, in particular) for dosage and procedure. Since we couldn't really find anything concrete, I'll share what we found with you all here, in hopes that someone might benefit.

We smoked it from a 3 foot bong, but one person at a time, instead of just passing it around, like I usually do with pot. We decided upon a dosage of 4 bowls per person, taken very quickly. One person would be taking the hits, as another person was keeping the bowl packed. You would inhale all you could, and hold it for as long as you could, then immediately take your next hit, not taking any time to breathe between hits.

After you've smoked your 4 bowls, you lay back, and watch the room immediately spin quite a bit (this immediate effect is probably due to oxygen deprivation, from smoking all that and not breathing). It starts to kick in pretty nicely after a few minutes. I was already somewhat drunk when I did this, actually, so I'll need to do it again to really get an opinion of the high. It felt very similar to pot at the time. It made me quite light-headed, and a little paranoid (but most drugs do that to me). I was the first to take it, and by the time my turn to administer came around, my motor skills were completely shot, and my higher reasoning was pretty fuzzy.

The main effects lasted maybe 30 minutes, possibly cut a little short because I went outside into the cold to smoke a cigarette. I had a strong haze on my brain for a good hour or two afterwards, though, which I didn't particularly like. I think mixing it with alcohol was a bad idea, and wouldn't recommend it. After I try it again with nothing else in my system, I'd also like to try it after smoking pot. I've always found wormwood made a good supplement to marijuana, and a salvia high seems like it could be similar to wormwood, but more intense.

It's legal, but be careful, don't take too much, and don't even think about trying to drive on this shit. Oh, and everything I say here is purely for informational porpoises, owning and buying the stuff is probably legal where you live, but using it as I indicate above may not be. So, if you try it, it's your ass. You might die or go insane or something, so if you do, don't sue me, or I'll sodomize your little sister with a shoehorn.

Salvia divinorum is a plant native to Southern Mexico, which naturally contains the psychoactive chemical Salvinorin-A. It has traditionally been used in rituals and ceremonies by shamen and healers.

The plant itself loves shady (no more than 3 hours of direct sunlight per day), humid locales. It flowers from October until June. Oddly enough, Salvia divinorum plants rarely produce seeds. When they do produce seeds, there is only a 10% chance that the seed will germinate. If you want to grow your own salvia, the easiest method is to get a cutting from an already growing plant.

In order to get the psychoactive effects of the from the plant, fresh leaves are chewed or dried leaves are smoked. There are also liquid extracts that have a higher concentration of Salvinorin-A that are taken orally under the tongue.


When smoked, it is generally suggested to use anywhere from ¼ to ½ of a gram of dried leaves. Because the concentration of Salvinorin-A varies in the liquid extracts, it is hard to judge dosage. Based on a 5X concentration, a safe dose would be from 1/20 to 1/10 of a gram.

How to smoke it:

Smoking salvia is considerably trickier than smoking some other substances. The body metabolizes Salvinorin-A very quickly. Due to this, the entire dose has to be ingested within 2 to 3 minutes.

1. Use a bong. This makes it easier to inhale the lungfuls of smoke that you need in order to get the effects.

2. Inhale and hold. Take all the smoke in and try to hold it for about 30 seconds before you take the next hit. Try to smoke it all in a couple lungfuls.

Okay, so what’s it like?

Well, the first effects are felt within a minute. These are generally a sense of relaxation and increased sensory appreciation. Not long after, a five to ten minute-long peak is reached. Effects at this level are intense closed eye visuals similar to acid. Complex geometric patterns and textures can be seen. At higher doses, out of body experiences and the like are likely to occur.

Salvia is more along the lines of a meditative/introspective drug and less of a social/party drug. Keep this in mind before you get besaged.

A few months ago, a little bird whispered the following account to me: (Disclaimer: I didn't do it! Nobody saw me do it! You can't prove anything!)

This weekend I had the pleasure of trying Salvia for the first time, and let it be said; it worked! Wow!

Here goes...

Since I was quite ignorant as to how much I was supposed to smoke, I started out with just a tiny pinch, and sprinkled it into my home made pipe (made from a bottle), lit it and puffed away. Very minor effects, yet quite comfortable. I felt a bit more thoughtful and philosophical, and visualizing things with my eyes closed became quite easy. Also, a vague tingling sensation was felt, but this might come from my exitement. :)

The smoke wasn't all that bad. It tasted a bit like oregano, and keeping it down was no problem.

But, the experience wasn't quite as expected, and I decided to give it another shot. I waited about 15 minutes, and this time I used approximately twice as much as last time. Probably still a small dose, I thought.

I decided to go for one big hit this time, and lit up. The white smoke filled the bottle much thicker than the last time. I could still beel this tingling sensation from the first try, but I could feel it getting stronger, so I quickly put down the pipe, and laid down on the couch.

And then I laid down on the couch. And again. And again. Faster and faster. Time stopped moving forward, and the last few moments kept repeating themselves, up to 3 times / second or so! It almost felt like my body was spinning. I started to feel very dizzy, but without any nausea, which was a bit odd.

The need to get up and "shake it off" was overwhelming, because it wasn't very comfortable, but luckily I managed to keep calm. I have read numerous stories and trip reports where people try to get up and walk during this "trance", and ended up falling down and hurting themselves. I repeated to myself "don't get up, just go with it." over and over. Thinking rationally was difficult, but I managed somehow.

After the initial few seconds (or was it longer?) the time loop and dizzyness went away, and I felt myself sink deeper into the couch, almost as if the couch changed into something softer. I was staring at a picture on the wall. (The room was just enough lit to see it.) Then - take off! The wall and parts of the picture started to flow and dissolved into a mass of strange shapes, which everything seemed to be made of. Most of them were shaped roughly like a key hole. The picture on the wall seemed to lose it's "squareness", and looked more like a gate or portal. It was very colorful, but quite hard to make any sense out of at the time.

I suddenly realized that this was the Salvia "talking", and decided to close my eyes, as I have read that external stimuli, like sounds and images, can disturb the "trance".

As I closed my eyes I saw the same river of shapes as earlier, flowing key holes, filled with small colored "sub-shapes", these also roughly shaped like key holes. In retrospect it reminds me a bit about the typical self-similarity of fractal patterns.

After having studied this river for a while, I accidentally moved my foot to get more comfortable. Wow, what a sight! I immediately noticed that parts of these shapes seemed to move "along with me". The shapes didn't resemble anything humanoid, but they did move in synch with the movements I made!

By the way, the fact that I was suddenly aware of my body again seemed to interrupt the normal flow of the trip, and it seemed like I had to start from scratch again everytime I realized that I was actually lying on a couch, and not hovering over this river of colors. Therefore I didn't care to study these sychronized movement effects very closely.

After a while - I had no idea how long at the time - things started to slow down. And as soon as I noticed just that, it was over. It was just as if someone turned out the lights. I could, however, seem to notice the shapes if I tried real hard, but after an additional 20 seconds the ride was over.

I sat up, and noticed that everything felt soft. The floor felt like foam rubber. I also felt a bit "high" and trippy, but only vaguely. I sat down by my PC to share the experience with some friends on the net, and one of them - let's call him Ben - suggested that I'd look at my plants, and see if they had this energy field around them. To my amazement, they did! A soft white shimmer seemed to engulf all of the plants in the room. I have no idea what this was. I might have imagined it, as I was told to look for it, but who knows. This was approx. 20 minutes after the touchdown, and I was feeling quite "sober" again. As a side note; Ben called this effect "plant telepathy", and I understand that it isn't all unheard of with regard to Salvia experiences.

The time never occured to me, but I guess the inital full-blown trip lasted 5 - 10 minutes, and the much softer second part of the trip lasted an hour or two.

Some "conclusions";

- The come-on is fast and intense! The vertigo sort of freaked me out, especially considering the insane urge to get up. However, as all trip reports recommend a trip sitter, I should have suspected something like this. I'd recommend one. If not, at least be careful and start out with small doses.

- It ends just as abruptly as it starts. However, the longer and softer phase leaves you with a semi-euphoric and "high" feeling for an hour or two.

- Salvia is not a party drug. Not by a long shot. Actually, the trip isn't that comfortable at all, but nevertheless, it is a very interesting psychedelic, and left me in a very philosophical mood.

Editor's note: this can be extremely dangerous so don't do it. Okay? Okay.

Hey kids! Try this! 

1. Pulverize enough dried Salvia Divinorum to fill a large, clean, glass container (about 1 liter). Do not use your hands to pulverize it, because it will make inferior or worthless product. 

I recommend you grow the plants yourself. They grow very quickly in a moist shady spot! The mail-order stuff is expensive and of questionable quality. 

2. In a WELL VENTILATED AREA, away from ignition sources, pour enough acetone into the salvia to cover it.

    BEWARE! Some products claim to be acetone, but are in fact mixed with Benzene! DO NOT use any acetone which does not say "100% pure" somewhere on the can. Even then, you are risking your life to try this experiment.  Beware.

3. Let the mixture soak for 15 minutes. Keep your hands out or you'll ruin it. 

4. Strain the liquid into a clean glass container that has an easily accessible bottom. Put one tablespoon of the plant material back into the liquid, and the throw the rest of the plant matter away (outside!). ... it is worthless. 

5. Place the liquid-filled container somewhere outside, taking steps to make sure no debris (leaves, bugs) can get in. 

6. Let ALL the acetone evaporate. This should take only a day or two. If the product smells even faintly like acetone, it is not dry. The result is a dark green residue that is similar to marijuana in appearance. It should smell aromatic, like a spice. If it smells like benzene, (paint thinner), DO NOT USE. You need PURE acetone.

7. Get exactly one close friend who you trust to sit with you in a comfortable, dim (but not dark) place while you try it, and play good upbeat music.

This is VERY IMPORTANT! I am a veteran psychedelic lover, and this stuff still blew my mind. The music is important because sounds will fuel the visual hallucinations.

8. Load a bong (preferably), pipe, or other smoking apparatus with some extract (a pea-sized amount did it for me), and warn your friend that they might have to catch the bong if you drop it. you might forget how gravity works

9. Take a deep hit. Repeat if necessary.


If you want to hear about my personal experience with this drug, see below: 


    I spent a whole night preparing a psychedelic plant extract known as Salvinorin-A from dried plant material and acetone. The plant is called Salvia divinorum, or more commonly, Diviner's Sage. The resulting extract is 50x more potent than the leaves, which shamen chew on to attain enlightenment and learn "power songs".

   Yesterday morning, around 5 am, The stuff was dry and ready to smoke. In the dim light of pre-sunrise, I nestled down into a couch and took a big hit of it. Things began to distort in the strangest ways. The couch I was sitting on began to warp and "fan" about it long axis like a deck of playing cards being shuffled in a cylinder. ... and I was being shuffled "into" it!

   I felt that there were consciousnesses beckoning me to go further. I had lost my body. I forgot who I was, and how I had gotten to this strange place. I couldn't feel myself, my breathing, my tongue, or hands. The universe I am accustomed to became just a bright thin layer, folded among this new universe I was in. This place was extradimensional, to be certain. I can hardly explain it. I laughed hysterically at first... but soon I got afraid of what was happening.

   Something must have sensed my hesitation, because the voices stopped, and I slowly started coming back. Soon I could see that I was back on the couch, but things were definitely still warping and distorting. I got up and found my cigarettes, and began to smoke one. I still couldn't tell if I was breathing or swallowing for a few minutes... Like I was a disembodied soul. It was weird, but I reminded myself that this is to be expected. (I had researched its effects thoroughly beforehand, but that knowledge had done me no good earlier when I had forgotten everything I knew.)  Soon, about 10 minutes after that first hit, things had pretty much returned to normal.

3/16/01: I went out to a secluded area(outdoors) at around 3AM. I lay down on the wet ground(oh well), and got ready. I had 1g of 5x extract, and though I couldn't tell exactly how much to use, I figured 1/10th-1/5th of the total thing would be about right. I was using a small metal pipe, nothing fancy, and an annoying lighter that you had to sort of cock every time before use(after pushing down the button and letting go, a locking mechanism would go on that you'd then need to push off before using it again. I guess this was for safety- in this situation it was just annoying). So I filled the pipe with what I thought was about the right amount, rolled onto my side, took a last deep breath, exhaled(actually this took a few tries, because I kept blowing out the flame when exhaling), put the flame on the salvia and took a deep breath.

First sensation: oww, hot. People talking about smoking salvia seem to say there are two problems, the heat and the taste. I didn't notice the taste at all, but the heat was pretty bad. But I remembered to just hold it in, and after a few seconds the smoke cooled in my lungs cooled enough that it was OK. I noticed some smoke coming out of my nose as I was trying to hold it in, so I pinched my nose with between my thumb and index finger, and waited. I soon realized that something weird was happening, and that I couldn't hold the smoke in much longer. I lay down on my back, and exhaled just as things started to really weird out.

It's hard to describe what happened next. Analyzing later when the effects were nearly gone(I was actually analyzing the entire time, except for the very peak, where I really couldn't realize that there was something to analyze), my first conclusion was that the S-A-L-V-I-A scale is not very useful, because I was experiencing parts of almost all levels, but was also not experiencing a lot. So what did I experience? Well I have trouble with how I got from one stage to the next, but basically I remember closing my eyes and definitely seeing things - I can't really describe what, but I'll try. It was sort of like what you'd see running through a narrow hall, or playing a video game where you are moving very fast through a narrow space, except that it was very repetitive. It was like I was seeing the same nonsensical thing happen over and over. To be clear: I have no idea what I was seeing or what it was supposed to mean, but I can at least say there was a left-right symmetry(i.e. the left and right side of the hallucination looked the same). Each side looked somewhat circular. I said before it was like running through a hall. I guess this isn't totally accurate. More like the left and right sides of the hallucination kept closing onto each other, and then the same thing would repeat(you know the idea-diagrams where two circles are overlapping in the middle? that's what this sort of became before repeating). But I said before that it was sort of like running in a hallway for two reasons: first it wasn't like I was observing these circles coming together - the circles were taking up my entire field of vision(which may have seemed a bit wider than normal). And second, I had a definite feeling of motion. I can't now remember in what direction, but it was a constant direction.

Now all this wasn't too strange. I mean, it sounds sort of strange, and it was, but it wasn't that really freaky kind of strange. What accompanied it was. Along with the visual hallucination, I had odd thoughts racing through my head. In retrospect, it all seemed like an incredibly powerful, convincing dream. At the time I experienced it, the thoughts seemed to make perfect sense in terms of the visual hallucination, really they seemed caused by it(as if seeing the circles coming together made me realize something). What was it? Essentially, I lost most and at times all awareness of who I was. I thought different things at different times, but the one with by far the most freak-factor was a fairly significant portion of the time where I thought that I was a being from some alternate plane of existence, who was either brought into existence or at least awakened only because of the drug(the fact that I or someone had taken salvia was about the only thing I never totally forgot), and that there was sort of a contest, the conclusion of which would be(I sensed) that one person would get control of the body(I didn't even think of it as my body), and everyone else would just go away(die? retreat into my subconscious or another reality? I don't know). But as I said before, the weirdest part is that I didn't think I was me, I thought I was one of the beings(maybe it was only me and one other, maybe more) trying to take control of the body. In other words, I thought some person(I didn't know my name, where I was, or have any memories) had taken salvia, and now we would see who would get control of this person's body. This was all completely convincing. There were times when I felt like I was some being just coming into existence at this very moment, that I had never experienced reality, and that I soon would for the very first time. All memories of my life, or even what life was, were completely gone. I also lost all concept of time during this experience.

All of my hallucinations seemed to be related to this idea of other beings in my mind/body trying to control it, but at some point I remembered where I was(or actually I still didn't know I was me, and remembered where the person was), and then immediately searched my mind for a memory of some person or event to tie myself to the real world. I sort of all at once remembered who I was, where I was, and how I got here, and I was me again. I can't remember too much more at the end here, until I forced myself to get up. But let me go back, to make some things absolutely clear: there were times when I forgot my entire life, and wondered who and where I was, and actually sort of scoffed at the idea that this sort of existence would ever end(since I had no memory of any other type of existence). There were times when I really thought that once the trip ended, I would cease to exist. There were times when I thought it was some other person who had taken the drug, and I really had no idea who that person was.

In short: this was incredibly fucked up.

After I got up, I realized my pants were all wet from sitting on the ground, and I got this paranoid feeling that someone was watching me. I eventually realized no one was, so I went back down, filled up the pipe with maybe a little more than I'd used the first time, and smoked again. This time the smoke felt even hotter - almost unbearably hot. I held it in though, and then brushed out some of the top substance that was burned and took another hit. I honestly can remember almost nothing of what happened next. All I remember is a few times where I gripped at the ground to keep myself convinced that I was still here. I don't remember what I saw or what I thought. I see three possible explanations for this:
1) My memories of this trip were very similar to the first one, and blended in my mind so I remember what happened in both as being parts of the first trip.
2) Very little happened, because I was already pretty much gone and maybe didn't hold in the smoke long enough.
3) I have forgotten essentially everything that happened, as can apparently happen with a level 6 trip(even though I don't think the levels are very accurate)

I find possibility 2 to be unlikely, because I remember holding it in for quite a long time, and only stopping when I realized something very odd was happening. Between 1 and 3 - I don't know. It could have been either or parts of both. In any case, in the future I am going to use only as much salvia as I did the first time, and once I come back the first time not try to use it again.

After getting up for a second time(and here I recall a very odd feeling that compelled me to get up - lending some credibility to the third explanation: that I was perhaps frightened by the strength of the experience and felt a need to get out of it), I walked across a parking lot(I was smoking on a hill behind a plaza) and walked about a mile home, and went to sleep about two hours later. Some odd things that happened during this time:
• when walking across the parking lot, I thought there was only one car there, but when I turned around after crossing the lot, I saw many cars that should have been in the path where I was walking - I'm not sure whether I was wrong the first time or the second
not too far into my walk home I for no reason I can remember began running - not in any frightened way, just running. I don't know why, and I can't remember exactly why I stopped
• when walking home, many times I felt like closing my eyes, and when I did I almost felt like going to sleep or leaving my body on autopilot or something. I probably would've walked in front of a car if I had done this
• I had trouble at times understanding that my mind and body were both me. I almost felt like a mind inside a body that was taking orders from someone else. I sort of feel that this shows different parts of my mind: one that knew enough to walk me home, and the other that is the conscious part(i.e. me), that really didn't know what the fuck was going on
• when I got back to my dorm, I had an odd experience that's hard to explain. let me explain the layout of this section of the floor: when I get out of the stairwell, there's the guy's bathroom on the right. I walk straight for maybe 20 feet, take a right and then I go five feet and take a left into my room. there's a mirror on the left wall in those last five feet. I did this, and after walking into my room, I grabbed some clothes, went back out and walked into the bathroom to change. there was another guy in there. he asked what I was up to, I said I'd just taken a little walk. he asked if I knew where another guy was. I said no. I was done changing, and I walked back to my room(same path as before). when I did this, I realized that the first time it almost seemed like the time after taking the right, and before walking into my room, was gone. now this is a tiny block of time, but it left me with the sensation that the first time I did this I was basically left the instant before I was going to turn, and came back the instant I got in my room. it was a small thing, but it freaked me out
• I think that either my inhibitions were lowered, or my intelligence was. some examples of things I did: walking through the parking lot while barely conscious of what was happening - luckily no one was there(I think); trying to set a wet pack of matches on fire right near the plaza parking lot; being sort of conspicuous about putting away my lighter, pipe, and remaining salvia in my desk when my roommate was still awake(I had been trying to keep this sort of a secret)
• I laid down for a little while trying to go to sleep, and had this weird dream/hallucination(I was pretty much still awake) that I was able to communicate telepathically with other people on the floor. this was a while after I had smoked, and it wasn't all that convincing, but the fact that it was convincing at all, and that it happened while I was awake, made it sort of weird

Anyway, I'll wrap this up. Salvia is a very powerful drug. The size of the hits I was taking were not very large, and I am not at all experienced with smoking, and I actually only have 70% lung capacity because of asthma. So I was really not taking in very much salvia. My estimate is that the first hit was about .1-.15 grams, and the second was .15-.2 grams. I don't think I would ever want to use more than this - I think even the second was too much. I cannot overstate how freaky the experience was. There were times when I felt like a being with no past, no future, and no name. I tried to just let go and see what would happen, so I don't really remember being scared of this, but I can very easily see how someone could become extremely frightened. I also don't think I'll ever again smoke in a spot so far away from home, and with such a dangerous way back. My motor control a little while after use was not too bad, but my judgement was awful, and I don't think it would've taken much for me to walk in front of a car.

But don't let all these things I've said make you think I didn't like it. People say salvia isn't a recreational drug, and I suppose it's not. But I did enjoy my experience, and I will certainly use salvia again, taking into consideration what I've learned from the first time. The feeling I got using was sort of like a very strong case of the feeling I might get hearing a really weird paradox, or trying to understand something for a while and suddenly getting it. Like Neo in The Matrix: "Whoa"

Last thing: many times when other people tell about their trip experiences, they talk about "plant teachers" or a "vine" or "what shesalvia taught me". I buy none of this. All of what I experienced was the product of my own mind. I never sensed the present of some female plant goddess, or anything of the like. Afterwards thinking back, the sense of other beings was more like other parts of myself, of my own mind. I admit that the hallucinations salvia causes are very powerful, but I think at most what I was put in contact with were deeper parts of myself - not other beings. I will see if this changes in any further experiences.
Salvia Divinorum (or "Diviner's Sage") is truely an amazing plant, with an equally amazing history.

As noded above, it was used by the Mazatec culture for healing and spiritual purposes. The plant itself, actually, was regarded literally as a deity that directly influenced the culture through its use by Shamans.

In modern times, the plant Salvia Divinorum was nearly extinct until ethnopharmacologists discovered it (believing it to be the mysterious "pipiltzintzintli" used by the ancient Aztecs, although others believe that this was Cannabis sativa) and cultivated it back from the brink.

Perhaps the most interesting thing about Salvia is how it works in the brain: nobody knows. It has been theorized to somehow affect the limbic system in the brain, and possibly the somatosensory (parietal lobe), cerebellar and vestibular functions. Beyond that, however, the mechanism by which Salvinorin A causes it's entheogenic effect is unknown. It does not react with any of the known neuroreceptors in the brain, nor any precursors. By all observations, the chemical simply floats up into the brain and dissolves. Even still, it is the most potent hallucinogen found in nature (threshold dose is 200 micrograms. LSD-25's threshold dose is more like 20ug, but then, it's not found in nature like LSA), as the above trip reports testify.

Salvia is perfectly legal to grow, possess, and consume, and will STAY THAT WAY until dumb kids popularize it and give it bad press, and then it will fall under the Controlled Substance Analogue Enforcement Act of 1986 and get scheduled.

I have been told by many people who study the Mazatec culture that it is considered taboo to engage in sexual intercourse while under the influence of Salvia, anecdotal evidence points to several cases where the drug somehow no longer effected that person afterwards.

Many people (again, experienced Salvia users who have studied the ethnopharmacology a great deal) have told me that it doesn’t always work the first time it is consumed (although I know many people who felt the full effects the first time). The explanation I am always given for this is the same.

"The plant takes you when you're ready, not the other way around"

The experience of Salvia is not so much of someone taking a drug, but a drug taking someone. You do not hallucinate; rather, you become the hallucination of a much larger, much older entity. When confronted with this sort of metaphysicalbullshit”, I was predictably skeptical and haughty

…but no longer.

Salvia divinorum is one of over a thousand species of sage and the only known to induce visions. At the time of this writeup it is legal to grow, consume, and distribute in every country on Earth. Effective June 1, 2002 anyone living in Australia or its territories will have their right of use denied, as the government has scheduled the substance.

It has also been called Ska Maria Pastora, Diviner's Sage, and just plain Salvia.

History & Geography

Salvia divinorum is used by indigenous shamanic healers as a sacred medicine. Native to the Sierra Madre mountains in the Mexican state of Oaxaca, these healers are called curanderos, in Mazatec they are called cho-ta-ci-ne (one who knows). They use it when they consider a situation in need of them going into the supernatural world to discover the "true cause" of a patient's trouble. It can also be used to find the location of missing or stolen objects. Sometimes only the curandero uses it, sometimes they give it to their patient, and sometimes they take it together. Its use is lightly touched upon in antropological literature as used also by the Cuicatecs and Chinatecs. It is easily propogated so it is a suprise that its use and growth is not more widely spread than this small geographic area.

"One has to be very delicate with Pastora. It is the most dangerous plant we have," Aurelia Catarino Oseguera, a Mazatec-speaking 56-year-old shaman told Associated Press, "it opens doors in your head that let you see God, and that can be frightening."1 Some herbal healers say that when rubbed on the skin, Salvia can heal burns and make scars disappear, not to mention its headache-curing abilities.

What to Expect

Noise and distraction will interfere with the trip. Some sounds become grating on the nerves. Your conception of sound's representation may be significantly altered. The buzz of a refridgerator may become the table at which you are sitting in another universe. Some mental preperation is required for some people. There are no absolutes. Knowledge of quantum theory may aid the novice in understanding their mental states while besaged. Salvia divinorum is not a recreational drug. Use at partys, raves, around people you do not know, in public, and at concerts will in general be unproductive, if not maddening. Though there are always exceptions to any rule, it is best at the introductory level to not attempt use in any of the above situations.

First-time users should always have a sitter. If you are venturing into higher concentrations via tinctures or extracts, a sober sitter is important to insure you do not knock over lit candles, walk out a window, etc. Reality is separated on layers, and the user may not be on the same layer as the sitter.

Refering to trip reports is the best way to get an idea of what the salvia experience is like for a multitude of individuals. Factual information like this document may not be sufficient to prepare one for answering the question, "Is salvia right for me?" Consult Erowid or the Lycaeum if you are interested in a broad perspective of the variety of human experience.

the S-A-L-V-I-A scale (this portion taken from a document in the public domain2)

Salvia trips seem to occur in levels. The so-called S-A-L-V-I-A scale has been constructed to rate trips. Each letter of the word SALVIA stands for another level of tripping. The scale describes six different levels of intoxication, each one more intense than the previous. The overall intensity of Salvia trips is scored according to the highest scale level attained during the course of the trip.

Level - 1
"S" stands for SUBTLE effects. A feeling that "something" is happening, although it is difficulty to say just what. Relaxation and increased sensual appreciation may be noted. This mild level is useful for meditation and may facilitate sexual pleasure.

Level - 2
"A" stands for ALTERED perception. Colors and textures are more pronounced. Appreciation of music may be enhanced. Space may appear of greater or lesser depth than is usual. But visions do not occur at this level. Thinking becomes less logical, and more playful; short-term memory difficulties may be noted.

Level - 3
"L" stands for LIGHT visionary state. Closed-eye visuals (clear imagery with eyes closed: fractal patterns, vine-like and geometric patterns, visions of objects and designs). The imagery is often two dimensional. If open-eyed visual effects occur, these are usually vague and fleeting. At this level, phenomena similar to the hypnagogic phenomena that some people experience at sleep onset occur. At this level, visions are experienced as "eye candy" but are not confused with reality.

Level - 4
"V" stands for VIVID visionary state. Complex three-dimensional realistic appearing scenes occur. Sometimes voices may be heard. With eyes open, contact with consensual reality will not be entirely lost, but when you close your eyes you may forget about consensus reality and enter completely into a dreamlike scene. Shamanistic journeying to other lands--foreign or imaginary; encounters with beings (entities, spirits) or travels to other ages may occur. You may even live the life of another person. At this level you have entered the shaman's world. Or if you prefer: you are in "dream time." With eyes closed, you experience fantasies (dream like happenings with a story line to them). So long as your eyes are closed you may believe they are really occurring. This differs from the "eye candy" closed-eye imagery, of level 3.

Level - 5
"I" stands for IMMATERIAL existence. At this level one may no longer be aware of having a body. Consciousness remains and some thought processes are still lucid, but one becomes completely involved in inner experience and looses all contact with consensual reality. Individuality may be lost; one experiences merging with God/dess, mind, universal consciousness, or bizarre fusions with other objects--real or imagined (e.g. experiences such as merging with a wall or piece of furniture). At this level it is impossible to function in consensual reality, but unfortunately some people do not remain still but move around in this befuddled state. For this reason a sitter is essential to ensure the safety of someone voyaging to these deep levels. To the person experiencing this the phenomenon may be terrifying or exceedingly pleasant; but to an outside observer the individual may appear confused or disoriented.

Level - 6
"A" stands for AMNESIC effects. At this stage, either consciousness is lost, or at least one is unable to later recall what one had experienced. The individual may fall, or remain immobile or thrash around; somnambulistic behavior may occur. Injuries can be sustained without pain being felt; on awakening, the individual will have no recollection of what he/she did, experienced, or said in level 6. People cannot recall what they experience in this very deep trance state. This is not a desirable level, because nothing can latter be recalled of the experience.

Methods of Use

Traditional Mazatec Methods
In a dark room, water-based drink created from ground fresh leaves is consumed, requiring a lot of leaves and tastes somewhat unpleasant and besides, salvia is very poorly absorbed by stomach ingestion. Trips last the longest from this method, though. The other traditional method employed by the Mazatecs is chewing and swallowing a large number of fresh leaves. Nibble the leaves for a 1/2 hour, the salvinorin absorbed by the tissues of the mouth will be the primary activator.

The Quid Method
Quids (a ball or cylinder of rolled-up leaves) are made from fresh or dried leaves, with the dried preperations being less bitter. Weigh out 2-8 grams or 8-28 large leaves and set them in a cool bowl of water for 10 minutes. Remove and squeeze the excess water out, and ball them into a quid. You can sweeten the quid with honey or sugar. Chew the quid slowly--one chew every 10 seconds. While not chewing, place the quid under your tongue. Continue this for half an hour, allowing the juices and quid to remain in your mouth, without spitting or swallowing if possible. Then when the duration is up, spit it all out.

One can increase the effect of the quid method by treating their mouth with a toothbrush and a mouthwash containing alcohol and menthol, like Cool Mint Listerine. Gently brush the lining of your mouth, the tissue under your tongue, removing the dead cells normally present. Do not make your mouth bleed. Rinse for 30 seconds, insuring that the mouthwash gets everywhere in your mouth. Rinse with water.

In the first 12-15 minutes of chewing you will likely experience nothing. Don't be misled. Full effects are usually felt 30 minutes into the chewing, remaining on this level for 20 minutes or more.

One of the most important aspects of trying to smoke salvia is heat. For some plain leaf is not adequate to reach beyond the most basic effects, thus the appearance of extracts. Smoke must be inhaled deeply and quickly. It is best to hold a flame immediatly above the leaves, drawing it down the entire time you inhale. Because of these high temperatures and the density of salvia smoke, it is best to use a bong or water pipe. Do not use matches. It is important while smoking that you have a sitter because often you will forget at onset what exactly you were doing. You might drop and spill the pipe. First effects will become apparent within a minute. After five or six minutes the effects generally subside. Sometimes it will last up to an hour. For some untreated leaf will immediatly send them into salviaspace, a place of laughter, reality molding and general insanity. What produces a level-3 trip for one can produce none for the other.

Some anecdotal evidence suggests that smoking without water filtration produces stronger effects. This makes sense, as salvia is known to lose its effects when in combination with water. Water is still recommended for those who cannot deal with the harshness of thick smoke.

A vaporizer can also be used, but with caution. This is the only way to reach certain level 5 and level 6 experiences and is not recommended for someone unexperienced with salvia.

There are 5x, 7x, and 10x extracts available from on-line dealers and occaisonal headshops. The selling from headshops is looked down upon by most of the salvia community. 5x extract is 5 times as powerful as standard leaf. Buyer beware.

Daniel Siebert sells a tincture by the name of Sage Goddess Emerald Essence ®. One puts this in their mouth, either diluted or pure, and allows it to absorb under the tongue and in the tissues, similar to a quid. It irritates the mouth due to high-alcohol content. This is why it is often diluted in water. Instructions for its use is included when it is ordered. It is expensive, but perfect for use in prolonged journeys. Sublingual application is fun, but difficult to correctly perform. It is available for sale at his site, which can be found in the on-line resources section of this write up.


The active substance of Salvia divinorum is salvinorin A. It is the most potent naturally occuring vision-inducer. It is not an alkaloid, containing only oxygen, hydrogen, and oxygen atoms. it is a neoclerodane diterpenoid. Sensitivity varies from person to person, and 250 micrograms produce threshold effects. Swallowing is the least effective method of consumption. When utilizing pure salvinorin, safety should be the primary concern. NEVER WEIGH DOSAGE VISUALLY when using the pure substance. If you want to learn more about salvirorin's effects and chemistry consult: J Psychoactive Drugs 1994 Jul;26(3):277-283 Salvia divinorum and the unique diterpene hallucinogen, Salvinorin (divinorin) A. Valdes LJ 3rd.

The Plant, Itself

It looks like your normal houseplant. It has a green rectangular main stem from which nodes stem in alternate fashion. The leaves can be quite large and veiny. It is pleasant and inconspicuous. It has a "mouse-but-minty" aroma. It is a semi-tropical perennial, growing every year as long as you don't get it frosty. It can grow to be several meters high. It can flower (white flowers, purple calyces) but rarely sets seed. However, it can be propogated by cuttings. This is why it is popular and essential that salvia grower's share their plants. The leaves are emerald green, oval, and covered with fine hairs that give a satin-like appearance. They love water grow best in partial shade and well-drained soil. It is fun to grow Salvia.

Personal Notes on Salvia Divinorum

This is simply the most amazing substance that has ever entered into my body. I treat it with the highest reverence, and have thus only used it a handful of times. It has taken the world that I have known, ripped it into bits and pieces, taught me that it is possible to feel, think, and exist in a totally separate way than what my words could ever intone, that the words and feelings that we are accustomed to feeling and interpreting in this world--that the reality most people find consensual is only one reality of many, and that there really is truth in spirituality. I'd encountered a great deal of weird phenomena in my life before, but nothing prepared me for the teachings of this plant. The first few times I "went under" I was sure I could never face the real world again, knowing what I now knew. These feelings eventually subsided, integrated and now I walk amongst the people again. I simultaneously am attracted, obsessed, and deeply afraid of this plant, its mysteries, its histories and its stories.

I think there is nothing more important in its research than so-called trip reports. Reading them and writing them are the most direct way to not only get a feeling of what the plant and the human mind/soul are capable of, but also in understanding what is really going on here. I try my best to filter my experiences into my fiction, hoping that someday people will be able to read and find little bits of truth here and there that will help them to cope with the universe. I find that salvia helps me understand complex subjects like quantum theory, psychology, social engineering, advertising, even September 11, 2001.

With that said, it is imperative that any person wanting to try salvia read all that they can prior to its use. Safety is a priority, and keeping it legal is going to be a battle in the next few years, with Australia recently scheduling the substance on the same level as heroin. This is not a recreational drug, and has been low on the cultural radar until recently. Consumerism and profiteering have found its way into the substance's distribution, endangering its legality. It can now be found at headshops, usually without any instructions for its use. It is often sold as a marijuanna-substitute, for which it most CERTAINLY is not. Before sharing with friends, before trying it yourself, seek information about its use. Read more than just this writeup. And please, do not give it to anyone you know who has psychotic episodes or has a history of violence or stupidity. This is not to be taken lightly. It is for those who want to see a little more clearly, who are not satisfied with the senses and world around them. For those who have a calling to something higher. Of course, for some people it will be none of these things, and that's fine. Nothing is anything, anyway, only what you make it.

Legality in the United States

FACT: The DEA branch of the U.S. government says this about salvia: "Chemically, Salvinorin A is a neoclerodane diterpene, a psychotropic terpeniod. There are at least two types of terpenoids differentiated by the presence or absence of nitrogen. The nitrogen-containing terpenoids are called "thujones". The grouping of "thujones" includes Salvia Divinorum, Absinth (wormwood), and tetrahydrocannabinols (THC) found in marijuana... Salvia is being smoked to induce hallucinations similar to the other thujone derivatives, such as THC... Salvia Divinorum, Salvinorin A, and Divinorin A are not listed in the Controlled Substances Act. If sold for human consumption, Salvia may be subject to control under the Analogue statutes because of its functional pharmacological similarities to other CI hallucinogens like THC."

FACT: The U.S. government is LYING and/or MISTAKEN. a. Salvia is not a thujone, it is a diterpene. b. Neither is THC, it is a cannabinol. c. Thujone is a monoterpene. They do say these things in the above statements, but they mix up their chain of relation. Some of their chains are mutually exclusive. Consult http://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/drugs_concern/salvia_d/summary.htm for the DEA's statements on Salvia Divinorum. Consult Daniel Siebert's website for the truth.

Online Resources of Information

Mailing Lists
SalviaD - http://groups.yahoo.com/group/SalviaD - Daniel Siebert often posts to this list, as well as scientific experts of the field. Often trip reports are posted as well. Discussion ranges from basic questions to more advanced topics, to questions regarding reality. 960 members.

SkaMariaPastora - http://groups.yahoo.com/group/SkaMariaPastora - Discussions of more spirtual relationships with the plant. "This dicussion will hopefully enlighten many to the wonders of this divine sage. Help keep it available by having church meetings. Support by sharing personal verses and historical facts about the spiritual use of Salvia Divinorum. Grow stronger in your life and learn many new things about yourself by following the teachings of Ska Maria Pastora." 219 members.

SalviaDAlliance - http://groups.yahoo.com/group/SalviaD_Alliance Salvianauts unite and discuss more abstract aspects of the salvia experience. Disputes the existence and details of a Three Realities model of existence. Keeps good archives, though sometimes in the opinion of this author, borders on the eccentric. 52 members.

Daniel Siebert's website: http://www.sagewisdom.org
Though I find the website's design almost appalling, it must be said that the amount of information here is almost complete. Siebert was the first to isolate salvinorin A from salvia, and as a well-respected scientist, he can be considered the authority of salvia-related topics. Links to many published scientific articles can be found here, as well as images of the plant, its chemical makeup, and he also sells extracts, the Sage Goddess Emerald Essence Tincture, and more. The Salvia FAQ and user's guide from which most of the information that made up this writeup can be found here too.

Erowid's Salvia Trip Reports: http://www.erowid.org/experiences/subs/exp_Salvia_divinorum.shtml
You cannot deny the experiences of others. This is the most indispensible resource of information about salvia on the internet.

With the exception of the S-A-L-V-I-A scale, all of the above was written by me rather than cut-and-pasted. The sources of information are listed above. Thank you Ouroboros for the idea to do this node.

2 The Salvia Divnorum User's Guide, http://www.sagewisdom.org/usersguide.html

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