Salvia divinorum

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Salvia Divinorum

General Plant Info

Salvia Divinorum is a flowering perennial herb, mostly 1-1.5m tall, of the family of the mints (Lamiaceae). It has profound entheogenic properties, and has been traditionally used by Mazatec Shamanism in healing ceremonies.


The binomial name Salvia Divinorum (Epling and Jativa, 1962) stems for the latin salvere (to heal, to feel well) and is shared with the other near 900 species of the Salvia genus. The species name, 'Divinorum', of the divine ones, refers to its visionary use. Other common names for the plant are Diviner's Sage, Ska Pastora, Ska María Pastora, Yerba María, Hojas de la Pastora (spanish and mazatec names call her Herb of Mary, the Shepherdess), Seer's Sage, Sally-D or briefly Sally.

Geographic distribution

Its native habitat is in the Mazatec Sierra, in northeast of the Mexican State of Oaxaca. Salvia Divinorum grows there in humid cloud forest areas.

Psychoactive substances content

The main active constituent in Salvia Divinorum is a diterpenoid called Salvinorin A. It can be active in doses as low as 20 μg, but the generally accepted threshold dose is around 200 μg. This makes Salvinorin A, regarding weight, the most potent naturally occurring entheogenic substance known to date.

Salvinorin A is found in the herb leaves in variable concentrations, between 0,15% and 0,25% of the dry plant matter. Research has found no evidence of toxicity or addictive potential in the substance.

Methods of Ingestion