Subjective effects of Salvia divinorum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Salvia divinorum is a hallucinogenic plant native to Mexico, where the Mazatec Indians use it in divinatory rituals as a facilitator for contacting the spirits of the dead. A number of traditions surrounding the ritualistic use of Salvia are still observed. Generally the leaves are chewed for the visionary effects. Salvia has recently been embraced by Western drug cultures, where the traditional methods of ingestion are generally eschewed for the more immediately effective technique of smoking the dried leaves. This article discusses the history and indigenous cultural uses of Salvia before outlining its rediscovery in the 1960s and its subsequent introduction to the Western drug scenes (particularly Britain) since the mid 1990s. Qualitative data from 10 Salvia users were collected by means of email interviews. The participants were asked to provide as in-depth responses as possible. No time or space limit on answers was imposed. Their responses to each question are presented verbatim. The effects of Salvia appear to vary between users and seem sensitive to situational factors. Users who understand something of the ritualistic setting for traditional use would appear to have a fuller experience than those who do not.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)143-149
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Psychoactive Drugs
Volume39
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2007

Keywords

  • psychoactive drugs
  • ritualistic use of drugs
  • hallucinogenic plant
  • Salvia divinorum

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