Brief Description

ico-01Salvia (Salvia divinorum) is an herb in the mint family native to southern Mexico. It is used to produce hallucinogenic experiences.

Traditionally, Salvia divinorum has been ingested by chewing fresh leaves or by drinking their extracted juices. The dried leaves of Salvia divinorum can also be smoked in rolled cigarettes or pipes or vaporized and inhaled.

Although information about salvia is limited, its use may be driven in part by drug-related videos and information on Internet sites. Because of the nature of the drug’s effects—brief hallucinogenic experiences that mimic psychosis, it is more likely to be used in individual experimentation than as a social or party drug.

Salvia currently is not a drug regulated by the Controlled Substances Act, but several States and countries have passed legislation to regulate its use.


ico-01Subjective effects of salvia use have been described as intense but short-lived, appearing in less than 1 minute and lasting less than 30 minutes. They include psychedelic-like changes in visual perception, mood and body sensations, emotional swings, feelings of detachment, and a highly modified perception of external reality and the self, leading to a decreased ability to interact with one’s surroundings. This last effect has prompted concern about the dangers of driving under the influence of salvinorin.

Health Concerns

The psychological or physical health effects of salvia use have not been investigated systematically, and consequences of long-term use are not known. Experiments in rodents demonstrated deleterious effects of salvinorin A on learning and memory, but there is little evidence of salvia causing dependence or long-term psychiatric problems in humans.


Source: NIDA (National Institute on Drug Abuse)