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Salvia Divinorum, what is it?

Salvia divinorum is a plant in the lip flower family. In the wild, the plant is found in the Mazatec Mountains in Mexico. These plants grow in shady and moist places. The plant was traditionally used by the Mazatec medicine man as the plant is psychoactive. The plant thus causes strong hallucinations.

Uses of Salvia

For thousands of years, the plant has been chewed by their medicine men in religious rituals of the Mazatec Indians. Chewing the plant produces a milder effect that lasts longer than when it is smoked. When smoked, Salvia causes dissociation and intense hallucinations. The effect then lasts about 5 to 10 minutes. Most users describe the experience as pleasant, sometimes even spiritual. Other users find the experience scary and too intense. Many users find the temporary feeling of loss of control very frightening, where the perception of the environment is completely lost. The sense of height and depth disappears and the user fears that he will have to be included in a two-dimensional plane. Salvia is a drug that is legally available today, and new users may underestimate the intensity of its effects as a result. This is of course not the intention, so always be careful!

Reasons for use

In the Sierra Mazateca, where the Salvia divinorum grows in the wild, it is used by medicine men and women in religious rituals. The leaves are also used as a medicine for diarrhea, headaches and rheumatism. Today it is used for its psychedelic intoxication and as part of healing rituals.


Today the leaves of the plant are smoked with a pipe. Short but very intense hallucinations then arise. The effects occur after 30 seconds, are at their most intense in 5 to 10 minutes and wear off after 20 to 30 minutes.

These effects can occur when you smoke Salvia:

  • Derealization and loss of identity;
  • Feeling like an object;
  • Out-of-body experience (“out-of-body experience”);
  • Overlapping realities, the feeling that one is in several places at the same time;
  • Delay in time perception;
  • Laugh uncontrollably;
  • The feeling that the body is bent or pulled by different forces;
  • Visual effects of two-dimensional surfaces;
  • Speaking an unintelligible “gibberish”;
  • Visiting places from the past, especially from childhood.

When you chew Salvia, the effects are much milder. These effects come on after about 5 to 10 minutes and last for about an hour.

The Maztec medicine men and women will never smoke Salvia. According to them, this is disrespectful to the plant. Smoking can cause very overwhelming and intense experiences and they say this is because the plant feels unappreciated.


When using Salvia, make sure a trip sitter is available. Many experiences are known in which the user under the influence of Salvia divinorum starts running or wants to climb out of something (such as a window). The risk of serious injury is then very present. The co-ordination of the user is very reduced, which could possibly cause him / her to fall.

It is therefore very important that there is always someone present who has not used Salvia and who can keep an eye on the user! It is also important that the user undergoes the trip in a pleasant and safe environment. There must be no objects in the area that could be dangerous, such as candles, an open window or door, sharp objects, etc.

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