Scientists are quite literally crazy. Some of them, but not all, you understand. They’ve all got a very special mindset which chases problems just for the intellectual thrill. Many of history’s greatest discoveries though have come from what have apparently been purely intellectual pursuits from the start.

Salvia is a perfect example of what would appear to be an intellectual challenge without any real world applications. Scientists have known about Salvia for decades — perhaps longer — but they have never really studied it or its effect on the brain until very recently.

This research started in earnest a few years ago once talk of banning Salvia came to light — nothing like a catastrophe to focus the mind, is there? — and researchers are now wishing they had started much earlier.

There have been a few very, very exciting discoveries linked with Salvia. One is that research into the way the brain works under the influence of Salvia might just help us to understand how it works under the influence of Alzheimer’s. In this wonderfully interesting case there is no potential for Salvia to be the direct saviour, but it could assist the real saviours — the doctors — in finding a real cure to what is a real problem.