The hallucinogenic herb Salvia has taken quite some time to get the press coverage it is currently enjoying.

Whilst the drug has been used in the past by natives of Mexico‘s Sierra Mazateca range it’s drug-like properties were only really properly documented by drug researchers in the middle of the last century.

Scholars Richard Schultes and R Gordon Wasson were the first to point out — in the a report written in 1963 — that Salvia has played a role in their psychedelic explorations. When one considers the absolute drug experimentation frenzy that took up most of the 1960s and 1970s, the lack of recognition for Salvia is even more surprising.

In 1991 Salvia got a mention in an article in the Vancouver Sun: it was a throwaway reference in a piece on cooking with Sage. A 1998 TV documentation aired on British TV was the first serious look that viewers got of Salvia and this spawned a few mentions on TV and in bits of the press.

The lack of previous attention has meant that Salvia has been able to keep its metaphorical head down and is the reason it has been able to stay legal for so long. Ironically the calls for its banning that now saturate the media across the US have brought it more into the spotlight than ever before.