Salvia, as you may know, is a legal hallucinogenic drug that has been making something of a storm lately: the media love it because it gives them something to write about; the politicians love it because it gives them something to ban; people love it because it’s great. This short article will provide some basic facts about this member of the sage family (see? I’ve started with the fun facts already!) and hopefully will give you something to talk about with your friends.

Salvia hails from Southern Mexico. More specifically it comes from the Sierra Mazatec region of the country. Salvia has only just been recently documented in any serious way but it is thought that the use of the drug was fairly well constrained to these areas.

Salvia has traditionally been popular with the Shamans of tribes in the Sierra Mazatec region; the Shamans use it to try and induce some kind of spiritual journey. Whether you equate hallucinogenic experiences with your spiritual side is a matter of taste, I suppose. More recently people in the US — and across the world — have simply used it to get really high. The first record of Salvia Divinorum as apsychedelic drug in Western literature was in 1939 by scientist and explorer Jean Basset Johnston. Johnston was studying the psilocybin mushroom which was (and is) used in Mexico, specifically among the Mazatecs. While studying the mushroom he noticed Salvia been used by the Mazatecs (though it was not always obvious since their methods of taking the drug — drinking it and chewing the leaves — are usually fairly innocuous).

Salvia Divinorum (to give it its full name) is also known as Sally D, Ska Pastora, Shepherdess’s Herb, ska Maria Pastora, yerba de Maria, Diviner’s Sage, Diviner’s Mint, and some other more silly titles.

More fun Salvia facts in the next article…