Salvia

Know the facts about salvia and connect with help and support to keep your child safe.

What are some slang terms?
Maria Pastora, Sally-D, Salvia, Magic mint, Shepherdess’s Herb, Diviner’s Sage

What is Salvia?
Salvia (aka salvia divinorum) is a psychoactive mint, used in traditional spiritual practices by the Mazatec people of Mexico. It is legal in both Mexico and the United States. However, some states have banned the leafy green, making its possession — like that of heroin or cocaine — a felony.

Salvinorin-A, the active property of salvia divinorum, is considered to be the most potent, selective and naturally occurring hallucinogen when smoked — rivaling the potency of the synthetic hallucinogens like LSD.1

signs of use:
  • Dizziness
  • Slurred speech
  • Loss of coordination
  • Short but intense hallucinations
  • Feelings of detachment from one’s body
  • Sweating
related drugs:

What does it look like?
It looks like green plant leaves or a liquid extract.

How is Salvia used?
Salvia can be chewed, smoked, or vaporized, depending on the form it is in.

What do young people hear about it?
Salvia has been reported to induce an intense hallucinatory experience (particularly when smoked) which typically persists from several minutes to an hour. It has been described as a “20-minute acid trip.”2

What are the risks?
This drug is a psychoactive hallucinogen that can cause dramatic and sometimes frightening mind-states. Physical effects include dizziness, slurred speech, and loss of coordination. Harm from Salvia divinorum most likely occurs from inadequate preparation or from using the drug in a setting in which it is dangerous to be intoxicated from any drug at all (i.e. driving).3

1Drugs of Abuse | A DEA Resource Guide: 2017 Edition. “Salvia Divinorum.” Drug Enforcement Agency, 2017. Web. https://www.dea.gov/sites/default/files/sites/getsmartaboutdrugs.com/files/publications/DoA_2017Ed_Updated_6.16.17.pdf#page=85. Accessed 12 Dec. 2018.
2National Institute on Drug Abuse. “Commonly Abused Drugs Charts.” NIDA, July 2018, https://www.drugabuse.gov/drugs-abuse/commonly-abused-drugs-charts#salvia.
3“Get Smart About Drugs.” Find Help | Get Smart About Drugs, https://www.getsmartaboutdrugs.gov/drugs/salvia-divinorum.
Additional Sources:
The National Institute on Drug Abuse Blog Team. “Salvia.” Drugs & Health Blog, National Institute on Drug Abuse, https://teens.drugabuse.gov/drug-facts/salvia. Accessed 12 Dec. 2018.
“Salvia Divinorum.” DEA, https://www.dea.gov/factsheets/salvia-divinorum.

Next Steps