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    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.

    Also known as magic mint and diviner’s sage, among other slang terms, salvia looks like green plant leaves or a liquid extract. It can be chewed, smoked, or vaporized, depending on the form it is in. 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]

    Understand 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).[2]

    Identify & address use

    Signs of use include dizziness, slurred speech, loss of coordination and short but intense hallucinations. If you’re concerned your child may be using salvia or other substances, the following can help you address the behavior more effectively.

    A few simple tips and guidelines can go a long way toward spotting issues with drug use earlier rather than later.
    Learn more
    It can be scary if your child is using drugs or alcohol, and it's important to confront it. We're here to give you tips and strategies on how to do it.

    Last Updated

    October 2023

    [1]Drugs of Abuse | A DEA Resource Guide: 2017 Edition.”Salvia Divinorum.” Drug Enforcement Agency, 2017. Web. Accessed 12 Dec. 2018

    [2]“Get Smart About Drugs.” Find Help | Get Smart About Drugs,

    Additional Sources:

    The National Institute on Drug Abuse Blog Team. “Salvia.” Drugs & Health Blog, National Institute on Drug Abuse, Accessed 12 Dec. 2018

    “Salvia Divinorum.” DEA,