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SALVIA DIVINORUM

Salvia divinorum is a rare, unique, psychoactive sage plant (from the mint family) whose natural habitat is the damp humid warm hollows in the high mountain jungle forests of the Oaxacan mountain region of Mexico. If you're interested in obtaining this plant, and live in Canada, be advised that starting in February 2016, the legal status of Salvia divinorum changed in Canada and it has now become officially illegal to buy, trade, cultivate (grow), or share the plant or products made from it. Salvia plants and their active ingredient Salvinorin A has been added to Schedule IV of Canada's controlled substances list.

Thankfully, even after February 2016, personal amounts of salvia products like salvia extract will still be legal to possess (simple possession), unlike other psychedelics that are on the more restrictive Schedule III instead. Here is the initial Health Canada press release from Aug 2015 announcing the change. Here is the full Canada Gazette government announcement that outlines the details and timeline for scheduling.

Read on to learn about Salvia divinorum plants. This webpage is a historical reference guide for people who simply want to learn more about the plant and its care, since the plant is still fully or partially legal in many countries and states.

2 healthy organic outdoor grown Salvia divinorum plants

Salvia divinorum is also called Diviner's Sage or Diviners Sage, Seer's Sage, Magic Mint, Ska Maria Pastora, Sally D, and Yerba Maria. The natives of Mexico use these plants for the purpose of creating visions and altered states in their shamanic religious rituals. The powerfully hallucinogenic and dissociative experiences caused by the plant are due to a chemical inside the leaves called Salvinorin A. It's a diterpene chemical (which is very different than most psychoactive plants, whose active elements are alkaloids) that acts on the Kappa Opioid receptors of the human brain, which affect the perception and generation of consciousness. In contrast, most natural classic psychedelics like magic mushrooms, DMT, LSD, and Ayahuasca affect the serotonin system of the brain by acting as serotonin analogues and temporarily altering circuits in the brain that route & filter sensory information. Salvia's subjective effects are a mix between psychedelic and dissociative, so it's classified as an atypical dissociative & psychedelic.

A person experiences the mind-altering effects of the Salvia plant - in various degrees from mild to out of this world - through methods such as smoking the leaves and concentrated extracts, chewing on the dried or fresh leaves for half an hour (called quidding), or through convenient liquid extracts/elixirs that are dropped under the tongue. A 10X extract smoked in a water bong with a regular lighter, or a windproof Butane lighter for a stronger effect, is a recommended method and strength. Those smoked trips are short (2-15 minutes) and intense. 2 to 3 dry grams is a good dose for quidding. Tinctures or soft extracts are also very promising, and both quidding and tinctures or soft extracts have an effect for over 45 minutes.

They're an interesting plant if you're into collecting or learning about rare, sacred/entheogenic, edible, native, and medicinal plants. I encourage you to take the time to read the entire page so you learn how to properly care for them.

Growing Salvia Divinorum

If you're into growing Salvia and other interesting legal entheogens, be sure to join the grower-oriented discussion forum at salviasource.org! I posted there occasionally in the past.

Salvia divinorum, also known as Diviners Sage, is a moderately difficult, somewhat fussy plant to grow, but it does very well if you know how to grow it properly. They require fairly ideal growing conditions in order to thrive and are quite unlikely to do well left out on a table like a house plant. The hardest part is the initial stage of growing it from a small fresh cutting; once it's two months old and established, it's stronger and easier to take care of! It should be kept growing OUTSIDE in the shade for as many months as possible (but MUST be kept inside if there may be frosts or weather below 8 degrees Celsius, as it is a very tender plant that WILL die at the slightest exposure to that kind of cold). It also should be sheltered from wind, because the wind dries it out too much. These plants can get up to 5 feet tall or more in ideal conditions, but for home growing you can cut the top off when the plant is two or three feet tall, which will force it to grow side-shoots and become bushier (when it's low and bushy it's easier to manage and less likely to fall over than a tall skinny single-stemmed plant).

Salvia is happiest in a somewhat humid but well ventilated environment, with the soil kept slightly damp (watered once a week, maybe twice when very young). It's important that the soil is neither wet and waterlogged, nor overly dry. In winters in dry dark climates it WILL prefer to be in some sort of humidity tent such as the Sun Blaster Nano Dome that can be purchased from places like hydroshop.ca. When indoors, it must be given supplemental hours of light (use a "natural daylight" fluorescent or LED light). Use the overhead light plugged into a light timer set to come on 14 to 16 hours a day. The plant also enjoys an occasional misting, but if fuzzy dark mould forms anywhere, or moist black leaf edges, the plant needs more fresh air, drier soil, and less humidity. If the entire plant suddenly wilts but is still green, it usually means the soil got too dry and will feel dry to the touch. The solution is to water and mist it (it should recover in 6 hours unless its too far gone) and don't let the soil get that dry again!

SOIL: The soil itself should be a standard, not-too-dense "tropical plant potting mix" containing plenty of humus, purchased from a gardening store. I like to mix that with some Coconut Coir (about a 3:1 ratio of soil to coco coir) and some extra vermiculite or perlite to keep the soil airy. The pot MUST have drainage holes in the bottom so that the roots don't rot! Make sure the soil dries out enough between waterings to suppress mould. Plants should always be repotted in fresh soil twice a year, in the Spring and in the late Fall.

Salvia divinorum plant leaf close-up showing green irridescence

PARASITES: Check your plants closely every week for aphids, which are green semi-transparent sap-sucking bugs (with or without wings). The best way to control aphids is to carefully check the plant twice a week and squish any aphids you find with your fingers. You can also wash them off in the shower. They're usually found near the growing tips of the plant where the leaves are small. Thrips and their larvae are tiny and they mine from the underside of the leaves and leave tiny black dots and a whitish greyish spreading patch of leaf death. Also watch out for smaller tiny white spider mites under the leaves which are tiny pinprick-sized white bugs that weave webs under the leaves and cause tiny yellow specks on top of the leaves when they start to infest the plant. Sometimes people don't notice them until the infestation is severe. Directly spraying the underside of the leaves with a jet of water or the shower, brushing the webs off the underside of the leaves with an artist's paintbrush, and keeping the plants outside in mottled shade in the good weather (where natural predators exist), are your best bets for controlling the pests organically. Aphids, thrips, and spider mites are the most common pests that attack Salvia. If mechanical control methods don't work, then using Safer's "Trounce" insecticide will solve the problem. Spray the leaves thoroughly. Some bugs such as slugs will stop by and eat chunks out of the leaves, but they generally don't actually live on the plant and are only an issue when the plant is outside.

FERTILIZER: Once a month, fertilize your Salvia divinorum with a 20|20|20 (even ratio) or 20|10|10 fertilizer according to the directions on the fertilizer package. You can also mix that with kelp extract or a gentle organic fish emulsion fertilizer. If the new leaves start to become too pale/yellowish and weak, add some 7% iron chelate powder to your fertilizer water in the next two or three waterings (read the package for the exact amount to use!). Sometimes pale new leaves also indicate the plant's soil is too wet. Plants should always be repotted in fresh soil twice a year, in the Spring and in the late Fall.

Salvia divinorum plant bunch showing square stem shape

Salvia divinorum has a distinctive bright medium green colour, easy to recognize somewhat downward curled leaves that are slightly serrated, and bulky nodes on its stem. It has a very distinctive thick, hollow SQUARE stem that I've noticed is covered in a fascinating microscopic surface pattern which quickly wicks water across the entire plant if a drop lands anywhere on the stem:

Here is a photo of a baby salvia cutting of that had been in a glass of water for two weeks (water topped up every two days, and changed every four days) in the shade outside. Once these roots are an inch long or more, typically after 2-3 weeks, they can be planted in a pot, misted now and then if need be, and kept humid for the first month (but NOT so damp that the leaves turn black and rot!) until its roots become established:

Salvia divinorum plant being rooted in a glass of water, showing new roots ready to transplant to moist soil for growing.

Ordering Live Salvia Plants in North America

If you live in CANADA like I do, and want to buy your own Salvia divinorum plants, be advised they're not legally for sale anymore. You can find other interesting plants at Richter's herbs but they stopped selling salvia plants after November 2015 due to the changing laws in Canada. They're a great obscure plant vendor and have lots of other interesting psychoactive plants like Rescueherb, Morning Glories, and Daturas. Every time you order from them, please click on the link to their site from my page as then I get credited for referring you (which helps fund my plant growing hobby and this informational site of mine). Richter's also sells many other rare plants and interesting shiitake and oyster mushroom growing kits which I've tried, that are fun to grow!

If you live in the United States you should usually order live plants ONLY from the United States since they generally cannot be shipped across international borders due to tight Customs regulations. There are still many sources for Salvia plants in the USA, including this company: BotanicalSpirit.com and Sagewisdom.org (which is pricey, but run by a renowned Salvia divinorum expert, Daniel Siebert).



Healthy organic Salvia divinorum plants growing outside with no need for a humidity tent

Forget growing! I just want the darn Salvia Extracts or Tinctures...

Not everyone is a plant lover or has a green thumb. If growing your own plants is too much of a hassle, and you suck at keeping plants alive, you can order Salvia products (extracts/enhanced crystal leaf, dried foliage, elixirs, etc) from several businesses specializing in selling entheogen botanical products and sacred plants in many countries still.

BOTANICAL SPIRIT Salvia Divinorum Extract Supplier

This is one of the best online stores I've found so far for entheogens: BotanicalSpirit.com. I've ordered from them many times myself over the years, and they're always great! Whenever you order from them, please click on the link to their site from my page so I get credited for referring you (which helps fund my plant growing hobby). Americans can safely order from BotanicalSpirit.com since they have warehouses in the US. As mentioned earlier, I recommend Salvia 10X to 20X extracts, which are best smoked with a butane lighter in a water bong. If you don't use a windproof butane lighter, the effect from the same amount is milder. Aside from Salvia, check out their amazing selection of other legal entheogens as well! Particularly: Kava Kava, Kratom, Mimosa hostilis rootbark or Acacia confusa rootbark (for extracting DMT), Hawaiian Baby Woodrose, and Morning Glory (Flying Saucers, or Heavenly Blue varieties). CAUTION: The Psychotria viridis sold on Botanical Spirit's site is actually Psychotria alba/Psychotria carthagenesis, so do not buy it (I have verified that the plant flowers white, not green, confirming it's an alba not a viridis).

I personally find Kava's relaxing, anti-anxiety effects very much like being tipsy on alcohol (full body relaxation and sociability, BUT without becoming stupid). Kava's most certainly worth a try and is legally available for purchase in both the USA and Canada! I recommend a 30-40% kavalactone standardized extract powder. It can make your tongue a bit numb for 10 minutes, but other than that odd effect, it's awesome and wonderful for anxious types. Update August 2015: Good news! Health Canada approved Kava supplement capsules are now available from the very reputable brand Natural Factors, from regular herb and supplement stores, not just head shops!

Play it safe. Visit Erowid first.

Make sure you visit the drug information library at the well-respected reference site erowid.org to read up about these plants in detail before using any products made from them! Safety is of paramount importance. Check your laws first, find out the side effects the plants can cause, know the proper dosages, and be aware. Use these products responsibly and work your way up starting with small doses first, gradually increasing to stronger doses over time.

Another company that sells entheogens (but not Salvia anymore) is Bouncing Bear Botanicals. I have ordered from them and was very happy with the products and the service. Every time you order from them, please click on the link to their site from my page as then I get credited for referring you. Although they don't sell Salvia divinorum any more, they do sell other very interesting psychoactive plants and fungi/mushrooms such as Amanita muscaria mushrooms (also called Fly Agaric), Kratom, Kava Kava, and many other things. Check them out.

Salvia divinorum plants Salvia divinorum plant stem showing the distinctive square shape and nodes

Salvia Tincture

The best place to order Salvia tincture is sagewisdom.org. Or, you can order plain dried leaves and make your own tincture more inexpensively by following instructions on the Internet. The fellow who runs Sage Wisdom - Daniel Siebert - is an expert on Salvia, discovered its active ingredient was Salvinorin A, and did a lot of important published research on the plant in the 1990s. The products on his site are top class, and the prices are equally high but you'll get what you pay for. I'm not sure how much longer they'll be selling to Canadian addresses due to Canada outlawing Salvia sales in February 2016, but they're a good supplier for other countries.

Local Trading / Buying / Selling of legal entheogens and other interesting plants

If you're local to Kitchener, Waterloo, Guelph, Cambridge, Elmira, Stratford, London, Hamilton, Burlington, Oakville, Milton, Brampton, Mississauga, Brantford, Woodstock, GTA, or the Toronto area in Ontario, Canada, feel free to contact me by email if you would like to stop by to purchase legal native and some entheogenic seeds and plants. I'm a helpful and genuine Canuck psychonaut.

As mentioned at the top of this webpage, I don't sell Salvia divinorum plants anymore due to it being added to the controlled substances list in Canada. Please spread the news that Salvia has been criminalized, and make sure your friends are aware, as many have still not heard the news yet since it hasn't been sufficiently publicized in the media either.

Interested in trading/buying/selling any other, legal, native, medicinal, or edible plants or entheogens? I have a few healthy young Black Mulberry (Morus nigra) trees for sale that produce delicious fruit that look like blackberries. Also available are wonderful native Elderberry seeds (very hardy and fast growing, they produce broad clusters of dark purple berries in a unique Queen Anne's Lace pattern). I have some prolific wild Blackcap raspberry canes that you will never find in garden centres (the berries are wonderful!) to sell or trade. Datura stramonium seeds are also available, although I find that plant annoyingly invasive, stinky, and rather unappealing. Contact me by email if you have any further questions.

I'm also just as interested in mycology (mushroom growing and hunting) as I am in plants. I found the bright yellow North American version of Amanita muscaria mushrooms growing wild down the street in a damp wooded cluster of trees in a park last fall (although I wouldn't recommend ingesting Amanitas). Tip: Psilocybe cyanescens, which is a true psilocybin-containing "magic" mushroom, can grow in Canada outside (Google it!) and it's twice as strong as the usual P. cubensis.

I wish you all the best in your "green travels"! Enjoy your amazing entheogens and other natural medicinal wonders! :)




 

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