Salvia Divinorum

Reviewed on 6/11/2021
Other Name(s):

Divine Mexican Mint, Diviner's Mint, Diviners Sage, Divinorin, Divinorin A, Feuilles de la Bergère, Feuilles de la Vierge, Herb-of-the-Virgin, Herba de María, Hierba de la Virgen, Hojas de la Pastora, La Hembra, Leaves of the Virgin Shepherdess, Magic Mint, Menthe Magique, Mexican Sage, Mexican Sage Incense, Pipiltzintzintli, Sadi, Sally-D, Salvia, Salvia divinorum, Salvinorin, Salvinorin A, Sage of the Seers, Sauge des Devins, Sauge Divinatoire, Ska Maria, Ska Maria Pastora, Yerba de Maria, Yerba Maria.


Salvia divinorum is an herb in the mint family. It has been used for centuries in religious ceremonies by the Mazatec Indians, a native people who live in Oaxaca, Mexico. The Mazatecs believe it is an incarnation of the Virgin Mary.

Salvia divinorum is used most famously as a recreational drug. It produces hallucinations when inhaled, when the leaves are chewed, or when extracts are placed under the tongue. It is widely available through smoke shops and on the Internet in concentrated form. It is used in cigarettes and incense. Salvia divinorum possession and use is legal in most states in the US, but the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) is reviewing it for possible controlled substance regulation. It is considered illegal in some states including Delaware, Louisiana, Maine, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Tennessee.

Salvia divinorum is also taken by mouth as a medicine for diarrhea, headache, joint pain (rheumatism), stomach bloating, and as a tonic and end-of-life remedy. It is taken to regulate urination and bowel movements.

How does it work?

Salvia divinorum contains chemicals that can cause hallucinations. These chemicals are destroyed by digestive juices. There isn't much information about how diviner's sage might work as a medicine.


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Uses & Effectiveness

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

  • Producing hallucinations.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Headache.
  • Rheumatism.
  • Bloating.
  • Regulating urination and bowel movements.
  • Use as a tonic.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of diviner's sage for these uses.

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).

Side Effects

Salvia divinorum is POSSIBLY UNSAFE. It can cause serious side effects including nausea, dizziness, slurred speech, confusion, paranoia, and hallucinations.


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Special Precautions & Warnings

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Not enough is known about the use of diviner's sage during pregnancy and breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.


The appropriate dose of Salvia divinorum depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for diviner's sage. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

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Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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