The hallucinogenic plant salvia, sometimes known as Seer’s Sage or Diviner’s Sage may be banned in Canada soon.
Some noted effects of salvia are:
* Uncontrollable laughter
* Past memories, such as revisiting places from childhood memory
* Sensations of motion, or being pulled or twisted by forces
* Visions of membranes, films and various two-dimensional surfaces
* Merging with or becoming objects
* Overlapping realities, such as the perception of being in several locations at once
Salvia has been traditionally used by the Mazatec in Mexico to induce visions associated with spiritual experiences. The plant is native to Oaxaca and grows naturally at elevations of 1,000 to 6,000 feet. Mazatecs are the indigenous people of the Oxaca area. They have been known to use a variety of plants such as morning glory seeds, coleus leaves, psilocybe mushrooms in addition to salvia for religious rituals.
In Canada and the United States, youth have been using salvia in a recreational way at parties, but in Mexico in the context of Mazatec culture, it is not used like that at all. In Mazatec culture it has been given by senior shamans to train beginners in their spirituality. The doses start small and build up as the apprentice acclimates. The plant has been used in their rituals to see into the future, find lost objects, and identify robbers. It either was made into a tea, or to be chewed. It is also used medicinally to treat headaches, arthritis, anemia, digestive problems, and constipation as well as diarrhea.
If Canada is successful in passing the salvia ban, it will become illegal to buy, produce, possess, sell, import or export the Mexican plant. Currently is is being sold at head shops for about $20 to $80 for a small vial. Also web sites sell it, so access if fairly easy. In Canada about 7 percent of youth ages 15 – 24 said they have used it at least once. YouTube has many videos of young people smoking the plant and talking about their experiences, but done in a casual way, without any cultural significance, other than what a person would expect from inebriation from alcohol.
In the United States an estimate by the federal government put the number of people who have tried salvia at 1.8 million. According to the DEA salvia regulations have been implemented in the following countries: Australia, Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Italy, Japan, Spain, and Sweden.
ABC News published a video about the dangers of salvia, with a small part about the positive benefits it could have for medicinal use.
Image Credit: phyzome