Public awareness of Salvia divinorum is always growing; mostly thanks to scaremongering media reports about the new ‘legal high’ that is threatening our safety. Unfortunately, the majority of instances of Salvia use we hear about in the media focus on reckless or irresponsible use of the plant. What we don’t hear a lot about is the responsible use of Salvia, or the amazing medical potential of the plant. Hundreds of scientists are currently studying Salvia in the hope of finding a cure for addiction, or developing groundbreaking new painkillers. It’s important that the people in government who are responsible for drug policy are aware of the scientific community’s consensus about Salvia, rather than basing their decisions entirely on biased media reports.
Here I’ll present two very recent, very different papers on Salvia divinorum. The first (Winslow and Mahendran 2014) presents a case study of one person who took what may have been Salvia in an irresponsible way, and use it to claim that Salvia is a harmful drug of abuse. The second (Serra et al. 2015) undertakes a thorough and controlled study of the effects of Salvinorin A on rats, in an attempt to understand the potential dangers of Salvia as a drug of abuse.Read More