Back in 2008, I gave a presentation about Salvia divinorum's background and pharmacology. It was obvious when I was doing the research that scientific interest in the matter was only just developing, with papers being published at the time on topics such as which receptors in the brain the active compound, Salvinorin-A, binds to, molecular structures and plenty of speculation on what the future may hold for such a unique plant.

Almost five years later, I thought it might be interesting to see how far the research has progressed - have any of the hopeful speculations been realised - so, the first thing I did was look at how many more papers have been published on salvia since then. Turns out it's a lot!

The graph below shows just how interested the scientific community has become since the first paper published in 1983.

Salvia divinorum papers per year

(The last bar is Jan 1st 2013 to today, so the rest of the year will likely see plenty more papers published)

In future blog posts here at, I think I'll look into the statistics a bit more to see how things have changed/are changing to get an overview of where the research is heading. I'll also be taking a look at some of these papers and discussing them in an effort to bring some of the science to the public.