Salvia divinorum (also known as Diviner's Sage,Ska Maria Pastora,Seer's Sage,and by its genus name Salvia) is a psychoactive plant which can induce dissociative effects and is a potent producer of "visions" and other hallucinatory experiences. Its native habitat is within cloud forest in the isolated Sierra Mazateca of Oaxaca, Mexico, growing in shady and moist locations.The plant grows to over a meter high,has hollow square stems, large leaves, and occasional white flowers with violet calyx. Botanists have not determined whether Salvia divinorum is a cultigen or a hybrid; native plants reproduce vegetatively, rarely producing viable seed.
Salvia divinorum has a long and continuous tradition of religious use by Mazatec shamans, who use it to facilitate visionary states of consciousness during spiritual healing sessions.Most of the plant's local common names allude to the Mazatec belief that the plant is an incarnation of the Virgin Mary, with its ritual use also invoking that relationship. Its active psychoactive constituent is a structurally unique diterpenoid called salvinorin A,a potent κ-opioid and D2 receptor agonist.Salvia divinorum is generally understood to be of low toxicity (high LD50)and low addictive potential since it is a κ-opioid agonist.