How to Recognize a Salvia Divinorum Plant


An herb in the mint family, Salvia divinorum is used by the Mazatec Indians for religious purposes. The plant is native to the Sierra Mazateca region of Oaxaca, Mexico, but can also be found growing outside of that region. Salvia divinorum contains the active compound Salvinorin A, also called Divinorin A, which is widely known for its hallucinogenic properties, although it has not been approved for medical use. The Salvia divinorum plant is easily identified by its distinctive stem, leaves, and flowers.



things you’ll need:
  • Salvia divinorum plant
    1. Cut the stem of the plant and peer inside. The stem should not be round. It should have a distinct square shape and be hollow.
    2. Feel the leaves of the plant, which should have a matte, almost velvet-like texture to them. They may also be browning slightly around the edges. If the leaves are smooth and shiny, it’s not a Salvia divinorum.
    3. Look at the flowers of the plant, if it is flowering. Salvia divinorum flowers are white with purple calyces. They do not come in other colors, so if the flowers are not white and purple, you have the wrong plant.
    4. Measure the height of the plant if you have the opportunity. Salvia divinorum grows to about 3 feet in height.

Tips & Warnings

  • While not currently controlled under the Controlled Substances Act, some states have passed legislation regulating the use and distribution of Salvia divinorum and Salvinorin A, so check local laws before growing or handling this plant.

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