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Salvia Divinorum – How It Works On the Brain

11.29.2009 · Posted in Alternative Medicine Articles

Little is known about the drug, salvia divinorum, or how it works on the brain and what its long-term effects might be. But word of its existence is spreading through e-mail chains and Web sites praising its potential, which has caught the attention of the American Drug Enforcement Administration. The DEA has now included it on its list of “Drugs and Chemicals of Concern” and is considering whether to add the herb to its list of controlled substances.rnrnSome researchers who have studied it and other hallucinogens doubt the DEA needs to worry much, and say they don’t believe the herb will live up to the hype seen on some of the Web sites.rnrnStill, the Internet descriptions of the herb’s effects, albeit more subdued, would be familiar to anyone who remembers the 1960s, when Harvard University professors Timothy Leary and Richard Alpert began proselytizing for LSD’s power to help people expand their consciousness.rnrnThen, reports of “bad trips” and allegations that LSD use would lead to chromosome damage and widespread birth defects, which were never borne out by studies of users of the drug, helped to create a backlash against “acid” that quickly led to it being outlawed.rnrnForty years later, the fate of salvia, is still in the doubt. And there are many differences between it, LSD and the cultures that surround both. LSD was manmade and new, while salvia, a perennial in the mint family that is native to parts of Oaxaca, Mexico, has been used by Indians there for centuries as a healing and divining tool.rnrnAnd unlike the champions of LSD in the 1960s, those running the Web sites offering salvia d are not portraying the herb as a wonder drug without any potential problems for users.

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