Salvia Divinorum: Therapeutic use

Last modified: Saturday, 20. June 2009 - 3:29 pm

There are no recognized Therapeutic uses of Salvia divinorum. However, tribal shamans in Oaxaca, Mexico have used the plant to restore regularity of elimination, relieve headache, and function as a tonic for generalized weakness, aches, and pains.
Karl Hanes, Ph.D., a cognitive-behavioral therapist in Australia, has described one case of a 26-year-old woman who had been moderately depressed without remission since adolescence. After six months of cognitive-behavioral therapy, she was only slightly improved. Previous treatment with the antidepressant sertraline for three months had produced no benefit. Despite being cautioned against its use, the woman experienced relief of her symptoms after smoking leaves of Salvia divinorum. She continued to ingest the herb, chewing two to three leaves as a cud for 15-30 minutes three times a week. While consuming the herb in this way, she remained in remission for at least six months.
Siebert claims that Salvia divinorum has healing properties, and cites its use in one case of depression that was reported on the Internet. In the 1960s, however, there were many claims that the leading hallucinogen of that era, LSD, also provided in a self-healing experience. There were attempts to study LSD when used as an adjunct to psychotherapy. The claims for LSD, however, did not pass the test of time. There is no recognized therapeutic role for LSD today. Statements by Siebert and others appear to make a similar case for Salvia divinorum. It remains to be seen whether such assertions are proven true.

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