Citation: Stargazer. "Powerful Mood Lifter: An Experience with Salvia divinorum (exp102925)". Erowid.org. Jan 3, 2017. erowid.org/exp/102925
Background: I meditate regularly and have led meditation groups for some years. I have also suffered from depression on and off for much of my adult life. Meditation has helped with the depression, as has St. Johnís Wort and 5-HTP.
For the previous 3 days I had no alcohol. For the previous 24 hours or more I took no herbs or nutraceuticals. I do not take any medication.
At 4:40 pm my sitter arrived. We were alone in my house. We discussed what we were about to do. The sitter had some previous experience with psychedelics.
I had none.
At 5:00 pm, in the spirit of inquiry and with much respect, I placed Ĺ oz. plain dried leaves of Salvia divinorum in water and simmered gently while stirring with a spoon for 15 minutes. It smelled like spinach. The leaves look almost black they turn so dark when cooked.
When it was done, brushed teeth, tongue, gums very thoroughly.
Turned on the radio to the classical music station.
Allowed the tea to cool, strained out the leaves and began to sip slowly from a tablespoon. The spoon was to help slow down the sipping process. Each sip was swooshed around the mouth slowly and held for a bit before swallowing. The taste was strongly bitter but not so bad; somewhat recalling the vegetable broccoli raab.
Almost right away, in a minute or two of sipping, there was ď S ď on the SALVIA scale; something was happening. Sat on the edge of the bed in the bedroom of my house. Continued to sip and swoosh until about 6:00 pm.
Sense of rocking/ dizziness which passed momentarily.
Open eyed visual experience: after a few minutes, the straight lines of furniture, the bookcase, etc. started to bend back and forth of their own accord.
I lie down on the bed and closed the eyes. This was at ď L ď on the SALVIA scale. Pre-hypnogogic imagery had been multiplied by the dozens, one image melting into another into another. Cartoons, Pixar-like creatures, stick figures, plant-like forms all morphing and changing. Black & white images, a bit of grey here and there. The images looked two-dimensional and had neither decipherable meanings nor any emotional content. No ďinternal audioĒ nor kinesthetic effects beyond what has been mentioned.
Some neighborhood kids were playing outside and the sounds of their shouts and cries caused the figures to move differently in response. Also, when the classical station came to a more militant sounding piece of music, the characters moving across the visual field responded to the music. Felt awake though dreamy with eyes closed. Enjoyed this experience for about half an hour.
At about 6:30 pm the sitter passed the bedroom doorway and I called him in. We discussed the experience, and although I sat up on the edge of the bed briefly, I felt so high/inebriated that I lie down again after a minute or so. We talked for 15 minutes or more. When he left to go to the other room I closed eyes to see if the visual show was over, and it was.
A light hearted, open, positive mood had settled here. I have laughed more easily, expressed spontaneous gratitude, and in general acted more like the person I practice to be. Itís 5 days later and it didnít completely wear off yet.
Itís 5 days later and it didnít completely wear off yet.
(Perhaps small doses of Salvia divinorum tea might be therapeutic for people who suffer from depression as a mood lightening herb, not dissimilar in possible application to St. Johnís Wort?)
Sleep that night felt full of dreams, though they were not recalled specifically. Felt more thirst than usual. Woke several times, as if sleeping more lightly than usual. (which is already pretty light)
The next day a mild headache lingered. I wanted to see what the headache would do if left alone, and it just hung around all day. The mind and perceptions felt clear the next day, with no noticed ill effects.
In summary: this first trip to Salvia land brought a pleasant surprise Ė an upbeat mood that has lasted several days afterward. Possible future directions may be smaller doses to see how little is needed to affect the mood positively.
Just a Ĺ oz. dose taken as a tea had a powerful effect on both perception and mood. My respectful approach to Salvia feels fully justified, and I may return to explore the mood-lifting property further.
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