|Salvia divinorum (also known as Diviner's sage, María Pastora or simply Salvia, although the genus name is shared among many plants) is a psychoactive plant, a member of the sage genus and the Lamiaceae (mint) family. The plant is grown by the Mazatec indigenous people of the Oaxaca mountains of southern Mexico in isolated, moist, and secret plots. It has been used as an entheogen by their shamans for centuries for healing during spirit journeys. It is thought to be a cultigen. No definitively wild populations have been found. The Latin name Salvia divinorum literally translates to "sage of the diviners".
top of the dirt until the following
spring. Then, when warm weather returns, the kernel of ergot sprouts
off a bunch of tiny growths that look for all the world like so many
minute mushrooms. In the head of each of these little mushroom
growths are millions of spores. These spores are the fungus equivalent of
When the mushroom growths have reached a length of about 20
mm, they are mature, and the head of the mushroom explodes,
sending the millions of spores floating through the air. These spores,
either by luck of air currents or by hitching a ride upon insects, find
their way into the flower of the rye plants growing nearby. The flower of
the rye plant is nothing spectacular. Rye is a grass, and its flowers look
like most other grass flowers — just a filamentaceous dab of color
scattered over the head of the plant which soon grows into seeds.
Upon being deposited into the flower of the rye plant, the spore
germinates and takes over the flower. The fungus then grows by
sucking nutrients out of the rye plant, until a new kernel of ergot has
been formed to repeat the process again next year.
The biological sciences are made to order to take the hit-and-miss
aspect out of the process of rye flower infestation. Instead of the
random action of air currents or insects to bring spores into contact
with their new home, one may germinate these spores in a sterile
culture medium, grow them until they have multiplied a million-fold,
then spray them onto the rye plants just as they are blooming to ensure a
heavy infestation with ergot. This method has been in use since the
1920s with great success in the commercial production of ergot. See
the reference by Hecke (pages 1921-1922) in the back of the Ergot
and Ergotism book mentioned above for complete experimental
details. Yields of ergot using this method average a few hundred
pounds per acre. A couple of acres could supply most of the United
States with high-grade acid.
2 Sources Of The Lysergic Amides
To put this plan into action, the few dozen kernels of ergot are kept
cool and dry during the winter, then as spring approaches they are made
ready to germinate by putting them in the refrigerator for one month to
six weeks with the temperature held steady from just above freezing to
3° C. This will make the ergot think that it has gone through winter, and
works better than actually freezing the stuff. Without this treatment, the
ergot will not germinate to form the mushroom stage of its life cycle.
After our artificial winter has passed for the ergot, we must make it
think that it is at home in the dirt. To do this, a terrarium is thoroughly
cleaned out with bleach water and several rinses. Then a layer of clean
sand about an inch thick is put in the bottom of the terrarium, and the
ergot is sprinkled on top of the sand. Finally, a little more sand is
sprinkled over the top of the ergot until they are each just covered up.
The terrarium is kept at room tem