3 min

How To Make Salvia Divinorum Tea

3 min

Salvia is unique among psychedelics, both in its effects profile and its pharmacology. It's often viewed as bizarre rather than pleasant, but for intrepid explorers of the mind, it's a vital part of the adventure. Salvia tea is a great way to experience the intensity of salvia in a calmer way, with both a slower come-up and longer high.

Salvia is not for the faint of heart. It can take you on a journey to strange and bizarre worlds where you forget who you are, see fantastic creatures, and experience a reality beyond the rules of normal spacetime.

With salvia, the experience pivots on whether you reach a threshold dose. Once that threshold is crossed, magic; if the threshold is not met, you’ll experience something resembling a twenty-minute cannabis high (with a much higher price tag).

To get the high you want, it’s important to plan your approach carefully.



If you’d prefer a trip with cool water energy instead of intense fire energy, you may want to try salvia tea. It’s quick, easy, and doesn’t taste too bad. And what you’re giving up in rapid onset you gain in length of the trip. The high from salvia tea can last for up to an hour. Tea also requires more salvia leaf than smoking, but for many, the benefits are worth the added cost.

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Set and setting are also important. With salvia, it’s important to make sure you’re going into the experience with the right mindset. Perhaps set an intention for what you hope to get out of the trip. If you’re feeling nervous, consider meditating beforehand to clear your mind of cobwebs.

Above all, make sure you’re in a safe environment, and that no responsibilities will crop up during your trip, as salvia will likely leave you incapacitated. You may want to have a trip-sitter nearby.



Salvia is native to the Oaxaca region in Mexico. It was and continues to be used ceremonially by Mazatec healers as one of their primary tools alongside psilocybin mushrooms and morning glory seeds. Salvia was used to facilitate divination and shamanic experiences. After the introduction of Christianity to the region, shamans came to view the plant as an embodiment of the Virgin Mary, who allowed them to communicate with Saint Peter and Jesus Christ.

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Leading up to salvia ceremonies, shamans follow a strict dieta, where they abstain from sexual intercourse, alcohol, and certain foods. They store salvia in darkness, believing the spirit of the plant to be deer-like and timid. The ceremony itself takes place in a peaceful, quiet area. More information about the cultural context of salvia can be found with Xka Pastora, a non-profit dedicated to carrying out scientific and historical research on the plant.



Not a lot is known about the pharmacology of salvia, but it’s definitely unique among psychedelics. Unlike LSD, psilocybin, and mescaline, it has no effect on the 5-HT2A serotonin system and instead activates k-opioid receptors. These receptors are distinct from the opiate-linked mu-receptors, and have a different profile of effects. However, k-opioid activation leads to decreased dopamine levels in the same circuits where opioids cause dopamine to increase, producing a strange, “anti-euphoric” experience. This will likely take the form of more surreal emotions than negative ones, but still suggests that positive affect is more remote than it is for other psychedelics.


If you want to experience the surreal adventure that is a salvia trip, but also want to go easy on your lungs, try out this recipe for salvia tea.


  • 1½ cups water
  • 28g dried Salvia divinorum leaf
  • Dairy, coconut, or almond milk (optional)
  • Sugar/honey (optional)


  • Metal pot with handle
  • Fine mesh sieve or tea strainer
  • Mug


  1. Pour water into the pot over heat.

  2. Once water reaches a rolling boil, add dried salvia leaf.

  3. Let boil 2–3 minutes.

  4. Take off heat and pour through fine mesh sieve into mug. Add milk/sugar/honey to taste.


Consumption And Experience Salvia

Wait for your tea to cool to the point where you can comfortably drink. You want to consume it reasonably fast. Once it’s ready, find a cosy place and drink up. Make sure you’re seated or lying down such that if all your muscles relax, you’ll be comfortable and won’t fall. You should feel the effects in about 20 minutes.

A pre-threshold dose feels similar to being stoned. You’ll feel fuzzy, calm, and chilled out. Some users never progress beyond this stage; for them, salvia may feel similar to cannabis, making them giggly, talkative, and relaxed. But once you cross the threshold, everything changes.

A salvia trip has a different “flavour” than other psychedelic experiences. You may see cartoon imagery, distortions of your environment, and unusual colours. Many users report “body morphing” trips, where they feel like they’re being twisted into strange shapes, pulled like Silly Putty, or even that their body is in multiple places at once. You may feel yourself merge with or “become” another object; you may feel yourself exit your body altogether.

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Memory can also come into play. Some salvia users vividly recollect or re-experience memories from early childhood; others forget who they are altogether, briefly experiencing a form of “ego loss” free from all context and memory.

Not everyone enjoys salvia. Some report feeling uneasy, anxious, nauseous, or confused. You may find it difficult to speak, walk, and concentrate. Again, make sure you set aside at least an hour where you don’t need to get anything done.


After-Effects Salvia

After a salvia trip, you may find yourself feeling “glowy” and happy. You may find it hard to concentrate and participate in mentally demanding activities. It may be hard to act normal; even if you feel normal, once you’re in a social situation, you may find yourself acting odd. These after-effects will be strongest for 1–2 hours after you come down, but may last until you sleep.

Salvia is an odd duck, but it’s an interesting tool to include in your psychedelic arsenal. If you want a salvia experience with a slow come up, longer high, and more flowing energy, give salvia tea a try.

Miguel Antonio Ordoñez
Miguel Antonio Ordoñez
With an AB Mass Media and Communications degree, Miguel Ordoñez is a veteran writer of 13 years and counting and has been covering cannabis-related content since 2017. Continuous, meticulous research along with personal experience has helped him build a deep well of knowledge on the subject.
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