Therapeutic potential of the plant Salvia Divinorum

PEERS will be hosting a Meetup on the therapeutic potential of the plant Salvia Divinorum on Wednesday, March 15, 2017 at 7:00 PM at The People’s Co-op (3029 Southeast 21st Avenue, Portland, OR 97202) Portland, OR (map)

With Peter H Addy, PhDSalvia divinorum contains the most potent psychedelic medicine known, has been used ritually for thousands of years, and is legal in many states and countries. However, Western scientists have conducted little research into the therapeutic clinical potential of the plant. The Mazatec people of southern Mexico conduct rituals that combine their own ancient beliefs with those of Catholicism and the use of herbal medicines including Salvia.One of the most intriguing reasons people participate in Salvia rituals is for the healing of substance abuse and dependence. Salvia leaves contain more than a dozen unique chemicals, including salvinorin-A. In animals, salvinorin-A seems to disrupt many of the effects of cocaine and the addiction cycle. These anti-addiction effects are likely due to salvinorin-A’s influence on kappa receptors, and how the kappa system affects dopamine. Salvinorin-A alters dopamine levels in ancient parts of the brain responsible for motivation, reward, and the internal sense of what is going on in our bodies.The Mazatec have used Salvia to treat addiction for hundreds of years as part of a cultural and religious tradition that is quite outside Western pharmacology. We have conducted initial pharmacology work examining the ways Salvia alters body perceptions and other behavioral effects, and we have conducted fieldwork exploring the indigenous worldview surrounding the plant.Bio:

Peter H. Addy is an associate research scientist in medical informatics at the Yale University School of Medicine. He is a leading expert on Salvia divinorum. He previously worked with several pharmacology groups investigating the behavioral effects of salvinorin-A in healthy human subjects, as well as with Xka Pastora documenting indigenous use of the plant.

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