The local paper sends news flashes and updates to my in box. This morning, the feature story looked to me at first read as if it said “Bill targets psychedelic saliva.” I naturally wondered how one got psychedelic spit, and why it would need legislation. With a second reading, I discovered the headline actually said “Bill targets pychedelic salvia.” Turns out that salvia divinorum is now being used as a street drug. So far, it’s not illegal in many places. Fortunately (or maybe unfortunately) for gardeners, it’s not the same salvia that’s popular as a flower in local gardens. And it”s also not the same salvia that’s used as sage in the dressings/stuffings so popular at holidays.



  1. Petra says:

    Aha! That shows once again that a well-tended garden can be the source of many a delight (some of them questionable).

    I think we have forgotten about a lot of uses for a lot of plants. Example: We have a children singing rhyme in Germany, which starts like this:

    “Petersilie, Suppenkraut,
    steht in unserem Garten,
    unser Ännchen ist die Braut,
    soll nicht länger warten”

    (Parsley and pot herbs
    are growing in our garden
    Little Anny is the bride
    she should wait no longer)

    Sounds sweet and innocent, yes? Would anyone suspect that parsley, cooked up as a rather strong and concentrated brew, was used in medieval times as one of many potions to induce abortions?

    That’s all that is left of the knowledge of women dealing in herbal medicine at that time – a children’s rhyme. The darker meaning behind these few lines are of course “either get married double quick or take yeself to the wise woman at the end of the village.”

  2. Karen says:

    Along those lines, I was thinking a bit of this other salvia in the traditional Thanksgiving stuffing would be way more interesting than regular sage. No more turkey coma.

  3. Miko says:

    No, more like turkey hallucinations, which probably isn’t too pleasant.

    Petra, a few years ago I wrote a paper about traditional children’s playground rhymes, in the course of my research I discovered that many of them had *very* dark meanings indeed, you’d be surprised (or maybe not).

    By the way, I once drank strong infusions of parsley tea for several days running, and unwittingly brought on my period 10 days early!!! That stuff is potent, all right!

  4. Petra says:

    Yes, it certainly is. A bit more about Apiol, the stuff in parsley:


  5. Karen says:

    Miko, in college, I too wrote a research paper on nursery rhymes. It turned out most of them were either for teaching children counting or lambasting famous people of the day. It was very interesting.

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