Citation: Kayesem. "Chewed Fresh Leaf: An Experience with Salvia divinorum (quid) (exp114288)". Erowid.org. Apr 20, 2020. erowid.org/exp/114288
I'm an adult male, average build. I weigh around 75 kgs. I like to consider myself a bit of a test pilot for inter-dimensional travel.
As rough guide to my previous journeys:
LSD = Dozens of trips.
Psilocybin = Hundreds.
Nitrous Oxide = Thousands.
Ayahuasca = About a dozen.
Cannabis = Can't remember...
DXM = Don't want to remember.
MDMA = Don't want it to end. But it always does.
Amphetamine = Sleep dep. tripping. Make it stop!
Steer clear of that last one kids. Oh boy. Anyway, moving on. I used to be quite fond of drugs. These days, not so much. I am super straight and enjoy the natural, every day euphoria of being in ketosis. It honestly feels like the state of being I was always trying to self medicate towards. It has also healed my depression and anxiety in a way that drugs hinted towards, but could never pull off in the long run.
Psilocybin is far and away my best friend, substance-wise, but I am content to go months and years between visits, doing the work in the meantime to live life in the best ways I can. You know, integration, that whole thing.
I have known about Salvia Divinorum for many years. I developed an interest in the plant for a little while, until I realised I would never find it locally. So I left it alone moved on with my life, around 11 – 12 years ago. Then about 1 year ago, I was attending an event where one 'finds the others'. I happened to wander along to the right place at the right time and was gifted a little Salvia cutting. I felt blessed and I still do.
I took it home and cared for it, as it then became 3 separate potted plants. Then they sat beside my window near my bed as stunted little things until I finally realised; hey, these plants are not growing at all. I should probably work out how to feed them. And so I did that, after moving house recently, and they shot upwards and outwards. Suddenly they were flopping around with these huge hand sized leaves and getting in each others way.
So. Long weekend came outa nowhere and in the spirit of holy days, I decided it was finally time to meet Salvia properly. It was likely I could harvest enough for one solid dose without causing any undue harm to my happy green friends. Just a little haircut.
I had already done a bunch of reading and video watching over the years, but most reports deal with smoked extract, where-as I wanted to chew fresh leaf. More recently, I happened across a TM database and ran a search through it for 'Salvia chewed'. It spat out 2 results, one of which mentioned 35 grams of fresh leaf as the way he (Terence McKenna) would do it. I appreciated this greatly and read through the talk transcription to glean a few extra little details. People usually mention xx number of leaves. Terence also has said 15 leaves, and I think higher numbers on other occasions, but I wanted to know the weight because the leaves can be of all different sizes.
So I had my dosage guide. 35 grams or around 15 leaves according to Terence. Others like Daniel Siebert mention a range from 8, all the way up to 20 or 30 leaves.
My intentions were very basic. Just to formally say Hi, while sitting / laying in bed, in silent darkness. Of course to gather up any guidance or insight that was available, but that may have been getting ahead of myself. I also wanted to puzzle out a working dosage guide and method that suited me personally. Something mapped for future reference, like I had to do when starting out with Ayahuasca, although far less complicated this time.
The expected duration was to be 45 minutes, following a 15 – 30 minute entry portal via chewing... yep, chewing... OK, well, that sounds rather dumb, but hey, it's not the first time I have done some dumb stuff in an effort to bust outa this dimension, right? Good. Let's do this!
I casually said Hi to my plants, thanked them and began taking leaves in pairs, the ones that I thought would be OK not to be there anymore, sorta thing. I managed to find the right set of whales and threw some batteries in. It was just after nightfall at this point.
My total bundle of joy, after some to and fro, was 14 leaves, 8 large, 4 medium, all stems removed. A total weight of 30.3 grams. I figured that was near enough to my target and would play a little on the cautious side, while still hopefully being enough for a solid introduction.
Alone in my house, I turned off all the lights, went to my bedroom with a clean bowl, some water and some tissues nearby. I had my salt lamp on in the corner beside me, covered with books to further dull the pale red-orange light. It was a mild Autumn evening and I felt comfortable wearing underwear and a shirt. I had eaten brekky at around 9 am and fasted from then on. So no lunch or dinner, and I was not bothered by it at all. I take no other medications, no sugar, carbs, caffeine, alcohol or weed. Just a nice, straight and clean system, plus feeling my usual euphoria from being in ketosis
feeling my usual euphoria from being in ketosis
I did not brush my teeth or use any kind of mouthwash in preparation. I had placed the leaves down facing alternate directions in a stack, then rolled the stack length-ways. It was obviously way too much to fit into my mouth at once. So I broke it into halves and put just one half in, going in like a short, sideways, green cigar across my teeth and tongue, with each end pushing into my cheeks.
I began this experience at 7:45 pm. I started the timer on my phone and sat against the bed head, beginning what would become a long process of learning to chew.
I usually meditate in bed like this for 20 minutes before laying down to sleep. As it was around an early bedtime for me, I felt quite comfortable and relaxed, apart from this bunch of leaves stuffed into my face. I sat in my meditation position, legs crossed, hands resting on knees, back straight, propped up with pillows, slightly under blankets. My empty bowl was on the bed beside me.
There was no music playing, no computers were on and no distractions running rampant. Just quiet old me and a dimly lit room. It had been a chilled day leading up to this. For the last hour or so of computer use in the afternoon, I was digging deep to find chewed Salvia trip reports and gathering a fresh idea of things that may take place, to help identify any signposts and recognise areas of normality, if at all possible.
I settled in. Pre-flight nerves had already built up and subsided. Earlier in the day, I had known something was coming, but I knew not what. By now I felt calmed and my irrational cares were practically forgotten. Meditation happened in dribs and drabs, which is normal. But of course this time it was different.
My attention was largely taken up by trying to learn how to slowly chew this monstrosity in my mouth, and coming to terms with the whole flavour and taste component of it. The taste is bitter, green, planty and like a naked salad if there ever was one. It's definitely a medicine, and does not resemble food that any human in their right mind would choose to consume. It is not too much to handle, but it sure takes getting used to. I nearly gag when I come close to accidentally swallowing some.
The shape of the 'quid' (bundle of leaves) in my mouth is awkward, and it does not remain one solid piece like I imagined. Instead, when I bite into it, I bite through the whole thing, and quickly it breaks down and apart. I realise that I should continue doing that and within about 5 minutes, I can fit the other half of the leaf bundle into my mouth without spilling anything.
So in it goes.
Once again, I have a giant wad of bitter leaves in my mouth, which I struggle to keep closed. It is weird, that's for sure, but I press on. Aiming for 15 minutes at least. Then IF I feel something coming on strong, to spit it out. Otherwise, aiming for a push on to 30 minutes and then finally, spit.
Turned out I was in for a longer ride.
I had read the advice to chew slowly. Once every 10 seconds or so. I attempt this and try to sync each cycle with my breathe, so that I don't have to count. Counting does not gel with my meditation. My eyes are closed, so I cannot see the timer. But the whole thing is too much and I make a bit of a mess of it, chewing quicker at times then other times forgetting to chew for 30 seconds or more. I am all over the place with my chewing game.
I am up to around 14 minutes as I open my eyes and look down at the timer. I can feel it now. And I can see... something. Meditation is a little easier and feels more enhanced, yet still natural. My mind does want to race a little as it searches out effects. I'm on high alert for incoming waves of hallucinations or simply unexpected changes. I'm also watching for a moment which may be critical, if I begin to fall or be pulled away from my body into another space or whatever.
I need to avoid choking on this mouthful of Mazatec Shepherdess' garden trimmings.
The feeling is there. I notice at 14 minutes and beyond. It's like a slight heaviness and a new depth of relaxation. A gentle warmth that feels comforting and inviting to be with, to mellow out into. It is subtle, but perceptible and consistent. It does not come and go in waves, it's just there. Because of this, it is a little hard to notice. As if maybe it had been there all along.
My eyes are closed. In my vision I can now, uh, see... ?
See is the wrong word. I can more perceive, yes, perceive and feel a vague, green, mostly static, fractal-branching kind of pattern before me. Quite flat and 2D. Oddly, it is not like looking at something out in front of me. It is closer than that, almost getting between me, where I feel that I am in space, and my eyes, where I feel I begin to see from, despite my eyes being closed and all.
Between me and my eyes, there is something here. Or there. I find that it's coloured and patterned... and toned? It is felt, as much or even more, than it is seen. It appears vague and not well defined, though this early insight would turn out to be the most clear view of this vision for the remainder of the trip.
There is not a flow or a cascade like with Ayahuasca or mushrooms. At least not at this dose level. Just this one simple, rather dimly lit vision. For a moment, this faded green fractal-branch pattern begins to spin, I think clockwise. I feel like I spin with it, and rather than become nauseous or hating it like I would with an alcohol overdose, this is actually pleasant enough and I don't mind at all.
I like to spin with it.
The spinning soon stops though and nothing really happens from it. It's doesn't lead to anything. Later on, I feel a slight sense of falling forwards towards something, in front of and slightly above me. A slight pulling at me which I want to go with. I try to adjust my position and pillows. Again I'm concerned about choking if laying down too much, given that I am still chewing this entire time. Moving my body around disrupts whatever was happening with the slight pulling. Later on, some more spinning, but again it fades quickly.
Throughout all of this, I have little flashes of doubt and disappointment. Where is it? Where are you? I am ready. Looking, searching, waiting, where is it? When will something happen? Is this it? This can't be it. This is just the very beginning surely. When will something happen?
...I mean I know this is not nothing, but it is also far from actually being something. How much of this bitter leaf do I actually need to shove into my face and endure, and how long for?
And so on. Reminds me of my early Ayahuasca attempts, looking back.
I chewed for a long time. The 15 minute checkpoint had passed me by, and I figured that since very little was happening, better keep on going. I could only hold so much liquid in my mouth through, and 2 or 3 times it got to the point of about to spill out.
The taste was intense and informing. It seemed to have information in it somehow. I wanted to spit it out, but I had the sense that I had come this far and been this intimate, that I must respect this plant and swallow some of the liquid. That the plant herself was somehow insisting on it.
To be so intimate and allow this life-form into my body, yet not go all the way and swallow it, seemed like a dick move. I wanted to be respectful, and not wasteful, even if the active substance does not absorb from within the stomach... I was also curious to see if I could handle it without barfing.
Now, I have a fairly strong stomach and have taken Ayahuasca several times and then some. Vomiting did occur then, but rarely and usually more as a sign of something gone wrong. Compared to that, I can definitely get a handle on this. Although, you don't tend to hold Aya in your mouth for so long at a stretch.
Anyway, at least twice I remember gulping down several chugs of this goup. This bitter green moosh liquid. I am sure with a wince of my face and a 'Why? Don't make me do this!' attitude, but I did it. And I held it down.
This helped me to continue chewing, if nothing else. And boy did I chew. Chew and chew. On and on.
I chewed this way and that. That way and this. Then, at around the 28 minute mark, coming so close to spitting, wanting to spit, wanting to get to 30 minutes and be done... I did some more swallowing (I think).
And then it was like; something else began to chew, and in a fast rhythm, around twice per second. The quid had all turned into a chopped up mush. Suddenly it became obvious; the way to chew this mush. It was a very mechanical and patterned process which seemed to cycle everything: Beginning as stuffed between cheeks and outside of my teeth, to being moved through my chompers and into the centre of my mouth, all up onto my tongue, then cycled out and around again.
At that point I remembered having read about this. That at some point, something else takes over the chewing, and was I thankful for that information. I knew not to be alarmed at all. It was still strange. But also kind of a relief, after my stumbling through it all for such a long time.
I am still left wondering if we are all taught to chew differently, or is it all the same? Imagine a plant teaching you how to chew on it anyway...
I allowed it to happen and was aware that I could step in and take over, or stop it, at any time. As it stood, I was content to observe and let it ride for a while. The taste was winding down, although there was obviously more left in it and it was still quite strong. The plant seemed to be saying, and demonstrating; 'Like this.'
And I was like, 'Oh, like that? OK. That seems a lot like the normal chewing of food to me, but skipping the frequent swallowing and adding more food parts.'
Each chew also made a slight sound and feeling inside my mouth and head, which reminded me very much of shaking the chacapa, which is a bundle of dried leaves, often rhythmically shaken during Ayahuasca ceremonies. A magical ghetto jungle instrument, if you will, which I happen to like and enjoy.
Each chew was one shake. And the timing of it was like clockwork.
Eventually I stepped in and stopped the chewing for a little bit. Possibly swallowed some more liquid. Then resumed at a slower pace and also bit my tongue slightly while sorting out who was doing what? And are we both doing it together now or how does this work again?
I'm not sure how long I chewed like that for, but eventually after another filled mouth of saliva, clearing it down with a few gulps, I decided that enough was enough and spat the remainder of the mush into my bowl. There was not much left at that point, just a small handful of very finely diced green sludge.
So, most of my trip was spent chewing, which I did find distracting, at least until the auto-chew feature kicked in. But even then, the concern over choking and desire to lay down and relax were a pickle to be in.
After spitting out the moosh, I turned my phone upside down without looking at it, turned off the salt lamp and did my best to finally lay down and get comfortable.
I drifted between meditative states and thoughts. I decided to lay there until it faded, and I would then simply stop the timer and go to sleep until morning.
There was not a lot happening. I lay there on my back and hung out with it a bit. The vision component had not changed much, except to dull off and become slowly more faded than it already was.
But earlier on there had been glimmers of insight into the nature of this experience, and psychedelic experience in general.
At one moment, I felt a shade of deep acid journeys, ones where you stand outside of time and space and look in on yourself from afar, out floating on a cosmic resting ground as if looking upon yourself and your life as a shiny, golden, glimmering video game that sparkles and glows as it floats through space, unaware of itself and its own, self-contained nature.
I notice it and look upon it, slightly adoring it, and yet feeling sorry for it, that it cannot maintain this big picture awareness of itself and its place in the scheme of things.
At another moment, a touch of Ayahuasca. A reminder of being deep in journeys and venturing through far out strange alien territories and scenes, folding and unfolding, riding wave after wave, cascades of visions of incredible muted colours, pouring out of the darkness, teeming with subtle intricate depth and nuance. Washing over me and through me, and me through them.
The bravery that you create and take with you while sailing those waters, smashing through storms. The courage that you find and forge inside yourself by way of necessity if nothing else. An inner strength and knowing that fortifies the soul. A way to power on through and traverse dimensions, manifold.
'Strange of Salvia to touch on these things, however briefly...' I thought to myself.
Like I said, glimmers, faint as they were, shining on deeper moments and memories that are usually far from the surface of my mind. For what purpose, who knows.
Salvia herself seems quite gentle, kind and loving, and I like to think that we will get along in the future. I did not sense a whole lot very directly or specifically. More just got a subtle feel for the space, the trance and the modified state itself. I traced my fingers around a doorway and tinkered with the handle, I suppose.
I imagine it may be worlds away from a fully fledged break-through experience. None the less, it's a nice feeling so far, and certainly is different. The location of it is different. It seems offset and yet not out of place. Just turning up somewhere I had not looked or been aware of before. Which I guess is to be expected from something that is not a tryptamine.
If not for the whole chewing thing, I feel like it would have been a welcome enhancement to my usual meditation, without feeling attached to it or like I needed to repeat it every day and that somehow, meditation alone would never be the same again. You know? None of that.
There was no addicting as far as I could notice. More a simple sense of welcoming, and a mild looking forward (on my behalf) to hanging out again and getting to know each other better. Couldn't ask for much more, really.
I had read about the usefulness of Salvia for meditation, and now I at least understand that. If meditation was something you looked at, Salvia felt like a magnifying glass held up in front of it, so that you could see it better, in more detail, and more up close than you would normally. The experience itself was unaltered, which I appreciated, because it remained familiar to me, just magnified.
There is also something else, which I feel like I have danced around and yet not touched upon. I guess there is an inherent mysterious quality of some kind and so there should be. I am grateful for that, and pleased to find it there, whatever it is. I guess that's part of what will draw me back to it, to attempt to understand by way of experience and feeling... Or something like that.
Overall the experience was gentle and mild and a good introduction. I had not wanted or intended on starting low and slow, and building up to the more break-through kinds of trips. But it just happened to turn out that way
I had not wanted or intended on starting low and slow, and building up to the more break-through kinds of trips. But it just happened to turn out that way
, and it is probably for the best. At least I now know that I have a baseline starting point for activity, and can work my way up in good time. I am very glad for the diligence applied in weighing the leaves. Hopefully it helps someone else who is looking for a ball park to start out in.
I think I would like to try 40 - 45 grams of leaf next time. And maybe more in the Mazatec style, of chewing each leaf in succession. Holding for 1 – 2 minutes, and then swallowing, but maybe chewing on pairs so as to get through them all in 15 minutes or so. We'll see. I'd like some alternative to the ever expanding, already giant quid.
While it was all happening at times I felt like:
'I don't know what the hell people are on about, how could anyone freak out on this?'
but obviously in silent darkness at a very low dose, it is nothing for me personally to be concerned about. I can't speak for others and their chosen dosages, sets and settings. By myself, without any sitter, I was not worried to the point of tying my legs together or anything. Maybe that will change in the future, I don't know.
Prior to this experience, I had tried rolling up and smoking half a banger of plain dried Salvia leaf, maybe 6 months ago, but to no effect at all. I used to be a big fan of smoking things, but nowadays I tend to just steer clear. My health and strength are of great importance to me, and I know too well the struggles that ensue when those aspects is ignored.
Having said that, I can understand some reports of people quidding up some Salvia, then smoking some extract on top of that. In a dark and quiet place of course. It kinda makes sense for those of us who like to go deep. Maybe it takes a little extra effort to get there with this one.
I did not have any lucid dreams after getting to sleep, which I currently do experience once a month or more, but I was able to fall asleep OK and rest well. I had many relatively normal and pleasant enough dreams including, unsurprisingly, taking more Salvia and trying to smoke cones of the dried leaf. Haha.
So, the timer I had running, I ended up stopping that at 70 minutes (from the time I began chewing) and then just turning in. It probably took 30 – 60 minutes to drift off to sleep after that.
I woke up feeling fine the next day, which is when I am writing this. I had a slight stomach cramp after eating brekky, not sure if related to this but I was not worried and it quickly went away.
I feel changed in some slight way for the better. Not sure if that is an afterglow kind of effect, or imagined, or maybe simply due to facing some difficult psychedelic challenge and getting through to the other side in one piece.
Who knows these things.
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