Salvia Divinorum is a psychoactive plant that produces strong hallucinogenic effects when smoked or taken otherwise. Whilst currently legal in most Western countries, there has been a substantial amount of pressure to make the substance illegal, as its effects are usually stronger than that of LSD, although last for only 5-10 minutes. Originally found in Mexico, the commercial potential of Salvia saw it spread throughout the world, and has now become a sensation amongst 'legal high' users. Its dissociative effects can be clearly viewed on countless videos on YouTube, mainly posted by teenagers.
It is this type of media publicity that gives Salvia an undeserved bad name. The videos show teenagers messing around, using the substance irresponsibly, and taking advantage of their friend's Salvia-induced dissociated state to get cheap laughs. Parents see this, and assume that Salvia is an incredibly dangerous drug, which, in fairness, it can be if you're using it as unsafely as some of the teenagers in the videos. However, there is no evidence to suggest that any deaths have been linked to Salvia usage, or even any real health issues at all. With millions of people having smoked the substance and coming to no real harm, the evidence shows that, as is the case with the majority of hallucinogens, when used sensibly, Salvia is completely safe.
For those who respect the drug and use it spiritually, rather than as a 'party drug', the benefits are obvious. Traditionally used by Mazatec shamans, Salvia is now beneficial to anyone who wants to engage in spiritual healing, mind expansion, and so forth. Whether or not you believe in the psychoanalytic theories of hallucinogenic experiences expanding the consciousness is irrelevant; the overwhelmingly positive state of realization and 'ego death' experienced by a significant proportion of its users speaks for itself. This is certainly a drug that can be used to a positive end.
Of course, as with any hallucinogen, there are certain considerations that should be taken into account before using the drug. If a user is unprepared and nervous before taking Salvia, there is a fair chance that he/she will experience what is known as a bad trip; a terrifying experience that it is impossible to stop until the trip is over. However, in this instance, Salvia is advantageous when compared to other hallucinogens, as the trip is comparatively very short. Another danger can be the risk of performing harmful acts when in the dissociated state, and for this reason, when using the drug, there should always be a sensible person accompanying the user, to prevent any harm from being caused.
The government's disappointing legal guidelines on psychoactive substances means that it is not entirely unlikely that Salvia will be made illegal soon, so my advice would be to try it soon, and see for yourself whether you can experience the same positive effects as countless others before you. Start on something 'light' (eg 5x potency), see if you enjoy it, and you could soon find that moving on to more potent forms of the drug (50x) could be very beneficial to you. Don't miss out on the opportunity to experience something truly special.