Salvia divinorum and salvinorin “a”
Salvia divinorum is a halucinogenic plant, endemic from the mazatecs mountains in Oaxaca Mexico, Salvinorin A is the major active secondary metabolite isolated from this genus and is the first non-alkaloidal natural opioid with high afinity for the kappa opioid receptor (KOR).
A substance is defined as an opioid if show affinity for one or more of the major 7TM-GPCR subtypes of opioid receptors MOR, DOR, KOR, ORL-1 or if has a morphine-like in vivo effect. As shown in vivo studies Salvia divinorum is the first non-alkaloidal opiod agonist and non-serotoninergic hallucinogen.
A mexican healing ritual
Mexican indian people use Salvia divinorum in traditional ceremonias for divination purposes and as in traditional medicine for healing diseases as diarrhea, headache, coughs, sadness (depresión), restlessness (anxiety), pain and other inflammatory diseases; they dont know but most of the traditional uses described are related to the high affinity of Salvia divinorum to Kappa opioid receptor as the in vitro and in vivo studies has displayed. Salvadinorin A is an KOR (kappa opiod receptor) agonist and it produces antinociceptive effects (in animals), antidepressants, anti-inflammatory and antidiarrheal activities in vivo.