Magic mint for mania

William Calezon's group purifies salvinorin A from bags of dried Salvia divinorum bought off the Internet." />William Calezon's group purifies salvinorin A from bags of dried Salvia divinorum bought off the Internet. For Karen Schrock, it started with a big hit off a smoking pipe filled with Salvia divinorum and a crash to the kitchen floor. From there she was off to an alien world of silhouetted figures who lived by a complex social structure. Any sense that there had ever been

kerry grens
Kerry Grens

Kerry served as The Scientist’s news director until 2021. Before joining The Scientist in 2013, she was a stringer for Reuters Health, the senior health and science reporter at...

View full profile.


Learn about our editorial policies.

Jun 1, 2007
<figcaption>William Calezon's group purifies salvinorin A from bags of dried Salvia divinorum bought off the Internet.</figcaption>
William Calezon's group purifies salvinorin A from bags of dried Salvia divinorum bought off the Internet.

For Karen Schrock, it started with a big hit off a smoking pipe filled with Salvia divinorum and a crash to the kitchen floor. From there she was off to an alien world of silhouetted figures who lived by a complex social structure. Any sense that there had ever been an Earth, a hallucinogenic drug, or a Karen Schrock disappeared. "I had no memory that this was not the real world, no sense that I was on a trip," recalls Schrock, now 26 and a science magazine editor. The September 2006 experience for her was intensely spiritual and profound. "I remember feeling at the time it was a life-changing experience because I had never had a drug trip before."

While Salvia might have flown Schrock to an alternate reality, scientists say the active ingredient,...

Interested in reading more?

Become a Member of

Receive full access to digital editions of The Scientist, as well as TS Digest, feature stories, more than 35 years of archives, and much more!
Already a member?