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
May 31, 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,...