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Q: for tehuti-ga please ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   3 Comments )
Subject: for tehuti-ga please
Category: Health > Women's Health
Asked by: badabing-ga
List Price: $2.00
Posted: 20 Mar 2003 15:55 PST
Expires: 19 Apr 2003 16:55 PDT
Question ID: 178891
hello there madam,

I know you're the biology maven around here, so could you tell me how
the Salvia ingredient in the drug Avlimil ( for
sexual dysfunction differs from Salvia divinorum (la hembra), which I
understand is somewhat of a hallucinogen.  granny's in no hurry for an
answer.  she knows you're very busy.

thanks very much,
Subject: Re: for tehuti-ga please
Answered By: tehuti-ga on 20 Mar 2003 18:08 PST
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hello Granny B,

OK, let’s take a closer look at each of these two plants. 

The Salvia in Avlimil is Salvia officinalis, which is the sage used as
a kitchen herb. It was highly prized by the Chinese, who thought it
produced a superior tea and therefore were prepared to barter three
times the weight of their ordinary tea in order to obtain sage leaves
from the Dutch. It is also credited with life-sustaining capacities:
“It is recorded that George Whitfield, when at Oxford in 1733, lived
wholesomely, if sparingly, on a diet of Sage Tea, sugar and coarse
bread.” (although I cannot see you following such a regimen, Granny
B!).  Apart from that, sage was prized for its medicinal properties,
especially for digestive disorders, as a gargle for sore throat and
mouth ulcers, and for tooth ache.  Moreover, it was used to treat:
“excessive lactation, night sweats, excessive salivation (as in
Parkinson's disease), profuse perspiration (as in TB), anxiety,
depression, female sterility and menopausal problems...  delirium of
fevers and in the nervous excitement frequently accompanying brain and
nervous diseases.. typhoid fever… biliousness and liver complaints,
kidney troubles, hemorrhage from the lungs or stomach, colds in the
head… quinsy and measles, for pains in the joints, lethargy and
palsy.”  However, it was not considered good to use in pregnancy or in
epileptic patients. Also, it is toxic at high doses, and too large a
dose of the oil can cause epileptic fits and dizziness.
From  D. Bown. “Encyclopaedia of Herbs and their Uses” Dorling
Kindersley, London. 1995
It has been reported recently to have a positive effect in Alzheimer
patients following a study in Iran (J Clin Pharm Ther 2003
Feb;28(1):53-9  “Salvia officinalis extract in the treatment of
patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease: a double blind,
randomized and placebo-controlled trial.”  Akhondzadeh S, Noroozian M,
Mohammadi M, Ohadinia S, Jamshidi AH, Khani M.

The active ingredients of sage, as found in the oil, consist of:
“30-50% thujone, 15% cineol, borneol, and camphor; bitter principle,
salviatannin, phenolic acids including caffeic, rosmarinic, and
labiatic, flavonoids and phytosterols, saponins, carotenes, essential
fatty acids, calcium, magnesuim potassium, zinc, thiamine”

Thujone, of course, is considered to be the active, brain-rotting
component in the absinthe so favoured by Baudelaire, Wilde, Van Gogh,
Poe, Crowley and others, who in their lifestyle are generally
considered not the best of role models for impressionable youth:
“Long suspected to have contributed to psychoses, fits and
hallucinations in such famous artists and writers as van Gogh, Poe and
Baudelaire, the liqueur absinthe they cherished contained a potent
toxin that Berkeley scientists now say causes neurons to seriously
malfunction…. alpha-thujone blocks the [chloride] channel and allows
the neurons to fire too easily… Symptoms described, for instance, in
Wilfred Niels Arnold's 1992 book on Vincent van Gogh and others who
consumed quantities of the popular 19th- and early 20th-century
liqueur included forms of bizarre and psychotic behavior,
hallucinations, sudden delirium, convulsions, and even suicide and
“Starry Absinthe Night” by Kathleen Scalise, The Berkleyan, April 12,

And don’t forget the camphor, which at toxic doses can cause:
“headache, confusion, vertigo, excitement, restlessness, delirium, and
hallucinations; increased muscular excitability, tremors, and jerky
movements; epileptiform convulsions followed by depression;
convulsions sometimes occur early in cases of poisoning and may be
severe; coma
From IPCS Inchem, Safety Information from Intergovernmental

So ordinary sage is not quite as innocent as you might think, although
don’t worry, Granny, you would have to eat an awful lot of stuffing to
be at any risk!

However, common sage does NOT contain salvinorin A (also called
divinorin A).  This is the major active ingredient of Salvia
divinorum: “Essentially inactive if taken orally, the compound is
effective in doses of 200 to 500 mcg when smoked in a manner similar
to cocaine free base. This makes salvinorin A the first documented
diterpene hallucinogen and the most potent naturally occurring
hallucinogen thus far isolated.”
From: J Psychoactive Drugs 1994 Jul-Sep;26(3):277-83  “Salvia
divinorum and the unique diterpene hallucinogen, Salvinorin
(divinorin) A.” LJ Valdes 3rd.

By the way, Avlimil contains more than just Salvia. The ingredients
are listed as: Salvia officinalis (Sage leaf), Rubus idaeus (Red
raspberry leaf), Isoflavones from Pueraria montana (kudzu root
extract) and Trifolium pratense (red clover extract), Capsicum annuum
(Capsicum pepper) , Glycyrrhiza glabra (Licorice root), Morella
cerifera (Bayberry fruit), Turnera diffusa (Damiana leaf), Valeriana
officinalis (Valeriana root), Zingiber officinale (Ginger root),
Actaea racemosa (Black cohosh root).
Information from the Avlimil web site at

Search strategy: Separate searches on Medline
( ) for Salvia
officinalis and Salvia divinorum.  Google search on: “Salvia
officinalis” properties
badabing-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $10.00
WOW, that's one versatile herb.  this was very interesting to read and
I wasn't aware of the Alzheimer's studies.  and you're absolutely
right, child,  granny couldn't maintain that regimen -- unless she had
a couple pork chops in her backpack.  dynamite links, kiddo!  thanks a
million.  I was glad to find you on duty.

Subject: Re: for tehuti-ga please
From: pinkfreud-ga on 20 Mar 2003 18:26 PST
Is the answer above what is meant by the phrase "sage advice"? :-D
Subject: Re: for tehuti-ga please
From: tehuti-ga on 21 Mar 2003 03:17 PST
Thank you very much indeed for the most generous tip, but even more
for your kind comments.  You were indeed lucky to find me around; I'm
off today until Tuesday, starting with a pilgrimage to the place
described as the world capital of secondhand books, Hay on Wye, a
paradise for researchers and bookworms of all species.  :))  :)) :))
Subject: Re: for tehuti-ga please
From: badabing-ga on 21 Mar 2003 08:52 PST
well deserved tip, if you ask me, madam.  have a wonderful time on
your holiday pilgramage and stay away from the absinthe.  granny will
abstain from eating stuffing and steer clear of her spice rack also.

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