THE PHARMACOGNOSY OF SALVIA DIVINORUM (EPLING AND JATIVA-M): AN INVESTIGATION OF SKA MARIA PASTORA (MEXICO)
Salvia divinorum (Epling and Jativa-M.) is a perennial labiate used for curing and divination by the Mazatec Indians of Oaxaca, Mexico. The psychotropic effects the plant produces are compared to those of the other hallucinogens employed by the Mazatecs; the morning glory, Rivea corymbosa, L., Hallier, F., and psilocybin containing mushrooms. A discussion of the role of ska Mar(')ia Pastora in the native "pharmacopeia" is based on previous reports and fieldwork by the investigator with a Mazatec shaman.
Two new neoclerodane diterpenes, divinorins A and B were isolated from S. divinorum. Divinorin A exerts a sedative effect on mice when tested in a bioassay using a modification of Hall's open field test. The structures of divinorins A and B were elucidated based on extensive proton and carbon-13 nmr experiments using the divinorins and their reduction products. The structure of divinorin A was confirmed by a single-crystal x-ray diffraction experiment employing standard refinement techniques. The absolute configurations of the divinorins have been proposed on the basis of their negative Cotton effects near 290 nm.