How to Process fresh Salvia Leaves

(Contributed by my friend Anna "Ichinen")

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Salvia divinorum is an unusual plant and chewing the fresh leaves can be very medicinal. Fresh leaves can be preserved for later use with proper cleaning and storage.

Leaves often come with all sorts of unwanted material on them. Dust, Insects/Insect eggs, Webs, and/or other things could be on there.

For purposes of illustration 5 leaves and a paper towel were used. You'll preferentially be using a large bath towel for dozens of leaves.

Hold the leaf under running water to rinse it off. Lightly brush your fingertips across it to dislodge anything that isn't leaf. Be sure to flip it over and rinse both sides.

After you have rinsed the stack: pat them dry.

At this point they are ready to chew!
Rinse your mouth and brush your cheeks, gums, and under your tongue with a mouthwash containing both Alcohol and Menthol.
This debrides loose dead skin cells that may block some absorption.

Also, the Alcohol and Menthol enhance absorption of the Salvinorin A through the lining of the mouth.

Be sure you will not be disturbed for a couple of hours. Turn the Music, Telephone(s), TV, and lights off.
The dimmer the better but candles are NOT advised due to fire risk.
Roll up a long 'cigar' - lengthwise - and start chewing down from the tips.
The idea is to chew them to slurry and retain the slurry 15 minutes to a half hour in your mouth.

Some people add a bit of Candied Ginger or Gum Drops to keep their mouths juicy ....
It's perfectly OK to swallow the leaves instead of spitting them out. The effects may actually last a bit longer.
You may start a second mouthful as soon as you dispose of the first one if you want to.
You will go further or it will last longer. Enjoy!

Long term storage of excess fresh leaf:

Important: Be SURE they are DRY before proceeding!   I let them air dry an hour - if stored too wet they will mold.

Fold the leaf in half along the stem.

With sharp scissors cut next to the stem starting at the base and cutting as close to the stem as possible

cutting away the thickest part

 and cutting a tapering wedge shape that cuts through the stem about 2/3 of the way to the end

Leaving a pair of (what I laughingly call) "Salvia Fillets" connected together at the tips - shaped like a big green butterfly!

Lay a large bath towel on the counter, and lay the leaves side by side in the center third. Make sure the tips of the leaves are pointed right or left so they curl up lengthwise instead of in the middle. The long axis of the leaves should be perpendicular to the direction you are going to roll the towel up in. 

Fold over a third of the towel for the second row of leaves,

and fold over the second third for the third row of leaves.

Roll the towel and put it in the bottom of the fridge for 2-3 weeks.

Later ...

Gently unroll the towel and stack the leaves, setting them points up in a wide-mouthed jar. Keep tightly covered in a dark place. Good for decades!

I call the results of this process "mummified leaves": and they can be reconstituted for chewing by soaking in warm water. Or, you can crumble them for smoking purposes.

Happy Gardening!

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