Although Salvia divinorum is traditionally known as a ‘mind-altering’ or psychoactive herb used, among others things, as a tranquilizer, this property has not been validated with regard to its efficacy and safety. The objective of this study is to provide evidence for the sedative effects of S. divinorum and discriminate the nature of the responsible constituents by examining different experimental models. A battery of tests, including the open-field, hole-board, exploration cylinder, plus-maze and sodium pentobarbital-induced hypnosis potentiation, were used in mice after administration of non-polar, medium polar and/or polar extracts of the plant (10, 30 and 100 mg/kg). Polysomnographic analysis in rats receiving an active medium polar extract (10 and 100 mg/kg) containing salvinorins was also assessed to study the effects of this plant on sleep architecture. All tested extracts produced significant sedative-like responses, although those of the medium polar extract were more pronounced in mice. The sedative effect of this latter extract, which contains a mixture of salvinorins, caused fragmented sleep architecture in rats by diminishing rapid eye movement (REM) sleep and increased the quiet awake stage at 10 and 100 mg/kg. Our results provide evidence that S. divinorum exhibits sedative-like depressant properties that alter physiological sleep architecture.
González‐Trujano, M. E., Brindis, F., López‐Ruiz, E., Ramírez‐Salado, I., Martínez, A., & Pellicer, F. (2016). Depressant Effects of Salvia divinorum Involve Disruption of Physiological Sleep. Phytotherapy Research. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ptr.5617