DANIEL SIEBERT is an independent researcher, pharmacognosist, ethnobotanist, educator, and author. He has been studying Salvia divinorum for over twenty years and was the first person to work on the human pharmacology of salvinorin A and to clearly identify this compound as the psychoactive principal of the plant. He has studied Salvia divinorum in its native habitat and has worked with it under the guidance of Mazatec shamans. His work appears in scientific journals and other publications. Mr. Siebert is the creator of the Salvia divinorum Research and Information Center web site. This was the first Internet resource to focus exclusively on information about Salvia divinorum and it continues to be the most comprehensive. He is also the founder and moderator of Sagewise, a closed-membership email-based discussion forum for Salvia divinorum researchers and professionals, and its predecessor, Salvia, which was the first on-line Salvia divinorum discussion forum. Daniel Siebert was featured in the 1998 television documentary “Sacred Weeds,” which aired on channel 4 in the United Kingdom. His comments and opinions on Salvia divinorum have appeared in USA Today, the New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, and numerous daily newspapers in the United States, as well as in several other countries. Similarly, he has discussed the plant on CNN, Fox News, Telemundo International, the National Public Radio (NPR) program “All Things Considered," and many local television and radio stations. He currently resides in Malibu, California and is completing work on his comprehensive book about Salvia divinorum, Divine Sage. danielsiebert.jpg - 62845 Bytes

Personal interests include:
Ethnobotany, botany, horticulture, pharmacology, biology, chemistry, consciousness studies, philosophy, nature, art.

Current projects include:
Ethnobotanical research: Expeditions to the Sierra Mazateca of Oaxaca Mexico to study the role of Salvia divinorum in Mazatec culture, its traditional uses, and the beliefs, rituals, and mythology associated with it.

Pharmacology and consciousness studies: Identifying and characterizing the range of effects produced by Salvia divinorum, through experiments, interviews, and the analysis of thousands of experiential reports. Exploring the tremendous potential of this herb as tool for understanding the nature of human consciousness.

Chemistry: Identifing novel diterpenoids in Salvia divinorum. Locating sites of salvinorin production in the plant. Studying the metabolism of salvinorins in the human body. Developing semisynthetic salvinorin derivatives (colaboration).

Collaboration and correspondence: Sharing resources and knowledge. Bringing together the skills and expertise of scientists throughout the world to investigate such questions as: How does salvinorin A produce its effects? What is its receptor site affinity? Are there pharmacologically active isomers and analogs?

Publication and documentation of important findings: Scientific journals, books, film, photography, my web site, and magazines.

Community outreach: Lectures, workshops, interviews, documentaries, the Sagewise email discussion forum, and the Salvia divinorum Observer.

Providing a mail order resource for Salvia divinorum and related materials: The Sagewise Salvia Shop offers Salvia divinorum leaves, standardized extracts, a unique sublingual extract, live cuttings of many rare clones, books, etc.

Botanical investigations and horticultural experimentation: Looking for answers to several important questions, including:

  • Is Salvia divinorum native to the Sierra Mazateca or was it introduced from another area?
  • Does it exist in truly wild habitats, or are all non-cultivated populations feral?
  • Since it spreads almost exclusively through asexual propagation, how limited is its genetic diversity?
  • Are there other powerfully psychoactive Salvia species?
Selected publications:
Beerepoot P, Lam V, Luu A, Tsoi B, Siebert D, Szechtman H. 2008. Effects of Salvinorin A on Locomotor Sensitization to D2/D3 Dopamine Agonist Quinpirole. Neuroscience Letters. 446(2–3): 101–104.

Ansonoff MA, Zhang J, Czyzyk T, Rothman RB, Stewart J, Xu H, Zjwiony J, Siebert DJ, Yang F, Roth BL, Pintar JE. 2006. Antinociceptive and hypothermic effects of salvinorin A are abolished in a novel strain of KOR-1 KO mice. The Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics. 318(2): 641-648.

Capasso R, Borrelli F, Capasso F, Siebert DJ, Stewart DJ, Zjawiony JK, Izzo AA. 2006. The hallucinogenic herb Salvia divinorum and its active ingredient salvinorin A inhibit enteric cholinergic transmission in the guinea pig ileum. Neurogastroenterology and Motility. 18: 69–75.

Yulin Wang, Kang Tang, Saadet Inan, Daniel J. Siebert, Ulrike Holzgrabe, David Y.W. Lee, Peng Huang, Jian-Guo Li, Alan Cowan, and Lee-Yuan Liu-Chen. 2004. Comparison of pharmacological activities of three distinct kappa-ligands (salvinorin A, TRK-820 and 3FLB) on opioid receptors in vitro and their antipruritic and antinociceptive activities in vivo. The Journal of Pharmacology And Experimental Therapeutics. e-published September 21, 2004.

Siebert, Daniel J. 2004. Localization of salvinorin A and related compounds in glandular trichomes of the psychoactive sage, Salvia divinorum. Annals of Botany. 93(6): 763–771.

Siebert, Daniel J. 2004. The history of the first Salvia divinorum plants cultivated outside of Mexico . The Entheogen Review. 12(4): 117–118.

Chavkin, Charles, Sumit Sud, Wenzhen Jin, Jeremy Stewart, Jordan K. Zjawiony, Daniel J. Siebert, Beth Ann Toth, Sandra J. Hufeisen, and Bryan L. Roth. 2004. Salvinorin A, an active component of the hallucinogenic sage Salvia divinorum, is a highly efficacious kappa opioid receptor agonist: structural and functional considerations. Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics. 308(3): 1197–1203.

Roth, Bryan L., Karen Baner, Richard Westkaemper, Daniel Siebert, Kenner C. Rice, SeAnna Steinberg, Paul Ernsberger, and Richard Rothman. 2002. Salvinorin A: a potent, naturally occurring, non-nitrogenous kappa-opioid selective agonist. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS). Vol. 99, Issue 18, 11934–11939.

Beifuss, William. 1999. Daniel Siebert speaks. The Entheogen Review. 8(3): 99–105.

Gruber, John W., Daniel J. Siebert, Ara H. Der Marderosian, and Rick S. Hock. 1999. High performance liquid chromatographic quantification of salvinorin A from tissues of Salvia divinorum Epling & Játiva-M. Phytochemical Analysis. 10(1): 22–25.

Siebert, Daniel J. 1994. Salvinorin A: notes of caution. The Entheogen Review. 3(4): 2–3.

Siebert, Daniel J. 1994. Salvia divinorum and salvinorin A: new pharmacologic findings. Journal of Ethnopharmacology. 43: 53–56.




Research financing: Primarily self-financed, with some monies generated through The Sage Wisdom Salvia Shop. I am currently seeking grants and contributions for several important research projects. Philanthropic organizations or individuals who are interested in furthering the study of Salvia divinorum by contributing funds or other resources, are encouraged to contact me.

To discuss research projects, collaborations, speaking engagements, consultations, workshops, interviews, etc. Please contact me at: dsiebert@sagewisdom.org