There is no evidence that salvia is toxic to the body or brain. However, there has not been detailed scientific investigation on the potential of salvia to be harmful. Some experience headaches or feel foggy minded for a while afterwards.
In some countries, salvia is controlled, so make sure you investigate this first.
Traumatic experiences (bad trips and lasting symptoms)
Not enjoying salvia is common, but a truly traumatic experience seems very rare. The chance of it happening to you can probably never be ruled out but is much more likely on very high doses. The risk of a traumatic experience is heightened if you have never taken salvia before and are unprepared for its potentially powerful effects. If you are feeling negative emotions like anxiety, self-doubt, or depression before you take the drug, these feelings may be amplified by the drug.
Although the salvia experience does not last long, some people report it feeling like it lasts for hours, or even forgetting that another sort of existence exists outside of the bad trip. During the trip, people can have panic attacks, become agitated, and try to escape their surroundings. This risks injury to themselves and anyone who tries to restrain them.
There have also been cases, not formally reported in medical journals, of people who have found that a single salvia experience left them with derealisation that lasted many days or more. They felt spaced out, miserable, and disconnected from reality. Others claim to have suffered lasting alterations of perception that echo the hallucinations during their trip (HPPD). It is important to repeat that these effects have not been scientifically documented, but they are serious enough to be aware of. There may be millions of people who have taken salvia without harm, and very few have suffered these serious lasting problems.
When consuming salvia, the user may be totally unaware of their real surroundings, but will often want to move around, which makes them vulnerable to dangerous accidents. Dangerous objects (car keys, knives) should be made inaccessible. Someone tripping is less likely to suffer harm if they have constant supervision of a ‘trip sitter’. Unless it is unavoidable, the sitter should not try to physically restrain someone who is tripping so much that they are unaware of their surroundings, as the user may become frightened and lash out violently. If an appropriate setting is chosen, restraint should not be needed.