In a recent study that was published in Nature magazine, researchers mention the active compound in Salvia divinorum, Salvinorin A. The study revealed more detailed information about the functioning of the kappa opioid receptor. Salvinorin A is a kappa opioid agonist, which means that the substance binds to this receptor and causes a response (in case of Salvia a psychedelic experience).
"We don't know why kappa receptors evolved, but we know that they have been around for a long time in evolutionary terms; even frogs have them," said Bryan Roth, a professor of pharmacology and an opioid receptor expert at the University of North Carolina, whose group teamed with the Stevens lab for the new study.
Even the psychedelic effects associated with kappa receptor activation could be useful in providing insights into perception and consciousness. "This is a receptor that is important for how we see reality," said Roth.
The study confirms that Salvia can possibly prove useful in scientific research and may have medicinal benefits.
With thanks to www.salvia.net.
Read more here: Sciencedaily.com - Structure of ‘salvia’ Receptor Solved.