Xka Pastora is a non-profit organization dedicated to:

  • Promoting the further study and research of Salvia divinorum, whilst also striving to integrate its traditional therapeutic uses into western medicine. Promoting and carrying out ethnobotanical research in a bid to compile and preserve native knowledge.
  • Ensuring the conservation of the botanical species and supporting the conservation of native’s habitats, traditions and culture. To serve as a reciprocity bridge towards the Mazatec.
  • Divulgating and educating with accurate and up to date information and supporting its legal status.



Salvia divinorum

Salvia divinorum is a plant endemic to the Sierra Madre Oriental of Oaxaca, Mexico, and it is a member of the mint family (Labiatae). It is one of approximately 1,000 species that make up the Salvia genus. The first academic report about the existence of the plant appeared on 1939. The native inhabitants of the area, the Mazatec people, use the leaves of Salvia divinorum for its medicinal and psychoactive properties. The Mazatecs know the plant in their language as Xka Pastora.

For the Mazatecs, Xka Pastora is a sacred medicinal plant with enormous therapeutical value, and they have been using it for centuries.

The Mazatec traditional doctors use the leaves of Salvia divinorum or Xka Pastora for the treatment of arthritis and inflammation, headaches, gastrointestinal problems, to treat stings and bacterial infections of the skin, to treat eliminatory complaints, addictions, and as a general revitalizing tonic. They consume the fresh leaves of the plant by chewing them, and apply them as a cataplasm. Mazatec healers also do ceremonies with the leaves for its psychoactive properties, as a mean of modify their awareness and be able to diagnose, and to treat psychological and spiritual problems.

Salvinorin A

Scientific research has revealed that the main component of Salvia divinorum, salvinorin A, is the eventual responsible for its psychoactive effects. It’s a highly selective, non-nitrogenous diterpene that acts as a powerful kappa opioid receptor agonist. As such, it has tremendous potential for the development of a wide variety of medications. Among them, the most promising of these include medications for the treatment of addictions, safe non-addictive analgesics, antidepressants, anti-inflammatory medicines, neuroprotectors, and drugs to treat disorders characterized by alterations in perception, including schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s disease, and bipolar disorder.


From Xka Pastora we promote scientific research, both in the laboratory and ethnobotanical research that compiles the native knowledge, and deepen on the current uses of Salvia divinorum. We also promote the integration of the Mazatec traditional medical practices in western medicine.


Salvia divinorum is a very rare and unique botanical species, with a very low reproduction rate in the wild. It rarely produce seeds. Although it has spread across the world in recent years, we are concerned about the survival of the plant and its genetic variants, specially in Mexico, where it is endemic. Deforestation, soil pollution and loss of customs could be a threat to Salvia.

The conservation of the Mazatec knowledge about the traditional uses of Salvia is of utmost importance, because they know how to use the plant. Nowadays, Salvia divinorum is a very important and sacred plant for the Mazatecs, and it is an inseparable part of their world view. We owe Mazatecs and their care and interest in doing cuttings of Salvia divinorum for hundreds of generations that humanity can benefit from its medicinal properties.


From Xka Pastora we promote ethnobotanical research and fieldwork that compile the native knowledge on Salvia divinorum, and we support Mazatec community to preserve their customs facing ecological and cultural pressures.

Divulgation and Education

Xka Pastora wants to serve as a bridge between the scientific community, the general public and the native communities.

Our focus is on integrating the knowledge of all of them, and facilitating the access to objective information, making it available to the public. We want to dismiss any myths and false beliefs about Salvia divinorum, guaranteeing its legal status and accessibility, and to educate the general public and legislators.