Some further points about chewing:
It's worth mentioning the fact that the dried leaves do not have to be smoked, they can be re-hydrated and chewed. I have tried this myself. I didn't think the results were as good as with fresh leaf, but I have had reliable first hand reports suggesting that it can work as well. I mention this because I have received a number of queries asking if it's possible, so the answer is yes.
Dale Pendell mentions re-hydration of dried leaves in his Salvia chapter>> in Pharmako/poeia (- a reliable source). Apparently, the best method is to soften the leaves in hot (but not boiling) water for a short while (5-10mins), then chew as you would fresh leaves.
The re-hydrated leaf does not take up the same volume as fresh. Any loss in potency can be counteracted by chewing comparatively more leaf.
Have a bowl handy when chewing, even if you intend to swallow the leaf as some prefer, you may have a gag reflex, so a bowl will be handy, and of course necessary if you intend to spit it out anyway.
As I have said, there is no need to swallow the leaf, but you will probably find after 5-10 minutes chewing / holding in your mouth that the amount of saliva is building up so that you have to swallow something. In fact one of the things that seems to happen as the effects start to come on is the production of more and more saliva. In this case you may find yourself having to swallow and swallowing some leaf, which is nothing to worry about. In any case, even just swallowing saliva alone, you may have a gag reflex. I don’t want to psyche anyone out before they start, just to prepare you for the phenomena and say that this ‘mind over matter’ affair can take a little practice.
For those new to the experience common question is "can I chew a bit less than the half dozen or so leaves, for a safer / milder / 'introductory' experience. My thoughts on this are that it is best to try for a fuller experience.
I say this because there is a threshold element to it, and, without taking enough, one is more likely not to cross the threshold than one is likely to have a mild ‘introductory’ experience. There are degrees of experience beyond the threshold, true enough, but I suggest chewing no less than half a dozen of a medium/largish size leaves to stand a good chance of getting beyond the placebo make-believe realms of "well, did I experience something, or did I just imagine it?" The same would go for smoking, where I would not recommend a partial inhalation.
After some practice you could try reducing the amount of leaf. I say some practice because, in order to compensate for less leaf, I am advising chewing particularly thoroughly and this is not that easy. At first you may find it difficult enough just holding the leaf in your mouth and giving it an infrequent chew. But for the sake of more efficiently using your stocks, and for the sake of getting a stronger experience, you may want to try chewing more thoroughly, harder, faster, while at the same time trying not to swallow too much leaf too quickly.