We have over 100,000 visitors each month, but in the whole of 2013 less than £1,000 was raised from donations. We rely on donations and cannot continue to maintain our database and website unless this increases considerably in 2014. Please make a donation today. More information on our financial position >>>
Search Page Content
   Bookmark and Share
   
    By donating to PFAF, you can help support and expand our activities
    Plant Suppliers: Click here for a List

Salvia hispanica - L.                
                 
Common Name Mexican Chia
Family Lamiaceae or Labiatae
Synonyms
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Not known
Range Southern N. America - C. Mexico.
Edibility Rating  
Medicinal Rating  
Care
Half Hardy Well drained soil Moist Soil Full sun

Summary       

Physical Characteristics       
 icon of manicon of flower
Salvia hispanica is a ANNUAL growing to 1 m (3ft 3in).
It is hardy to zone 9 and is frost tender. It is in flower from Jul to August. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs)

USDA hardiness zone : Coming soon


Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil.

Salvia hispanica Mexican Chia


Salvia hispanica Mexican Chia
www.flickr.com/photos/38709689@N00
   
Habitats       
 Cultivated Beds;
Edible Uses                                         
Edible Parts: Seed.
Edible Uses: Drink.

When soaked in water, the seeds form a gelatinous mass which is flavoured with fruit juices and consumed as a cooling drink[183, 200]. The gelled seeds can also be prepared as a gruel or pudding[183]. The sprouted seeds are eaten in salads, sandwiches, soups, stews etc[183]. Due to their mucilaginous property they are often sprouted on clay or other porous materials[183]. The seed can be ground into a meal and made into bread, biscuits, cakes etc, usually in a mix with cereal flours[183]. The seed is a good source of protein and easily digested fats[274].
Medicinal Uses
Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.



None known
Other Uses
None known
Cultivation details                                         
Requires a light to medium well-drained fertile soil in a warm sunny position[200]. Plants are not very frost tolerant but can be grown as summer annuals in Britain[200]. This species is widely cultivated for its edible seed in Mexico. Many of the plants cultivated under this name are in fact S. lavandulifolia[200]. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer[233].
                                                                                 
Propagation                                         
Seed - sow March/April in a greenhouse. Germination usually takes place within 2 weeks. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and plant out in late spring or early summer. The seed can also be sown in situ during April/May, though this sowing might not mature its seed in a cool summer[200].
Plant Suppliers: Click here for a List

      You can download this page as a PDF

Expert comment                                         
 
      
Author                                         
L.
                                                                                 
Botanical References                                         
200
                                                                                 
Links / References                                         

[183]Facciola. S. Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants.
Excellent. Contains a very wide range of conventional and unconventional food plants (including tropical) and where they can be obtained (mainly N. American nurseries but also research institutes and a lot of other nurseries from around the world.
[200]Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
[233]Thomas. G. S. Perennial Garden Plants
A concise guide to a wide range of perennials. Lots of cultivation guides, very little on plant uses.
[274]Diggs, Jnr. G.M.; Lipscomb. B. L. & O'Kennon. R. J Illustrated Flora of North Central Texas
An excellent flora, which is also available on-line.

Readers comment                                         
 
Elizabeth H.
Ricardo Ayerza (h) Sun Mar 24 12:28:19 2002
Link: eatchia scientific chia page
Elizabeth H.
José Waizel-Bucay Fri Jul 22 01:28:23 2005
With the seeds elaborate refreshing beverage in Mexico & Medicinal uses: "Bile", laxative.
Elizabeth H.
Peter Coletti Wed Mar 1 2006
The March 2006 Satuday Evening Post had a page on this plant referencing the seed usage medicinally. It is called Salba. You don't seem to be aware of it or else do not crdeit the information. Which is it?
Elizabeth H.
Jo Ann Sun Apr 16 2006
I looked for more info re Salvia Hispanica 4.16.06 because of an article I found at http://www.serve.com/BatonRouge/n3favet.htm that says it is a palatable source of Omega 3. It further annotates studies showing health benefits of consuming Salvia hispanica. It lists one medical drawback--something about pyridoxine.

http://www.serve.com/BatonRouge/n3favet.htm focus on veterinary benefits to animal diets w/salvia h.

Elizabeth H.
david nicholls Mon Jun 12 2006
Medicinal uses? The Kings Seed catalogue(a great New Zealand Company(I am not affiliated with)) says S.hispanica as a sprouting seed is said to increase energy, reduce hunger(!)and cause feelings of well-being. They give no references Sounds too good to be true but maybe worth further investigation.
Elizabeth H.
david nicholls Tue Jun 13 2006
Since writing the last message someone intersted in dieting has pointed out to me that the above medicinal benefits can probably be explained by the high protein content. Probably obvious to many people.
Elizabeth H.
Phaedar O'Tyrrell Sun Aug 20 2006
In a British study, made to satisfy a Committe charged with safeguarding inclusive food products, there is excellent research and discussion regarding chis.

Unknown Good resource regarding the human consumption study and more

Elizabeth H.
anon Tue Oct 17 2006
Dr. Weil on Chia aka Salvia Hispanica aka Salba http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/id/QAA365093 href="http://www.saturdayeveningpost.com/issues/2005/1112/print7370809.shtml" Seeds Of Wellness: Return Of A Supergrain | Saturday Evening Post The Aztec civilization may never rise again, but part of its ancient legacy may be a gift of better health to those who have rediscovered the secret of its prized "running food."
Elizabeth H.
Sat Nov 4 2006
Jo Ann thanks for the link, but the drawback references made to pyridoxine is about flax, not about chia.
Elizabeth H.
Ed peters Thu Apr 26 2007
question is can we buy seed for Salvia Hispanica L and what is the average yield per mature plant. I live in SW florida where we sometimes can get 2 to 3 growing seasons
Elizabeth H.
Ken Fern, Plants for a Future Wed May 9 2007
I'm not sure what yields are for this species, but the seeds can be obtained from B&T World seeds. Thier website is at http://www.b-and-t-world-seeds.com/.
Elizabeth H.
Gene Abernathy Sun Apr 22 2007
Gene Abe April 21, 2007 Go to http://www.911healthshop.com/salba.html (I have no connected interests with it) for a promotional piece about Salba seeds, a super grain resulting from selective propigation of selected white Chia seeds. The piece gives a good brief history of Chia along with info on Salba as the modern offspring of Chia. Sounds as if modern Salba, by way of ancient Chia, might be one of the most nutritionally powerful natural foods ever. (Other than the fruit of the Tree of Life in The Garden of Eden which has been denied us since Adam and Eve were evicted.)

Salba Super Grain Info on Salba and history of Chia. Sells Salba but I have no connection whatever.

Elizabeth H.
anon Fri Oct 13 2006
Dr. Weil on Chia aka Salvia Hispanica aka Salba http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/id/QAA365093

Seeds Of Wellness: Return Of A Supergrain | Saturday Evening Post The Aztec civilization may never rise again, but part of its ancient legacy may be a gift of better health to those who have rediscovered the secret of its prized "running food."

Elizabeth H.
Mitch Allen Wed Jun 13 2007
Apparently there is a more nutrient dense varietal strain of the Salvia Hispanica Plant grown in Peru. It is called Salba, and it seems to be getting much press in the U.S. and Canada. Seems to be alot of strong response with regard to its nutritional properties and performance. Much information available at www.salbausa.com

SalbaUSA More information on a specific variety of Salvia Hispanica

Elizabeth H.
David Herrmann Tue Jun 19 2007
Has anyone found conclusive proof that Salba, a registered trade mark name for the white chia seed, is actually significantly better than any other variety for consumption? The USDA has a link to two researchers with mention of a site in Florida. There names are Dr. Richard Wunderlin or Dr. Bruce Hansen © 2006 Institute for Systematic Botany

USDA, Natural Resources Conservation Service

Elizabeth H.
Margaret Conover, Ph.D. Wed Jul 18 2007
Chia is an excellent subject for school science experiments. Its history is fascinating. More information is available at the following website

Chia Power Advocating chia seeds for "food and fun."

Elizabeth H.
yves Sun Sep 9 2007
You can get seed at http://chiaseedandoil.com/ . 1.5lb bag for 9$ Sold for consumption but the seeds are viable.
Elizabeth H.
clement Wed Sep 12 2007
how long does it take to mature?
Elizabeth H.
JOSE CUEVAS Sun Dec 2 2007
CHIA or CHIAN as the Aztecs Called it (Salvia Hispanica) originary from MEXICO,and CENTRAL AMERICA is a highly nutritious, rich OMEGA-3 content seed. Omega-3 (ALPHA LINOLENIC ACID ALA 18:3)Of CHIA (Salvia Hispanica) which later develops by biosyntesis in the body into long chain OMEGA-3 type (EPA, DHA), can provide 62% of its total volume in OMEGA-3. Making CHIA the highest level source of NATURAL (NOT ANIMAL) OMEGA-3. Actually we have been marketing CHIA OIL in Mexico for 2 years with excellent results in lowering Cholesterol and Tryglicerides levels in many users. Many people solved their Diabetic Feet problem, or inflamatory conditions like Arthritis. However, CHIA should not be praised only because of its therapeutic properties, but also as a basic NUTRIENT for all the family: Children and Adults should be ingesting a min. of 2,2 g. of OMEGA-3 per day according to the WHO, which is easily accomplished with only 4 ml. of CHIA OIL per day. Besides CHIA OIL has a very delicious taste and combines with all sorts of foods and recipes. For further information please check my web page: www.fuentenatura.com sorry, Spanish only. But you can write me in English, French, Portuguese, Japanese or Spanish to: jose.cuevas@fuentenatura.com in Mexico. Best regards Jose Cuevas (Mr.) Fuentenatura Aviñon 47,Villa Verdun Mexico City, 01810 Mexico www.fuentenatura.com Ph. +5255-5635-0481 Fx. 3026

Fuentenatura Specialized Site in Salvia Hispanica: CHIA only Spanish (Mexico)

Elizabeth H.
Zoltan Roman Wed Dec 5 2007
I have hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, with permanent atrial fibrillation. For this reason I must take Warfarin (Coumadin). As chia /Salba seems to thin blood, this may be a problem. Could you refer me to a study where I can get more information on this aspect of the seed? Many thanks. Zoltan Roman
Elizabeth H.
joy Veazey Sun Feb 10 2008
Being that salba is a grain does anyone know if it is tolerated by gluten intolerant people?
Elizabeth H.
Ken Fern, Plants for a Future Sun Feb 10 2008
Although salba is an edible seed, it is not a grain in the sense that grain usually refers to the seeds of various grasses - the cereals such as wheat and oats. Whilst many cereals do contain gluten, salba is completely gluten-free and suitable for people with a gluten intolerance.
Elizabeth H.
Jeffrey R Savoie Sat Aug 9 2008
I am looking for more information on growing and harvesting salvia hispanica. Is there a thorough growing guide with fertilization recomendatios? We have the proper soils & are about 60 miles north of Champaign, Illinois
Elizabeth H.
Thu Aug 14 2008
Salba costs more and it is not any better, just all one color.
Elizabeth H.
Frank Fernandez Sun Sep 21 2008
Salvia Hispanica is gluten free. There are many resources online, and although this is a month late, and you probably have your answer,I feel anyone else onlooking may be interested. Now I have a question, does anyone know of a place I could find information on growing these perhaps in Florida? I'm new to gardening but am really intrigued, I bought a book and have been looking up information, but for beginners it seems that the internet is not gardener friendly, and this kind of disturbs me.
Elizabeth H.
Frank Fernandez Mon Sep 22 2008
I almost forgot to mention, there is proof in a lot of places on the web that Salba is indeed NOT any better, and it may be true that the wild 'black' seed is the better one. They simply interbred white varieties of the seed until they got a fully white seed. It has no added benefit to the normal ones, and in many cases is actually not as good. I'm not a botanist, but last I found the proof here, there are many other websites that prove it, look up white vs black chia seeds. http://buychiagrain.com/signature_grain_faq.htm#q8
Elizabeth H.
Sean Hannigan Sun Oct 12 2008
More important than the color of the seed, it appears that climate, rainfall, soil conditions, altitude, latitude and agronomic practices all contribute to the quality of the seed. A company called LifeMax produces a product called MILA™ that is reported to be better than other forms of Salvia hispanica L. out there. MILA is a mixture of the best seed which has been selected since they were grown under the most favorable conditions and in locations which achieve the highest quality and nutritional value. Combining that with enhanced processing technology, LifeMax assures maximum nutritional absorption. More importantly, to me at least, since MILA can only be grown in limited supply! The mission of LifeMax is to change the health of the world and whatever seed does not make the production cut is utilized in many different channels of distribution to achieve that mission. Read more about MILA at http://mykindofgrain.com

My Kind of Grain Introducing the Miracle Seed

Elizabeth H.
Don Pooley Mon Nov 10 2008
What's the difference between MILA and Salba?
Elizabeth H.
Colin Coombe Wed Nov 19 2008
Hi I live in Durban South Africa.Is seed available in this country? If not where could I get seed ? Colin
Elizabeth H.
david n Wed Nov 19 2008
If you can't find it in SA, B and T World Seed have it, they have the worlds largest seed catalogue , and do international orders on line. www.b-and-t-world-seeds.com
Elizabeth H.
Frank Fernandez Fri Nov 21 2008
Please don't advertise for companies that attempt to call their version of Salvia the best guys, there has been no medical proof documented for any of these groups that claim so, so all you're really doing is spreading their marketing tactics.
Elizabeth H.
cleve magill Fri Jan 2 2009
this sounds really great,but is there anyreal proof that it really is as beneficial as everyone seems to think.i have nearly all the symptoms mentioned it will help,my legs burn all the time from nuropathy and bad circulation in feet. .irratable bowl sendrome,fatigue,and many more.sounds to good to be true.but God said all the medicine we need is in the plants that he provided.sure sounds like one.dont want to spend more money on something else that doesnt work the way they say.
Elizabeth H.
healthywarrior Thu Jan 8 2009
There are many people her that post without doing their research. I assure you that Salba is more superior to generic or common chia because it jas indeed been proven in human clinical study. There was a study published in the November 2007 issue of Diabetes Care which shows absolutely that the Salba varieties were proven to lower cardiovascular risk factors in Type 2 Diabetes - the plain and simple fact is that no other variety has been proven to do this. I know beacuase I have tried many cheaper versions with sub-standard results. I suggest you contact Salba for a copy of the study! All you have to do is take alook around and you can see who backs their product and its efficacy.

Salba

Elizabeth H.
Julie Bayer Thu Feb 5 2009
I'm interested in planting salvia hispanica in my garden. How and where can I order seeds? Please help
Elizabeth H.
Margaret Mon Feb 23 2009
You can purchase edible chia seed online or through a health food store. This seed will grow. However, if you garden in a temperate climate (outside the subtropics) it is unlikely that your plants will complete their life cycle and produce seeds before the first frost.

Growing Chia seed @ www.chiativity.org A collection of links and notes for growing chia seeds.

Elizabeth H.
Terry Mon Mar 9 2009
I have used both Salba and Chia seeds. I live in Toronto and winter in B Barbados. I have planted Salba seeds, about 3 months ago; and have about 60 plants varing from plants from 4 in. to 4 ft. Some have small flowers and seed pods. Others are tall and no flower seeds. How do I harvest the green not ripe pods ?
Elizabeth H.
Darcy Crary Wed Apr 29 2009
I have Crohn's Disease and cannot eat anything made from a grain, such as wheat. Therefore, I must grind to a powder nuts in order to make cookies, etc. tha t would normally be made with regular flour. So, I need to know is the Salba seed oil okay for people with Crohn's Disease. Thank you, Darcy Crary
Elizabeth H.
Margaret Sat May 2 2009
It is usually certified gluten free.

www.chiativity.org

Elizabeth H.
Camar A. Umpa Wed May 13 2009
I want to grow Salvia Hispanica L in the Philippines but most seed outlets in the United States, Canada do not ship to the Philippines. I have a credit card and want to charge it but the addresses to whom shipments can be sent to do not include the Philippines. Anyone out there can help me? Thank you.
Elizabeth H.
david Wed May 13 2009
You could try B and T world seeds (b-and-t-world-seeds.com) I don't know if they will ship to the Phillipines but they have seed of this plant and are the worlds largest international supplier of seed, based in England, it's possible they can tell you where to look if they cant supply to you.
Elizabeth H.
may Tue Sep 1 2009
can this be helpful in patients with polycystic ovaries? i wanted to know if this can be of great help.
QR Code

What's this?

This is a QR code (short for Quick Response) which gives fast-track access to our website pages. QR Codes are barcodes that can be read by mobile phone (smartphone) cameras. This QR Code is unique to this page. All plant pages have their own unique code. For more information about QR Codes click here.

1. Copy and print the QR code to a plant label, poster, book, website, magazines, newspaper etc and even t-shirts.
2. Smartphone users scan the QR Code which automatically takes them to the webpage the QR Code came from.
3. Smartphone users quickly have information on a plant directly for the pfaf.org website on their phone.
Rate This Plant                                         
Please rate this plants for how successful you have found it to be. You will need to be logged in to do this. Our intention is not to create a list of 'popular' plants but rather to highlight plants that may be rare and unusual and that have been found to be useful by website users. This hopefully will encourage more people to use plants that they possibly would not have considered before.
     
                                                                                 
Add a comment/link                                         

If you have important information about this plant that may help other users please add a comment or link below. Only comments or links that are felt to be directly relevant to a plant will be included. If you think a comment/link or information contained on this page is inaccurate or misleading we would welcome your feedback at admin@pfaf.org. If you have questions about a plant please use the Forum on this website as we do not have the resources to answer questions ourselves.

* Please note: the comments by website users are not necessarily those held by PFAF and may give misleading or inaccurate information.

Subject : Salvia hispanica  
             

Links To add a link to another website with useful info add the details here
Name of Site
URL of Site
Details