Many of the plants cultivated under this name are in fact Salvia lavandulifolia[
Kiosmina hispanica (L.) Raf.
Salvia chia Sessé & Moc.
Salvia neohispanica Briq.
Salvia prysmatica Cav.
Salvia schiedeana Stapf
Salvia tetragona Moench
Common Name: Mexican Chia
Mexican chia is a rather stout, simple or sparsely branched, erect annual plant, usually 1 metre high or less[
The plant is widely cultivated for its edible seed in Mexico and Guatemala. The plant also yields an oil and has a number of local medicinal applications.
Central America - C. Mexico to Guatemala.
Moist or dry thickets or open, often rocky slopes or fields, sometimes on sandbars along streams, often a weed in cultivated or waste ground, sometimes in open oak forest at elevations of 1,150 - 2,500 metres[
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Cultivated, Wild
Requires a light to medium well-drained fertile soil in a warm sunny position[
Martinez reports that in Mexico 1 ,000 - 3,000 kilos of the seeds may be produced per hectare[
The flowers are much visited by bees[
Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer[
When the 'seeds' or nutlets are soaked in water they swell somewhat after the manner of tapioca, developing a thick outer mucilaginous coat[
]. When the soaked seeds are stirred or mashed in water, they form a beverage of agreeable flavour and mucilaginous consistency that is much drunk either at the table or at refreshment stands[
]. It is sometimes offered on the table at hotels[
]. The drink can be flavoured with fruit juices[
]. The gelled seeds can also be prepared as a gruel or pudding[
The sprouted seeds are eaten in salads, sandwiches, soups, stews etc[
]. Due to their mucilaginous property they are often sprouted on clay or other porous materials[
The seed can be ground into a meal and made into bread, biscuits, cakes etc, usually in a mix with cereal flours[
]. The seed is a good source of protein and easily digested fats[
A nutritious oil is obtained from the seed[
]. Rich in linoleic and alpha-linolenic acids, it has been recommended as a health supplement[
The following notes are for the related S. columbariae. They almost certainly also apply to this species[
The seed is digestive, disinfectant, febrifuge and ophthalmic[
]. An infusion can be used in the treatment of fevers[
]. A poultice of the seed mush can be applied to infections[
The seeds have been kept in the mouth, and chewed during long journeys on foot, in order to give strength[
The seeds have been used to cleanse the eyes or remove foreign matter from the eyes[
]. No more information is given here, but in other instances the seed has been placed in the eye, it then forms a gelatinous covering to which any foreign matter in the eye adheres. The seed is washed out of the eye by the eyes own tears[
The seeds contain 28-36 per cent of an oil which is yellowish and becomes lighter in colour upon exposure to light. It is a drying oil and is used commonly in Guatemala as a paint dryer[
]. In Mexico it is used by some of the Indians in painting jicaras the cups made from Crescentia fruits and probably it is utilized in the same manner in Guatemala[
Seed - sow in situ. Germination usually takes place within 2 weeks.
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