What Are Chia Seeds?

You might have suddenly heard or seen the name as if from no where, and expected them to be something new, but it turns out these wonderful little superstars to health were actually used well over 500 years ago; there are in fact records of ‘Chia Seed’ being used for consumption as far back as 3500BC!

Salvia hispanica plantNative to and traditionally used in mexico these small brown oval seeds are derived from the Chia (Salvia hispanica) plant; a plant belonging to the mint family (Lamiaceae), and once commonly cultivated and consumed as a staple food (and even as currency and religious offering) by the Aztecs, Mayas, and other Native American peoples. The Aztecs used Chia Seed like a grain. Chia flour and chia seeds in water (consumed as a beverage) were often used medicinally with other ingredients to ease constipation, sore throats, colds, and as a compress for wounds. (see more: How to eat chia seeds) Chia and water were also used as the base ingredient for cosmetics and body paint.

Chia virtually disappeared when the entire Aztec agricultural system was almost entirely wiped out as a result of the Spanish conquests. (between c.1400-1500)

Now that which was once valuable tribal wisdom is making a return, supported this time by medical science. Chia seeds offer a superior opportunity from which to help improve present day nutrition. They are currently produced in a number of countries, most popularly in Australia., and thankfully they’ve also made it to Europe so we too can have the chance to experience the impressive benefits they have to offer!