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Common Name: Mexican Chia
Salvia hispanica is an annual plant that can grow up to 1.00 metres tall.
It is harvested from the wild for local use as a food and medicine
Southern N. America - C. Mexico.
Requires a light to medium well-drained fertile soil in a warm sunny position[
Plants are not very frost tolerant but can be grown as summer annuals in Britain[
This species is widely cultivated for its edible seed in Mexico.
Many of the plants cultivated under this name are in fact S. lavandulifolia[
Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer[
When soaked in water, the seeds form a gelatinous mass which is flavoured with fruit juices and consumed as a cooling drink[
]. 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[
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[
Seed - sow early to mid spring 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 mid spring, though this sowing might not mature its seed in a cool summer[