Organic chia seeds, Salvia hispanica, are from the Lamiaceae family (also known as the mint family) and are closely related to basil, lavender, marjoram, mint, rosemary, sage, savory and thyme. While many sources say that chia seeds are native to central and southern Mexico and Guatemala, DNA researchers using RAPD markers (pronounced “rapid”) have determined that the area with the greatest genetic diversity (meaning this is most likely where they originated) encompasses the semi-temperate and temperate highlands of western Mexico and eastward across the trans-volcanic belt to Puebla.
Chia seeds are considered an ancient grain and they can be black or white (brown indicates that the seed is unripe). There is no difference nutritionally. Our organic chia seeds are considered black.
Chia seeds have hydrophilic properties, which allow them to absorb more than 12 times their weigh in water when soaked. While soaking, the seeds develop a mucilaginous coating (a thick, gluey substance) that gives chia-based beverages a distinctive gel texture.
Chia seeds produce a light colored essential oil in high concentrations, with the major components being b-caryophyllene, globulol, y-muurolene, b-pinene, a-humulene, germacrene-B, and widdrol.
Chia seeds are called budhur alshiya (Arabic), Jia zhongzi (Mandarin), Graines de chia (French), Chiasamen (German), chiya beej (Hindi), seme di Chia (Italian), Chiashīdo (Japanese), Semente de chia (Portuguese) and la semilla de chia (Spanish).