Chia, Salvia Hispanica L There is evidence that (Salvia hispanica L) was first used as food as early as 3500 B.C., and served as a cash crop in central Mexico between 1500 and 900 B.C. The seeds were eaten alone and mixed with other seed crops, drank as a beverage when dissolved in water, ground into flour, included in medicines, and pressed for oil. Aztec rulers received seeds as an annual tribute from conquered nations, and the grain was offered to the gods during religious ceremonies.
When the Conquistadors under the command of Hernando Cortez arrived in Mexico on November 8, 1519, they sought to establish their own rule by subjugating and plundering the legendary nation of the Aztecs. Cortez quickly realized that Salvia Hispanica was at the very core of the Aztec nutritional foundation. It was an integral part of the rich and mysterious ceremonial pageants that were vital to their religious and spiritual culture, and became a symbol of life itself. The Aztecs believed it gave them mystical, almost supernatural energy and power. During the Conquistadors relentless campaign of terror and oppression, Cortez was convinced that if he could destroy the crop, he would win the empire and become master of all he surveyed. Acre upon acre was then set ablaze and a brutal battle of wills had begun, a battle that would eventually bring the Aztecs to their knees, leaving the magnificent “Kingdom of Gold” in ruins.
After the Spanish conquest of Mexico, the mysterious seeds were probably introduced to Spain around 1521. It was famed botanist Carl Linnaeus (1707-1778) who gave chia the botanical name Salvia hispanica L., which was by this time growing wild in Spain and was mistakenly classified as a species native to that country. The Latin word for Spain is hispanica.
In the annals of nutrition history, the last half-century may well be considered the age of the super-grains. Starting in the 1960s, Dr. Norman Borlaug developed disease-resistant dwarf wheat and sparked the "Green Revolution" in Asia; Purdue University researchers discovered opaque-2 maize, with the mutation that doubles the protein value of corn; and Canadian researchers developed triticale, the long-sought cross between barley and wheat. But what may be the most functional of all the super-grains until now, remained virtually unknown.
In chia’s previous, more glorious existence, it served as the power food of the ancient Aztec’s, and according to Spanish manuscripts, the Aztecs ate the seeds of this semitropical plant to improve their endurance. They called it their "running food" because messengers could purportedly run all day on just a handful. The Aztecs prized this grain more highly than gold and they even used it as medicine. Now after almost 500 years, chia is re-born asOmega3 Chia™, Nature’s Perfect Human Food.