Chia (Salvia Hispanica)

Chia (Salvia hispanica L.) is a plant belonging to the family of Lamiaceae (mint). It is considered that chia arrived in Central America where its seed is considered a staple in the ancient Aztec diet. Native Americans in the southwestern United States used the seeds of a related plant, the “golden chia” or Salva columbariae. In China and other countries, used the roots of another plant related, “dan shen” or Salvia miltiorrhiza for medicinal purposes.

Chia is promoted for its high omega-3, omega-6 and omega-9. Animal studies suggest that chia may lower blood cholesterol, low density lipoprotein (LDL or “bad” cholesterol) and triglycerides, while increasing high density lipoprotein (HDL or “good” cholesterol) . It may also have anticancer activity. Human studies are limited.

Uses:
The following uses are based on tradition or scientific theories. They often have not been thoroughly tested in humans, and may not have been proven safe and effective. Some of these conditions are potentially serious and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider. There may be other proposed uses that are not listed below.

Alcoholism, allergies, angina, anticoagulant (blood thinner), antioxidant, antiviral, athletic performance enhancement, cancer, celiac disease, constipation, coronary heart disease, death and dying process, depression, diabetes, heart attack, blood pressure , high cholesterol, hormonal / endocrine, hunger, inflammation, ischemic injury (damage from lack of oxygen to the heart), joint pain, kidney disorders, liver disease, metabolic disorders (electrolyte imbalances), nerve disorders , obesity, pancreatitis, skin disorders, stroke, tumor, vasodilation (dilation of veins / decrease in blood pressure).

Evidence:
We have tested the following uses in humans or animals. The safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider.

Prevention of cardiovascular disease / atherosclerosis (B)

Preliminary studies in animals and humans suggest that diets containing chia seed may decrease risk factors for cardiovascular disease. The evidence indicates that the benefits of Salba ® in humans are similar to those of other whole grains. Further research is required.

Safety:
The healthcare professionals with formal training Many complementary techniques are practiced in accordance with the standards of national organizations. However, this is not universally the case, there may be adverse effects. Due to limited research, in some cases only limited information available on the safety of the treatment.
Allergies

Avoid in individuals with a known allergy or hypersensitivity to chia, its constituents or members of the genus Salvia. May arise allergic reactions to chia protein and cross-reaction in people allergic to sesame seeds and mustard.

Side Effects and Warnings:
Although chia seeds and golden chia have been consumed as food for centuries, there is currently limited information on the safety of chia or Salba ®. Have been reported gastrointestinal side effects.

Chia should be used with caution in people with low blood pressure or those taking heart medications, the risk of cumulative effects.

Chia should be avoided in people taking anticoagulants (blood thinners) such as warfarin, because of the increased risk of bleeding.
Pregnancy and lactation

Chia is not recommended during pregnancy or breastfeeding due to a lack of scientific information on its safety.

Interactions with Drugs:
In theory, chia may increase the risk of bleeding when taken with anticoagulants (blood thinners) such as warfarin. Salba ® may lower blood pressure and should be used with caution in those taking heart medications because of the risk of cumulative effects. Chia may have anti-cancer activity and add to the effects of anticancer drugs. It can also affect the way the liver metabolizes some drugs.
Interactions with Herbs and Dietary Supplements

In theory, chia may interact with herbs and supplements with anticoagulant activity, such as ginkgo, garlic and Dong quai. Salba ® may lower blood pressure and should be used with caution in those taking herbs and supplements that may also lower blood pressure or cause other effects on the heart. Chia may have anti-cancer activity and add to the effects of anticancer herbs and supplements. Chia may affect the way the liver metabolizes some herbs or supplements.

Chia contains antioxidants and therefore may add to the activity of other antioxidants such as vitamin A, C and E. It also contains omega-3 fatty acids and may add to the effects of other herbs and supplements that contain omega-3 fatty acids as fish oil.

Dosage:
Adults (18 years and older):
Chia seeds have been studied for up to four weeks at maximum dose of 10 grams. The manufacturer’s recommended serving of Salba ® is 2 tablespoons (15 grams), which is said to contain more than 3,000 milligrams of omega fatty acids 3, 5 grams of fiber and various minerals.

For the prevention of cardiovascular disease have used 33-41 grams per day of Salba ® for 12 weeks, ground or incorporated into bread.

Children (under 18 years):
For children ages 4.5-19 years, average chia consumption may be 1.4 grams per day for a maximum daily dose of 4.3 grams. The manufacturer of Salba ® has recommended a dose up to 1 tablespoon of chia per day for children.

ONLINE REFERENCE

REFERENCES:
Adams JD, Wall M, Garcia C. Salvia columbariae contains tanshinones. Evid Based Complement Alternat.Med 2005;2(1):107-110.

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