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chia seedsWhen you hear or see this jingle, the first thing that comes to mind is Chia Pet!  Well chia seeds are the rave today.  This tiny seed has nutritional benefits not only internally, but is also great for the skin.

The chia plant (Salvia hispanica L.) is a member of the mint family and comes from the Mayan word for “strength”.  The plant is native to southern Mexico and northern Guatemala where it was historically used as food by Aztecs and Mayans.

Chia seeds are a nutritional powerhouse.  They are nearly tasteless and can easily be blended into food, juices and smoothies.  The benefits are:

  • Omega-3 fatty acids
  • Good source for soluble fiber
  • Rich in antioxidants
  • High in phosphorous
  • Calcium
  • Iron and Manganese
  • Glue free
  • May improve energy levels

Skin care companies are now incorporating chia seeds (ground and oil) in their products.  Chia seeds have up to 39% high oil content (Omega-3 fatty acids).  The fatty acids help to nourish and calm the skin and have higher antioxidant properties than blueberries.

For skin care treatments, ground seeds and oil can be applied directly to the face and body to restore dry patches and seal in moisture.  Chia oil is gelatinous (similar to aloe vera gel) and helps to hydrate, calm, rejuvenate and diminish the appearance of wrinkles (Fedotova, 2015).  Chia powder and oil can be used to make masques, body scrubs; be used as an exfoliants or aromatic oil.

When shopping for chia seeds and oil, be sure to use a reputable source.  Chia seeds have been found to contain Salmonella which has caused the U.S. and Canada to recall products made with chia seed power.  There are no reports to date on whether the product causes skin reactions when applied topically.

To read more on this topic, check out the following references:

“Chia seed side effects you ought to know about”. (2012). Chia Seeds, retrieved June 3, 2015, from: http://chiaseeds.net/chia-seed-side-effects/

Fedotova, E. (2015). Les Nouvelle Esthetiques & Spa, “Cha-Cha Chia!”. Retrieved June, 3, 2015, p. 98-101.

“Risk of salmonella in chia”. (2015). Omega Visage, retrieved June 3, 2015, from: http://www.chiaseed-oil.com/all-about-chia-seeds/chia-seed-oil-facts/risk-of-salmonella-in-chia

“Super Seed.” (2015). DaySpa, retrieved June 10, 2015, p. 68.