Chia seeds are edible and resemble very tiny pebbles. They produce a softening mucilage when soaked in water, but can also make a gentle exfoliant when simply rubbed on the skin.
Salvia hispanica belongs to the same genus as sage, and the green shrubby plants look a lot alike. It grows a purple-ish calyx, which delivers the precious seeds after fading.
They are highly mucilaginous: when in contact with warm water or any kind of liquid, they quickly start to swell and increase their size by four or five times. The mucilage is clear and can be compared to tapioca or gelatine. It is commonly used in vegan diets to give consistency to cakes or any kind of recipe and behaves similarly l in cosmetics.
Chia seeds are also loved for their energising value: full of proteins, nutrients (such as phosphorus and calcium), it is thought to be the highest source of Omega-3 fatty acids, next to flax. Indigenous peoples of North and Central America praised the highly nutritious little seed, especially in times of food shortage or before important physical effort.
They are purchased by Lush from a UK organic distributor and come from Argentina.