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Salvia hispanica, commonly known as Chia, is a species of flowering plant in the mint family, Lamiaceae, native to central and southern Mexico and Guatemala. Folklore attests it was cultivated by the Aztec in pre-Columbian times, and was so valued that it was given as an annual tribute by the people to the rulers. It is still used in Mexico and Guatemala, with the seeds sometimes ground, while whole seed is used for nutritious drinks and as a food source. The word chia is derived from the Nahuatl word chian, meaning oily. The present Mexican state of Chiapas received its name from the Nahuatl “chia water or river.” Chia is an annual herb growing to 1 m (3.3 ft) tall, with opposite leaves 4 “8 cm (1.6 “3.1 in) long and 3 “5 cm (1.2 “2.0 in) broad. Its flowers are purple or white and are produced in numerous clusters in a spike at the end of each stem. Chia is hardy from USDA Zones 9-12. Many plants cultivated as S. hispanica are actually S. lavandulifolia. Chia is grown commercially for its seed, a food that is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, since the seeds yield 25-30 extractable oil, including ±-linolenic acid (ALA). Chia seeds are typically small ovals with a diameter of about 1 mm (0.039 in). They are mottle-colored with brown, gray, black and white.