• Post Reply
  • Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic

plant of the day "salvia hispanica"

 
Leah Sattler
Posts: 2603
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
there is such an incredible variety of plants to choose from to utilize in permaculture schemes that sometimes i get overwhelmed with information and options and I simply don't know enough about most of them.

I am thinking of starting 'plant of the day' threads each with its own particular species to focus on. we can collect pictures and examples of how it is used in the landscape, peoples personal experiences with it etc and we can all hopefully further our knowledge!


Salvia Hispanica - the seeds are edible. This is supposed to be a good deer proof plant but I have no personal experience with it as of yet and I can't remember where I read that  . I have found several sources that say it is rich in omega-3 fatty acids.

http://www.herbalistics.com.au/shop/product_info.php?products_id=187

any info you run across please add!

especially if anyone can find a good picture. I am suspicous that some of the pictures I am finding aren't really hispanica but another variety of salvia. 
 
tel jetson
steward
Posts: 3356
Location: woodland, washington
75
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I think more folks are familiar with this plant than might know it: Salvia hispanica is chia.  remember chia pets?  same stuff.

I've seen conflicting claims as to it's omega-3 content: that it's either the richest plant source or second only to flax.  it is far superior to flax in a lot of ways, though.  it is easily digestible whole, so it doesn't have to be ground up to get the good oils.  it also doesn't need to be refrigerated to avoid going rancid.  eaten with a meal, it will lower the glycaemic index, I believe because of all the soluble fiber involved gumming generally slowing things down a bit in the g.i. tract.  that soluble fiber also absorbs bile pulling excess cholesterol from the body (I know there's been some questioning of orthodox view on cholesterol on this site, but if bile is bound to cholesterol, I think it's safe to say my body is trying to get rid of that cholesterol).  the insoluble fiber cleans things up a bit.  reasonable source of protein and several vitamins and minerals.

I generally mix some with my yogurt or fruit juice in the morning.  as the seeds absorb water, they turn to goo.  looks like tiny amphibian eggs.  let them soak long enough in enough water and they almost disappear.  the can be a good sprouting seed, too, but I'm pretty lazy.  my roommate, a professional cyclist, has started buying chia seeds by the 25-lb bag.

I believe it's native to Mexico and Guatemala and still cultivated in those countries.  the name "Chiapas" involves chia.  I think it could be grown in a wide variety of climates, but it needs a pretty long growing season to mature seeds.  it should be deer proof.  it isn't susceptible to insect pests and may repel them, so it could be a good companion for plants that are susceptible.



available in bulk spice departments in grocery stores around here, we've been buying from nutsonline.com and been pleased.  great stuff.
 
Joel Hollingsworth
pollinator
Posts: 2103
Location: Oakland, CA
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I was planning to order some seeds of an ornamental variety before you mentioned it.

I'm curious whether flour or bran from this plant might be a good minor (1%?) addition to potting mix. And I might eat some, too.

Adding to what tel has said about soluble fiber: it is fermentable. It's great food for gut flora, which can help us out in any number of ways. I've read that fusil oils (like the fiery undertones in good whiskey) produced by gut flora are well-absorbed and have important effects on blood pressure etc.
 
tel jetson
steward
Posts: 3356
Location: woodland, washington
75
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I'm curious whether flour or bran from this plant might be a good minor (1%?) addition to potting mix.


great idea.  maybe a good addition to excessively well-drained dirt in arid conditions, too.
 
Joel Hollingsworth
pollinator
Posts: 2103
Location: Oakland, CA
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
tel wrote:maybe a good addition to excessively well-drained dirt in arid conditions, too.




Yes, I'm curious about a variety of seeds for that application: psillium, fenugreek, carob...
 
rose macaskie
Posts: 2134
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
It does not sound as if this has anything to do with the plant you are talking about but salvia is sage here in spain. I also saw that there was a plant called salvia that is used for some modern drug. Do you think that concentrated sage drugs you?rose macaskie.
 
tel jetson
steward
Posts: 3356
Location: woodland, washington
75
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
rose macaskie wrote:
It does not sound as if this has anything to do with the plant you are talking about but salvia is sage here in spain. I also saw that there was a plant called salvia that is used for some modern drug. Do you think that concentrated sage drugs you?rose macaskie.


Salvia is the sage genus and Salvia hispanica is an annual sage.

Salvia divinorum, the diviner's sage, is in the same genus, but it's a special case.  contains Salvinorin A, which has the potential to send your brain elsewhere for a few minutes.  I don't think any other sages contain that stuff, but I don't think it would matter if they did.  Salvinorin A is destroyed in the stomach before it can be absorbed, so accidentally eating even a large quantity of it isn't going to send you to a different astral plane.  diviner's sage is generally used by either chewing a big wad of leaves and leaving the juice in your mouth to be absorbed sublingually, or by smoking dried leaf at high temperatures so the important bits vaporize and are absorbed in the lungs.  Mazatec folks crush it up and drink the juice, but they have to drink quite a bit because only the amount absorbed by the oral mucosa before it's swallowed does the trick they're after.  none of these methods is particularly pleasant... I've heard...

but back to chia: great stuff.  growing some right now.  don't know if it'll mature any seed, but we'll give it a try and report back here.

Joel Hollingsworth wrote:


Yes, I'm curious about a variety of seeds for that application: psillium, fenugreek, carob...


I've seen un-threshed chia for sale for use feeding livestock and pets.  it was much cheaper than stuff sold for humans to eat, but maybe not quite cheap enough to be tossing it in the dirt.  maybe allowing the plant to mature seed, then chopping it into the topsoil might do the trick while avoiding the work of harvesting and grinding seeds.  could work with the other seed plants, too, though I suppose there's the problem of the seeds germinating.

carob ought to be easier in this regard, as the pods just fall on the ground eventually and picking them up isn't much trouble.

psyllium husk is readily available, so that seed might be easily milled.  the seed with the mucilage milled off still contains a lot of starch and fat, which would be good as stock feed if not human feed.

don't know much about fenugreek, except that I ate some during my attempts at male lactaction...

how am I doing at keeping us from looking like a bunch of drug-abusing weirdos, paul?  I'll add my last name to my screen name one of these days.
 
Joel Hollingsworth
pollinator
Posts: 2103
Location: Oakland, CA
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
tel wrote:I've seen un-threshed chia for sale for use feeding livestock and pets.  it was much cheaper than stuff sold for humans to eat, but maybe not quite cheap enough to be tossing it in the dirt.  maybe allowing the plant to mature seed, then chopping it into the topsoil might do the trick while avoiding the work of harvesting and grinding seeds.  could work with the other seed plants, too, though I suppose there's the problem of the seeds germinating.


It sounds like bran is more appropriate than seed. I'm not sure what the mucilage content is for the whole plant, but I just read that sesame leaves are very high in mucilage.
 
tel jetson
steward
Posts: 3356
Location: woodland, washington
75
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Joel Hollingsworth wrote:
It sounds like bran is more appropriate than seed. I'm not sure what the mucilage content is for the whole plant, but I just read that sesame leaves are very high in mucilage.


that would recommend incorporating the live plant into the soil, no?

based on my limited experience with the seed, I was going to say that chia bran might be difficult to come by, but I guess it isn't.  the internet tells me that chia bran is the residue of pressing the seeds for oil and is quite readily available.  might still not be cost effective to buy in sufficient quantity for soil amendment, but who knows what kind of deal a person could find?

I met a permaculturalist years ago who was operating in Nicaragua.  he used a whole bunch of silica gel to improve moisture retention.  nice guy doing great things, but using plant mucilage seems like a much better option for a great many reasons.  he did say the silica gel was very effective.  (a clue to his identity: he keeps company with ninjas who complete things soup to nuts.)
 
Jennifer Smith
Posts: 714
Location: Zone 5
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
tel wrote:
I met a permaculturalist years ago who was operating in Nicaragua.  he used a whole bunch of silica gel to improve moisture retention.  nice guy doing great things, but using plant mucilage seems like a much better option for a great many reasons.  he did say the silica gel was very effective.  (a clue to his identity: he keeps company with ninjas who complete things soup to nuts.)


Us nobodys have no clue who you are talking about but still an interesting tale. 

Thank you on the clairification on the drug issue.  I had read bits about it much as Rose has and wondered the same things.

Male lactation?  Why?  I don't think male horses have nipples...
 
We're all out of roofs. But we still have tiny ads:
Got Permaculture games? Yes! 66 cards, infinite possibilities::
www.FoodForestCardGame
  • Post Reply
  • Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic