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Chia

Natural health supplements sometimes have unexpected side effects or interactions with medication that can lead to adverse reactions that are sometimes life threatening. The following is a list of cautions that you should be aware of before using Chia (Salvia hispanica). These are referred to as drug/herb interactions.

Warning 1 - Low Blood Pressure: Chia seeds may lower blood pressure. Patients taking medications for blood pressure or heart disorders should consult their doctor before using chia.

Warning 2 - Blood thinners: Chia seed is natural blood thinner and has anti-coagulant properties. If you take blood-thinning medication (aspirin, warfarin, Coumatin), talk to you doctor before using chia. If you are currently using chia and are scheduled for surgery, ask your doctor if you can continue using chia seeds in your diet in the days preceding your procedure. Patients taking Coumadin or other blood thinners should avoid chia unless approved by their doctor.

There are no contraindications for the usage of chia. Small preliminary studies suggested that the alpha-linolenic acid in chia might increase the chance of getting prostate cancer. However, a large study involving 29,592 men age 55-74 years showed no connection between the use of alpha-linolenic acid and prostate cancer.

Endurance athletes use chia seeds because they have a very high energy to weight ratio, higher than wheat, oats, rice or corn. That makes it a favourite choice of long distance endurance runners and other athletes. The most famous users of chia were the "Tarahumara barefoot runners" These people are famous for their long distance running sometimes not stopping from dawn till dusk!.

The health pioneer Paul Bragg did an experiment an endurance hike with friends. They divided up into a chia-eating group and a group who ate whatever they wanted. The group eating only chia seeds finished the hike four hours, twenty seven minutes before the others, most of whom didn't even finish at all.


Used as a natural health remedy: chia seed is used internally for the following benefits and conditions:
  • lower blood pressure
  • control blood sugar levels
  • boost energy levels; provide a lot of natural energy
  • increase brain power, improve brain function
  • natural colon cleanse
  • strengthen muscles
  • better bones; Chia seeds are a rich source of both calcium and boron.
  • improved digestion; digest food more efficiently
  • Chia helps to curb appetite.
  • avoid the "crash" after a long run
  • control blood sugar levels
  • lose weight: When eaten, chia seeds form a gel which can cause you to feel full faster.
  • beneficial ratio of omega 3 fatty acids to omega 6 fatty acids

Side Effects of chia seeds

The known side effects of using chia seeds:
  1. flatulence (gas)
Other side effects may also occur when using chia seeds. (See form below)

As with any herb, a serious allergic reaction is possible. If you are allergic to mustard seed or sesame seeds you may be allergic to chia seed.

Don't eat chia seeds if you are pregnant or breastfeeding because they might not be safe for you or your child. Chia seeds contain a high amount of alpha linolenic acid. Some studies show a link between high amounts of this acid and prostate cancer so don't eat Chia seeds if you suffer from prostate cancer or are at a high risk for that disease. Chia seeds can also interfere with high blood pressure medication and blood thinners. Also you would be wise to avoid chia seed if you have braces.

Chia seed is available in supplement form as PURISALV CHIA

Return to the Herb List.

For questions and answers about the side effects of herbs see the Herb Forum

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This consumer advocate website is protected by copyright 2012 Askdocweb, Inc. All Rights Reserved. This is a layman's report on chia seeds and is not intended to replace discussions with a health care provider. Do not use the information on this forum as a substitute for your doctor's advice. Always consult your doctor before taking any drug and follow your doctor's directions. Source material: Food and Drug Administration, Medline, Physician's Desk Reference, and the largest community of people in the world, those who are concerned about side effects and healthcare.
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