Before I knew about the food product "Chia seeds", I knew about the plant, which grows in the southwest USA, about 16" high, and ball, skewer-like seed pods.
There are legendary tales among the american natives, about this economical, protein and oil packed seed food source.
They claim it can help sustain a person for days, with just a Chia seed mash. Seeds can also be used to help remove a foreign body stuck in the eye. (the seeds, when soaked, form a sticky mucous membrane)
The problem, is that there are two popular types of salvia called Chia.
"Salvia hispanica" is what you find at most health food stores.....those tiny black seeds, and it is from central america.
But Salvia columbariae is a different plant. It's from the USA southwest, and is most likely the one referred to in tales of the southwest.
There is also some concern about possible allergic reactions to Chia, so be careful.