The Peruvian Maca root is a food and an herb. It is a radish like root vegetable, related to the potato family, spherical in form and described having a butterscotch flavor. The root comes in multitude of colors, ranging from white to black and purple. Also, six centimeters across, 4.7 centimeters in length, and has grown wild in Peruvian Andes, just below the glacial ice cap, between 12,500 – 14,450 feet above sea level. The climate weather conditions are extreme including frost, high winds and intensive sunlight. Only plant that is cultivated at highest altitude in the world, depletes the soil of nutrients, which prevents other plants, from growing in the area, and harvested six to nine months a year. Originally 3800 BC, the plant provided Peruvian Indian shepherds the opportunity to graze their herds. The herds became healthier, with more stamina and more sexually active. Eventually, Andean Herd People incorporated the Maca root, part of their diet, provided increased energy and stamina for themselves. The plant grows in rich soil in the plateaus of Peru, where it is very cold and oxygen is less abundant to breath. Incas that lived in this harsh terrain consumed the Maca root, which provided their people, resistance to heights, endured severe weather and capability to breath less oxygen. The Maca Root contains large amounts of amino acid, approximately 60% complex carbohydrates, vitamin B1, B2, B12, C and E. Also, contains 10% calcium, 9% fiber, 10% protein, phosphorus, zinc, magnesium and iron. Compared to potatoes and carrots, Maca root contains more iron, magnesium, calcium, potassium and iodine. The seeds of the Maca plant was collected and planted over 10,000 years ago.
In 1843, Maca root was studied by scientists and given the botanical name of Lepidium meyenil, Walpers after the German Botanist Gerhard Walpers. In the early 1960s, Gloria Chaconde Popivici, Ph.D., a Peruvian biologist, University of San Marcos, in Lima Peru, analyzed Maca root for it’s chemical activities, which effects hormonal status. Her analysis was written in her dissertation. Dr. Chaconde discovered that powdered Maca root or alkaloids, isolated from the root, produced fertility effects on the ovaries during testing of rats. The effects were apparent within 72 hours of dosing. Also, she realized Maca root increases energy and vitality in humans, besides having positive effect on the pancreas and thyroid.
During the past 20 years, South American doctors have become aware of the attributes the Maca root provides in modern medicine, treating premenstrual syndrome, menopause, male impotence, and infertility. Dr. Jorge Aguila Calderon, Dean of the Faculty of Human Medicine and National University of Federico Villareal in Lima, has prescribed Maca for a variety of conditions, including osteoporosis and the healing of bone fractures in the elderly. Also, Maca root treats memory disorder, mental clarity, and increased erectile tissue response. Maca Root nutrients have the potency to forestall the hormonal changes, which causes aging.
Maca Root known as the adaptogen, means increases the body’s ability to defend against, both physical and mental weakening, by achieving the ability to support healthy adrenal and pituitary gland, both underline proper endocrine function. The endocrine systems regulate human body mood, growth, and development of tissue function, metabolism and sexual function, along with reproductive processes. Maca Root helps relieve the symptoms of PMS and menopause. Also, women notice a decline in hot flashes and night sweats. Maca Root herb is an alternative to hormone replacement therapy. Men have used it to enhance fertility, increase stamina, intensifies sexual urges, a good natural safe effective alternative to Viagra or having aphrodisiacal properties. In Scotland, Maca considered a natural aphrodisiac, and touted as a female Viagra. Among athletes, Maca root is an alternative to anabolic steroid for muscle hypertrophy, and contains no chemicals that interfere with endocrine function. Maca Root is similar to Ginseng herb (or sometimes referred to as “Peruvian ginseng”), used in Asia for thousands of years, which increases resistance to stress, fatigue, and providing aphrodisiac effects. At least one side effect may occur, while taking Maca, decreases sugar craving. No reports that it has any level of toxicity.
In July 2001, two United States companies were granted claims, for patenting Maca root. One of these companies – “PureWorld Botanicals launches MacaPure,” a New Jersey company. However, protesting against the patents, over a dozen Peruvian farming, cultural, and environmental organizations. They challenge the patents of biological material is unethical and should be prohibited under international agreement. Several US companies purchase raw Maca directly from farmers, including Herbs America. This company extracts Maca root into powder, Maca Nectars, tablets, coffee products and other substances.
Available, Maca powder can be purchased at health food stores including wellness stores in the “Men’s Support” section, and online websites. Adding a couple of teaspoons of Maca powder to a glass of water, known to taste great, easy to digest, and stimulates the body to have more energy. Also, available for purchase Maca Power, is hundred percent organic powder, a fair trade product, harvested or cultivated in the Junin plateau of Peru’s central highlands at 4,100 meters above sea level, and processed using organic agriculture practices. After processing, optimal light colored and has a non-oxidized sweet taste. Maca Power can be added to breakfast smoothie (Blending one teaspoon fresh fruit, Maca powder with soy/rice milk or yogurt.), sprinkle on top of cereal or mix in with muesli, and used as a substitute for flour in cookie and brownie recipes. Also, Maca Power available in non-gelatin capsules, taken similar as a vitamin, any time or any place. The capsules provide the convenience for people, that have busy schedules or unable to maintain a healthy diet. Located in health stores and Internet websites, 500 milligrams Maca capsules in 30, 60, 90 and 500 capsule packages. Smokers that have taken Maca Power have noticed increase energy level.