Maca – Lepidium meyenii

Maca - Lepidium meyenii

Family: Solanaceae

Maca is the world’s highest altitude food crop, growing high in the Andes at altitudes of 9 – 11 thousand feet.  Maca has an exceptionally high food value, the highest of any crop grown by the native Andeans. Its nutritive value resembles that of other cereal grains such as maize, rice and wheat. It has 59% carbohydrates, 10-18% protein, 3-8.5% fibre and 2- 2.2% lipids.

Used since before the times of the Incas as a food, it is valued for its ability to increase energy and stamina, maca contains at least five times more protein, four times more fibre and less fat than a potato. It contains two of the three (Linoleic and Oleic) essential fatty acids, 18 amino acids, including seven of the nine essential amino acids.

The fertility powers of maca are prized by couples in the Peruvian highlands, where this high-altitude root crop has been used for these purposes for more than 3,000 years. Men and women who fail to conceive a child eat maca on a regular basis until conception occurs.

In 1961, Dr. Gloria Chacon de Popovici, a biologist in Lima, Peru, published her studies when her research scientifically demonstrated the increased fertility in animals using maca. A chemical analysis shows the presence of biologically active aromatics which have unique aphrodisiac properties. Analysis of maca properties indicates that the effects on fertility are a direct result of glucosinolates found in maca. Dr. Chacon discovered the four alkaloids present in maca that are responsible for maca’s reputed positive effect on hormonal balancing issues such as hot flashes, memory problems, fatigue, mood swings and male impotence.

Constituents: Amino acids, carbohydrate, plant sterols, vitamins B1, B2, B12, C, and E, calcium, iron, magnesium & phosphorous   Ca:P is 1.5:1 making it suitable for rabbits and guinea pigs without any need for balancing the calcium level.

Actions: Anti fatigue, Immunostimulant, Aphrodisiac