Lepidium meyenii (Maca)

Raw, Organic, Root, Powder, 100 Gr from Peru (SKU 4548)

Allergen Statement: We hereby certify that Maca powder we sell does not contain any substances causing allergies or intolerances as ingredients or by possibility of cross contamination. The list of allergens which are likely to cause adverse reactions in susceptible individuals is provided in Annex IIIa of Directive 2007/68/EC. Please note that this statement is based on the information provided by the manufacturer of the product. Nutritional Value Per 100 gr: Energy 1376 KJ / 327 kcal; Protein 12 gr; Fat 0,9 gr; Of which saturated fat 0,2 gr; Carbohydrates 57 gr; Fibre 22 gr; Sodium 1640 mg

Family: Cruciferae (Mustard family)

Maca is a root vegetable or tuber from the Mustard family. It grows in the mountains at altitudes of 3,000 meters, making it the highest cultivated plant in the world. Native Peruvians have used Maca since before the times of the Incas for nutritional and medicinal properties. This herb is a valued food that contains significant amounts of amino acids, carbohydrates, steroid glycosides, and minerals. There is evidence that Maca helps to maintain sexual performance and energy. Furthermore it supports physical and mental performance and well-being.[2]

Other names: Peruvian ginseng, Maka, Lepidium peruvianum, Lepidium weddellii, Lepidium affine, Lepidium gelidum

Maca is a true Puna plant and the only known cruciferous crop originating in the Americas. Although it has been previously reported that Maca was first domesticated about 2000 years ago by the Inca Indians, evidence suggests that it was actually domesticated during the pre-Inca Arcaicia Period (5000-1800 BC) with a date of 3800 BC. Primitive cultivars of Maca have been found in archaeological sites dating as far back as 1600 B.C. Thus, Maca has a history as a food staple for over 5800 years. Prior to the Inca's mass propagation, it was widely grown and harvested as a food source by the Pumpush, Yaros, and Ayarmaca indians.

It is unsure when the Andean Indians first began trading Maca to communities at lower elevations for other staples, but it has a history as a valued commodity. Following the Spanish Conquest of the Inca Empire in the 16th century, Maca was recommended by the local Indians as a feed for their domesticates that were experiencing fertility problems associated with high altitudes. The results were so notable as to warrant in-depth reports. In 1549, the visiting Spanish encomendero de Soto Mayor was given Maca as a tribute which he subsequently used to improve the fertility of livestock in Castille, and in 1572 the Chinchaycochas Indians used Maca in bartering. Spanish Colonial records indicate in one instance that 9 tons of Maca were used as a method of payment.[1]

Maca is traditionally consumed fresh or dried. The fresh roots are roasted in the field as "Huatias" or "Pachamancas" and eaten directly as one would a potato. Said to have a unique tangy taste and an aroma similar to butterscotch. The dry roots are also hydrated overnight and then parboiled in either milk or water until soft, to make a sweet aromatic porridge called "Mazamorra." The boiled roots are also mixed with fruit juice and milk to prepare a thick broth and can also be liquified to prepare juices and cocktails. In Huancayo, Peru, even Maca jam and pudding are popular. It also makes a popular fermented drink known as "Maca Chicha". This is often mixed with rum to make "Coctel de Maca".

Today, locals consume it boiled alongside dried vicuña meat in soups; or diced with carrots, peas and cauliflowers in salads. Maca flour is used to make sponge cake. Flavored with Chocolate (Theobroma cacao), it is made into Maca puffs. Villagers offer visitors Maca drinks and Maca juice; airports sell Maca toffees.[4]

The leaves, raw or cooked, have a hot cress-like flavor as this plant is a close relative of the European Cress, used as greens in salads. The leaves are also a choice Andean feed for fattening their domesticates for the table. In the markets in the larger cities and in the Western world, the dried roots are ground to a fine powder and sold in encapsulated form or as a supplement powder to be added to drinks.

Maca has been used ethnobotanically for centuries to enhance fertility in humans and animals. The first reports in Western record appears during the Spanish Conquest of the 16th century. Later written records indicate large quantities of Maca were demanded by the Spanish from one Andean area alone, for fertility enhancement. This traditional use is not limited solely to Andean cultures: it is sold today in Peruvian city markets and farmacias in Lima for the same purpose. It is also said to act as an aphrodisiac and is often referred to as the "Ginseng of the Andes" although it is not in the Panax family and thus not a true Ginseng (Panax ginseng).

Traditionally Maca has been used to increase energy, stamina and endurance, promote mental clarity, and as an aphrodisiac for both men & women. It is believed to promote male potency, menstrual regularity and female hormonal balance. Some have used it as a tonic for increasing resistance to the ravages of menopause and chronic fatigue. As food, it resembles a radish and is related to cress, the European salad vegetable. However, although its edible leaves are eaten in salads and are used to fatten guinea pigs, it is most valued for its swollen roots. Looking like brown radishes, these are rich in sugars and starches and have a sweet, tangy flavor. They are considered a delicacy in the high plateaus of Peru and Bolivia. Dried, they can be stored for years.

The Andeans believe Maca to improve both physical and mental capacities, to strengthen the reproductive organs, and to increase the strength of the immune system. In Peruvian herbal traditions, Maca is used as an immunostimulant, to protect against anemia, prevent infections, and strengthen sexual organs, as well as to enhance memory. Today, in Lima (and in the United States), dried Maca powder is encapsulated and sold as an alternative to anabolic steroids by bodybuilders due to its richness in sterols, and as a dietary supplement to increase stamina and fertility.

Maca is a small root vegetable from the Maca plant grown at altitudes over 3500 metres. Traditionally integrated in the nutrition of natives, the Maca root has evolved into a modern day “superfood”.

Maca has a rich malty flavour that combines well with cacao, another “superfood”. A complete protein, Maca provides 19 amino acids, 4 different alkaloids, 20 different fatty acids, an abundance of calcium and an assortment of vitamins including C, E, B1 (thiamine) and B2 (riboflavin).

Maca roots are cultivated on a 5 year rotational method without the use of pesticides. Hand selected for the best quality, the Maca root is cleaned in natural water. Once dried the Maca root is ground into a fine powder and packaged.

Alkaloids, amino acids (alanine, arginine, aspartate, glutamine, glycine, histidine, OH-proline, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, Proline, Sarcosine, Serine, Threonine, Tyrosine, Valine), Fatty Acids (Lauric, Myristic, Palmitic, Palmitoleic, Linoleic, oleic, stearic, arachidic, behenic, nervonic, lignoceric, tridecanoic, 7-tridecanoic, pentadecanoic, 7-pentadecanoic, heptadecanoic, 9-heptadecanoic, nonadecanoic, 11-nonadecanoic, 15-eicosenoic,), vitamins (A, B1, B2, B3, B12, C, D, & E), minerals (calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc), sterols (brassicasterol, ergosterol, ergostadienol, campesterol, sitosterol, stigmasterol) carbohydrates, protein, benzyl isothiocyanate, p-methoxybenzyl isothiocyanate, â-ecdysone, Saponins, Tannins.[1]

The nutritional benevolence of Maca is regarded by some as amazing. It resembles cereal grains such as maize, rice and wheat in food value. Although composition varies according to various factors (harvest conditions, soil content, etc.), Maca has at least 5 times more protein, 4 times more fiber and less fat than a potato. It has an excellent saturated/unsaturated fat ratio (0.76: 40.1% saturated, 52.7% unsaturated) and contains 2 of the 3 (linoleic and oleic) essential fatty acids. It contains an exceptional amino acid profile with seven of the nine essential amino acids. It includes a variety of vitamins and minerals, and per US % Daily Value, is high in copper (100%), iron (23%) and calcium (18%). It is low calorie, low cholesterol, low sodium, low fat, and high in protein.

[1] Maca, Raintree Tropical Plant Database
[2] Document: NL E4-0-C-REF, Netherlands Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport
[3] Complete Maca information, Drugs.com
[4] On a Remote Path to Cures, New York Times

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