Maca is a herbaceous plant native to the Andes of Peru and Bolivia, where it is cultivated both for its nutritional qualities and for its reputation that its roots have properties that increase fertility and improve libido.
Andean maca closely resembles a radish in shape, however it is slightly larger in size. The root is three to six centimeters wide and 4.7 centimeters long.
It is grown at an altitude of 2,700 to 4,300 meters above sea level, and has been cultivated in the Peruvian Andes for almost 2,600 years.
The health benefits of maca have been known since time immemorial, even before the arrival of the Spanish in Peru. The indigenous people used maca not only as an aphrodisiac, but also as a powerful herb to cure many diseases.
During the Spanish colonization of Peru, maca was used by the Incas to pay taxes.
There are four recognized types of maca root depending on the color of the root, ranging from creamy yellow or light pink to dark purple or black.
BENEFITS AND INDICATIONS OF MACA
Among the health benefits of Andean maca are:
- - Increases strength and libido, endurance, athletic performance and the feeling of general well-being. Maca is an adaptogen, it helps our body to adapt to stressful situations, it increases the body's ability to defend itself against physical and mental weakness.
- - Regulates and increases the function of the endocrine system, the glands that produce hormones necessary for essential bodily and metabolic functions such as fertility, sexual function, digestion, the brain and nervous system physiology, and energy levels. Hormones regulate many things, including mood, growth, sexual development, and tissue function. Hormones also play a role in many diseases, such as cancer and depression.
- - Support for the adrenal glands, maintaining the general health of the body in stressful situations.
It has an analgesic effect thanks to terpenoids and saponins that give it the power to relieve pain and act as an expectorant and sedative.
- - Women have found that it helps relieve symptoms of PMS and menopause
- - Men have used it to increase fertility and sexual function. For this reason it has earned the nickname "Nature's Viagra."
- - Deeper sleep
- - Improves memory and brain function
- - Slows the aging process
- - Reverses vaginal dryness
Peruvians have always eaten cooked maca, but they have prepared it in different ways. Also fermented as beer. It can also be roasted, boiled, and mixed with milk as a cereal, or pureed and dried as flour.