This energizing plant is also referred to as Peruvian ginseng (although maca is not in the same family as ginseng). Maca has been used for centuries in the Andes to increase fertility in humans and animals. Shortly after the Spanish conquered South America, they found that cattle were reproducing poorly in the highlands.
The local Indians recommended that the animals be fed maca; the results were so admirable that the Spanish chronicles gave in-depth reports. Even colonial records of some 200 years ago indicated that the payment of (just) nine tons of maca was demanded by a single Andean area for this purpose.
Today in Peruvian herbal medicine, it is reported that maca is used as an immunostimulant; for anemia, tuberculosis, menstrual disorders, symptoms of menopause, infertility (and other reproductive and sexual disorders); and to increase memory. Maca has been growing in worldwide popularity in recent years thanks to various marketing campaigns in the US that enunciated its energetic, fertility-enhancing, hormonal-balancing, aphrodisiac, and especially sexual performance-enhancing properties. Other (anecdotal) medicinal herbal uses in the US and abroad include increased energy, vital strength, and endurance in athletes, promotes mental clarity, treats male impotence, and helps with menstrual irregularities, female hormonal imbalances, menopause, and chronic fatigue syndrome.
The nutritional value of dried maca root is high, similar to cereal grains such as corn, rice, and wheat. It contains 60-75% carbohydrates, 10-14% fiber, and 2.2% lipids. The protein content of maca exists primarily in the form of polypeptides and amino acids (including significant amounts of arginine, serine, histidine, aspartic acid, glutamic acid, glycine, valine, phenylalanine, tyrosine, and threonine. It also has about 250 mg of calcium, 2 g of potassium, and 15 mg of iron in 100 g of dried root - and significant amounts of fatty acids (including linolenic palmitic and oleic acids). Maca contains sterols (around 0.05% to 0.1%) and other vitamins and minerals In addition to its supply of essential nutrients, maca contains alkaloids, tannins, and saponins.
Chemical research shows that maca root contains a chemical called p-methoxybenzyl isothiocyanate, which has been known to have aphrodisiac properties. The fresh maca root contains about 1% plant chemical glucosinolates found in many plants in the Brassicaceae family (broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, and other cruciferous vegetables). While no new glucosinolates have yet been reported in maca, several of the chemicals found in this group of well-known plant chemicals are documented as cancer preventatives. The main plant chemicals include: alkaloids, amino acids, beta-ecdysone, calcium, carbohydrates, fatty acids, glucosinolates, iron, magnesium, p-methoxybenzyl isothiocyanate, phosphorus, potassium, protein, saponins, sitosterols, stigmasterol, tannins, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B12, vitamin C, vitamin E, and zinc.
Proteins: Maca has an average of 11gr% in the dry root.
Fibers: Cellulose and lingin, that is, a large amount of fibers, have been found in the root of Maca. So much interest in fibers arises from research that resulted in a large amount of fiber decreasing the risk of cancer of the large intestine, stimulating intestinal function helping the body eliminate food waste that is not used.
Carbohydrates: These are the main sources of human and vegetable energy, cheaper and easier to ingest.
Starch: Maca starch contains calcium, iron, forming its own chemical compounds that will influence the nutrition and health of the consumer.
Maltose: It is a disaccharide with reducing power that is not found in large quantities in nature and like many other oligosaccharides, they are obtained by partial hydrolysis of larger molecules.
Fructose or Lebula: It is a sugar used by seminal plasma for the production of sperm.
Tannins: Tannins are used internally as an adjuvant in the treatment of diarrhea. Combined with other medications, it is useful in the treatment of inflammatory processes of little chronic extension such as ulcers, sores, etc.
Fatty acids: There are fatty acids used as antiseptics and / or local antiseptics, fungicides and food preservatives.
Alkaloids: Maca has 4 alkaloids, Macaine 1, 2, 3 and 4. The alkaloids exert physiological action on the human and animal organism, they act in very small amounts, causing remarkable effects. Alkaloids have their own characteristics, they are very different from proteins, they form salts as they are soluble with acids and they also dissolve in organic solvents. The alkaloid extract of Maca is a harmless chemical substance in very small amounts, but it stimulates the regulatory hormones of the reproductive system found in the brain, but not only that, but it helps the growth hormones. The alkaloid extract of Maca could activate the hormones that regulate the metabolism of calcium and phosphorus in the blood.
Macronutrients: The Maca root has vitamins and minerals essential for life, due to this it serves as a nutritional aid in patients with tuberculosis, HIV, leukemia, anemia and in convalescent people.
Calcium: Calcium in Maca is an element of vital importance for the development of living beings. It is concentrated in the plant in greater quantity than in milk; It is essential for the formation of bones, teeth, the skeleton and in blood coagulation, in the functioning of the heart, nerves and the blood system.
Match: Maca's phosphorous helps structural functions that affect the skeleton and soft tissues, and regulatory functions such as neuromuscular transmission of chemical and electrical stimuli.
Micronutrients and trace elements: In this part of the plant there are many minerals in a small amount, but together they help the production of antibodies by type b lymphocyte cells, which decrease if they are deficient.
Magnesium: The deficiency of this element in the organism is unlikely, however, if this deficiency exists it can take place in diarrhea, and a vast deficiency of magnesium, can lead to the loss of susceptibility to mechanical and acoustic visual stimulation.
Potassium: Potassium participates in the regulation of osmotic pressure and acid-base balance, only that its activity is carried out inside the cells.
Iron: Helps in the production of hemoglobin to avoid anemia caused by the lack of these. Even so, the excessive amount of iron can be harmful as it blocks the good absorption of phosphorus in the body and can lead to rickets.
Silicon: It especially helps connective tissues, including the aorta, trachea, tendons, bones, and skin, as they contain almost all the silicon in the body.
Sodium: Together with potassium, it helps to lower blood pressure. It was found that the increase in the sodium-potassium ratio in the daily diet helps hypertensive people, however, the excessive increase of this ratio could lead to a decrease in the susceptibility to the non-dependent on blood-weight loss. blood pressure.
Manganese: An experimental diet lacking this element has been shown to induce growth withdrawal in mice and to alter reproduction in rats. Still, pending results in people.
Copper: Copper is very important as it absorbs iron at the level of the digestive tract and is likely to be involved in the favorable formation of hemoglobin. The lack of copper reduces a large number of enzymes necessary for the body.
Tin and Aluminum: These elements are generally associated with calcium and silica, forming carbonates and silicates that are involved in the formation
Summary on Maca
Main Preparation Method: fresh / dried food, or in capsules.
Main Actions (in order): tonic (tones, balances, fortifies general body functions), nourishing, fertility booster, supports endocrine function, anti-fatigue
• as a natural source of nutrients (amino acids, minerals, etc.)
• to support endocrine function
• to reduce fertility problems (both female and male)
• to support erectile function
• as an aphrodisiac
Properties / Actions Documented by Research: aphrodisiac, fertility enhancer, increases sperm count / motility
Other Properties / Actions Documented by Traditional Use: hormonal, immunostimulating, stimulating, tonic (tones, balances, fortifies general bodily functions)
Precautions: Large amounts can cause intestinal gas. Severe hypertension
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