Maca is a root vegetable that only grows at very high altitudes – between 4100 and 4500 metres – high in the Andean mountains of Peru and Bolivia. It’s tradition as a celebrated food and medicinal plant for the peoples of this region, including the Inca, goes back over several millennia. Oral histories attribute the Inca’s reputed clear thinking, longevity (over 150 years of age), and reproductive ability at 100 years old or more to their regular dietary consumption of cooked maca root.
Also known as Peruvian ginseng, maca is a brassica belonging to the same plant family as turnips, radishes, broccoli and watercress and is closely related to the latter.
Maca root’s popularity throughout Peruvian history as a nutrient-rich endurance food is probably due in large part to its aphrodisiac properties. It is celebrated for enhancing energy and strength, providing stamina and mental clarity, and improving libido, sexual function and fertility in both sexes.
As an energy booster it is a safe and reliable substitute for your morning caffeine hit. As a whole food rich in amino acids, complex carbohydrates, essential fatty acids, fibre, vitamins and minerals, maca’s tonic properties support and nourish every system of the body in both men and women.
Maca root is effective in restoring adrenal function, normalising thyroid and pancreas activity, treating hypoglycaemia, enhancing immunity and optimising reproductive hormone activity.
Maca Side Effects
- Maca root produces no negative effects on the body when consumed within the normal dosage range.
- Although many maca supplements are marketed as raw, the traditional way of taking maca root is cooked. Enzymes contained in foods from the brassica family produce goitrogens that interfere with thyroid function if they are consumed raw. Cooking destroys these enzymes.