Maca Powder: 1lb


Maca, an annual plant from Peru, is the highly nutritious plant that holds a credible reputation for enhancing physical and emotional well being. Although Maca’s popularity has only recently been growing in the United States, its use as a medicine and food that enhances strength and endurance, and which also an aphrodisiac has been noted throughout Peruvian history. The part of the Maca that holds the most interest is the root, otherwise known as the Lepidum mayenil. Maca is available now in powdered form and it is given to both men and women to help increase libido, men’s sperm activity, and to help both sexes regarding physical endurance and threshold. Maca grows on a mat-like system, with its leaves growing close to the ground. It produces a small white colored flower, similar to the mustard family, which it also belongs to (1). Although it is a “perennial,” it is reproduced by seeds, which take about 7-9 months to harvest. It is grown on some of the worst soil in a place that faces extremely severe weather, however it has learned to adapt, making it the only plant in South America that can survive under such conditions. Botanically, Maca holds relation to the turnip and radish. The edible part of the radish is identified as a “hypoactive”, and interestingly enough; Maca is the only member of its genus that possesses a 10-15 cm long fleshy hypocotyl (4). Due to the fact that hypocotyls do not seem to form in greenhouses or in warm climates, these severe cold conditions seem to benefit the Maca’s growth. Maca’s history as a prevailing strength and stamina enhancer and libido-fertility herb extends back far over five hundred years. During the height of the Incan Empire, legend has it that Incan warriors would eat Maca just before entering into battle, which was said to make them fiercely strong. Although Incan warriors used Maca in order to increase their strength, it is important to recognize that Maca is a powerful Adaptogen, meaning that it has the ability to balance and stabilize the body’s systems naturally for both men and women, and is used uniquely for each person with the bodies own intelligence serving as its guide. Due to its ability to effectively cater to the unique needs of each body, Maca has been recognized as being able to raise low blood pressure and lower high blood pressure depending on what is needed within the individual’s body. Adaptogen’s are also known to boost immunity as well as to harmonize the body’s overall vitality. They do not work by simply attending to a specific symptom; instead they are used to improve the overall adaptability of the whole system of the body (1). Maca is recognized as a highly nutritious food and medicine containing about 59% carbohydrates, 9% fiber, and around 10% protein (nutrition values for dried Maca). It has a higher fat content than other root crops (2.2%), of which linoleic acid, palmitic acid, and oleic acid are the primary fatty acids. Maca also is a rich source of sterols and contains sitosterol, campesterol, ergosterol, brassicasterol, and ergostadienol. When comparing the minerals in Maca versus both potatoes and carrots, Maca exceeds both vegetables in value, and is also an excellent source of iron, magnesium, calcium, potassium, and iodine. Maca contains fives times more protein than a potato, four times more fiber, and even has less fat (1). Maca’s reported beneficial effects for sexual function are likely to be due to its high concentration of proteins and vital nutrients (4). Maca smoothies are a delicious treat, made by blending Maca powder with water or nut/seed milk, agave, and fruit (4), or with cacao powder and nibs. Recommended daily dosage is between 2-4 grams (3). Unlike other substances known to give its consumer speedy energy, such as caffeine, Maca does not give this same speedy burst of energy, but instead this root produces a feeling of core strength (3). Maca is believed to stimulate the hypothalamus and pituitary gland to create better balance within the entire endocrine system (2). Since it is so effective in creating hormonal balance, many women use Maca to help with, menopausal problems, irregular menstrual cycles, symptoms of PMS, as well as a means to increase fertility. Men often use Maca to increase their sperm count, physical strength, as well as endurance. Maca, sold as a supplement, is quickly increasing its popularity among athletes, because it provides the strength and endurance needed for intense workouts and muscle building. Although Maca is great for athletes, it is most definitely not limited to just this particular group, because any and everyone can share its benefits. Currently the country of Peru strongly funding and studying the benefits of the Maca root, and many reports from educational and scientific institutions have shown significant (120-200%) increases in sexual endurance, physical stamina, adaptability to stressful situations, as well as an increase in both the number and activity of spermatozoids (sperm) (5). Although these powerful results have not yet been thoroughly reviewed or studied outside of Peru, the users’ testimonies for the last several years are notable (5). “...Several distinguished journals and scientists worldwide have supported what Peruvian researchers have done and the preliminary studies they published” (5). Peruvian researchers claim that Maca improves memory, combats anemia, and also fights depression. Some of these researchers believe all of these positive effects are due to Maca’s ability to nourish the body, because; it is noted that when a body is well nourished, its libido will increase and depression will decrease (1). Most of the laboratory research done on Maca has been conducted using animals as its test subjects. “A 1961 study showed that Maca increased fertility in rats. Then came studies of guinea pigs, rams, and cows, each of which corroborated Maca’s fertility-enhancing effects. For example, Maca significantly increased ram semen volume and sperm count” (1). The plant sterols, isothicynates and glucosinolates are considered to be Maca’s active components. Research has shown that these sterols reduce cholesterol, which can positively affect erectility, if erection is compromised by artery clogging fats (1). Maca contains the Isothiocyanate, p-methyl benzyl which, “…has been shown to increase fertility in humans (1).” Another study reported in the Journal of Urology showed that oral administration of Maca extract with a high concentration of macamids and macaenes, significantly enhanced the sexual function of mice and rats. Although this study was only performed on animals, these claims of enhanced sexual function are supported claims of traditional folk use (3). Original animal tests that were done using Maca, show a significant change in ovarian and testicular function (in female and male rats) in just 72 hours. It appears that Maca works about the level of the hypothalamus/pituitary axis. This is supported by clinical reports and lab tests that show that the test subjects improvement in thyroid and adrenal function, took place in just a few days or a few weeks (5). Whether you are trying Maca as a way of helping a particular health problem, are an athlete who wants to build muscle, or none of the above, you will be amazed at the effects that Maca has on the mind and body. One of the wonderful things about Maca is that it can be prepared in so many different ways, making it a healthy choice for even the pickiest of eaters. References 1) "Species & Scientific Name." Maca Peru. A Healthy Alternative. 13 Jun 2007 2) Shomon, Mary. "Maca: The South American Medicinal Plant." Thyroid-Info. 14 Jun 2007. 13 Jun 2007 3) "Maca." Medicine Hunter. 13 Jun 2007 4) "Maca." HerbIndex. 14 Jun 2007 5) "Maca Root Profile." Botanical. 14 Jun 2007

  • Manufactured by: Raw Vegan Source

This product was added to our catalog on Saturday 25 April, 2009.

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