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NAME: Maca Root
LATIN NAME: Lepidium Meyenii
HABITAT: This plant grows in the highlands of Peru, Bolivia, and Argentina at a height of at least 3000 meters above sea level.
BOTANICAL INFORMATION: Maca Root is a biennial herbaceous plant of the genus Lepidium. It has an edible pear-shaped root. It is usually of yellow, purple or black color. The root reaches weight up to 1 kg. Maca Root has thick pinnately-divided leaves and little flowers, gathered in racemous flower head. The seeds of the plant are tiny, ovate and are of red-gray color.
CHEMICAL COMPOSITION: The main importance of Lepidium Meyenii is the root, which has a yellow color, and looks like a turnip or radish. The value of maca root is in its rich chemical composition. Here are the main elements/components:
- vitamins of group B, vitamin C, vitamin E;
- calcium, manganese, iron, selenium, zinc, iodine, potassium;
- amino acids-glycine, aspartic acid, methionine, arginine, tyrosine, isoleucine, glutamine, lysine, tryptophan and others;
- alkaloids. The most valuable biologically active substance is macaridin alkaloid, found only at the root of maca.
- fatty acids- palmitic, oleic, linolenic, malic.
- 7 alkamides
- There is little information on the safety of maca for pregnant or breastfeeding women. So it is better for these women to avoid using Maca Root.
HEALTHY AND DELICIOUS RECIPES:
Green Maca Smoothie:
Ingredients: ¼ cup milk or water;
½ cup yogurt;
1 cup fresh spinach;
1 tsp maca root powder;
1-2 Tbsp peanut butter;
Blend all these ingredients until smooth and enjoy!
Mocha Maca Matcha: Boil water or heat almond milk on the stove, pout it into your blender together with maca, matcha, coconut oil, raw cacao, cayenne, turmeric, cinnamon blend until frothy. Enjoy this healthy drink to start your morning.
Some resources clam that Maca was cultivated in Peru 1600 BC. In general, the use of maca root can be track down to more than 2000 years. Lepidium Meyenii was thought to be a gift of the gods to Peruvian Indians, along with corn and potatoes. Actualy, this veggie was used by ancient Peruvian people as a form of currency and was cherished for its healing power. It was considered as the only crop that can flourish at the extreme height of the Peruvian mountains.
During the flourishing of the Inca civilization in the Andes region, Maca Root was believed to be incredibly valuable. What is more, its use was controlled and reserved for royalty only.
*This article is for informational purposes only. We suggest consulting a physician before using these or any other herbal supplements.