Tag Archives: herbs as food

Maca Root – Lepidium meyenii

Maca Root (Available in capsules and powder)

written by Katolen Yardley, MNIIMH – Medical Herbalist

Maca Root -Lepidium meyenii- is a root vegetable grown high in the Andean mountains of Peru (up to 7,000 to 11,000 feet),  making it one of the highest altitude growing plant in the world.  Maca’s use dates back to around 3800 B.C., when Peruvian Indians cultivated and ate it for both its nutritional and medicinal value.

A radish-like / turnip like root vegetable that is related to the potato family, Maca is also tuberous and spherical in form. Weeding or pesticide application are typically not used as the climate itself is not suitable for most weeds or insects, thus the majority of all maca cultivation in Peru is carried out organically, as maca itself is seldom attacked. Maca is sometimes planted alongside potatoes, to help repel most root crop pests. The root itself is about three to six centimeters across and 4.7 centimeters in length. There are four recognized types, based on the color of the root, varying from creamy yellow or light pink to dark purple or black however its nutritional value is consistent. Maca is consumed as a main staple food in the Andean diet – eaten roasted, steamed or mashed, used as a flour or cereal grain in cooking; and is packed full of nutrients including amino acids, potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron and zinc.

Recently termed a Super food, (like Chaga mushroom) meaning Maca is a highly nutritious, nourishing food for enhancing our health and promoting longevity.  Known as an adaptogen, an agent which helps the body to adapt to changes in the internal or external environment- Maca is used for strengthening the nervous system, enhancing immune system function and for hormonal balancing while helping the body to raise its natural resistance to stress.

Best known for its aphrodisiac and libido enhancing properties, Maca has been found to assist with impotence, relieve symptoms of menopause or andropause, raise the sperm count in males (according to animal studies) and useful for infertility in women. A hormone balancer, for both male and female issues, Maca is useful for symptoms associated with menopause, such as power surges, mood swings, PMS and low libido ; it supports adrenal gland function for conditions of chronic stress, fatigue or depletion. Maca can be used for mood enhancement, improving energy, mental clarity, assisting to alleviate depression and lowering anxiety. Coupled with Macas ability to support the body in stressful conditions, it also has been shown, when used long term, to assist in lowering raised blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Used to promote healthy blood sugar balance. Maca is consumed as a food in other countries, thus it is non addictive, non toxic and non habit forming – it does not contain any harmful stimulants and is free from caffeine.

How Can Maca Benefit You?:

  • Increases energy (Chronic Fatigue)
  • Treat sexual dysfunction (Loss of Libido)
  • Increases stamina & athletic performance
  • Nourishes glandular system
  • Fertility enhancement
  • Improves physical and emotional well being
  • Promotes mental clarity
  • Balance hormones (PMS, menopause symptoms)
  • HRT alternative(Hormone Replacement Therapy)

Maca is available in capsule form or in powder form (which can be added to a smoothie, cereal, missed into yoghurt or put into capsules). It has a slight and unique butterscotch aroma and unique taste. To order Maca capsules and Maca powder