The Incas began to cultivate maca already 2,000 years ago. Archaeologists found the first signs indicative of maca cultivation in 1,600 B.C. maca was found to be so potent by the Incas that only the royal family was permitted its use. For five hundred years maca has been firmly established in Peruvian medicine due to its enhancing effect on strength, libido and fertility. After the conquest of the Incas the Spanish realized that maca could not only increase the number of their livestock (by improving the fertility of the animals) but also had a unique effect on human beings. They exported maca to Spain by the ton.
On account of its energy-enhancing effects, the positive influence on fertility and its aphrodisiacal properties, maca becomes more and more popular world-wide. Other effects are an increase in endurance and performance in athletes as well as positive results when treating male impotency. It is furthermore used to treat menstrual complaints and female hormonal imbalances as well as the «chronic fatigue syndrome», the chronic exhaustion that is frequently experienced in western industrial countries. It is used by bodybuilders as a natural alternative to anabolic agents to build up muscles on account of the sterols (precursors of male hormones) contained therein.
In traditional Peruvian medicine the dried and pulverized roots are furthermore used as immunostimulants, against anaemia, TB and also as memory boosters.
Maca is a small, about table-tennis-ball size bulb from the crucifers family, which grows in the Andes. The roots are rich in sugar, starch, proteins and essential minerals – in particular iron and iodine. The sweet, aromatic, dried root is considered a delicacy. The dried maca root has a high nutritional value, similar to that of various types of grain like corn, rice and flour. It consists of 59 percent carbohydrates, 10.2 percent proteins, 8.5 percent fibers and 2.2 percent lipids. Additionally, the bulb contains great quantities of essential amino acids, iron, calcium, alkaloids, beta-ecdyson, magnesium, p-methoxybenzyl, isothiocyanate, phosphorus, saponins, stigmasterol, sitosterol, tannins, zinc, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B12, vitamin C and vitamin E.
In addition to the already mentioned properties, maca is also capable of balancing and stabilizing the systems of the human body. It cannot only increase low blood pressure values but also lower high blood pressure values. It is able to boost the immunity and increase the physical vitality. Maca does not have a particular effect on individual systems, it rather has an «all-round effect» on the body.
Libido / male impotence: one of the most important properties of maca is its capability to sexually stimulate. It contains significant quantities of essential fatty acids, sterols, minerals, alkaloids, tannin and saponine. The active ingredients decisive for the aphrodisiacal effects are the biologically active aromatic isothiocyanates. Its sexually stimulating effects are already used by thousands of people in more than 200 countries world-wide.
It was only recently that scientists rediscovered the properties of the maca plant in increasing libido and energy as well as in its fight against erectile dysfunction (inability to achieve erection). In April 2000, only, the journal «Urology», a renowned medical journal which had earlier also published studies on Viagra, published a study with maca. This study confirmed the sexually stimulating effect which had been described in the legends of the Inca for hundreds of years. The trial also showed that the intake of maca led to an improved erection in erectile dysfunction.
Menopause / female hormone imbalances: one important discovery was the capability of maca to improve numerous menopausal complaints. A phytotherapy is ideal for treating a great number of menopausal symptoms such as sleeping disorders, hot flashes, mood swings, anxiety states and feeling of oppression, palpitation and dryness of the vagina. Thanks to its active ingredients, maca has a markedly stronger effect on menopausal complaints than other phytomedicines. One of its strongest effects in menopausal symptoms is that on mood swings.
Muscle buildup: due to its high steroid content, maca may also be used by bodybuilders as a natural and safe anabolic.
Chronic fatigue syndrome: the chronic fatigue syndrome, which is characterized by fatigue, weariness and lack of drive, is experience by more and more people in our fast-moving time. Here, maca is an excellent help in alleviating the symptoms and releasing new energies.
Others: maca also has a laxative effect, probably on account of its fiber content. It can moreover alleviate rheumatic complaints and afford relief in case of impaired respiratory organs. European doctors have prescribed maca for more than a decade for a wide variety of diseases and, if requested, after a loss of weight. The plant can also improve the memory, regulate the release of hormones and also helps in case of anaemia and depression.
The numerous indications for maca make the extract an ideal food supplement for all in need of an extra portion of energy.
One capsule contains 250 mg maca (lepidium meyenii) in pharmaceutical grade. Other ingredients: rice flour, magnesium stearate.
In normal cases take 1 – 2 capsules up to 3 times a day at the maximum with plenty of fluid.
Maca is a purely natural product. The highly-effective, pure extract has not produced any serious side effects to date. However, be warned against self-medication.
Pregnant or lactating women or persons who are under constant medical care should consult a doctor before use. It is recommended to take the extract to avoid dose variations as they may occur if you take the bulb itself. Store in a cool, dry place and keep out of reach of children.