Milk & Sprout Bag
226g (raw, certified organic)
Maca is a superfood-food-herb with an outstanding
ability to increase energy, endurance and strength.
Maca: Ancient Peruvian Superfood!
Maca is a superfood-food-herb with an outstanding
ability to increase energy, endurance and strength. Maca is a favorite
of raw-foodists, vegetarians, adventurers, extreme athletes, dessert
chefs and food alchemists.
What is Maca?
Maca has traditionally
been a staple superfood-food-herb in the harsh cold climates of
the high Andes in Peru for thousands of years. Maca grows at an
elevation of 11,000-14,000 feet making it likely the highest altitude
food-herb crop in the world. The character and properties of maca
have been developed by the extreme conditions under which it grows.
This makes Maca an excellent food-herb choice for individuals living
in cold climates and/or at high altitudes and/or with extreme lifestyles.
Maca is a member
of the cruciferous family of plants. It is a distant relative of
the common radish. The maca plant produces leaves that grow close
to the ground and the plant produces a small, off-white flower typical
to the cruciferous family. The main part of interest for this plant,
however, is the radish-like tuberous root.
Historical and Traditional Use of Maca
has been found, that maca was domesticated over 2,000 years ago
by the predecessors of the Incan people. Even today, for many indigenous
inhabitants of the Andes, Maca is still one of the most vital and
valuable of all commodities.
The maca root has
been used over the ages for its nutritional and herbal qualities.
Once harvested, the maca root was traditionally dried, then powdered.
Once powdered it was either eaten or put into sacs and traded for
other commodities. Oftentimes cacao nibs and beans (raw chocolate)
would come up the Andes from the jungle and in exchange maca would
go down from the Andes into the jungle. These two foods (maca and
cacao) have a unique affinity and history which is evident when
one tries eating them together. Both cacao and maca were used as
money by ancient indigenous peoples.
Maca's Remarkable Reputation
as a powerful strength and stamina enhancer as well as libido-enhancing
food-herb stretches back into prehistory. Maca, like goji berries
and ginseng, is a powerful adaptogen, which means it has the ability
to balance and stabilize the body's systems (cardiovascular system,
nervous system, musculature, lymphatic system, etc.). As an adaptogen,
maca can provide more energy if it is needed, but if it is not,
it will not overstimulate. Adaptogens also boost immunity and increase
the body's overall vitality by 10-15% according to most studies.
Rather than addressing a specific symptom, adaptogens are used to
improve the overall adaptability of the whole body to diverse and
challenging situations and stress.
During the height
of the Incan Empire, legend has it that Incan warriors would consume
maca before entering into battle. This would make them fiercely
strong. But after conquering a city the Incan soldiers were prohibited
from using maca, to protect the women from excessive sexual impulses.
The Scientific and Health Properties of Maca
Dried maca powder
contains 60% carbohydrates, 9% fiber, and slightly more than 10%
protein. It has a higher lipid (fat) content than other root crops
(2.2%), of which linoleic acid, palmitic acid and oleic acid are
the primary fatty acids, respectively. Maca is rich in calcium,
magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, sulfur and iron, and contains
trace minerals, including zinc, iodine, copper, selenium, bismuth,
manganese and silica, as well as vitamins B1, B2, C and E. Maca
contains nearly 20 amino acids and seven essential amino acids.
Maca is also a rich source of sterols, including sitosterol, campestrol,
ergosterol, brassicasterol, and ergostadienol. As a root crop, maca
contains five times more protein than a potato and four times more
claims that maca improves memory, increases oxygen in the blood,
improves the function of neurotransmitters and increases libido.
One of the researchers heading current studies on maca, Peruvian
biologist Gloria Chacon de Popivici, Ph.D., suggests that maca alkaloids
act on the hypothalamus-pituitary axis and the adrenals. She has
theorized that by activating these endocrine glands maca is able
to increase energy, vitality and libido. Other researchers indicate
that the effect of maca is more basic and that when the body is
well-nourished, libido rises and depressing attitudes lower. Maca's
nutrient value could explain some of these purported actions.
Maca's actions on
sexual function are better researched than its effects on mood and
memory. One study showed that maca increased fertility in rats.
Then came studies of guinea pigs, rams, and cows, each of which
corroborated maca's libido-enhancing effects. For example, maca
significantly increased ram semen volume and sperm count.
Researchers consider plant sterols, isothiocyanates, macamides and
glucosinolates to be maca's active constituents.
How to Consume Maca
We deliver maca to
you as a dried, raw, organic root powder. You may use a tablespoon
or more of this powder in smoothies, teas, nut milks, coffee or
just about any natural beverage you can think of. Maca is a great
addition to desserts and sweet treats.
As previously mentioned,
maca has an unusual relationship with cacao nibs (cacao beans or
raw chocolate) and all cacao products in general. Mix maca into
all your favorite chocolate treats and experience real culinary
may be added to homemade jams, broths, puddings and fresh juices.
Maca has major flavor
notes that are sweet and full. It has some minor taste qualities
reminiscent of other cruciferous vegetables; these add some mildly
Our maca powder is
a great emulsifier. It can be used to draw fats/oils together with
starches/sugars in a beverage, dessert or recipe. For example, if
one makes a drink containing agave nectar and cacao nibs, maca may
be used to draw these two foods smoothly together and create a beautiful,
rounded flavor. Another example, would be a raw fruit pie with a
nutty crust containing figs or dates. If one makes the crust with
maca, the nuts and figs or dates will be drawn together for a more
wholesome and complete flavor.
Can you eat too much maca?
Yes. Of course. Maca
is a powerful superfood-food-herb and should be consumed with respect.
If you really love
maca, use 1-2 tablespoons each day and it is recommended that you
take a week off during every month of consistent use.
Are there any side
effects or interactions to overeating maca? In toxicity studies
conducted in the U.S., maca showed absolutely no toxicity and no
adverse pharmacological effects. In animal studies, the more maca
animals consumed, the stronger and more sexually active they became.
In spite of all this, moderation is advised.
Today maca is becoming
increasingly popular in Peru among native and non-native people,
and the effects of maca are creating market demand in Japan, Europe
and the United States. Maca cultivation is on the increase, a number
of government experts and agencies are actively promoting maca agriculture
and development, and maca is poised to be a major botanical product
on the international superfood and herbal scene.
Our Maca is certified organic and certified