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The Crazy, Remarkable Maca Powder Health Benefits
Peruvian Maca root plant is a non-toxic Biennial, which grows in the plateaus of the high Andes Mountains of Peru, at very high altitudes of 10,000 to 14,000 feet, in very inhospitable conditions, in poor rocky soil and very harsh climate conditions, and despite the conditions, has survived as a species for thousands of years, according to Wikipedia
Used by the indigenous people for medicine and a healthy life, it may be the only plant in the world, which is able to grow at that altitude and under those harsh conditions, where nothing else will grow.
This incredible root plant is a turnip-like root vegetable, or tuber, related to the potato. There are four different varieties distinguished by their color of the root, yellow or cream color, white to pink, dark purple, and black. This root plant has many common names, such as Peruvian Ginseng, because of the similiar medicinal properties of Chinease Ginseng. “Maca Maca”, is the common name given by the indigenous people of Peru.
It is also called Andes turnip (resembles a turnip), and believe it or not, natural Viagra, because of it’s ability to inhance libido and sexual function in men and women, according to a British Medical Journal (BMJ) study. It is also effective in treating mild erectile dysfunction in men, per a Journal of Endocrinology study; aids in balancing estrogen levels, and inproves fertility in women by increasing liter size, and a host of other health and wellness benefits.
For all the incredible health and wellness benefits of Peruvian Maca read this article “Benefits In Maca”. This turnip-like plant has a sweet caramel-like flavor, and a butterscotch aroma, which makes it a great addition to salids, desserts, baking, breads, chocolates, and smoothies. Traditional methods of cooking are baking the fresh raw root, boiling it and mashing it, to produce a thick sweetish liquid, or roasting it.
It’s leaves are used in salids, and can be fermented and made into a fairly strong beer, or a potent popular alcohol-based drink called “Maca Chica”. Read more on traditional uses of P Maca in this article “Modern Rediscovery Of An Ancient Andean Fertility Food”, published in 2004 in the Journal of the American Herbalists Guild.
It’s Amazing Long History
Learn how the ancients religiously used P Maca for a healthy life.
Maca root was used as a powerful healing plant by the ancient Peruvians over 3,000 years ago, which is still the practice, even to this day, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). These modern-day Peruvians are a perfect example of an optimal healthy lifestyle.
Evidence has been found in archaeological sites of it’s religious reverence and routine use dating back to 1,600 B.C. The indigenous people learned to use this incredible plant for food and medicinal purposes, after it was discovered, actually by accident, by noticing the positive effects the-wild growing herb had on their livestock herds.
Each year in the early Spring through the Summer months, the ancient herdsman would move their livestock from the lowlands up to the higher basins of the Andes to graze on the young tender wild grasses, where the healing Peruvian Maca plant grew wild and naturally.
The herdsman noticed over time, the livestock immediately were drawn to and took a liking to this root-like plant growing wild in the basins, and they also noticed their herds becoming much healthier, and were producing more, stronger and healthier off springs. So, the indigenous people started using this amazing plant themselves.
During the time of the Incan Empire, this medicinal plant was held in such high regard, as a powerful, potent, valuable herb, it’s use was restricted to the Royal Court, the Imperial Family, and by the Imperial Warriors before going into battle.
The Imperial Warriors would consume copious amounts of the raw root before a fight because of the virility, energy, and strength they gained, making them fierce warriors, who lost very few battles.
This medicinal plant was considered by the Inca as a gift from the Gods, along with the potato, and corn. It was so highly praised, at the height of their civilization, it was used as a form of currency, and a bartering agent in exchange for lowland crops such as corn, which would not grow in the high altitudes and harsh conditions of the Andes.
The Inca were a very proud nation, and very advanced as a civilization, as a society, as sophisticated architects, builders, and cultivators of the land, and this medicinal plant was considered one of the Inca treasures.
When the first Spanish explorers arrived by ships in the New World along the Peruvian Coast, and into what is now Mexico, the Inca received the Spaniards with open arms and befriended them. So did the Aztecs of Mexico, another native civilization. When the Spaniards ventured into the highlands of the Andes, they became concerned about the health and fertility of their livestock and horses.
In the highlands, since there were no typical grasslands, as they were accustomed to for grazing their animals, and the thin air and harsh climate played havoc on the health and the animals’ fertility, in terms of lower birth rates of their animals.
The Inca recommended that the Spaniards feed the Peruvian Maca root plant to their herds and horses, which grew wild and plentiful everywhere. Reluctant at first, they eventually took the Inca’s advice and began feeding the amazing root to their horses and livestock.
They noticed almost immediately a marked improvement in the health and virility of their animals, and they were amazed at this remarkable plant and it’s benefits. The Spaniards were also aware of the strong healthy babies and adults of the indigenous people, even in these inhospitable conditions, and finally attributed it to the daily consumption of the P Maca root plant.
The Inca, and subsequently the Spaniards, consumed this amazing plant root as a staple food, and also religiously, fed it to their animals.
Later the amazing root was exported to Spain after the fall of the Incan Empire, at the hands of the Spanish Conquestadores, who slaughtered them, man, woman, and child, and took their land and conquered it for Spain.
All that remains of the great Incan empire, ouside of their descendants, which still live in the area today, are the amazing architectural temples, buildings and towers ruins, such as Macho Picchu, and the hundreds of other ruins scattered, lost, and covered by the jungles of Peru, which, it is said, in the height of it’s civilization, covered over 4,000 kilometers from end to end, in the height of it’s civilization.
Harvard Education published a report “National Research Council Panel On Loss Crops of the Incas”, on Peruvian Maca and it’s early long history. Quoting the report:
These long forgotten plants may play a key role in diversifying the world’s food supply in years to come….
For more information on the colorful history of P Maca, read this accounting by Jorge Leon. Fast forward to today. The popularity and demand for this medicinal plant has grown leaps and bounds in the last ten years, creating market areas in Japan, Europe, and United States as more and more people all around the world are learning what’s healthy living really about, according to the NIH.
Cultivation is on the increase, and a number of government agencies are actively promoting this Adaptogen herb for agriculture and development. It is poised to be a major botanical healing herb on the international scene.
This medicinal plant is still grown and cultivated in very hostile conditions, in a very limited geographical area in the Andes. The primary area is the Junin Plateau, where approximately one thousand acres are grown annually, mostly in small family farms.
Agricultural experts predict that the acerage dedicated to this healing herb will steadily increase to meet vigorus market demands. From 2001 to 2010, exportation of the Maca herbal root increased from 1.4 million dollars to 6.1 million dollars.
Forms of This Adaptogenic Fresh Maca Root Plant
Whole fresh raw Peruvian Maca roots can not be exported from Peru because it is considered a “Ancestral” medicinal, healing plant of Peru, according to the Peruvian Government law of 2003. The Peruvian government restriction prevents P Maca being planted, cultivated and harvested in other countries, at least legally. More on that shortly.
Our fresh dried roots are available in chunks or pieces, and in powder, and is the closest thing to the traditional fresh whole root, which are grown and cultivated in pristene organic soils, with no GMOs (non genetically-modified) or with the use of chemical fertilizers and other additives.
In the traditional sundried way, the roots are sundried for 30 to 40 days in the high mountains immediately after harvest, making for a tastier and gentler flavor.
By naturally drying in the Sun, bioactive compounds levels of enzymes, vitamins, minerals, trace elements, and very unique substances such as Macaenes and Macamides (not found in any other plant species), and also phytonutrients are preserved in the root.
Most P Maca flour is usually obtained from hypocotyls that have been sundried in the open air on site at least for a few weeks prior to oven drying at 60 °C, preserving the bioactive compounds (alkamides), according to a study published in the Journal of Phytochemistry.
The traditional open-field drying takes usually over two months and involves exposure to the extreme temperature cycles (freeze-thaw cycles) and strong light conditions and low atmospheric pressure typical of the high altitude environment where P Maca grows. The raw roots are never heated unless it’s gelatinized, preserving all of the enzymes and nutrients at maximum levels.
These two secondary metabolites in P Maca, Macaenes and Macamides, which are unsaturated fatty acids, have been associated with the benefits of nutritional, energizer, and fertility-enhancer properties, and it acts on sexual dysfunctions, osteoporosis, benign prostatic hyperplasia, memory and learning, and protects skin against ultraviolet radiation.
Clinical trials showed efficacy of P Maca on sexual dysfunctions as well as increasing sperm count and motility. P Maca is a plant with great potential as an Adaptogen and appears to be promising as a nutraceutical in the prevention of several diseases. These phytonutrients have been associated with having anti-cancer properties, as well, per an NIH study.
In it’s raw form or pure dried form, the herbal root can cause slight gas or indigestion, in about 3 percent of the population because of the high starch content. If you have a sensitive stomach, or any other digestive issues, you should use our gelantin healing root form instead.
Traditionally, P Maca is boiled before eaten, the hypocotyls (roots) need to be boiled in water to obtain a soft product which can be consumed as juice, the most frequent form of use. The boiling process seems to increase active metabolites, or at least some of them, while some others are reduced, according to an NIH study.
The sundried form is available in cream to yellow, pink to purple, and black colors, in powder form, in gelatinized form, in capsules (powder), and in chunks. Gelatinized-prepared roots are heated to higher temperatures to remove all the starch content from the root, making it more concentrated, and more palatable for individuals with digestive conditions.
However, at the same time, the heat reduces slightly, the amount of enzymes, and alters some of the vital vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin C. The loss of some of it’s nutrients due to heating is minimal and test results have shown the health benefits of the gelantinized form are very similiar to the raw dried form, or even more gram-per-gram because of the starch being removed.
Minimal Negative Side Effects
Unlike pharmaceudical drugs, which typically have as many or more negative side effects as benefits, this safe, non-toxic, natural, nutritionally-rich Adaptogen P Maca has few negative side effects. In scientific research, no official detrimental side effects have been recognized or recorded.
In fact, documented studies show the opposite, and there is one exception of caution for estrogen-sensitive conditions. According to an NIH study on safety, P Maca was laboratory tested for dose-response in adult rats. Even high dosage of P Maca proved safe with no ill side effects.
Another NIH safety review also revealed that P Maca does not display in vitro hepatotoxicity. In contrast, a slight cytoprotective effect, probably not mediated by antioxidant capacity, was noted. Here is one more NIH study on the safety of using P Maca. Results demonstrate that Maca seems to be promising for a positive influence on chronic human diseases, characterized by atherogenous lipoprotein profile, aggravated antioxidative status, and impaired glucose tolerance, and their prevention.
The one exception and as a word of caution, women with estrogen-sensitive conditions such as receptor positive breasts, ovarian or uterine cancer, should avoid using this Adaptogen, or any Adaptogen, or postmenopausal hormone use, without seeking medical advice first.
As mentioned before, a small percentage of the population experience some digestive problems consuming the raw root form because of the high starch content. In this case we recommend using the gelatinized form, which has all of the starch removed, making it easier for consumption by individuals with digestive issues.
Some people have reported feeling nervous and over-stimulated, and it’s true, this amazing plant will provide you with much energy, perhaps too much at first.
Here’s an example of a 2009 Elvsevier study on P Maca found that using Maca extract for 14 days improved performance for male cyclists in a 40-kilometer time trial because of the extra energy and endurance supplied.
To avoid over-stimulation, it’s then a simple matter of taking smaller quantities more frequently through the day, particularly when you first start consuming it. Some people have reported that they have so much energy they can’t fall asleep, leading to restless nights. In this case we recommend you take your Maca root plant earlier in the day, rather than late in the afternoon, or at night.
People with over-active thyroid or other thyroid conditions could experience some negative effects because it contains Goitogens, a substance which could interfere with irregular thyroid issues. However, according to one NIH study, the blood serum constituents of thyroid Hormones of TSH, T3, and T4, showed no ill effects or toxicity. To air on the safe side it would be a good idea to consult your doctor first. On the beneficial side, however, it contains iodine which is very good for optimizing the thyroid function.
What Are Your Needs and Conditions?
For a complete breakdown of Maca Powder Health Benefits and dosage recommended to use for a specific need or symptom, please submit an inquiry below, and we will get back to you.
You can choose from the following categories or symptoms: For females, low estrogen level or other hormone inbalances, fertility issues, low libido, menopause, osteoporosis; and for men, low libido, erectile dysfunction.
In the case of both men and women, muscle mass and stamina, lack of energy, mental focus and poor memory, depression, chronic fatigue, anxiety and chronic stress, low circulation or acidosis, bone density, hair growth, acne, inflammation, low or out of balance metabolism. Two more reviews you may want to read, are, “You Can Be Healthy“, and “What Is In Maca Root?”
Don’t Be Fooled By the Maca Imposter!
As you already know, the true Peruvian Maca root originates in the high Andes mountains and is today primarily grown in Peru and Bolivia. What you may not know is that over the past several years, China has started smuggling Peruvian Maca root and seeds out of Peru and growing it in China. Peruvian law prevents the export of the fresh whole P Maca root or it’s seeds because it’s considered a “Heritage Plant” of Peru.
Since 2003, it has been illegal to transport whole roots or seeds outside of Peru, and yet, a form of Maca is somehow currently grown in China. According to reports, Maca cultivated in China certainly came from seeds smuggled out of Peru. China apparently does not acknowledge this, nor does it have any contract with Peru to grow Maca. But, that didn’t stop the Chinese from this illegal activity!
Most research has shown that while Maca plants can be grown at lover elevations, the plants grown in China fail to produce roots of any significant size. Little did we known that the mountains in the Yunan Province of China reach elevations above the 14,000 feet (M) at which Maca plants do produce roots. Indeed, Chinese framers have imported seeds from Peru illegally and are growing Maca roots. But there are some major issues with these products:
It’s been learned that Chinese laboratories are producing a synthetic wheat flour substitute in the labs and then selling it as true Peruvian Maca. If you know anything about the human body, you already understand that synthetic-produced substance can’t be assimilated by the body like natural food substances such as fruits and vegetables are, or natural Peruvian Maca. So, synthetics will not help you health-wise in any way.
Unsafe Chinese Herbal and Health Products.
China grows and exports a relatively large number of health products, including rice protein, grass powders, hemp seeds, goji berries and more.
So it’s not surprising that they have chosen to cultivate an inferior Maca and make claims it’s Peruvian Maca, committing, on what’s being called “biopiracy”, on Peru, destroying the native economy in Peru, as well. The Chinese illegal activity is confirmed in a 2017 Vice News report. The unfortunate reality is that these foods carry a high risk of contamination, as China is one of the most heavily polluted countries in the world. According to the publication The Economist,
The soil in China is laden with cadmium and other poisoning heavy metals. Then you have the health issues of Chinese Maca being grown with chemical fertilizers and sprayed with pesticides, unlike true Peruvian Maca which is naturally organically grown with no synthetic fertilizers or chemical pesticides.
According to an NIH study, the sky-rocketing demand for the plant has seen a shift from traditional cultivation methods to mass production practices with the use of fertilizers and also pesticides; as Maca is now grown in areas other than the Andes such as in the Yunnan province in China. This can potentially affect the phytochemistry and composition of the plant and thus, the quality, safety and efficacy of Maca products.
There is also a distinguishing difference in not only the quality of the Maca, but also it’s appearance. When you compare the physical appearance of true Peruvian Maca, which are deeply colored and full firm roots, to Chinese Maca, which are smaller, dark colored, and gnarled, the difference is striking. However, the problem lies in the fact, the appearance is concealed once the Maca is dried and processed into powder, there’s then little difference in appearance in the powders, so the Chinese can easily claim it’s Peruvian Maca.
We’ve recently learned from a powerful documentary, that the Chinese already hold 7 GMO patents on Maca. That means that there is no way to discern if Maca from China is GMO-free or not. Peru has banned GMOs at least until the year 2021. One word of caution.
Choosing a good Peruvian Maca root plant supplement is no different than anything else you purchase. You always pay for what you get. If you buy quality, you will get quality. We’ve all been “burned” by buying something at a cheap price to find out later we’re disappointed in the quality or the results.
It is no different in buying Maca! Is the herbal root grown naturally, fresh and pure and sun-dried processed in the traditional way, without any chemicals additives, or pesticides, or chemical fertilizers? Does the label certify 100 percent organic “Peruvian” Maca, with no GMOs? If it’s a powder or capsule, what does the label say? If it doesn’t say 100 percent raw herbal organic “Peruvian Maca” root, I would be suspicious.
If I were you, I would be wary of buying this natural herb from large box or chain stores, because you can’t be assured of it’s quality. Enough said. Do your homework! Before you buy any Maca, do your research, ask for documentation from the supplier, and if you do, you’ll end up buying the “best Peruvian Maca on the planet!”
The Best Peruvian Maca On the Planet
The true Peruvian Maca we recommend is called “Mighty Maca Plus”, developed by Dr. Anna Cabeca, OB/GYN Emory University, Tripled-Board Certified. Dr. Cabeca has been featured on NBC, ABC, The Huffington Post, Style, and Reader’s Digest, and has lectured internationally about women’s health.
Here at SuperFoodPlant, we use Mighty Maca® Plus almost daily for overall health and wellness. P Maca that is certified organic and sourced from Peru. Whenever we feel like we need a little afternoon pick-me-up but don’t want to reach for caffeine, this maca formulation offers gentle stimulation that does not interfere with sleep.
We also love the blend of some 30+ additional ingredients, each chosen for their own unique strengths as well as their synergistic health benefits when combined. Spirulina and Chlorella for alkalinity; turmeric and mangosteen to quench inflammation; cinnamon and flax seeds to balance blood sugar, resveratrol for chronic stress and inflammation, and much more.
Dr. Cabeca, not only helped herself with her own health issues, she has also helped thousands of women find success in fighting depression, fatigue, hormone imbalance, and many health issue that plaque women. Read in Dr. Cabeca own quoted words how and why she developed Mighty Maca Plus and how it literally saved her life in our article “Benefits In Maca”.
She has helped many women regained the energy and vitality of their youth without prescription drugs using the “Women’s Restorative Health Program. Or, realized the benefits of a Keto-Alkaline diet and lifestyle through the recently created program “Magic Menopause.”
Furthermore, the creator of the product, Dr. Anna Cabeca, fully stands behind the quality and effectiveness of her product and offers a 100 percent money back guarantee. We love that. As the old saying goes, “the proof is in the pudding”.
Nutrient-Dense Foods To Eat With the Best Peruvian Maca
We would be remiss in not mentioning that it’s extremely important to eat a well-balanced, nutritious diet of the four major food groups, which are lean organic proteins, carbohydrates consisting of organic high-fiber and whole grains; grass-fed finished low-fat dairy of butter and cheese; and fresh, organic, non-GMO, fruits and vegetables.
All proteins should be lean organic, grass-fed finished beef or bison, free-range pork, lamb, and poultry, such as chicken, turkey, or duck, organic grass-fed finished cage-free eggs; organic raw nuts and seeds; and cold-water or wild caught fish and seafood.
You should add natural fermented foods include: natural fermented foods , yogurt , kimchi; natural herbs and spices in a wide variety, healthy antioxidant drinks such as varieties of coffee , and green teas , Espresso (moderately); and for fun and dessert dark chocolate (not milk chocolate).
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Now that you know all about the history and Maca Powder Health Benefits, are you ready to make the necessary changes in your life, and one of them being supplementing with Peruvian Maca? Should you have questions or comments, please leave me a note below.