Maca grows at high altitude in the Andes Mountains of Peru and Bolivia and has been grown as a vegetable and consumed safely for nutritional and medicinal properties there for over 3000 years by humans and their lifestock. It is a root vegetable and belongs to the same family as Brocoli and Cabbage. It is also an “adaptogen” which in herbal medicine is a natural substance that helps support the human body to adapt in times of stress.
The people of the high Andes mountain range also regard Maca very highly as it is considered to be a very potent aphrodisiac and assists with any fertility issues for both men and women. It has earned the title “Nature’s Viagra”² Maca has also shown promising results around sperm production and the mobility of these little swimmers¹ and for fertility issues- particularly around Men’s sexual stamina. (Although note ladies Maca should not be taken while pregnant).
Although Maca is entirely natural – it has the ability to rebalance the human endocrinal (hormone) system. If Oestrogen levels are too high or too low- the body counteracts itself and this affects the amount of progesterone produced which can make it hard for regular reproductive cycles to be maintained. Maca also supports healthy thyroid and adrenal gland function. All of these combined can make a very big difference to how positive and energetic people feel in their day to day lives. It is often prescribed by naturopaths to help those suffering from chronic adrenal fatigue and for all sorts of hormonal issues such as PMS, hot flushes and menopausal symptoms
Stamina and energy
Maca assists with increasing energy and stamina – so it is often consumed before exercise (mountain climbing in the Andes or by Inca warriors before battles) . It helps support iron levels and restore red blood cells (which are depleted when you live at high altitudes in the Andes) – but can also be low if you are anaemic and live at normal altitudes. Maca can also help keep your bones and teeth healthy as it is high in calcium and if you are wanting to build muscle mass it can help here too. Maca also acts as a natural antioxidant by helping your body to produce more glutathione and superoxide dismutase which improve your immunity and ability to fight infection and diseases.
In Peru the Maca is prepared and eaten in various ways, although it is usually cooked or gelatinized- to remove tough fibres and the high goitrogen content which can cause digestive discomfort. It is also fermented into a local brew called Maca Chicha.
Maca is available as a powder which is very rich in nutrients and tastes quite pleasant- like a caramel butterscotch. The slightly nutty, butterscotch, caramel flavour goes well in baking, in homemade bliss balls on breakfast cereals especially porridge, in smoothies, yoghurts, pancakes or mixed in coffee. You can use it as you would cinnamon or nutmeg for example as a seasoning.
You can get Maca in capsules too if you prefer to take them this way.
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