The maca plant, Lepidium meyenii, belongs to the brassicaceae and cruciferous family; it is a tuber from the Puna region, located at an altitude of 4000 meters in the Andes mountain range. One of the peculiarities of the maca tuber is that it has adapted to the extreme climatic conditions of the Peruvian highlands. Between the sun and high daytime temperatures, night frost and strong winds, this plant survives and grows in semi-desert conditions. To do this, it develops specific molecules that are the source of its therapeutic properties.
During the pre-Columbian period, the cultivation of maca as a food was widespread and the Incas considered this plant to be sacred. Like radish or turnip, maca has a specific, slightly pungent odour. Traditionally, Peruvians attributed tonic and invigorating properties for the body to its root, especially for sexuality and libido problems. Because of its medicinal properties, maca is also called Peruvian or Andean ginseng and it is recommended as a natural stimulant of the immune system. A plant with many health benefits, maca is believed to be an energising source against physical and mental fatigue, but also sleep disorders, lack of concentration and memory problems. Peruvians eat it dried, cooked or raw.
The maca tuber, still used in the Peruvian diet, contains many essential biological active ingredients. Its very nutritious root contains anti-oxidants, essential fatty acids (omega 3 and 9), amino acids as well as alkaloids. Maca also contains carbohydrates, proteins, fibers and lipids, and constitutes a natural nutrient rich in minerals, such as calcium and potassium, and in trace elements such as iron, iodine, copper, manganese and zinc .
These substances also relieves the inconveniences associated with menopause. Maca therefore represents a precious natural ingredient in the fight against male impotence, female infertility and aging. A plant with energising virtues, maca remains a very nourishing food used today in powder or capsule form, in particular for its stimulating and aphrodisiac properties.
The consumption of maca is believed to have beneficial effects on sexual performance, spermatogenesis and increased desire as well as sexual disorders (erection, impotence, frigidity), which makes it an excellent ingredient in the dietary supplement market.