Maca Seeds, Peruvian Ginseng, maka, mace, maca-maca, maino, ayak chichira, ayuk willku,
Maca is native to the high Andes of Bolivia and Peru.pepperweed.
With over 60 phytochemicals and an array of vitamins, minerals and enzymes the beneficial properties are gigantic. It is described as an tonic, diuretic, stimulant, laxative and expectorant. However a side effect is the increase in libido and Maca is considered a potent aphrodisiac. Maca is now known as Lepidium peruvianum. See Wikipedia for more information.
Care and Cultivation Seeds should be sown in winter or when cold, just under the surface of a well drained potting mix, which can include equal parts perlite:potting mix:vermiculite and some sand. Once the seedlings emerge (7 days), they can either be thinned out or left until they are big enough to withstand transplanting. They can also be directly sown into the garden to avoid transplant shock and this is the preferred method of raising from seed.
Full sun with adequate water but can take dry periods well as it is used to poor soils in the mountains of Peru. Likes sandy soil, drought tolerant once established. Biennial, harvest roots in 2nd year.
DETAILS And HISTORY
Synonyms: Lepidium peruvianum, Lepidium weddellii, Lepidium affine, Lepidium gelidum, Maca, Peruvian Ginseng, maka, mace, maca-maca, maino, ayak chichira, ayuk willku, pepperweed.
Maca is a hardy perennial plant cultivated high in the Andean Mountain at altitudes from 11,000-14,500 feet. The area where Maca is found high in the Andes is an inhospitable region of intense sunlight, violent winds and below freezing weather. With its extreme temperatures and poor rocky soil, the area rates among the world's worst farmland, yet over the centuries, Maca learned to flourish under these conditions. Maca was domesticated about 2000 years ago by the Inca Indians and primitive cultivars of Maca have been found in archaeological sites dating as far back as 1600 B.C.
Maca has a low-growing, mat-like stem system which at times goes almost unnoticed. Its scalloped leaves lie close to the ground and it produces self-fertile small off-white flowers. The part used is the tuberous root which is pear shaped, up to 8 cm/3 inches in diameter and ranging from off-white to golden in colour usually, with the occasional purple one.
Although it is a perennial, it is grown as an annual, and 7-9 months from planting are required to produce the harvested roots..
To the Andean Indians, Maca is a valuable commodity. Because so little else grows in the region, Maca is often traded with communities at lower elevations for other staples like rice, corn, and beans.
Native Peruvians have traditionally utilized Maca since before the time of the Incas for both nutritional and medicinal purposes.
Maca is an important staple in the diets of the people indigenous to the region since it has the highest nutritional value of any food crop grown there. It has 59% carbohydrates, 10.2% protein, 8.5% fibre and 2.2% lipids. It has a large amount of essential amino acids and higher levels of iron and calcium than potatoes. Maca contains important amounts of fatty acids including linolenic, palmitic and oleic acids. It is rich in sterols and has a high mineral content as well. In addition to its rich supply of essential nutrients, Maca contains alkaloids, tannins and saponins. A chemical analysis conducted in 1981 showed the presence of biologically active aromatic isothiocyanates, especially p-methoxybenzyl isothiocyanate, which have reputed aphrodisiac properties.
Nutritional Profile of Dried Maca Root
(Average 10 gram serving)
Component per 10 g Amino Acids per 10 g Minerals per 10 g
Protein 1â1.4 g Alanine 63.1 mg Calcium 25 mg
Carbohydrates 6â7.5 g Arginine 99.4 mg Copper 0.6 mg
Fats (lipids) 220 mg Aspartic acid 91.7 mg Iron 1.5 mg
Fiber 850 mg Glutamic acid 156.5 mg Iodine 52 mcg
Ash 490 mg Glycine 68.3 mg Manganese 80 mcg
Sterols 5â10 mg Histidine 41.9 mg Potassium 205 mg
Calories 32.5 HO-Proline 26.0 mg Sodium 1.9 mg
Isoleucine 47.4 mg Zinc 380 mcg
Leucine 91.0 mg
Vitamins per 10 g Lysine 54.5 mg Fats/Lipids per 10 g
B2 39 mcg Methionine 28.0 mg Linoleic 72 mcg
B6 114 mcg Phenylalanine 55.3 mg Palmitic 52 mcg
C 28.6 mg Proline 0.5 mg Oleic 24.5 mcg
Niacin 565 mcg Sarcosine 0.7 mg
Serine 50.4 mg
Threonine 33.1 mg
Tryptophan 4.9 mg
Tyrosine 30.6 mg
Valine 79.3 mg
The tuber is consumed fresh or dried. The fresh roots are considered a treat and are baked or roasted in ashes much like sweet potatoes. The dried roots are stored and later boiled in water or milk to make a porridge. (the dried roots can be stored for up to seven years.) In addition, they are often made into a popular sweet, fragrant, fermented drink called maca chicha. In Huancayo, Peru, even Maca jam and pudding are popular.
The tuberous roots have a tangy taste and an aroma similar to butterscotch.
Maca has been used medicinally for centuries in South America to enhance fertility in humans and animals. Soon after the Spanish Conquest the Spanish found that their livestock were reproducing poorly in the highlands. The local Indians recommended feeding the animals Maca and so remarkable were the results that Spanish chroniclers gave in-depth reports. Even Colonial records of some 200 years ago indicate that payments of roughly 9 tons of Maca were demanded from one Andean area alone for this purpose. Its fertility enhancing properties were supported clinically as early as 1961, when researchers discovered it increased the fertility of rats.
Maca is growing in world popularity due to its energizing effects, fertility enhancement and aphrodisiac qualities.
Other traditional uses include increasing energy, stamina and endurance in athletes, promoting mental clarity, treating male impotence, and helping with menstrual irregularities and female hormonal imbalances including menopause and chronic fatigue syndrome.
Today, dried Maca roots are ground to powder and sold in Health Food shops to increase stamina and fertility.
In Peruvian herbal medicine, Maca is also used as an immunostimulant, for anemia, tuberculosis, menstrual disorders, menopause symptoms, stomach cancer, sterility and other reproductive and sexual disorders as well as to enhance memory.
Maca doesn't grow well in hot weather. In warmer areas maca can be grown during the winter months.
Materials: heirloom,Lepidium peruvianum,Lepidium weddellii,Lepidium affine,Lepidium gelidum,Maca,Peruvian Ginseng,maka,mace,maino,ayak chichira,ayuk willku,pepperweed