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MACA
Lepidium peruvianum

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Pre-Menstrual Syndrome (PMS), stress, fatigue, depression, lack of sexual desire, frigidity ...

Description

Composition :
Capsule, 100% Lepidium peruvianum / meyenii radix 350 mg / 500 mg

Part used :
Root

Maca (Lepidium meyenii) is a member of the Cabbage (Crucifers) family (Brassicaceae), native to the high Andes of Peru around Lake Junin, but today cultivated in Peru, Bolivia and to a small extent in Brazil. The size and proportions of maca are roughly similar to those of Radish and Turnip, to which it is related. The green, fragrant tops are short and lie along the ground. The thin, frilly leaves sprout in a rosette at the soil surface, not growing more than 12 - 20 cm (5-8in) in height. The off-white, self-fertile flowers are borne on a central raceme, and are followed by 4–5 mm (1/3in) fruits, each containing two small, ovoid seeds. Seeds are the Maca’s only means of reproduction.

The root of the Maca plant varies greatly in size, shape (triangular, flattened circular, spherical, or rectangular, the latter of which forms the largest roots) and color (gold, cream, red, purple, blue, black, or green; each is considered a genetically unique variety, with different nutritional and therapeutic properties). Cream colored roots are the most widely grown and are favored in Peru for their enhanced sweetness and size. Dark colored Maca roots (red, purple, black) contain significant amounts of natural iodine; black Maca root is considered the strongest in energy and stamina-promoting properties, being both sweet and slightly bitter in taste; red Maca is becoming popular with many people, and has been clinically shown to reduce prostate size in rats.

The natural environment of the Maca plant is at a elevation of 3800–4400 meters (12‘500-14‘500ft) above sea level. At this altitude, temperatures during the growing season typically vary between -2 to 13°C (20-55°F); temperatures can decline, however, as low as -10°C (14°F) and frosts are common, as are strong winds and intense sunlight.

Maca is mainly grown for the nutritional and medicinal value of its root. The cooked roots also are used, together with other vegetables, in empanadas, jams and soups. The majority of harvested Maca is dried, however, and the root may be ground to produce flour for bread, cakes, or pancakes. If fermented, a weak beer called Chicha de Maca may be produced.

The nutritional value of dried Maca root is high, similar to cereal grains such as rice and wheat. The average composition is 60-75% carbohydrates, 10-14% protein, 8.5% dietary fiber, and 2.2% fats. Maca is rich in minerals (calcium and potassium, with low content of sodium) and contains the essential trace elements iron, iodine, copper, manganese and zinc as well as fatty acids including linolenic acid, palmitic acid, oleic acids and 19 amino acids.

In addition to carbohydrates (mostly fructose and glucose), all essential amino acids and a host of vitamins (carotene, thiamine, riboflavin, ascorbic acid, niacin, vitamin B6 and D3), Maca root contains alkaloids, flavanoids, phenol compounds, steroids (e.g. sitosterin, campesterin, ergosterin, brasicasterin, N22 ergostadienol), tanning agents, essential fatty acids (e.g. linolic acid, palmitic acid, oleic acid), saponins, uridine, malic acid and its benzoyl derivative, glucosinolates, glucotropaeolin and m-methoxyglucotropaeolin. The methanolextract of Maca root also contains (1R,3S)-1-methyltetrahydro-carboline-3-carboxylic acid, a molecule which is reported to exert many activities on the central nervous system. Finally, Maca root contains selenium, magnesium and polysaccharides.

The health benefits of Maca are many: it is used as a food supplement (a good source of energy, to enhance memory and mental function), as a antidepressant (a mood brightener), as a sexual stimulant (the substances contined in Maca root not only promote sexual appetite, but also enhance spermatogenesis - the process by which spermatozoa are produced from male primordial germ cells through mitosis and meiosis) and as a life-prolonging remedy (the indigenous people of the Andes claim that those who regularly consume Maca enjoy good longevity with intact mind and body).

Maca root is said to improve sex and fertility (In a study conducted at the Federal Institute of Technology in _Zurich, Switzerland, bulls fed with a diet of Maca root showed increased sperm counts and sperm quality); the reported effects could be due to its high concentration of proteins and vital nutrients (the root contains p-methoxybenzyl-isothiocyanate, which reputedly has aphrodisiac properties). It also alleviates or reduces pre- and post-climacteric symptoms, as well as Pre-Menstrual Syndrome (PMS).

History: Historically, Maca often was traded for lowland tropical food staples, such as corn, rice, tapioca root, quinoa and papaya. It also was used as a form of payment of Spanish imperial taxes. Maca was eaten by Inca imperial warriors before battles; their legendary strength allegedly was imparted by the preparatory consumption of copious amounts of Maca.

Counter indication: No negative side effects are known.

Nutrition facts: 100g Maca root powder contain 60g carbohydrates, 5g protein, 5g fat, 21g fiber, 0.6mg iron, 0.6g calcium, 2.7mg potassium, 8mg zinc, 98mg magnesium, 0.8mg vitamin B1, 0.4mg vitmin B2, 24mg vitamin C.

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MACA close-up:

The Maca plant (‚Lepidium meyenii‘ / ‚Lepidium peruvianum‘) grows on the Peruvian plateaus of Junin and Pasco and belongs to the family of cruciferous root vegetables (cabbage or ‚Brassicaceae‘). This vegetable belongs to the same botanical family as the cauliflower, Brussel sprouts, radish, rape, cress and mustard plants. It forms an onion-like root (bulb) beneath the soil, with long, strong main roots and a few, thinner side roots. Above the ground it sprouts several short and strong shoots, at the upper part branching out into lilac leaves.

The Maca plant propagates by seeds. When it blooms, it carries up to 20 strong and branched-out, flowery panicles. After pollination - which is partly carried out by flies and partly by self-pollination - the blossoms develop into little pods in which the seeds ripen off; they are similar to buckwheat fruits.

Maca is mostly a annual plant; however, vegetation time, ripening and harvest depend strongly on climatic conditions. If they are poor, Maca may produce and ripen fruits only in the following year ; consider that the plant grows under harsh conditions in a altitude of 3'800 - 4’200 meters (12'500-14’500ft).

Historical reports collected over 3'000 years attribute to the Maca root with fortifying properties. For example, tales about the Spanish conquest of the Inca empire in the 1530’s describe the difficulties of finding food for the horses; when encountering indigenous people, the conquerors where quite surprised to see a healthy, well nourished population. Upon discovering the secret - Maca root served as a basic food staple - they fed it to their horses only to watch them develop new strength and fertility. Other reports describe how Inca leaders liked to increase the fierceness of their fighting force by serving foods prepared with Maca to the warriers. After battle, the distribution of Maca was halted to prevent mischief. The medicinal properties of Maca, however, are not limited to the increase of physical strength and sexual prowess, but, due to a rich content in nutritious substances, extend far beyond (see below).

Cultivation of Maca on the Peruvian high plateau has been going on for centuries; it was a critical component for the development of a proud Inca people. Still today, the indigenous people of the Andes eat Maca dishes to improve longevity and physical as well as mental health. Maca is prepared in various ways: cooked or roasted, dried or pounded into flour. The flour is processed into many dishes; it contains carbohydrates (60-65%), proteins (10-15%), fats (1-2%), fiber (6-8%) and water (10-15%).

It is remarkable that, even after years of storage, the vital contents of the Maca root are retained.

Maca is rich in minerals like calcium, magnesium, phosphor, zinc and iron. It has a remarkable content of easily absorbed, rare iodine (which is important for the thyroid gland), glycoside steroids (which play a important role in balancing hormones) and amino acids. In addition, it contains vitamins B1, B2, B12, C and E as well as linolenic acid. The Maca root is alkaline and therefore useful in reducing stomach acid.

Numerous clinical studies attest to the health benefits of Maca root; it shows anti-allergenic, anti-inflammatory and immune-enhancing properties. The minerals, trace elements and vitamins contained in Maca root provide the body with energy and the metabolism with essential components. On a side note, Maca does not contain any kind of opiates.

In Peruvian folk medicine, Maca root is used for a broad range of health disorders, including those related to hormonal imbalances such as lack of sex drive, impotence, female troubles (menopause and Premenstrual Syndrome / PMS) and even for support in recovery after a uterus removal.

Throughout the Andes, Maca is being consumed to prevent illness and health issues. A traditional beverage prepared from gluten-free Amarant- and Quinoa cereal, Maca root and local sugar cane has been, and still is, very popular.

The medicinal properties (among other, Maca root contains natural steroids which balance hormone metabolism) make this medicinal plant a perfect fit for people suffering from poor sexual performance (according to research, 50% of adults in industrialized nations suffer from stress-related impotence/frigidity and/or infertility). Regular use of Maca provides the energy boost required to help recover lost strength and performance.

A unique mix of ingredients, including amino acids and some little researched polyphenols, provides a beneficial effect on physical and mental performance, improving cognitive and decision-making capabilities, focus and physical stamina. The explanation of other beneficial effects observed, e.g. in recovery from substance abuse or with specific medical problems like impaired functions of the thyroid gland or pancreas, poor vision, poor skin elasticity and regeneration, poor detoxification of the body and sleep disorders, will require more scientific research.

Generally speaking, Maca is indicated for treatment of fatigue, burn-out, exhaustion and to restore vitality and performance. Maca is the quintessential power fuel for stressed-out humans of the 21st century… as well as professional athletes who appreciate a sustainable boost in energy without the negative side effects experienced by other substances like anabolics.

A word about how Maca affects the energy supply and energy management of the body: First of all, a healthy, balanced body requires a healthy, balanced food supply. This can present a challenge, however, as many foods are modified (including genetic modification) and altered to the point where they have lost most of their vital components. Chemical substitutes and additives may cause allergic reactions and food intolerances; stress and lifestyle choices may cause metabolic imbalances. As a result, the digestive tract and the immune system may gradually break down, making way for disorders of the circulatory system, rheumatism, diabetes, infectious diseases and cancer. Maca is one of the few remaining foods to provide a rich, unadulterated supply of substances vital for proper body function: energy is not only returned to the organism – the organism is recalibrated and the immune system is rebuilt. Medical and nutritional experts studying Maca do not cease to be amazed at the unique effects and properties the plant demonstrates – this may well be one of the most critical (re-) discoveries of our time.

Note: The use of Maca products does not produce dependency, or negative side effects, even if consumed regularly and over extended period of time.

Dosage

Take 1-6 capsules (tablets) daily, with plenty of water. The dose may be taken all at once or spread throughout the day.

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