The Maca plant
Maca is a plant native to the countries of South America. It is identified with the scientific term Lepidium peruvianum and is part of the Brassicaceae family. It is a plant of reduced dimensions, presents a rich foliage, its flowers are very small and have a color ranging from white to gray. The cultivation of maca is typical of the Perch and Bolivia mountains, growing in fact at high altitudes because it requires a cold but sunny climate. Since ancient times maca has been considered a plant with remarkable medicinal properties, as well as being a food plant. Archaeological findings have ascertained that this plant was used by the Inca people, who considered it "divine" and reserved it mainly for feeding its soldiers and noble warriors, precisely because it was rich in beneficial properties.
The ancient populations of the Andes believed that maca was the symbol of fertility and it seems that tribal shamans advised it to give greater sexual power.
The edible part of the plant is the root, a roundish tuber that can take on different colors, depending on the color of its seeds. The flavor of the maca root is slightly reminiscent of cabbage. Maca root is rich in carbohydrates, sugars, vitamins, proteins and mineral salts. From it we get a special flour, used in the preparation of excellent soups and also used for the production of alcohol. This precious tuber can be used both fresh and dried, in both cases the organoleptic properties are not altered.
The Maco plant is a true concentrate of nutrients essential for the proper functioning of the organism. Its chemical composition has a high percentage of proteins (about 12%) and the fibers represent 8%. Good percentage of vitamins, in particular of B and C vitamins, the presence of mineral salts is also noteworthy, including potassium and iodine. The lack of side effects should be emphasized, although the possibility of individual intolerance cannot be ruled out.
The cultivation of Maca is in continuous expansion, in America it has always been considered an aphrodisiac product and is widely used to combat infertility and to improve hormonal balance. Recent studies have shown the effectiveness of this plant even in the presence of pathologies affecting the respiratory tract and in cases of rheumatic arthrosis. It is a good antioxidant and therefore fights free radicals and aging. The maca plant has also been recognized for its ability to increase muscular endurance and for this reason athletes and all athletes use them regularly. Another prerogative of this plant is to improve the memory and to bring a feeling of general well-being.
Due to its high concentration of calcium, Maca root is very suitable in periods that require a greater need, such as growth phases, pregnancy and menopause. Its intake favors the healing of fractures and is also recommended for those suffering from osteoporosis.
Maca root has tonic and energizing properties, is a valid aid for those who live a period of stress, for those suffering from chronic fatigue and also for those who normally carry out intellectual activities that require great effort.
Constantly taken, Maca helps prevent hair loss and stimulates their growth.
It is also able to improve the tone of the tissues and the hydration of all skin types.
Forms of employment
Maca root is reduced to powder through some processing steps. This can be taken rehydrated in liquid (water, fruit juice) or mixed into dishes. Maca root is also found in the form of extract, tablets, tablets or capsules.
The recommended daily dose varies according to needs. It is always advisable to contact the medical officer who will indicate the correct dosage. Generally the intake of dried root fluctuates between 5 and 20 grams, while for the dry extract instead it goes from 400 to 1000 mg, divided over the day.
Greater attention is required in the presence of high levels of PSA (prostate antigen) in male subjects and in women at high risk of breast cancer. A scrupulous evaluation is also necessary in the presence of hyperthyroidism, given the high percentage of iodine contained in the Maca root. Pregnant women must take the root under medical supervision.
Maca: Sales and prices
In herbalist shops it is possible to purchase various lines of packaged products. Generally, bottles containing a variable number of tablets or capsules are on sale. The minimum quantity is equal to fifty and the price fluctuates between 15 and 20 euros, while a box of 60 tablets based on Maca dry extract costs about 13 euros. Those who have to take this precious root for a long time can buy jars with a higher product content, at a more affordable price. A food supplement based on Maca extract in a 100 capsule jar has a selling price of around 18 euros. The energizing line offers a box of 100 tablets of 500 mg for the price of around 24 euros. If you prefer to take Maca liquid extract, you can buy small 130 ml bottles for about 16 euros. The recommended quantity is one or two teaspoons a day to be taken pure or added to a drink. Maca drop is also available, in synergy with Eucalyptus.