For hundreds of years maca reputation for enhancing strength, fertility and sexual desire has been well known to people from Peru!
It is believed that this root began to be domesticated as early as 1600 BC by Andean people. When taking herds higher in altitudes where maca grew, native Andean people noticed their herds became stronger and more fertile. When introduced to ordinary people they soon become aware of increased (their own) stamina and energy.
In English this root is known as: maca, Peruvian ginseng. In Spanish maca root is most commonly known as: maca, maka, maca-maca, macamaca, maino, ayak chichira.
During Inca time legend has it that this special food was given to warriors before the battle for a better strength and enhanced energy. However, the legend also has it that after a victory, soldiers were not allowed to consume maca due to its “special healing power and desire for women.” Meaning, maca was not given to warriors in order to protect women from soldier’s powerful sexual impulses.
There are also claims that Spaniards used maca for enhancing physical energy and fertility. And some facts indicate that Peruvian people used maca not only as a food, but simply as a payment of taxes to Spain.
For some reason usage of maca decreased in time, where only Peruvians continued to consume this root, until recently.
Lepidium Peruvianum root was continued to be used by Peruvians as food, for its medicinal purposes to this day and as an important source of nutrition (maca has the highest nutritional value of any food grown in high altitude. In culinary purposes maca has been prepared as porridge, pudding, coffee or jam, baked or roasted (maca recipes). As a medicine maca is consumed to treat PMS, menopause, to enhance memory, increase energy and as stamina builder.
During 70’ a botanical research was carried in Peru where “the forgotten crops of the Andes” were studied, one being maca root. When Dr Qun Yi Zheng together with his crew did a research on maca, they discovered amazing nutritional value maca has. Since then maca has attracted doctors and researchers around the world, thus becoming one of the most popular nutritionally rich natural healthy root.
Due to very high nutritional value of dried maca and its extraordinary health benefits, this food become a very popular plant not only in Peru but also worldwide.