Maca

Maca, Lepidium meyenii, is a tuberous root that grows in the high elevations of the Andes mountain range. Maca is known as an adaptogen, broadly contributing to overall wellbeing and a healthy mood. According to folk belief Maca is an aphrodisiac, enhancing sexual drive in humans and domestic animals which tends to be reduced at higher altitudes. Maca is in the Brassicaceae family, and shares many of the beneficial constituents of other members in this plant family such as broccoli, kale, cabbage, rutabagas, turnips, radishes, and many more. Maca grows both wild and in cultivation in a naturally occurring variety of colors. Variation of color relates to the periderm or the outer covering, however the majority of biomass found in the core and main mass of all Maca looks the same. Traditionally, all colors of Maca were harvested and used together by the Andean people. In 2008, the Peruvian government decided to clarify the confusion between the two scientific names that were used for Maca, Lepidium meyenii and Lepidium peruvianum. It was decided that L. peruvianum would be used to describe the cultivated type of maca grown in Peru only, and L. meyenii would be used to describe a more wild type of Maca. Cultivation does not change the lineage of genetics, which taxonomy is based off of. Therefore, L. peruvianum is not currently considered an accepted scientific name for Maca, nor is it considered a synonym of L. meyenii.

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What is Maca Used For?

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Traditional Health Benefits of Maca

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What is Maca Used For?

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Traditional Health Benefits of Maca

Disclaimer
This information in our Herbal Reference Guide is intended only as a general reference for further exploration, and is not a replacement for professional health advice. This content does not provide dosage information, format recommendations, toxicity levels, or possible interactions with prescription drugs. Accordingly, this information should be used only under the direct supervision of a qualified health practitioner such as a naturopathic physician.