Maca is an herbaceous bi ennial or annual plant native to the high Andes and Peru. It is grown for its fleshy hypocotyl, which is used as a root vegetable and medicinal herb. The green, fragrant tops are short and lie along the ground. The thin frilly leaves are born in a rosette at the soil surface, and are continuously renewed from the center as the outer leaves die. The off -white, self-fertile flowers are borne on a central raceme, and are followed by 4 –5 mm siliculate fruits, each containing two small (2 -2.5 mm) reddish-gray ovoid seeds. The seeds, which are the plant's only means of reproduction, germinate within five days given good conditions. The seeds have no dormancy, as maca's native habitat remains harsh year -round.In addition to sugars and proteins, maca contains uridine, malic acid, and its benzoyl derivative, and the glucosinolates, glucotropaeolin and m- methoxyglucotropaeolin. The menthol extract of maca tuber also contained (1R, 3S) -1 - methyltetrahydro-carboline-3-carboxylic acid, a molecule which is reported to exer t many activities on the central nervous system.The nutritional value of dried maca root is high, similar to cereal grains such as rice and wheat.Average composition - 60% carbohydrates, 10% protein, 8.5% dietry fiber , and 2.2% fats. Maca is rich in essential minerals, especially selenium, calcium, magnesium and iron, and includes fatty acids including linolenic, Plamitic and oleic acids, and 19 amino acids , as well as polysaccharides. Maca's reported beneficial effects for sexual function could be due to it s high concentration of proteins and vital nutrients. Maca contains a chemical called p -methoxybenzyl isothiocyanate, which reputedly has aphrodisiac properties. Product Details
- Botanical Name: Lepidium meyenii Walp.
- Family Name: Brassicaceae
- Common Names: maca -maca, maino, ayak chichira, ayak willku
- Part Used: r oot
- Habitat: at higher altitudes of Peru and Bolivia