Thanks to Nico from The Maca Experts for sharing everything we need to know about Maca Root!
Maca Root, Lepidium meyenii, is a Peruvian plant of immense medicinal significance that has been used daily as an important pillar of health, and wellbeing, by the Incas for centuries.
Maca is often referred to as ‘the food of the brain’. It is a 100% natural supplement and an adaptogen, meaning it helps the brain respond and adapt to stress, bringing balance to the body’s endocrine function. Maca root is traditionally used by those suffering from hormonal imbalances, particularly those related to stress and/or anxiety. It comes in the form of a powder and can be added to food or taken in capsules. It is recommended to consume Maca as a daily supplement for a minimum 6-12 weeks for the most efficient results. Maca powder is natural, safe and can be taken by anyone, including children and the elderly.
What do I need to know about Maca powder before I take it?
Historically shamans proclaimed that Maca was only medicinal when dried. Additionally, the prominence of cooking the root was to ensure that the health benefits were to be ‘unlocked’. Today, studies have discovered that these traditional drying, cooking and/or ‘gelatinising’ processes are important to the safety and potency of the Maca. On the contrary to the prevalent theories of nutrition, when it comes to Maca root, eating it raw is not best. First, it is essential to use a gelatinised or heat activated Maca in order to gain medicinal benefits and avoid the negative side effects associated with raw Maca ingestion. These may include digestive problems, risk of inflammation related to aflatoxins and thyroid issues. Using pre-activated Maca means it is safe to digest in smoothies, protein balls, breakfast bowls and other uncooked meals, without the need for cooking. Maca also comes in 3 different colours and it is advised to match the colour to your own body’s requirements for best results.
What can the different colours of Maca be used to treat?
Clinical studies have shown that Maca powder can enhance energy levels[i], reach an equilibrium in hormones, enhance mood and mental health, fertility[iii], metabolic function[iv], sexual dysfunction and libido[v], reduce levels of inflammation [vi], and reduce symptoms of menopause and PMS.[vii]
The different colours of Maca are also proven to have different advantages.
Red Maca is ideal for improving bone density[viii], female fertility[ix] and male prostate function.[x] Red maca is internally harmonising, calming, nourishing and nurturing for the organs and bones.
Black maca has been proven to be the most successful in boosting memory function, brain clarity[xi], learning ability, and athletic performance.[xii] For men, black Maca provided the most pronounced increase in sperm production and function compared to red and yellow Maca. Black maca also produced a significant increase in libido.[xiii] Black Maca is externally harmonising, energising and uplifting.
Yellow Maca is the most widespread form of Maca and is thought to be an energetically neutral base for daily consumption and builds resilience. It is recommended for general bodily balance, well-being, stress relief, and improving thyroid function. Comprehending the qualities of the different colours of Maca can help you to choose the right maca powder to suit your health needs and target individual conditions to improve results – not all maca is equal.
Where can you buy quality maca powder?
Producing therapeutic grade Maca requires a balance between tradition, art and science. There are countless variables that can influence quality during production and therefore may alter the taste, texture and medicinal potency of the final powder. Bring into the equation ethics and sustainability of how it is sourced and finding a good quality powder that isn’t hurting an indigenous Peruvian community or impacting the environment negatively can be like finding a needle in a haystack. So the question is, how do we know that the powder we are buying is worth the cost we pay? What is the best Maca to buy? And how do we know whether or not we are promoting the exploitation of farmers and populations in Peru?
We source our Maca from The Maca Experts– a small-scale, Australian based family business run by Seleno Health. They spend 3-4 months per year working directly with their farmers in Peru to manufacture farm-to-table artisanal Maca following the ancient Inca traditions of agriculture. The Maca Experts believe in superfood social responsibility and donate $2 per kg sold to a charity to help the children of their local farming community. They offer eco-tourism retreats to Peru allowing consumers to connect with Maca and cacao on a deeper level. In collaboration with the University of Victoria (New Zealand), their Maca research program provides credible scientific evidence to support the ancient Inca traditions and values around Maca root, and is a vital part of producing quality and therapeutic products for consumers. We are proud to be part of the journey to bring change to our superfoods industry and resource you with direct farm to table, artisanal and sustainably produced organic maca.
Nico has offered our SHESeeks readers 10% off all orders! Get your hands on quality Maca from The Maca Experts. Simply use the code SHESEEKSMACA