What is Maca Andina?
In the simplest of terms “maca andina” is simply maca root that grown in the Andes mountain range of South America. “Andina” is an adjective in Spanish that refers to the Andes mountains. So if you see the term “maca andina” it simply means “maca that comes from the Andes.”
Where Does Maca Andina Grow?
While some people have experimented with growing maca root in other areas of the world, 99% of all world maca supplies come from the high mountains of Peru and Bolivia. The plant grows at altitudes above 14,000 feet, making it the highest growing food plant in the world. Maca root thrives in oxygen poor air and harsh conditions including freezing temperatures, intense sunlight and high winds. The soil that it grows in (at least in the Andes) is typically high in mineral content which means that the root itself is also particularly high in minerals.
What Is In Maca Andina?
Maca that comes from the Andes contains a wide array of trace minerals and is particularly high in:
- Potassium 16.4% of RDA
- Phosphorus 5.29%
- Iodine 97.07%
- Manganese 11.20%
It also contains many other phytonutrients that support health and healing in the body. Here is a complete list:
- Composition: 59% carbohydrates, 10.2% protein, 8.5% fiber, 2.2% lipids
- Essential Amino Acids: nearly all including Aspartic Acid, Glutamic acid, Serine, Histidine, Glycine, Threonine, Alanine, Tyrosine, Phenylalanine, Valine, Methionine, Isoleucine, Leucine, Lysine, HO- Proline, Proline, Sarcosine
- Free Fatty Acids: 20 have been found of which the most abundant are linolenic acid, palmitic acid, oleic acid
- Vitamins: A, B1, B2, B3, C, D
- Macaenes and macamides: novel polyunsaturated acids and their amides
- Sterols: campesterol, stigmasterol, beta-sitosterol
- Alkaloids: Aromatic glucosinolates including: benzyl glucosinolate, p-methoxybenzyl glucosinolate
- Isothyocyanates: benzyl isothiocyanate, p-methoxybenzyl isothiocyanate
What are The Health Benefits of Maca Andina?
Although the use of maca dates back 8000 years among indigenous cultures of the Andes, it has only been in the past 30 years that it has gained popularity outside of South America. The list of health benefits attributed to taking maca is large. This is because maca, like ginseng, is an adaptogenic plant. That means that it can address a variety of conditions on the body depending on a particular body needs.
The major benefits people share who are taking the herb are:
- Increase in energy, endurance and stamina
- Increase in muscle strength and size
- Boost in libido
- Increase in fertility for both men and women – and animals
- Regulation of hormonal processes – great for menopause and other hormonal imbalances
- Enhances memory and cognitive function
- Increases blood circulation
- Reduces stress and anxiety
What is the History of Maca Andina?
The earliest evidence we have for the cultivation of maca stretches back about 8000 years to the Incan empire. We do know that during the establishment of the Inca Empire, the Inca king prohibited the native peoples he conquered from using maca in trade. He also demanded that the conquered give him and his family all maca crops as a tribute.
Since that time, maca has been used with great effect by the indigenous people of the area – most of whom live at very high altitudes with little oxygen. To this day native residents of the Andes of all ages consume maca almost everyday.
How much Maca Andina to take before I get benefits?
That’s a very good question. Most people start with about 1 heaping tablespoon mixed into water or juice daily. After a couple of weeks some people choose to eat 3 tablespoons daily. Almost all people who continue at one of these levels for at least 3 weeks feel some major health benefits. Usually it’s a lot faster, though.
Final thoughts on Maca Andina
Since the early 1990s maca cultivation, production and sales have become a big business especially in Peru. Due to its rise in popularity some producers and farmers have cut corners to save money. Beware of low quality maca products that may have been grown with pesticide and/or cut with other ingredients. It’s always best to buy certified organic.
When you do have a high quality maca powder, you’ll most likely notice some powerful increases in energy and health within a short period of time.