Royal Maca

Royal Maca™ is a product of Whole World Botanicals

Maca (Lepidium Peruvianum Chacon)

Maca is a root plant and a member of the cruciferous family, native to Peru. It is both a food and a medicine and is eaten by native peoples of the highlands of Peru of all ages - from three year olds to the elderly. It looks something like a small turnip, either cream-colored or purple when it is harvested. Our Royal Maca™ is the only maca sold which is guaranteed to have been grown without pestcides or chemical fertilizers. It is rich in calcium, magnesium, phosphorous and iron, and contains trace minerals, including zinc, iodine, copper, selenium, bismuth, manganese and silica, as well as B vitamins. It also contains four alkaloids proven in scientific investigation to nourish the endocrine glands, including the reproductive system of men and women.

Maca has adaptogen qualities, that is, its effects are appropriate to the age and sex of the person using it. It has a long list of uses because of its broad range of nutritional and medicinal properties discovered by both Indians of the Peruvian highlands in ancient times and by contemporary populations and naturopathic physicians. Some examples: revitalizes men and women of middle and older age both mentally and physically, helps older men maintain sexual functioning; assists in human conception; helps maintain menopausal hormonal balance, reduces stress and boosts energy levels,, and is being used as an adjuvant therapy for chronic fatigue.

Where does Maca grow?  It grows at an altitude of between 13,000 and 14,500 feet above sea level in the high Andean plateaus of Peru, a cold, oxygen-poor environment with high winds and harsh sunlight. No other food plant exists in the world which will grow at so high an altitude. But the soil of these high plateaus are extremely rich in minerals, which accounts for the high level of trace minerals found in maca. Some of the Quechua-speaking Peruvian Indians who grow maca, still grow it in the traditional way, using no pesticides and a long fallow period before replanting,with only the natural fertilizer provided by their animals.

Indians of all ages who live in the high Andes eat maca, along with quinoa and amaranth and other crops of exceptional nutritional value. The earliest archeological evidence for the growing of maca for human consumption dates back to approximately 8,000 B.C. During the establishment of the Inca Empire, the Inca king prohibited the native peoples he conquered from trading maca, demanding that the entire maca crop be given in tribute to the royal family. Several different Spanish Chronicles mention maca. In 1653 Bernabe Cobo wrote: "Half of the Indians [of Peru] have no other bread," [other than maca]. Maca was also endowed with certain mystical properties and has been found in tombs. Today the natives of the high Andes perform ceremonies to Pachamama - Mother Earth, in which maca is offered to the mountain in gratitude for blessings received. Native healers prescribe maca for improving pulmonary function, curing rheumatism, arthritis, respiratory and fertility problems, and it is also used to ease menopausal and postmenopausal symptoms and to increase energy, thyroid and pancreatic balance and sexual vitality in both women and men. In the last decade, the use of maca has spread to urban areas in Peru and to parts of Europe, as its qualities become known.

The fertility powers of maca are prized by young couples in the Peruvian highlands. Young women and men who fail to conceive a child eat maca on a regular basis until conception occurs. At the very high altitudes at which they live, conception is often difficult. In fact, after the Spanish Conquest, when Spaniards went to Cusco to live, it was several years before the first Spanish baby was born. The tonic qualities of maca have helped the native population to thrive in the oxygen- poor environment of the high plateau in which they live. It is energizing both mentally and physically, on account both of its mineral content, and the alkeloids it contains.

Has it been scientifically studied?  Its valuable qualities have only been discovered by scientists in the last thirty years. Dr. Gloria Chacon isolated the four alkaloids which maca contains in 1990 and injected them into rats. In this way, she learned that it was the alkaloids which were responsible for the hormonal changes in the reproductive systems of both male and female rats. Dr. Chacon's research revealed that the alkaloids in maca act on the hypothalamus and the pituitary gland which together help regulate the endocrine glands, including the adrenals, the thyroid, the ovaries, and the testes by releasing higher levels of precursor hormones.
Although human populations have eaten maca for more than 10,000 years, according to archeologists who have found evidence for the domestication of maca since about 8,000 B.C., the knowledge of the positive effects of eating maca gradually died out with the Spanish Conquest, except among those people living at the very highest altitude of Peru, where maca grows. These millenia of safe and effective human use (native women eating maca have a very low rate of breast cancer) has recently been supplemented by scientific studies.

Medical doctors who are naturopaths practicing in Lima, Peru, have been accumulating a body of clinical information on the effectiveness of maca for a variety of physical conditions which affect contemporary urban populations, including chronic fatigue (CFS), stress, depression, candida, and immune deficiency. These doctors also prescribe maca for the tonification of the reproductive system in climacteric men and menopausal women, and the revitalization (increase in energy levels and muscle strength, improved thyroid and pancreatic functioning) of the elderly population and those with some kinds of chronic illnesses, including arthritis.

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