Maca is an Andean root included within the 25 species of comestible roots cultivated in America; this root belongs to the Brassicaceae species (Cruciferae) cultivated in the Andes, which is close relative of turnip, radish, broccoli, and mustard.
It is the only species among the Andean roots that has a unique center of cultivation, diversification and production, which is the high and central Andean region of Peru, especially departments of Junin y Pasco, hereinafter referred as Meseta de Bombon located between 3,800 a 4,450 meters, belonging to ecological level called Puna.
Scientific Name: Lepidium meyenii Walp
Ordinary Name: Maca
Origin: Peruvian Andes (Junin, Pasco)
Part Used: Hipocotyl
Quality control must be applied from selection of field in which maca will be cultivated, which will be later used as raw material for intermediate and finished products. This field’s characteristics, combined with climate and altitude will be important factors to obtain maca of great quality and rich content of nutrients, which will later used in industrial activities.
Steps included in cultivation are the following: plantation, harvesting, storage, drying, which consists of laying maca under the sun during the whole day and dry leaves are eliminated during the afternoon.
Uses and Applications
Due to its properties, maca has multiple applications in the nutritional
and medicinal aspects. Main properties are as follows:
- Anti-stress: avoids chronic fatigue and stress
- Nutritional supplement for athletes and people who keep a
high physical activity
- Nutritional supplement for growth and physical development
of kids and growth hormones
- Improves concentration and memorizing abilities
- Hormonal regulator
･Increase of the estrogenic level
･Alleviates post-menopausic symptoms
･Alleviates symptoms caused by menstrual disorders
･Alleviates symptoms caused by low estrogenic levels, (osteoporosis)
･Increase of sperm count and motility
･Infertility treatment for both sexes
- Fights respiratory diseases, rheumatic affections,
arthritis and the loss of calcium in bones.