About Maca Edit
Wikipedia Article About Maca on Wikipedia
Maca (Lepidium meyenii) is a herbaceous biennial plant or annual plant grown in very high parts of the Andes in Peru. It is used as a root vegetable and its Spanish and Quechua names include maca-maca, maino, ayak chichira, and ayak willku. Botanically, maca is related to the turnip and radish. The edible part of the radish is known as a "hypocotyl"; maca is the only member of its genus with a fleshy hypocotyl. Its hypocotyl is roughly 10-15 cm long and 3-5 cm long in each plant. The plant spreads entirely by seeds which germinate within 5 days, given good conditions, and have no dormancy.
Maca grows well only in very cold climates with relatively poor soil. Though it has been cultivated outside the Andes it is not yet clear that it has the same constituents or potency when this is done. Hypocotyls do not form in greenhouses or in warm climates.
For approximately 2000 years maca has been an important traditional food in its growing region. It is regarded as a highly nutritious food and as a medicine that enhances strength and endurance and acts as an aphrodisiac. During Spanish colonization maca was used as currency.