Maca…..maca root…..Peruvian ginseng….Andes Aphrodisiac (Yikes!)
We’ve talked about many different superfoods and supplements (remember What the heck is Moringa?) but today’s lesson, my children, is about maca.
The Quechua people, descendants of the Incans, have grown this superfood at super high altitudes! Imagine trying to harvest your crop at 10,000 feet above sea level! Legend says that during the Incan days, the warriors would consume maca before entering into battle to make them strong. However, (close your ears, children) after they conquered the city they were prohibited from using it to protect the women from (gasp!) excessive sexual desires of the men! Let’s move on….
Maca was so freaking fantastic during the pre- and post-Spanish times that it was used as currency. (Didn’t the crazy Mayans use the cacao for currency?)
Maca has the ability to balance and stabilize the body’s glandular-hormonal system, nervous system, cardiovascular system and musculature, says David Wolfe in his book, Superfoods. Many people say that it cures fatigue, infertility, menopause symptoms (holla!), and the treatment of cancer. It’s often sold in pill, liquid or the most popular, powder.
Since it is considered a superfood, it can be used over a long period of time without any harmful side effects. Most people just use one tablespoon of the powder and add it to smoothies, (which is how I use it), nut milks, juices, coffee…or whatever your little heart desires. I think it has a slightly malted flavor and some use only as flour, since it can have somewhat of a bitter aftertaste.
Some say to eat it raw….which is how I use it in a beverage, but others have said that Maca MUST be eaten pre-cooked (gelatinized) to obtain all the therapeutic benefits and to keep the digestion problems at bay. The Peruvians may have done it for thousands of years, but that doesn’t make it safe…or even tasty.
Bottom line? Lots of benefits, no harmful side effects (when taken as directed). If you’re going into battle, you might try some in your morning coffee….but when you conquer the city…leave it alone….leave the women alone.