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ARTE documentary on Maca

That Maca is made of a very special plant, doesn’t need to be said anymore. On ARTE however they did and in the article below you can read what this French-German cultural station thinks about Maca. ARTE tells in this article that Maca Lepidium Meyenii is a powerful source of goodness who brought many fortune to the local population.

The magical root from the Andes

Maca or “Lepidium Meyenii”, family of the “Brassicacea”, is a root that grows on a height of 3.500 to 4.500 meters in the center of the Peruvian Andes. She especially appears in the provinces Pasco, Junin, Huancavelica, Ayacucho en Apurimac. The most peculiar features of Maca throughout the tradition of the Andes, are its positive consequences for fertility, as well for the male as the female. It’s an aphrodisiac and also very efficient against impotence.

Maca is a hermaphrodite biennial plant. Its seeds germinate in 5 days and in a climate of 25 degrees. The name Maca is derived from the composition of the Quechan words “MA” that means “cultivated on the mountain” and “CA” that means “very strong”. The nutritious value of the dried roots of Maca is equal to that of corn, rice or wheat. Maca exists out of carbohydrates (55-60%), proteins (10-12%), fibres (8-9%) and lipids (2-3%). Maca has large quantities of amino acids, iron and calcium, lineol acids, palmitine acids, oil acids, in the category of the lower metabolisms, esters (sterol) and alkaloids. The most important features that tradition gave to Maca, are its positive consequences for fertility, male and female. It’s an aphrodisiac and also very efficient against impotence.

Influence of Maca on the fertility proven in laboratory
-rats that were fed with alkaloid extracts from maca, have made it possible to count a growth of spermatozoids and a fastened follicular maturation with a result of having larger descendants.
-pigs from India were fed with crushed maca, have seen their fertility and descendants rise with 100%
-Sheep that took 80 grams maca a day, during 2 weeks, produced much more spermatozoids and with a greater mobility

The positive consequences of maca for fertility and its influence on the frigidity and impotence are to be caused by the prostaglandin and the esters that are present in the root. On top of that is maca good against cancer, that could be explained by the glycoside and isothiocyanate benzyl. Maca is traditionally prescribed for the restless periods caused by menstruation and the menopause. Generally it’s perceived as a general strength producing means.

The harvest of Maca

In Huancacoral, a small community of 50 families that lives on a height of 4.500 meters in the province Huancavelica, starts the harvest of Maca at the end of April, 9 months after sowing. Under the floods of hail in springtime and under extreme conditions father, mother and children begin harvesting the maca. Historical documents tell us that Pizzaro, his army of hungry men and his herd of starved horses, once arrived at the high altitudes of Peru, only survived thanks to the discovery of maca.

Some small producers were launched by grouping themselves and in own custody selling extracts of macca (in the shape of flour, jam, drinks and Candy) on little markets, traditional or bio, for instance to Huancayo, a little town in the high mountains of the Andes.

source: Arte