Maca root magic

Maca root magic

The ancient root vegetable once used by warriors before battle and why it has been added to our Energy smoothie.

Photo by Carly Diaz

Maca is a Peruvian root part of the radish family. It is an adaptogen, similar to reishi mushroom powder, which is also found in our Energy smoothie (pictured above). It is native to the Andes Mountains in Peru and often found in the form of a sand-colored powder. It is similar in both size and appearance to a radish or turnip with a yellow, purple or black body and green leaves. The root vegetable requires careful attention to grow. It thrives only at high altitudes with poor soil. It must be rotated frequently because it tends to deplete the soil of its natural nutrients.

Maca has a plethora of uses and can be prepared in a variety of ways for consumption. A popular method is adding ground maca root to coffee or smoothies. Maca powder is also added to capsules for easy swallowing in order to reach the rich health benefits. More traditional ways of cooking the whole root include boiling and mashing or roasting. Raw maca has thick fibers and goitrogen content which can cause gastric disturbances if eaten. Maca is often times fermented and used to make beer. Other popular uses include drying it and mixing in with grains or flour for baking purposes. Cooked maca leaves are the perfect topper to a salad or veggie bowl.

The root vegetable is so precious, it was once used as a form of currency for trade in the Andes. During the time that the Incas controlled the Andes region, maca was considered such a potent and valuable herb, its use was restricted to the royal court and the imperial family.

Ancient warriors consumed large amounts of maca root before entering into battle due to its largely energizing properties. Consuming maca provides an instant stamina boost. Maca root has also been shown to enhance fertility, improve sexual health, balance estrogen and other hormones, boost male fertility, enhance energy, mood and memory. Maca is also an adaptogen, meaning its able to respond to your system’s needs through plant intelligence.