Lepidium meyenii (Black Maca)
Maca is a culturally significant staple of the Andes, both as a food crop, and a medicinal herb. With archaeological evidence confirming the cultivation of Maca in the Junin (Chinchaycocha, Peru) that dates between 1700-1200 BCE, but likely used and known about for much longer, Maca is an ancient food crop and medicinal herb. Grown at high altitudes, it has long been used for its adaptogenic, endurance enhancing, and fertility promoting benefits.
Maca has a regulating effect on the hormonal system, promoting balance, potency, fertility, and virility in both sexes. Maca has been shown in studies to increase male sperm count, motility, and volume. It also has anxiolytic effects and can help ease depression, as well as increase metabolism, aiding in digestion and reduction of excess weight.
There are different types of Maca, although all technically the same species, the different cultivars are known by their coloration, which lies wholly within the pigmentation of the skin of the root. Yellow, red, purple, and black are the most widespread varieties, coming in a multitude of shades and hues. Each color is thought to have a specific subset of effects on the body, possibly due to differing concentrations and balances of the active constituents of the plant, although all are considered adaptogens.
Black Maca is the most highly sought after phenotype of the plant, owing to its relative rarity compared to other varieties. Black Maca has also been studied and shown to help increase memory and learning functions. The black pigmentation is due to a high content of anthocyannins in the skin of the tuber. Anthocyannins are potent plant based antioxidants that help to protect the body’s various systems from oxidative stress and degradation. Black Maca is thought to be most beneficial to male bodies, as a powerful tool to help in the balancing and regulating of male hormones.
Maca as a plant bridges the gap between food stuff and medicinal herb, being sweet and nutritive as well as fortifying and balancing, and having an active effect on the body. Maca can be energizing for some and give a boost of sustained energy without the crash of other stimulating plants like tea or coffee. Adaptogenic herbs are often overused by people that are putting out too much energy and “burning the candle at both ends”, being substituted in large doses for other habitual stimulants like tea and coffee. This, however, is not where adaptogenic herbs hold their greatest value.
Plants like Maca, ginseng, and suma, have the most profound effect when taken in relatively small amounts with regularity, and usually for a longer duration of time (a month consistently or more), depending on many different factors and goals. This long duration of low dose assistance from adaptogens, helps to anchor their balancing properties deeply into our bodies, and gives a platform and model of efficiency that our bodies can use moving forward, without the need to become dependent on them for constant use and effectiveness.
Hormonal support is essential as we age. Our hormone levels and balances tend to decline as we age, and this can cause a cascade of negative physical effects ranging from a loss of energy and vitality, to weight gain, mood swings, hair loss/growth, and even certain types of hormonal related cancers. Maca is truly a gift, with its ability to help keep our bodies functioning optimally as we travel further down our paths in life.
Our Black Maca Spagyric is a highly potent and bioavailable preparation, with only a small dose needed to achieve optimum results. We recommend taking the low-end dose of 5-7 drops daily, with consistency for 1-3 months. It can be taken directly by mouth, or in a beverage or smoothie.
See our Black Maca Spagyric.
Black Maca is also included in our original spagyric blend, Pure Potential Elixir.
Planetary ruler: Sun
Part used: hypocotyl/root
Energetics: sweet, warm
Meridians/organs: kidney, spleen
Active constituents: macaridine, macaene, macamides, Maca alkaloids, phytosterols (beta-sitosterol, campesterol, stigmasterol), glucoinolates, polyphenols, alkamides
Properties: antioxidant, adaptogenic, alterative, diuretic, nutritive, stimulant, tonic