Part Used: Root
While our focus has always been on the amazing diversity of herbs that can be found or grown here in the Ozarks, we have recently come across a very high quality source of this remarkable herb from the mountains of Peru. And the effects of this herb do seem to live up to its ancient reputation as a tonic for impotence, loss of libido, an aphrodisiac, fertility, menopausal hot flashes and as a general energy tonic. Maca has been grown by the Peruvian Indians for centuries, high in the Andes Mountains. In fact it is the highest altitude cultivated crop in the world. It is grown for food purposes, the root of this Mustard family member being used. But besides its food uses it was long valued for its energy and fertility promoting properties and as an aphrodisiac. Young women were encouraged to eat it to promote fertility. The Spanish, learning of its uses, fed it to their horses to increase their herds. It was also thought of as valuable for women going through the change of life. And finally it was considered to increase stamina and sexual potency. While little research is being done into it's chemical constituency, Maca appears to contain natural steroidal compounds and to revitalize the endocrine glands. It works quickly to restore energy in run-down conditions without stimulants. A larger than average dose is used for a fast-acting sexual energy boost; maintenance doses used for long-term cases with loss of libido, frigidity and impotency without functional causes. It seems to work quickly to relieve hot flashes in many women. Athletes and muscle-builders have attested to it's usefulness in maintaining stamina during workouts. All this, and Maca has a sweet, chocolaty flavor.