We’re told it’s an aphrodisiac, a stress reliever, and packed with nutrients. But what exactly is maca powder? We eat it, we drink it, but what for? Keep reading to find out…
What is maca?
Maca is a Peruvian root plant, with the Latin name of Lepidium meyenii. Imagine a yellowish-white beet. In Peru, the maca tuber, the part that grows underground, has been eaten since prehistoric times. Maca powder is therefore the dried out and powdered version of this root.
Its particularities? First, it grows in the Andean highlands under extreme climatic conditions, in which few others survive. Second, it has been used in herbal medicine for millennia for its many medicinal properties. Third, it has a nutritional value that will make its cousins in the superfood family red with envy.
What is maca powder like?
Maca powder is also known as Peruvian Ginseng, or Peruvian Viagra. It is widely used as a stimulant to boost libido and improve sexual performance. It is said to increase sperm quality to fight against male infertility. It should be noted that the aphrodisiac properties of the plant have not yet been scientifically demonstrated, but no side effects are known, so nothing is lost by trying.
Maca powder is also used for its high nutritional value, which simultaneously combats malnutrition or anemia, counteracts the effects of stress, alleviates fatigue and relieves pain. It is able to do all that because it is in fact a treasure trove of calcium, potassium, selenium, magnesium and a good dose of essential trace elements: iron, copper, zinc, manganese and iodine. Best of all, it also contains fatty acids and 19 amino acids. Nothing short of magical.
How to use maca powder?
Since it’s dried and powdered, maca can be slipped into most recipes to boost their nutritional value without affecting the taste. In all cases, it is used as a cure: traditional Peruvian herbal medicine recommends three months of treatment twice a year to optimize the effects.
The first option is to pour a teaspoon of it into a glass of water, into a smoothie or yogurt depending on your taste: the powder has a nutty flavor for some, caramel for others.
Second option, sprinkle it directly on a fruit salad, a salty salad, a bowl of porridge or cereals etc.
Third possibility, hide it directly in the recipe! Put it in your dough for pancakes, waffles, cake, soup, rice, pasta, quiche, etc.
Last option, maca powder exists in the form of food supplements to swallow. In this case, check out your local drug store.