Updated: Apr 10
"The continued path of life on our planet is the most extraordinary phenomena. It is secured through reproduction. This is a cellular process that involves heredity; the production of a similar being with a complex organization and the ability to develop.
Each being continues through its offspring. The being transmits its organization and abilities to the next generation. Through their breeding, one or several organisms extend a bridge to the future and ensure immortality, not of their body but of life." -Dr. Gloria Chacon
Maca history in Peru
Maca, a Peruvian plant from the Central Andes, is a highly nutritional and functional plant; this root has been an important food for the health and development of the people of Junin and Pasco (both located in the High Andes of Peru) for 4,000 years.
Maca was domesticated by the Chinchay ethnic group and grown simultaneously with the "Shiri" potato and "Mauna" potato. Maca was considered a sacred food due to its great nutritional value, constituting the main sustenance. Traces of extensive cultivation in the form of farms and "camellones" remain. Camellones is a technique developed by the Chinchay, as well as stone construction of different sizes called "Pukutos." Pukutos were used to store the dry roots of maca for many years, increasing the sweetness the longer it was stored.
The Lepidium Genus
Maca is known in the scientific world by a single name: Lepidium Peruvianum Chacon, it belongs to the Cruciferous or Brassicaceae family. The Herbarium in the museum of natural history, at the Universidad Mayor de San Marcos, is the only institution in Peru with more than 55,000 Peruvian species registered, as well as the largest number of the Lepidium genus with 14 species (see chart below). Maca (Lepidium peruvianum Chacon) is presented as the only edible tuberous root plant. None of the other species of the Lepidium genus found in the Herbarium are registered as cultivable plants and they are mentioned as wild plants (the most common of the other 13 species is Lepidium Meyenii Walpers, passed of as "maca" in the U.S. since it's commercialization in '99). Worldwide, there are about 130 species of the genus Lepidium.
Lepidium Peruvianum Chacon globally registered and recognized
Globally recognized European herbariums such as Berlin-Dahlem, Germany and Zurich, Switzerland, have registered the isotypes of the Maca (Lepidium peruvianum Chacon) in 1990 and 1993, respectively. In 2005, Lepidium peruvianum Chacon was registered in the National Herbarium of Brussels and Belgium. The isotype is also found in the United States (UC Berkeley) registered by Dr. Paul Silva in 1990. He considered Maca a unique plant of the Lepidium genus, due to its shape and also high nutritional value.
The highly nutritional properties of maca can be found only if the end product has experienced a traditional planting, harvest and gelatinization process in the specific towns of Junin and Pasco (Peru). This traditional process starts when the seed is put in the ground after the plot of land is tilled with a traditional tool called a Chakatacla at 14,500 ft. It is imperative that the plot of land has not been touched for 7 years prior. When the crop is ready for harvest, it is hand- harvested (no tractors or machinery used) and finally goes through a low heat gelatinization which takes place naturally due to the harsh cold nights and extreme sun during the day. Water is the final ingredient in the gelatinization process, which gets rid of unnecessary starch. The benefits of real maca will never be present in "maca" of lower elevations that goes through a high heat pasteurization process in order to meet growing demand.
Chacon Maca: Magical bridge between generations
Sol Raiz is the bridge between the Maca of the Chinchay and the world today. Sol Raiz works with the last suppliers of Chacon Maca from Peru to offer you the ceremonial grade maca prized by generations.
Nutrients found in Chacon Maca and the 4 alkaloids
Chacon Maca presents a vast list of nutrients such as 27 minerals, folic acid, vitamin B12, vitamin A, carbohydrates, fatty acids and "Macainas" or 4 alkaloids. These 4 alkaloids stimulate the endocrine system, acting mainly on the blood system and on the reproductive system.
All these nutrients make maca stand out as a natural food, completely unique in the world, highly nutritional, and scientifically proven by Dr. Gloria Chacon. They prompt and assist the development of new life: from formation of the egg or zygote in the pregnant mother, during the development of the fetus in the womb, and during lactation. It also helps the mother overcome post-partum challenges: like loss of libido and loosing hairline.
Chacon Maca also has organic antioxidant nutrients that will act as biocatalysts against premature aging of cells, helps fight diseases like anemia due to malnutrition and lack of appetite, pernicious anemia, and prevents and helps with osteoporosis. It is effective in irregular menstruation, climacteric and early menopause and vaginal dryness, eliminating hot flashes, depression and increases energy levels and regulates gonadotropic hormones. The glucosinolates present are considered anticancer substances and are found in high concentration in Chacon Maca.