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Herbalgram: Peruvian Maca Smuggling

Updated: Aug 8, 2023

Peruvian Maca Smuggling... It's been interesting and at times, dangerous.

Do you want to know what is happening behind the scenes? Maca Madness! The Journal of the American Botanical Council explains how Chinese Herb Smugglers have created chaos in the Peruvian andes by unlawfully smuggling maca root seeds out of the country of Peru in order to grow low quality "maca" (equivalent to Lepidium Meyenii Walpers) in China.

This problem began about 20 years ago and brought lasting consequences to the market, consumers around the world and local farming communities in Peru that rely on an annual yield.

Sol Raiz Organics entered the U.S market warning consumers and retailers about this exact problem which has tainted the integrity of Real Maca and affected the lives of traditional maca farmers who work to ensure quality assurance and are dedicated to the future of Chacon Maca.

It is eye opening to witness how some Health Food Store Manager/Buyers, who are pillars of the community, have ignored this information and have chosen to keep the lower quality maca on their shelves without giving their customers the opportunity to experience the benefits of Real Maca. Our loyal retail partners are greatly appreciated and we urge you to support your local Health Food Store that supports heirloom seeds.

Find Sol Raiz Organics featured in page 52 with our partners, the last purveyors of heirloom Chacon Maca, in Junin, Peru.

Herbalgram magazine cover with a monarch butterfly on a purple flower

two hands holding dried maca root with a bucket from harvest.

A map showing the country of Peru with the Junin region of the andes mountains highlighted in red.

cited studies of maca chart

Dried maca roots in ceramic clay pottery.

dried maca roots.

two fingers pinching small dried maca roots

Old maca farmer in purple jacket next to Sol Raiz Organics founder at the Chacon Maca harvest in Junin, Peru.
Above. Sol Raiz Organics founder, Ken Stittsworth, on a regular visit to the Sol Raiz Organics Estate in Junin, Peru during Chacon Maca harvest season.

A bunch of dried maca falling out of black circular bowl.

Text of references for Peruvian Maca smuggling article from Herbalgram.

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