Maca root has been cultivated for more than 2,000 years in the central Andes of Perú. There are great extensions, actually covered with ichu, that were intensively used in maca root cultivation. Traces of agricultural work can be found where no other plants can be cultivated, over 13,000 feet above sea level, in exceptional rough climate, low oxygen, warm at noon, very cold at night, sudden snowing and rains, low organic matter contents in a highly mineralized soil.
This root was used by Inca troops to increase their strength in battles. The empire of the Incas was the largest and powerful in America before spaniards arrived.
The Spaniards found this root so valuable since thanks to it, their horses recovered their strength and fertility, which was lost due to the high altitudes and extremely stressing environmental conditions of the Andes heights. The Spaniards considered the maca root so extraordinary food which gave the natives too much energy to fight, so decided to continuing its cultivation at the end of the XVIII century.
After such conditions, Maca root almost got extinguished, in 1980´s only 500 acres divided in small areas in Peru were being cultivated.
In 1979 the Ministry of Health made a study to determine the construction of an hospital in the zone where maca is cultivated. Study found that 80% of the tested people never had used the medical services available there, despite such hard living conditions. This percentage is a lot higher than the national average and, it revealed the good health of that population. Authorities attributed this condition to the consumption of maca root.
Every day many people in Peru and in other countries are increasingly consuming maca as a dietary supplement. Maca root may will be the most important natural health enhancer of this century.
The maca root – maca peruana history will continue to be written …