Maca also known as Peruvian Ginseng, Maka, Maca-maca, Maino, Ayak chichira, Ayuk Wilku
Maca is a hardy perennial plant cultivated high in the Andean Mountain at an altitude from 11,000-14,000 feet. It has a low-growing, mat-like stem system, with scalloped leaves that lie close to the ground and produces self-fertile small off-white flowers typical to the mustard family. The plant part used is the tuberous root which is pear shaped (like a turnip), up to 8 cm in diam. and off-white color. Maca is propagated by seed. Even though it is a perennial, it is grown as an annual, requiring 7-9 months from planting to harvest. Maca was domesticated about 2000 years ago by the Inca Indians and primitive cultivars of Maca have been found in archaeological sites dating back to 1600 BC.
Maca has been traditionally used by the Native Peruvians since before the time of the Incas for nutritional and medicinal purposes. It is an important staple in the diet of the people indigenous to the region due to its high nutritional value as a food crop. Rich in protein, sugars, starches, and essential minerals, especially iron and iodine. The tuber is consumed either dried or fresh.
Maca has been used medicinally for centuries to enhance fertility in animals and humans. The fertility enhancing proper