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What are the characteristics of Maca?

Maca has been known for 4000 years in the Andes and is used in particular by Peruvians as a food and medicinal plant. Its tubers are eaten cooked in cookies, drinks or cakes. In ancient times, it was taken as a tonic or as a tonic before fighting. At the time of the conquest of the Andean regions, weakened Spanish horses were given maca to make them more tonic.

It is known to be an aphrodisiac in men and women. It is recommended in infertility, to regulate female hormones and in cases of anemia.

Maca was successful in Spain in the 17th century, then its use faded before rebounding in Europe and North America for a few years.

Latin name :

  • Lepidium peruvianum L.

Botanical family :

  • Brassicaceae (Cruciferae)

Producing organ :

  • Roots (tubers resembling large white radishes)

Main components of the plant :

  • Amino acids, sugars, proteins, lipids, essential fatty acids, uridine, malic acid
  • Polysaccharides composed of rhamnose, arabinose, glucose, galactose
  • Alkaloids ( macaridin) = 1,2-dihydro-N-hydroxypyridine), (1R, 3S) -1-methyltetrahydro-β-carboline-3-carboxylic acid, lepidilin A, lepidiline B, lepidin
  • Alkamides: macamides (N-benzyl-5-oxo-6E, 8E-octadecadienamide, N-benzylhexadecanamide)
  • Glucosinolates: glucotropaeoline, m-methoxyglucotropaeoline
  • Steroids similar in structure to sex hormones
  • Macaene
  • Mag, Ca, P, Fe, Cu, Zn

The plant is not included in the list of medicinal plants of the French Pharmacopoeia, but it is authorized as an ingredient in food supplements subject to the absence of alkaloids; it is a food plant in South America.

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