Maca has a vast and historic reputation as a medicinal plant whith many benefits. Cultures around the world have made use of it in many ways over the centuries. Modern science even has an interest in Maca root. They have discovered and researched many phytochemicals of a pharmacological nature which tends to concentrate in the root. You'll discover with further research, that the historic applications of these medicinal herbs are endless. So too is the pharmacological value of them.
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First of all, ethnobotany is the study of the various cultural uses of plants. Having said that, Maca root, and the plant in general, is of great interest to ethnobotanist. Its history of use even dates back to the pre-Incan Andean tribes as a way to energize during combat. They believed that the root gave them courage and vitality. There is so much information on the history of Maca and other ethnobotanicals, that you could spend your entire life learning new things without knowing it all.
( Science )
Ok everyone, let's clear some smoke here. Too many people believe that there is "no science" behind herbal medicine. The truth is quite the opposite. Chemistry is science. Phytochemistry, to be more specific, is a branch of chemistry that seeks to discover and research medicinal and psychoactive pharmacological phytochemicals made by plants. Many prescription drugs are based off of these natural phenomina. I wouldn't be suprised if Maca root was the origin of a man made synthetic pharmaceutical. I believe that NATURAL chemicals should be listed on food and herb labels. They should be viewed as important and vital as vitamins and minerals. I guess the FDA doesn't want people to know about them.
So what's really happening when it comes to using herbs such as Maca as a medicine? When plants harness the suns energy during the process of phytosynthesis it fuels biological processes from within. All of the plants chemical constituent parts are constructed using organic resources made available by their environment. Molecules of water and air are literally transformed into organic compounds. These chemicals are literally collaborations of atoms. They are created in accordance to the genetic program which exist innately in the plants DNA ( Deoxyribonucleic-acid ) So the natural processes which evolve life, have evolved clever ways of protecting living organisms such as ourselves and plants from illness and deficiency. That's how they work.
Maca contains the following:
Benzylated derivative of 1,2-dihydro-N-hydroxypyridine, named macaridine, together with the benzylated alkamides (macamides), N-benzyl-5-oxo-6E,8E-octadecadienamide and N-benzylhexadecanamide, as well as the acyclic keto acid, 5-oxo-6E,8E-octadecadienoic acid, macaridine and N-benzylhexadecanamide. 1,2-dihydro-N-hydroxypyridine derivative, macaridine, and the macamides, N-benzyl-5-oxo-6E,8E-octadecadienamide and N-benzylhexadecanamide, as well as 5-oxo-6E,8E-octadecadienoic acid.
It also contains uridine, malic acid, glucosinolates, glucotropaeolin, and m-methoxyglucotropaeolin. The specific molecule (1R,3S)-1-methyltetrahydro-carboline-3-carboxylic acid has been shown to effect the central nervous system. Nutrition wise it's 60-75% carbohydrates, 10-14% protein, 8.5% dietary fiber, and 2.2% fats. Maca is rich in minerals such as calcium, potassium, iron, iodine, copper, manganese, and zinc. The root contains fatty acids, and the other following acids: linolenic, palmitic, oleic, and 19 amino acids. So you can see that it is in fact a scientifically researched plant. All of these compounds have have their own benefits, and each one has multiple benefits. You could spend all day researching any one of them.
Preparations and Dosages
Dosages of Maca root are often subjective but not always. They vary from book to book, resource to resource, and can even be effected by the severity of the condition being treated. The most common way to prepare root based medicine is to make a decoction, or a tincture. Decoctions are the quickest way to prepare a medicine. You simply boil the root material for an extended period of time. I suggest adding a drop of oil to the water so it doesn't boil over, and leaving it covered so nothing evaporates, thus adding to the medicines benefits.
Tinctures extract both polar and non-polar constituents from plant matter. This is a step up from water because you are obtaining a wider range of medicinal and psychoactive alkaloids. They are made by soaking the root in high proof alcohol such as everclear ( at least 75% alcohol ). The mixture should soak for a minimum of one month. Shaking it up from time to time helps. From here, it can be stored in glass tincture bottles with droppers for use. Make sure you label it "Lepidium meyenii" or something of the like so you don't have to guess later. You wouldn't want to have something like Bella Donna lying around and mistake it for something else.
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INFORMATION PROVIDED ON OUR WEBSITE IS FOR BOTANICAL/CULTURAL RESEARCH PURPOSES ONLY! ANY REFERENCES ABOUT THE BENEFITS, USE, OR EFFECTS OF THESE NATURAL HEALING HERBS IS BASED ON TRADITIONAL USE OR SHAMANIC PRACTICES. ALL PRODUCTS ARE SOLD FOR ETHNOBOTANICAL RESEARCH (CONSULT YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER)! STATEMENTS AND ITEMS ARE NOT EVALUATED OR APPROVED BY THE FDA. NOT INTENDED TO DIAGNOSE, TREAT, PREVENT, OR CURE, ANY AILMENTS, CONDITIONS, DISEASES, ETC.
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