not all who wander are lost.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The Magic of Maca

I was turned on to Maca Root by pro-surfer and good friend Zach Keenan (from Encinitas). Since posting my smoothie recipe the other day, I have received several emails all asking, "What the hell is Maca??". Here I will break it down for you:


So, I'll begin my explanation with a definition (a term coined by a Russian scientist in the 1930's, who studied plant medicine):

ADAPTOGEN: a plant that promotes non-specific benefits to an organism while inducing NO negative side effects.

  • An adaptogen is a substance which raises the non-specific resistance in an organism.

  • Adaptogens enable the body to enhance its power of resistance and adapt to external conditions.

  • They work with the body's natural rhythms to help rebuild weak immune systems, re-mineralize poorly nourished bodies, and increase energy and endurance.

MACA is an ADAPTOGEN. says....

"Maca is a root from Peru; it's a tuber, like a potato. Maca is a nutritionally dense super-food that contains high amounts of minerals, vitamins, enzymes and all of the essential amino acids. Maca root is rich in B-vitamins, which are the energy vitamins, and maca is a vegetarian source of B-12. To boot, maca has high levels of bioavailable calcium and magnesium and is great for remineralization.

Instead of providing hormones to the body, maca works as an adaptogen which means that it responds to different bodies' needs individually. If you're producing too much of a particular hormone, maca will regulate the production downward. However, if you're producing too little, it'll regulate the production upward.

Hormones regulate many things including mood, growth, sexual development, and tissue function. Hormones also play a role in many diseases, like cancer and depression.


It's recommended to start with a 1/2 teaspoon a day, and work up to a teaspoon or two a day over the course of a few weeks. If you're taking it daily, it's best to take a day off each week.


Maca has a nice light, somewhat nutty flavor to it. Here are some recommendations from on ways to add Maca into your diet....

  • mix a teaspoon into soup before serving
  • add teaspoon to herbal tea
  • make popcorn, season with coconut oil, sea salt and maca powder
  • mix teaspoon of maca with honey and just eat the spoonful!
  • sprinkle onto bananas
  • add to smoothie or homemade juice

Maca can be consumed as a powder, or via a supplement.

Basically, I could go on and on and list more and more facts, but in summary - Maca is pretty much an all around epic supplement to be enjoyed for your overall well-being.

***Maca is a food staple in Peru and there are no known effects of toxicity. However, occasionally some people experience adverse effects when they start taking maca, and these symptoms may actually bedetoxification symptoms. This is because when a body more accustomed to consuming processed and cooked foods starts taking in such a nutritionally dense supplement, the body will absorb the superior nutrients it needs and "throw off" the old junk it doesn't need for elimination. If this happens, you might feel badly but it generally lasts just a few days. You may also want to consider doing colon and liver cleansing before or while taking maca to quickly remove some of the waste your body is trying to eliminate. Doing so will help with many adverse symptoms.

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