Maca is an effective adaptogen and energy booster. It improves metabolic function and offers overall health benefits. It mainly grows in Peruvian highlands and is scientifically known as Lepidium meyenii Walp.
Maca crop generally takes 180 days to grow in the Peruvian highlands. While Peruvians use it as tea from fresh or dried roots, the majority of use worldwide is for dry Maca Powder.
There are four distinct varieties of Maca that are mainly cultivated or grow naturally in Peru. Yellow Maca is the most commonly grown Maca Root. Red Maca accounts for nearly 15 percent of total Maca production. Black Maca grows relatively less and this is the reason for its higher price in the international market. Purple Maca is another variety of Maca (it is sometimes even called Purple-Blue Maca).
Maca has been in use for centuries in South America. Maca started selling more in natural food stores in the United States in the late 90s. The demand for Maca started growing further in 2005-2010 and organic Maca was getting popular.
Many leading supplements (especially those for male and female fertility) contain Maca root. This offered more credibility to the Peruvian Ginseng.
These days, Maca is available in snacking products like energy bars, natural bars and even in chocolates. Otherwise, smoothie powders have Maca and Cocoa as commonly used ingredients. It is also available as supplements in the market from major brands.