Although centuries old, maca comes from the brassica (mustard) family, similar to turnip, cabbage, and watercress. This root was first considered a superfood by the Incans who grew this hearty plant high in the Andes Mountains of Peru. They valued maca, which they commonly called Peruvian ginseng, for its incredible sources of vitamins, minerals, proteins, fiber, carbohydrates, tannins and amino acids, as well as a number of complex alkaloids and up to 20 essential fatty acids, along with numerous other phytochemicals.
The healing properties of maca were so powerful, in fact, that Incan imperial warriors regularly ate it prior to battle to help increase their “fighting spirit,” strength, stamina, and libido. Although relatively small, this vegetable was so potent that its use was restricted mainly to royalty and their court. Incans respected the value of this plant so much they even used it as a form of payment.