•American grown seeds
Also known as Peruvian Ginseng or Pepperweed, Lepidium Meyenii is an herb native to the high Andes of Peru and Bolivia. The leaves of this plant form rosettes atop a taproot that resembles a turnip albeit smaller reaching two to three inches in diameter. This species has been used for centuries dating back to Incan warriors who took the herb before battle. Also known as Maca, this highly nutritious plant is said to improve strength and endurance. It is also distributed around the world as an aphrodisiac. In addition to these benefits, maca is widely used as an edible in its native region for both humans and livestock.
Like turnips, the root is boiled and eaten. The root is also ground into flour, and the leaves are used raw like lettuce. Some people even ferment the plant to produce a weak type of beer. The roots have a very unusual flavor, something like a combination of radish and butterscotch.
Proponents claim that maca may benefit conditions such as erectile dysfunction, low libido, depression, hair loss, and hot flashes and other symptoms associated with menopause. As a cruciferous vegetable (like cabbage, broccoli, arugula, Brussels sprouts, and kale), maca contains glucosinolates, plant compounds that are being studied for their role in cancer prevention. In Peruvian folk medicine, maca is sometimes used to raise energy levels.
Keep seeds dry and cool. At 60F, maca seeds will retain germination above 80% for two years, falling to about 50% in years 3 and 4, and then dropping off fairly dramatically thereafter. Cooler storage conditions would probably extend life. Maca can be grown from seed unproblematically. The plant is considered to be extremely robust, because in nature it is exposed to the extreme climatic conditions of the Andes (temperature variations, strong winds and intense UV radiation). In the wild, it grows best when its seeds germinate before the rainy season. Maca seeds should be pressed about half a centimeter deep into the soil and watered immediately. After the sowing and during the entire growth phase the substrate should be kept cool and moist.
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