Maca is a biennial or perennial plant that is native to the very high parts of the Andes Mountains, at altitudes from eight thousand to almost fifteen thousand feet, in an inhospitable region of intense sunlight, violent winds and below-freezing temperatures.
Maca Root is a low-growing, mat-like stem system that produces inconspicuous, scalloped leaves and off-white flowers. Despite the poor, rocky soil and extreme temperatures, the large, radish-like root vegetable has managed to flourish over the centuries. The root is usually off-white to yellow in color (although purple and black exist), and the smaller, less fibrous type is preferred and common in Peruvian markets as a highly nutritious vegetable. It is also highly valued in herbal medicine.
The species, L. meyenii, was first described by Gerhard Walpers in 1843, and it has been suggested by botanists that the cultivated species of today may be a newer species found in Peru, L. peruvianum, (both are used interchangeably).
Some of the constituents in Maca Root include alkaloids, whole fiber, lipids, twenty amino acids (including arginine, serine, clycine, valine, histidine, aspartic acid and glutamic acid, etc.), proteins, beta-ecdysone, beta-sitosterol, hydrolyzable carbohydrates, fatty acids (including linolenic, palmitic and oleic acids), glucosinolates, isothiocyanates, iodine, phosphorus, potassium, iron, magnesium, zinc, calcium, protein, steroid glycosides, saponins, sitosterols, stigmasterol, tannins, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B12 and vitamins C and E.
*Cal Prop 65 is California'ss Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986. Companies are required to place a warning label on any product they sell within California if it exceeds the level that the State has established as risk free for a list of over eight hundred chemicals. These standards are specific to the state of California. The lead standard in California is more stringent than what is required at the U.S. federal level, and by other governments including Canada and the European Union. Under Cal Prop 65, the State of California has determined that the safe harbor level for lead to avoid the risk of reproductive toxicity is no more than 0.5 mcg/day. This was calculated by identifying the level of exposure that has been shown to have no observable effect and then dividing that level by 1,000, to provide a very large margin of safety. California's 0.5 mcg/day threshold for lead is 150 times less than the 75 mcg/day limit that the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has indicated as safe for consumption by pregnant or lactating women. California is the only state that requires warning labels at this low of a level. CA law states this warning must be included on the label of any product that may have the possibility of containing lead.
Lead is a naturally occurring element that can be frequently found in soil and water and then transferred into plants, even when the herbs are grown organically.
As a comparison, a cup of organic carrots may contain up to 12 mcg of naturally occurring lead. All of our products are independently tested by 3rd party facilities to ensure we maintain the highest quality products. The lead testing on our Maca is well under California'ss 0.5 mcg/day.