Maca Smuggling Problem in Peru Leads to Price Hike in Maca

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One of our popular superfood red maca powder has been out of stock for quite some time. The reason we have not brought them back in stock is because their prices (as well as cream maca powder) has soared many folds since last year.

Maca prices have gone up significantly (at least 4 and 5 times the prices before) for some time. This is due to unprecedented demand from Asian, in particular, Chinese buyers. It has been said that there were Chinese businessmen coming to Peru as tourists and offered maca farmers suitcases full of cash for their maca crop and at 4-8 times the market rate for their maca product. The maca farmers have been accepting such high price, even at the expense of breaking the contract of their long-time supporting Peruvian national producers. Maca is a product considered native to Peru and since 2003 a regulation bans maca to be exported as unprocessed raw form but now it has been smuggled in great volume out of the country. Fox news reported in August 2014 that “2,000 tons of this year’s 4,500-ton maca harvest” have been smuggled out of Peru.

It may be quite some time before we see maca prices normalising (if that’s ever possible). However, fret not. There are quite a few adaptogens like maca that works wonderfully just as well.

Nutritional Powerhouse – Pine Pollen (Cell Wall Broken)

First, there is the much cheaper nutritional powerhouse that is gaining recognition (thanks for Tim Ferriss’ introduction in hi book 4-Hour Chef), Pine pollen. This superfood can help combat all those phyto and xeno-estrogens that our environment is full of these days, from drinking water, pesticides, plastics and more.

Pine pollen is a complete protein source (about 30% protein) as it contains seven of the essential amino acids. It has over 200 bioactive vitamins, minerals, amino acids, antioxidants and other super nutrients in every single serving. It is a wild-harvested super food with no added chemicals or preservatives. Besides increasing libido, it is also anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory, supports hormonal support and strengthens the immune system. According to Chinese medicine, pine pollen enters through the five major meridians including the lungs, kidneys, spleen, heart and liver. The testosterone boosting qualities of Pine pollen works well for women as well. Women need testosterone too for good body function, just not as much as men. Pine pollen also has been used as beauty tonic for women for thousand of years.

#1 Rated Herb in Ayuvedic Medicine – Shilajit

Then there is powerful ayurveda herb Shilajit, which is still relatively lesser known in the West. It is a powerful adaptogen and Jing substance. Shilajit is a phytocomplex that contains over 85 minerals in their ionic form and triterpenes, selenium, phospholipids, humic acid and fulvic acid. These compounds have strong antioxidant properties (anti-aging), while the minerals help give Shilajit an energy-enhancing effect.

Fulvic acid is one of the main constituents of shilajit that has some amazing benefits.

  • Helps move minerals and other nutrients into the tissues that need them
  • Free radical scavenger
  • Supports the immune system
  • Most powerful natural electrolyte known, balancing our cells
  • Makes Minerals Bioavailable

Shilajit also contains humid acid that are known to give us:

  • Increased Energy
  • Decreased Appetite
  • Better Sleep
  • Less Pain
  • Stress Reduction

Shilajit works well with many other herbs and often improves their potency.

Natural Aromatase Inhibitor – Nettle Root

Increasing testosterone will be quite futile if aromatization happens. Aromatization is the conversion of testosterone into estrogen. This not only means you won’t get the benefits of the testosterone, but it can actually be turned into something that works against you.

Nettle root is a natural aromatase inhibitor which has the reported ability to bind with the protein SHBG or the sex hormone binding globulin, due to its beta-sitosterol content. This promotes the circulation of free testosterone in the body so it can be utilized as an androgenic molecule rather than as an estrogen.

More researched than any other effect is what nettle root can do for prostate health. Nettle root is very helpful for men with all sort of prostate problems not just BPH. Some studies have looked at its anti-prostate cancer effects.

Nettle root also has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It has also been shown to have some positive cardiovascular effects. Some people have even reported nettle root helping with baldness.

The Mushroom of Immortality – Reishi

Another antioxidant, anti-inflammatory that has the highest ratings among Chinese herbs is Reishi, also known as Ling Zhi and Ganoderma Lucidum. According to Chinese medicine, reishi is a premiere Qi and Shen Tonic Herb.

The reishi we sell  isn’t just one reishi, but includes four different varieties all mixed together in one blend:

  • Red Reishi
  • Purple Reishi
  • Black Reishi
  • White Reishi

Each of these mushrooms is likely to have slightly different benefits, thus giving you a broader range of effects.

Powerful Rejuvenator and Cleanser – Triphala

Triphala is one of the most often used herbal combos in ayurveda. Triphala means “three fruits” – Amalaki, Haritaki and Bhibitaki. Each one is great in its own right, but combined they become Triphala, one of the most important herbs in Ayurveda for balancing the five elements. It is a powerful rejuvenative to all constitutions, a rasayana suitable to all three doshas.

It is popular mainly for its colon cleansing actions. In Ayurveda, the colon is the seat of good health. Regular consumption of Triphala gently and slowly purifies the entire digestive system, rejuvenating down to the cellular level. This actual helps more food absorption to take place leading to healthy weight-loss (more energy from food means fewer calories to eat) and boosting one’s quality of life. Triphala is commonly mixed with Shilajit.

Indian Ginseng – Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha is one of the most powerful herbs in Ayurvedic healing and has been used since ancient times for a wide variety of conditions. It is most well-known for its restorative benefits. In Sanskrit, Ashwagandha means “the smell of a horse,” indicating that the herb imparts the vigor and strength of a stallion, and has traditionally been prescribed to help people strengthen their immune system after an illness.

Ashwagandha is frequently referred to as “Indian ginseng” because of its rejuvenating properties, even though botanically, ginseng and Ashwagandha are unrelated.

The Benefits of Ashwagandha

  • Used to Treat Auto-Immune Disorders
  • May Inhibit Tumor Growth
  • Has a Calming Effect and May Help Reduce the Effects of Too Much Stress
  • Anti-Inflammatory
  • Antioxidant
  • Works on the HPA Axis and Neuroendocrine System
  • Effective for Anxiety and Cloudy Thinking
  • Helps Lower Blood Pressure
  • Stabilizes Blood Sugar and Lowers Cholesterol
  • Immune System Support
  • Increases Production of Bone Marrow and Sperm
  • Diuretic
  • Increases Blood Cell Count and Hair Melanin
  • Increase Libido and Sexual Function

For people who suffer from insomnia and anxiety, having a cup of hot milk that contains a teaspoon of powdered Ashwagandha before bedtime is beneficial.

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What is the difference between the different coloured maca root powder?

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Maca (Lepidium meyeniiis a root vegetable grown high in the Peruvian Andes. It has been used as a food and medicine in South America for centuries. Well known for its ability to help enhance strength and endurance, it is said that the Incan warriors would consume maca before long journeys and even battles.

Cream maca – energy, vitality, fertility, balance of hormones

Cream coloured roots are the most widely grown and are favored in Peru for their enhanced sweetness and size.

Maca, whether the yellow/cream, red or black, can do all of the following:

  • Boost overall energy and vitality
  • Balance hormones for both men and women – this can support with menopause, acne, fertility, thyroid and other health problems related to the endocrine system.
  • Support a healhy libido and sex drive

Black maca – Sperm production, memory, concentration skills, increase bone density

Black maca is considered the strongest in energy and stamina-promoting properties, being both sweet and slightly bitter in taste. In a study from 2009 at the a Peruvian University, Black Maca was seen to be the best of all varieties for increasing sperm production motility and volume as well as for increasing libido. In 2011, 2 different studies, one from China and one from Peru found that Black Colored Maca helped laboratory mice improve their memory and concentration skills.

Red maca – reduction in prostate size, anti-tumoral, increase bone density

Red Maca (Lepidium meyenii or Lepidium peruvianum) is the rarest of all varieties of maca. It is sometimes called pink or purple maca, but is most generally referred to as “red maca.”  Red maca is becoming popular with many people. It has a milder taste than cream coloured maca and has been clinically shown to reduce prostate size in rats.

A study done on red maca was published in the Journal Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology 2005; 3:5. In it 8 medical researchers report that over the course of 42 days: “Red Maca but neither Yellow/Cream nor Black Maca reduced significantly ventral prostate size in rats.“ The study also goes on to report that in under pyhtochemical analysis for 7 functional nutrient groups, “Highest peak values were observed for Red Maca, intermediate values for Yellow/Cream Maca and low values for Black Maca.”

Red maca has been shown, under phytonutrient analysis, to be higher in certain compounds that support the body in antioxidant and anti-tumoral activity. It has also been shown among all macas to contain somewhat higher levels of other pythonutrients including alkaloids, tannins, saponis and steroids.

In 2010 researchers from the Universidad Peruana, Lima published a study on the effects of maca on bone structure in rats that had had their ovaries removed. The conclusion was that both “Red and black maca have protective effects on bone architecture in OVX rats without showing estrogenic effects on uterine weight.”

How to take maca root power properly

Maca is an adaptogenic. An adaptogenic substance is one that demonstrates a nonspecific enhancement of the body’s ability to resist a stressor. Many herbs have exactly these properties.

It is not recommended that you take two or more adaptogenic herbs together. Only take one adaptogenic herb at a time. Also avoid taking dong quai, black cohosh, licorice root and fertility drugs with maca.

If you are taking any drugs, make sure you consult a health professional before taking maca.

Start with a small amount, 1/4 tsp. in the morning. You can repeat the same at night, always taken with meals or just before eating.

Do so for a week or two to notice any changes. Increase the dosage by another 1/4 tsp. if no changes have been noticed.

Maca has an effect on the endocrine system which balances hormone. Some people will notice a difference quicker, while others may take slightly longer.

You should not exceed three teaspoons a day and don’t take it all at once. The latest it should be taken is just before dinner, as it can affect sleep.

Most importantly, give your body a maca break once a month. If you have been on maca for a month, take a weekend off. If you have been taking it for 3 months or longer, take a full week off. This is to keep your body responsive to the phytonutrients.

The Vitality Superfood – Raw Organic Maca Root Powder

Ingredients: 100% Organic Raw Maca Root Powder

Feeling fatigue and stressed? Is mental and physical exhaustion draining your energy level? Then Maca Root Powder could be your answer.

Maca is a radish-like tuberous root cultivated and grown in the Andean Mountains of Peru for thousands of years. Maca is well-known for its numerous health benefits and was part of the diet of the ancient Incas of South America years ago.

Today, maca is growing in popularity in countries like Japan, Europe and the United States due to its reputed energizing effects, fertility/libido enhancement and aphrodisiac qualities.

Other traditional uses  include increasing stamina and endurance in athletes, promoting mental clarity, helping with menstrual irregularities and with female hormonal imbalances, including menopause and chronic fatigue syndrome.

Health Benefits of raw Maca Root powder:

√  Raises energy levels, combats mental and physical fatigue & stress

√  Highly nutritious – a wholesome dietary supplement (one glass of tea containing half to 1 tsp of raw maca root has more nutrients than 1 serving of most fruits & vegetables)

√  Stimulates the functioning of the endocrine system in both men and women (maca contains no hormones and is a safe & effective non-estrogenic herb that works to naturally balance your hormone levels)

√  Slows down the process of aging, enhances mental/brain functions

“What I see in maca is a means of normalizing our steroid hormones like testosterone, progesterone and estrogen. Therefore it has the facility to forestall the hormonal changes of aging.”

– Garry P. Gordon, MD, former president of the American College for Advancement in Medicine, now Founder and President of the International College of Advanced Longevity Medicine (Illinois, Chicago).

√  Alleviates the symptoms of menopause by stimulating balanced hormone production

“Whenever possible, I prefer to use maca therapy rather than hormone replacement therapy, because HRT actually ages the body, diminishing the hormone producing capability of the glands. Maca has proven to be very effective with menopausal patients in eliminating hot flashes and depression and in increasing energy levels.”

– Gabriel Cousens, MD, practising internal medicine in Patagonia, Arizona.

√  Increases libido/fertilty and sexual activity

Maca root powder has a distince, nutty, almost butterscotch taste. here are some bevergaes/smoothies which will compliment the taste of maca root:

Add only 1/4 or 1/2 tsp if you wish for the maca flavour to be very mild. Experiment it for yourself.

Add to:

– sweet Iced Tea

– Iced Cappuccino

– Espresso (use 1/4 tsp per cup)

– Any fruit-based smoothies with raw honey or Nature’s Superfoods’ Coconut Palm Sugar

Recommended daily serving: 1/2 to 1 teaspoons (4g)

Start with 1/2 teaspoon then work your way up gradually. Take 1 week off after every month of usage on order to keep the body responsive to its phytonutrients. Not recommended for children under the age of 3 and pregnant women.

Caution:

Do not combine the consumption of maca powder with anything hormone-related. This includes any phytoestrogens (Dong Quai, Soy Products, Black Cohosh, Coumestrol, Vitex/Chasteberry), progesterone creams and Evening Primrose Oil.

Nature’s Superfood’s Raw Organic Maca Powder is fair trade and certified organic. It is now available at BGO Ecoshop (www.bgoecoshop.com).