Maca was originally grown in the high valleys of the Andes in Peru, but now because of its growing popularity as a herbal supplement for erectile dysfunction cultivation has spread into Bolivia and the whole Andes bio-region.
In pre-Inca times numerous indigenous mountain tribes grew huge fields of maca for its fertility enhancing qualities and as an aphrodisiac.
Once the Inca invaded they were quick adopt maca as a tonic to increase troop vitality and maca became integrated into Inca culture.
Spanish Adopt Maca
When the Spanish conquistadores arrived, the Incas used maca root as a form of payment, and according to the Medicinal Herb Plants website, records from the 1500’s show the Spaniards, had were using maca as an aid to fertility problems in their herds of domesticated livestock.
Eventually the use and cultivation of maca fell out of favor and the plant became quite rare. By the late 1970’s maca was close to extinction, with the Peruvian government reporting less than 80 acres in cultivation in the entire country, most of which was local consumption.
In the decade from the mid 1980’s through the 1990’s maca was “re-discovered by the bio-medical community as Peruvian research showed its health benefits paving the way for a huge surge in popularity worldwide.
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