Maca: Nature’s Viagra + Rich and Warming Chicken Soup with Maca


Katia Humala-Tasso Récolte de Maca à Belen (station expérimentale de la Faculté d'Agronomie de l'Université San Andrés de La Paz)près d'Achacachi (Bolivie)- 3 juin 2000. Photo: Pierre-Olivier Combelles.

Katia Humala-Tasso Récolte de Maca à Belen (station expérimentale de la Faculté d’Agronomie de l’Université San Andrés de La Paz)près d’Achacachi (Bolivie)- 3 juin 2000. Photo: Pierre-Olivier Combelles.

Maca, a cruciferous root vegetable native to the high regions of the Andes
mountains has been used for centuries by the Incas and indigenous people of Peru to boost energy, balance hormones, and promote fertility. However, within the last two years maca has become increasingly popular in the States for its ability to increase libido and over all well-being.
Incan warriors reportedly consumed maca before going into battle for its fortifying properties. Some also say that after battle they were prohibited from eating it to protect conquered women from their heightened libidos. Maca’s supposed aphrodisiac properties has been associated with escalating reproductive hormone levels, increasing paracrine and endocrine agent functions, and improving quality of sperm. The jury is still out on whether these benefits of maca are fact or fiction, but none of these benefits have proven true in recent and/or small scientific studies.
My personal experience with maca is that it supplies energy, stamina, and a sense of well-being. “To have a healthy sex drive” says Dr. Meryl Rosofsky of New York University and the Institute of Culinary Education, “you need good mood, and relative freedom from stress, distractions, and preoccupations bodily and mentally.” Maca, an adaptogen possessing the ability to balance, strengthen, and support any area of the body under compromise due to stress,  allows people to relax and enjoy intimacy; therefore, we can conclude that this root’s greatest aphrodisiac property is that it helps combat tension and facilitate a good mood.
“The dose of maca that has been shown in placebo-controlled clinical trial to boost libido generally ranges from 250-2000 mg/day” informs Rosofsky. Two thousand mg/day was the amount consumed by male cyclist in a British study that surveyed eight bicycle racers regarding their sexual desire, and then timed them on a 40 km course. The racers where then given a higher dose of a  placebo or of maca daily. After two weeks, the racers rode the course again and completed another sexual desire survey. Compared with the placebo group, the racers taking the powder clocked faster times and reported greater libido.
Maca tastes delicious when added to a mole sauce, in chocolate shakes, nut milk shakes, and sprinkled on top of coffee with cream.This month’s aphrodisiac inspired recipe consists of a warming, nourishing soup that is good for reviving energy during cold winter months.
Rich and Warming Chicken Soup
  • 2 tablespoons of canola oil (or any monounsaturated oil)
  • 1-cup yellow onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup carrots, chopped
  • 1/2 cup celery, chopped
  • 1/2 cup red pepper, chopped
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. coco powder
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. maca
  • 1 tsp. oregano
  • 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp. tomato paste
  • 16-oz of chicken breast, cooked and shredded
  • 4 cups veal or beef stock
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly cracked black pepper
  • walnut oil to drizzle on top
  • minced fresh cilantro to drizzle on top
Place a large pot over medium heat, add the oil and let it heat for thirty seconds. Once the oil has thinned out and can cover the bottom of the entire pot add the onion, carrots, celery, and red pepper. Sauté the vegetables until the onions become translucent (usually about 4-5 minutes).
Stir the cinnamon, coco powder, cumin, maca, oregano, cayenne pepper, and tomato paste into the vegetables for thirty seconds.
Add the stock, bay leaf, chicken,  salt and pepper. Bring the soup to a boil then reduce thes heat to a simmer. Let the concoction simmer for no less then thirty minutes.
Serve in bowls with drizzles of walnut oil and minced fresh cilantro.
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