Gelatinized Black MACA Powder (Bulk) Organic + Freshly Made 10.25.14
FROM THE 2014 MACA HARVEST
Only $6.00 Shipping for up to 2kg!
Potent, digestible maca powder, made fresh. The gelatinized form best captures the fortifying, uplifting essence that defines maca. In being lightly cooked our gelatinized black maca is closest to traditional uses to enhance stamina, libido, and well-being. It is easily digestible and the form most acceptable to all people. Exactly what does "gelatinized" mean? (click for information)
We buy directly from the Peruvian farmers who grow, harvest and process it to order for us every few weeks. This is fresh-made maca.
Certified: ORGANIC & VEGAN.
Black maca is more sought after than common yellow maca. Maca roots grow naturally in a spectrum of colors. Most of the cultivated maca crop is yellow/cream in color. Maca is mainly grown as a regional food and culinary flour that is popular in Peru. We have had the pleasure of sampling each color prepared in various ways, and we find black root maca to be the most potent variety. We selected this type because it has the best combination of flavor, and therapeutic effect. (**Note: Although the fresh root is black in color, the processed gelatinized product is cream/tan colored - only slightly darker than yellow maca. The main difference is in the effects.)
Each batch of our maca is made fresh to order from the dry roots of the most recent harvest season. It is then shipped to us direct from the growers in Peru. We provide market-fresh maca by dealing in small batches.
Prices on fresh maca have changed. During 2014 a major instability occurred and several maca suppliers bought stockpiles. The cost of genuine Peruvian maca is now 4x what it used to be. Most companies are now selling from stockpiles of older roots. We only deal in fresh maca, and have had to adopt a "market price" approach based on what we paid with the most recent import.
We operate on customer referrals - so, if you like our maca, please let other people know!
Maca's Botanical Heritage
Our philosophy is that traditionally maca is a food, not an herb to be put in capsule. We feel that many widely available capsule supplements are inappropriate considering maca's traditional use as a cooked starch root crop. Similarly, we do not sell raw maca flour as a supplement, either. Raw maca flour (harina de maca) is an inexpensive Peruvian cooking flour, it is not a designer supplement. Maca is a fiber-rich vegetable being nearly 25% fibers (oligosaccahrides, cellulose) by weight. Maca is always cooked in Peru because of these fibers, and because it contains goitrogens (glucosinolates), which can cause stomach cramps, indigestion, and potential thyroid / hormonal issues. The goitrogens also have some anti-nutritive effects. All of this is neutralized by cooking and for this reason in Peru maca has always been cooked. To reap the full benefits of maca it should be part of the diet and it should be cooked. Gelatinized maca does this beautifully, rendering a slightly concentrated easily digestible supplement best suited for incorporation into the diet in therapeutically significant amounts. We find that good maca is an experience. We hope you will agree.
We have had much success determining which common flavors mix best with maca. Our preferred method is into milk or fruit shakes, but there are many ways to incorporate Maca into the diet.
Our gelatinized maca has a rich, lightly sweet, nutty flavor that blends very well into coffee, mocha, chocolate, with honey and vanilla, papaya, banana mango, coconut, most berries, and other fruits. It goes very well with pumpkin, squash and their complimentary spices- cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg. Mixed into chai teas, maca can be delicious! It blends with nut flavors- almonds, walnuts, brazil nuts, etc. We have even used in pancakes, cookies, and breads. In Peru, they use maca in various sorts of ways. They even distill liquor from it! All traditionally prepared maca is cooked in some way.
Maca's Primary Benefits
Energy / Fatigue: Generates core energy in the body and mind; not an external stimulant like caffeine. Maca is invigorating and uplifting through a powerful and distinct nutritional profile.
Menopause: This is a prominent use, gaining recognition worldwide, although this effect is not well studied and is largely anecdotal. For many people it seems to be rather effective. It is believed that maca nourishes the endocrine system, balancing the manufacture of hormones naturally in the body. It does not appear to act upon hormones directly. This concentrated gelatinized form is considered stronger than Black Cohosh, Chaste Berry, and Wild Yam for hormonal regulation purposes.
Libido: Maca is marketed under this banner more often than not, as for many people it can be a powerful restorer / enhancer of libido. It is one of the few supplements that seems to be equally effective in both men and women for this purpose. This gelatinized form contains higher concentrations of the libido-enhancing compounds often touted by manufacturers.
Impotence / Infertility: Maca treats impotence and infertility in both men and women. Maca is well known in Peru for it's ability to ensure fertility in animals at high altitudes. It is prescribed for the same reason in humans, as it increases virility, oxygen transport.
ADD / Stress: Through the concentrated power of it's nutrition, Maca can help to enhance concentration and decrease stress, being a powerful tool in addressing attention issues. The owner of Skyfield Tropical has used it primarily for this purpose for many years, and recommends it often to others with similar issues.
Malnutrition: Maca is remarkably nutritious, having a profile of highly bio-available nutrients akin to a good multi-vitamin. Our gelatinized maca, is nearly 100% digestible, and is quickly assimilated. When dissolved into liquids, some of its active nutrients enter the bloodstream within 20 minutes of ingestion. An independent analysis of maca's extensive nutrient composition: Nutrient Composition of Raw Maca
Thyroid: Only gelatinized / cooked maca is being used to treat thyroid problems. Maca is also good source of iodine, which can assist in hypothyroidism. Raw maca cannot be used for this purpose, as it contains goitrogens which must be deactivated by cooking. Maca is a cruciferous (mustard family) vegetable, like broccoli or turnips which are well known for thyroid-interfering compounds (glucosinolates and isothiocyanates). See: Maca and the Thyroid
Gelatinization: What is it Exactly?
"Starch gelatinization" is a simple process that involves heating starches in the presence of water, with the aim of gelatinizing the starches. For information on exactly what gelatinization is, it is best to refer to food science / educational resources which describe it:
Some companies claim that gelatinization concentrates their product by 4:1 or 6:1, and we have been receiving questions about it regularly. This claim is not correct. Gelatinization changes only the starch molecule organization, as is the purpose, and name of the process. It is not a fiber or starch removal process, nor is it an extraction process. Please query the term "starch gelatinization" for further information on the process itself.
Gelatinization specifically for maca flour involves gentle heat (160F) combined with water, which opens up the starch molecules, softens cellulose and disperses many of the soluble fibers. In addition to making the maca's alkaloids more bioavailable, it also deactivates myrosinase enzyme, making it so the glucosinolates in maca are not metabolized. Gelatinized maca is the type used in most of the clinically significant studies, and is certainly the best choice for those wishing to gain the most therapeutic benefit.
We focused on gelatinized maca for reasons we feel are very important not just for the health of people, but also for the public's impression of maca. In our research we find that maca is always cooked by its native growers. Most people outside of Peru use raw maca ingredients. This basic preparation is typically not incorporated into products marketed under claims of "traditional use." Many of these maca flour products are proclaimed "raw," "most natural form," "complete with enzymes," to entice health-related thinking and draw the approval of the growing raw food crowd. In having conversed with growers and ethnobotanists who study maca, we know that despite being safe and non-toxic, raw maca can be difficult to digest and/or metabolize for many people. This is likely why the root is traditionally cooked in some way, as there is often a practical reason for a traditional treatment of a food or herb. Having tried dozens of raw maca powders with the gelatinized, we find the most pleasant, efficacious products are without exception the gelatinized forms of maca, and more generally, cooked maca. It should be noted that there is a rising number of adverse reactions to raw maca powder being reported (many likely to goitrogens, but also some digestive complaints from the insoluble fibers). While we are most certainly an advocate of macrobiotic and raw food lifestyles, we ultimately feel that raw maca is not well suited for human consumption.
If you have not had a positive past experience with other maca, we fully encourage you to try our product!
If you have any questions or concerns about our maca, please contact us.
Maca Botanical Trivia!
- The genus "Lepidium" contains many edible species. Lepidium sativum, or Garden Cress is grown commercially in Europe for it's peppery leaves. The genus Lepidium is more distantly related to Water Cress which is also a member of the same botanical family Brassicaceae. Lepidium virginicum, or Pepperweed, is another common weed species in the Northern Hemisphere, which grows in poor dry soils. Pepperweed has a spicy hot root which can be used like horseradish. Though within the same family, the genus Lepidium is not that closely related to common cruciferous vegetables - it occurs along an entirely different lineage within the family.
- Maca's leafy parts are aromatic especially when crushed, this smell considered unpleasant by some. This same property is also common to it's close cousin Pepperweed (Lepidium virginicum). This odor is caused by the presence of glucosinolates, one of a few thyroid-inhibiting compounds found concentrated in the raw tissues of most Lepidium species, and in the mustard family generally. These compounds serve as the plant's natural insect defense, and as an anti-microbial. These leafy tops are also edible, bitter, and spicy - qualities of odor/flavor which come from the chemical family of glucosinolates. These are deactivated by cooking any member of the botanical family (Brassicaceae).
- The genus' name (from Greek), 'Lepidium' means "scales" due to the fact that the seed pods of these species are rounded and flat resembling scales. "Lepid" means 'scales' or 'blade' in Greek, with the Latin suffix "+ium."
- Maca does not easily form it's fleshy root (hypocotdyl) unless grown above 5000 feet above sea level which provides the extreme environment for which the plant stores carbohydrates to survive. The elevation at which the crop is grown changes the phenotype (expression of genes). Grown in the home garden, maca will sprout and form a small plant, but the root will not swell without considerable effort to replicate high-altitude conditions.
- Maca is the only human-cultivated crop that produces substantial biomass in the Andean region's high elevation, and in ancient times that made it a very valuable food source and trading commodity. There are a few breeds of potato which will grow a these altitudes. Inter-planting maca with potato benefits both crops mutually.
- Maca has been bred primarily as a food source, a starchy root crop, it's therapeutic benefits largely being an incidental property. The most primitive cultivated forms have been dated back to 1600 BC.
- The heritage of human selection in maca is represented by about a dozen variations in terms of color, size, shape, and flavor. There are several major ecotypes or "phenotypes," distinguished by the color of their root the most common being yellow, purple, yellow/red, black, and red. The handful of other variants do not occur frequently or consistently enough in the fields for separation and use in exclusive production. The large, sweet "yellow" colored roots are the most widely occurring, accounting for the majority of the commercial crop. Black maca is among the rarer forms and accounts for only about 1% of the harvested crop.
- The yellow color of common maca is caused by a class of carotenoid pigments known as anthoxanthins. These pigments range from white to yellow, and are the same pigments that give cauliflower it's color. They are also responsible for the white and yellow colors in many types of flowers. Black maca gets it's pigments from related carotenoids known as anthocyanins, which are also responsible for colors of red, purple, blue and black.
- The dozen or so maca ecotypes are identical phytochemically and genetically, showing no significant differences aside from pigmentation. The distinctions in what constitute a "phenotype" of maca is arbitrary and based on appearance. Preferences of one color over another is a subjective affair, as there appear to be slight differences in strength and effects when roots are sorted sorted by appearance.
- All farmers of maca grow the entire array of colors, no farm cultivates one type exclusively. Maca seeds are sewn in the fields September through November and allowed to grow. When the foliage begins to yellow, a sign of the root beginning to mature, sheep are brought in to eat the foliage, which hastens the maturity of the root. The roots are harvested 8-10 months after sowing.
***It is not the intention of the Skyfield Tropical to advise on health care. Please see a medical professional about any health or diet concerns you have. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. The information on this web site is educational in nature, and is not intended to prevent, diagnose, treat, or cure any disease.
Picturesque, plump and perfect maca roots - maca is typically not this pretty.