Maca, Lepidium meyenii, is an annual plant which produces a radish-like root. The root of maca is typically dried and stored, and will easily keep for seven years. The plant is cultivated in the Junin plateau of Peru's Central Highlands, and was highly revered by the Inca.
During the height of the Incan empire, legend has it that Incan warriors would consume maca before entering into battle. This would make them fiercely strong. But after conquering a city the Incan soldiers were prohibited from using maca, to protect the conquered women from their powerful sexual impulses. Thus as far back as 500 years ago, maca's reputation for enhancing strength, libido and fertility was already well established in Peru.
Today, maca's popularity is very much on the increase, as people discover that the plant really does boost libido, sexual function and overall energy. Acreage in Peru dedicated to Maca cultivation is increasing every year to meet demand, and a number of scientists have turned their attention to the properties of the root. In Peru, maca is used by men and by women who want to put more fire into their sex lives. And in the U.S., Europe and Japan, dietary supplements containing maca are gaining ardent devotees.