Why you shouldn’t eat raw maca

//Why you shouldn’t eat raw maca

Why you shouldn’t eat raw maca

For the people of Junin in Peru maca has been used as a medicinal remedy to prevent and treat health conditions for over 2000 years. Traditionally it is used for it’s ability to balance hormones, mental health, reduce stress and adrenal fatigue as well as promoting vitality, focus, concentration, fertility and sexual function. If you ask any of the Incan descendants how to prepare maca they all answer the same way “It must be cooked or boiled to extract the medicine”. So why in our western culture are we suddenly changing 2000 years of tradition and deciding to consume raw maca powder?

How is maca traditionally consumed in Junin, Peru?

Maca is a root vegetable that is 70% carbohydrate, with a high starch content (similar to a potato). As such, in Peru, it is traditionally cooked in ways similar to that of potatoes or starchy foods. The whole fresh bulb or dried bulb is either boiled in a soup or grated into fine pieces and boiled as a tea or porridge. Stories say that the Inca would boil and consume up to 200g of maca per day via these traditional methods, with the local people claiming that sites like Machu Picchu were built with the power of maca. In more recent times maca has been ground into powders (fresh and dried) to increase surface area and allow easier inclusion into various meals. The ground powder is a favourite additive to Inca Tea (boiled cinnamon, cloves, oats and maca in water), one of the most popular way to drink maca in Junin (view here). For those from the region who want to eat their maca straight in milk they use pre-baked or gelatinised maca powder.

Why it’s so important to cook maca or buy pre-cooked (gelatinised)

Raw maca is like a sponge for mold and the longer it sits in humid conditions the more mold it attracts. The problem with the type of mold that loves maca is that it produces highly toxic chemicals called aflatoxins. Aflatoxins are carcinogenic (cancer causing) and can have a serious long-term negative health effect on your body, even in tiny doses. The only way to kill this mold and remove the toxins is by cooking maca to sanitise it.

Aflatoxins in maca

Mold growing on dried maca produces cancer causing aflatoxins

But doesn’t cooking maca destroy the nutrients?

This is the most common mis-conception about maca and a lack of understanding of maca biochemistry and it’s medicinal mode of action. Almost all clinical studies demonstrating positive health effects of maca have been performed with maca prepared in it’s traditional manner (boiling or heating in water) or with gelatinized or extracted maca. From this it is evident that the active medicinal components are not denatured with heat and new studies suggest that the heating is actually necessary for production of the various health enhancing metabolites. Dr Gustavo F. Gonzales who heads the Department of Biological and Physiological Sciences and High Altitude Research at the Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia stated in his comprehensive biochemical review of maca:

“The process of preparation of maca is important to obtain adequate biological effects. Traditionally maca is boiled or extracted in alcohol before it is consumed. In experimental studies, aqueous extract of maca is only effective after boiling pulverized maca hypocotyls in water….The boiling process seems to increase active metabolites.”

Most people in our western culture will put raw maca powder in a raw smoothie or raw food

maca tea

In Junin, Peru maca has traditionally been cooked or consumed as a tea for medicinal benefits

How does cooking maca make it more bioactive?

To understand this you must understand the reason we consume maca. Maca is a medicine, it is a medicine for prevention of disease and for treatment to bring balance to our endocrine system. The main bioactives inside maca that give this physiological response are unique to this plant and are called macamides. There are 17 known macamides and each of them work directly with your endocannabinoid and endocrine system to produce positive health benefits for your body (Read more here).

The science has shown that the bioactive macamides in maca are heat activated molecules

Their biosynthesis occurs from breakdown of the heat sensitive glucosinolates (1) in the fresh maca bulb (Read more here). During initial drying of maca post-harvest there is hydrolytic processing of lipids and glucosinolates and a subsequent release of significant amounts of free unsaturated fatty acids (9, 10) and a key biochemical called benzylamine (7). Both of these compounds are precursors of, and whose accumulation correlates well with, the synthesis of bioactive macamides (11, 12, 13). What is now known is that the coupling of fatty acids with the benzylamine intermediate 7 (below), is a thermodynamic process (ie. it requires heat).

Scheme showing the breakdown of heat sensitive glucosinolates to the formation of bioactive macamides

So it seems the Inca were right and the evidence now suggests that heating maca makes it more potent and bioactive. It also demonstrates that when it comes to traditional medicines it pays to ask the people with 2000 years of experience how to prepare it.

What is wrong with eating raw maca?

  • As outlined raw maca accumulates mold that produces toxic aflatoxins. Aflatoxins are cancer causing molecules that can remain in the raw powder of maca unless it is cooked. Eating raw maca is risky and can cause serious harm to your health and upset your gut biome (Read about examples of this here or here). In essence it can do more harm than good.

  • Raw maca root contains high levels of starch (amylose and amylopectin). Starch can often be hard to digest if eaten raw and may give some people symptoms such as bloating, gas, distention and abdominal discomfort.

  • Maca has always been traditionally cooked or heated and studies show that the health benefits are not diminished by these processes, if anything they are enhanced. The active components responsible for most of the medicinal benefits of Maca (FAAH inhibitors, FFA’s and other metabolites) are heat activated. So if you are eating raw maca you may not be getting the health benefits you desire

  • Our own analysis demonstrated that a commercially available sample of raw maca in New Zealand had 2x higher bacterial concentrations and 8x higher mould concentrations compared to our gelatinised (pre-cooked) sample

  • The texture and flavour of gelatinised (pre-cooked) maca powder is more sweet, caramel and palatable. Raw maca has a more tart taste and often forms grainy starch sediments in solution when its not cooked, creating an unpleasant texture and flavour

So what is the solution?

The solution is to follow the tradition and the science and consume maca the way it should be consumed – cooked. So either buy and cook raw maca powder or buy pre-cooked powder (gelatinised or activated) that you can consume straight in raw foods or be cooked again. (NB. Gelatinised maca does not contain gelatin, gelatinising is the process of heating to remove starch – 100% vegan friendly)

Organic Maca and Chocolate Maca

We only sell gelatinised maca (pre-cooked) as it is higher in potency, easy on the stomach, ready to eat and more versatile. You can put it straight in a smoothie or cook it. (NB: this is 100% vegan friendly and does not contain gelatin).

Written by Dr Corin Storkey Founder and Director of Seleno Health. www.selenohealth.com

6 – How does maca work ?

March 29th, 2019|0 Comments

Maca (Lepidium meyenii) is a Peruvian root vegetable unique to the central Andean region of Junin that grows over 4000 m above sea level. For the indigenous people of the region maca [...]

By | 2019-03-29T21:21:45+00:00 January 5th, 2019|Maca|49 Comments

About the Author:

Seleno Health was established by Dr Corin Storkey, a researcher who specialises in stress disorders and chronic conditions. Having himself beaten chronic fatigue syndrome he now formulates natural medicines and health education to assist others with achieving their own health goals. With co-director Sally Huapaya they ethically source Peruvian maca direct from farm to table and run a social and volunteer program in Peru that protects and preserves the culture of their community.

49 Comments

  1. Bean January 12, 2018 at 9:54 am - Reply

    Unfortunately, cooking or heating isn’t a reliable way to destroy aflatoxin. Anyone interested in that fact can do a quick Google search to learn more. Does Selwno test your maca products for aflatoxin to ensure customers aren’t being exposed to this carcinogen?

    • SelenoHealth January 12, 2018 at 11:25 am - Reply

      Thanks for your comments. Yes cooking doesn’t always destroy aflatoxins, but it kills the mould that produces them. The issue is that with the increasing global demand for maca many farmers are not allowing their maca to fully dry at altitude, a process that takes up to 3 months. During this time the risk for developing mould is at its highest, if not properly dried the maca can easily begin to grow mould. The species of mould most common to maca is one that has a high risk for producing aflatoxins. If mould is present in the raw bulb before processing it can contaminate the raw powder and continue to grow after processing. The risk is that if someone buys this powder they may consume it raw and subject their body to the mould and the aflatoxins it produces. When you buy raw maca from a large superfood corporation you are in essence buying from a broker in Peru who’s job is to source affordable powder from farming regions and on-sell at a profit. So our question is do you trust a broker to ensure the quality of that powder, that it is properly dried and free of mould? Do they even know how that maca was farmed and dried? Do they test for mould levels? Our maca is sanitised by a gelatinisation process (Pressure cooking) to simulate traditional preparation and remove all possible mould, bacteria etc before bagging and shipping. We test mould and bacterial levels both before and after processing to ensure our maca is safe to consume straight. We also assist with harvest, seeding, planting and drying in Peru on the farm to ensure that our maca is completely dry before processing and free of mould. Our maca is farm to table, we do not have to rely on brokers or intermediates, we personally source it ourselves. We also have a research program with a university in New Zealand that analyses our maca for medicinal and quality purposes. Maca has never been consumed raw in Peru and the medicinal benefits are enhanced with cooking so we advise customers that the safest way to consume maca is in the gelatinsed or atomised forms for these very reasons. This is why we choose to only sell these forms of maca. Not all food is meant to be eaten raw and raw is not always best. We have met many customers that have become sick from eating raw maca in a smoothie and having tried our maca have had no problems since. We just want people to have a good experience with maca and understand the way it is traditionally prepared and consumed. I hope that answers you questions and concerns.

  2. Antonio March 13, 2018 at 1:03 am - Reply

    Thank you very much for your well explained article. Well… I didn’t know this and I was eating raw maca for around five months, not in big amounts but still raw. I’d like to ask if boiling raw pieces (this is the way I bought it and I usually prefer) could do. I understand that boiling it is okay but I prefer to ask since I don’t have powder or other form but the above-mentioned. Thanks in advance!

    • SelenoHealth March 14, 2018 at 12:32 pm - Reply

      Yes definitely, in Peru the most common way to consume is to boil the dried bulbs. The dry bulb is 10x more medicinal than the fresh bulb so it is the way it is most frequently consumed. Often they will add in cinnamon, cloves and quinoa or oats to make a tea or runny porridge also. Delicious!!

      • Jakub April 7, 2019 at 1:13 pm - Reply

        Hi, thank you very much for all the knowledge provided. I have got a question: I only possess the dried bulbs of maca negra. I am about to start boiling 1 turnip (14grams) in 1l of water for about 60min. Once it’s boiled, should I just eat the bulb alone or can I also drink the decoction as well ? Looking forward to your answer. Thank you beforehand!

        • SelenoHealth April 10, 2019 at 8:48 am - Reply

          You can eat the boiled roots and drink the broth for full benefit. Definitely as a minimum consume the broth though as this should have most of the nutrients and macamides in it.

  3. Bc March 24, 2018 at 5:52 pm - Reply

    I took Maca powder (likely raw) for a few weeks without knowing and got the intestinal pain and distress. What can I do to heal and feel better?) Please help

    • SelenoHealth March 25, 2018 at 9:34 pm - Reply

      For those who have adverse effects from consuming raw maca we recommend ceasing use immediately. If you still feel unwell and have upset your gut biome then it is good to begin a short course of probiotics, combined with daily prebiotic rich foods. A detox type diet eliminating refined sugars, alcohol, saturated fats etc and replacing with wholefoods is ideal. Our guide to ideal foods to help rebalance your biome are listed in our healthy living guide here: http://www.selenohealth.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/Seleno-Health-Lifestyle-Guide.pdf If you do want to give maca another go then be sure to use a gelatinsed powder or cook your raw powder. Gelatinised maca can also be further cooked to completely sanitise and breakdown the starch. This will not destroy the active ingredients and will promote better digestion. We have some great recipes on our homepage that you can download and try out. If you struggle with gelatinised powder also then try cooking it as it may be an issue with starch. You may also want to try atomised maca, that is completely starch free and sanitised. It is the most digestible form and the most gentle on stomachs. It is 10x more potent than the equivalent raw powder, has a mild flavour and rapidly dissolves. Check our website fro more details.

    • Justin Goldberg May 8, 2018 at 6:50 am - Reply

      You have to cook it to remove the toxic mold. Otherwise purchase pre-heated maca.

  4. Ab May 2, 2018 at 5:22 am - Reply

    Can breast cancer result from drinking maca? Do your chances increase if you have cystic breast? Most of the info on line is contradicting, it’s difficult to tell who is being honest.

    • SelenoHealth May 2, 2018 at 11:38 pm - Reply

      There is no direct study that measures the effectiveness or safety of maca consumption with these conditions. However, a recent study did demonstrate that maca did not affect any phase of either the estrous cycle, number of ova recovered within oviduct, serum estradiol levels, wet uterine and body weights as compared with a placebo control group. In addition, a further study of 14 postmenopausal women showed no differences in serum concentrations of estradiol, follicle-stimulating hormone, luteinizing hormone, and sex hormone-binding globulin between baseline with Maca treatment and placebo. These findings suggest that maca has no androgenic or alpha-estrogenic activity. The authors concluded Maca (3.5 g/d) was able to reduce psychological symptoms, including anxiety and depression, and lower measures of sexual dysfunction in postmenopausal women independent of estrogenic and androgenic activity. Unlike other hormonal specific botanical treatments maca does not contain phytoestrogens and does not directly stimulate oestrogen production. It’s predominant mode of action is to regulate natural endocannabinoid function in the brain. If you have any concerns about the safety of maca with such conditions then please consult with you medical professional. Please read wore on our FAQ page http://www.selenohealth.com/faqs

  5. Ash August 7, 2018 at 3:47 am - Reply

    Hello, can adding raw maca powder to my boiled herbal tea such as peppermint or matcha help? I’ve been consuming it this way but it usually leaves a sediment at the bottom of the cup which I still consume, is this ok or not? Thank you

    • SelenoHealth August 13, 2018 at 8:31 am - Reply

      We recommend cooking raw maca powder or using a pre-cooked (gelatinised powder) instead. In regards to the definition of cooking, it needs to be enough to sanitise the powder so boiling or baking. Again if you want a simple solution the pre-cooked (gelatinised) powder is the most versatile option.

  6. Zeeshaan September 27, 2018 at 4:46 am - Reply

    I’ve recently bought raw maca and have only been consuming it for a short while before reading your article. Would roasting the raw maca be a safe way to consume it or should I discard it instead? I’ve read about roasting maca in an oven on 180 celcius for 3 minutes on and off.

    • SelenoHealth September 28, 2018 at 9:06 am - Reply

      In regards to eating it raw, one big issue is that most maca is processed in Lima after harvest and many farmers are not able to fully dry their maca for 3 months due to the consumer demand and push to produce. If raw maca with low levels of mould are taken to Lima for processing the damp humid conditions there at that time of year allow for the mould to rapidly grow. Some powders can sit in these conditions for months and the mould could easily spread. The issue is that the raw powder exported has a higher risk for mould that can produce aflatoxins. This was never a problem in Junin and most maca in the region is raw, remains dry and is always cooked after production to protect the digestive systems of the consumer. The other issues with eating it raw include a high starch content that can create gastro-discomfort (bloating, distention) and also high levels of glucosinolates that may damage thyroid activity. Compound this with the fact that cooking doesn’t destroy any of the bio-activity, if anything it may enhance it, then the question we ask is why are we in the West eating it raw? It has never been done in Junin and they advise against it.

      We believe it is more a marketing ploy used by food companies who either (A) dont know any better (raw maca is much cheaper) or (B) find that putting “RAW” on their bag makes it sell better. Either way we believe that the Inca are pretty smart as to the use of maca and 2000 years of practice can teach you a thing or two about its uses. We choose to only sell maca in a pre-cooked form to the global exporting market as we believe it replicates traditional use and is scientifically better for the consumer. We can supply our customers with 4 good reasons as to why we should eat maca cooked and none as to why we shouldn’t. As most people in the Western culture want maca for smoothies or raw type foods we believe the gelatinised form is the best form to use. To read more on the issue please review our blog article that breaks it down into more details: http://www.selenohealth.com/2017/10/18/shouldnt-eat-raw-maca/

      If you have purchased raw maca then you have to know where it is from, how it was dried, how and where it was processed and the mould levels. Cooking aflatoxins doesn’t destroy them so it may be a waste of your time if there are aflatoxins in your powder. This is the problem when superfood companies buy foods they know little about, you are at the mercy of a broker from a corrupt industry. So may answer is yes you can bake your maca but do you trust where and how your maca was sourced? If you bake it do so for 20-30 mins at 180-200 deg.

  7. anupam krishna das October 9, 2018 at 1:26 pm - Reply

    I am positive the red ancestors appreciate you for this article and it should be read by all western health seekers. Maca is more potent as a natural pain killer, and powerful medicine boiled as a tea. The red people knew that boiling herbs extracted their medicine for humanity to drink and benefit. The medicine doesn’t get burnt in the boiling process. It gets extracted! If you don’t boil the holy herbs and roots, THEN there’s a loss! Ahomatakweeohsin. You are showered with blessings for writing this article.

  8. LD October 12, 2018 at 3:21 pm - Reply

    hi! I have gelatinized maca powder and was wondering if it can be added to baking recipes?

    • SelenoHealth October 13, 2018 at 6:36 pm - Reply

      Yes, gelatinised maca can be baked, cooked, boiled or eaten straight, it is the most versatile powder.

  9. Chenny October 23, 2018 at 12:11 pm - Reply

    Should it be cooked on a high heat or low heat? And how long can it be boiled. Thank you.

    • SelenoHealth October 23, 2018 at 10:45 pm - Reply

      In Peru the people will boil raw maca into teas, porridge, soups or stews or bake into foods (200-220oc for 30+ mins). There is no limit to how long it can be boiled.

  10. Mihir October 27, 2018 at 7:13 am - Reply

    Is fermented (for around a month under the sun) the same as cooked? Or is it different?

    And does it make it similar to being gelatinized?

    • SelenoHealth October 27, 2018 at 9:09 am - Reply

      What I think you are referring to is dry maca (maca seca), which is freshly harvested maca that is dried under the sun at altitude. This is the traditional way all maca is dried before consumption. It does not involve any fermentation however so is very different to the process of cacao for example which ferments under the sun. During the drying process the maca will loose 60% of its weight and shrink into a rock hard pellet. This is the key step in producing bioactive maca as the active macamides increase 10x during the drying process. It usually takes 3 months to fully air dry and from July-October the conditions in Junin are incredibly dry with no humidity so the maca rapidly dehydrates. Dry maca root is always cooked and boiled in Peru. The powdered form of dry maca is called raw maca powder (harina de maca) and in Peru this powder is also cooked and boiled. So even though it is fully dried it still is not good for your health to consume it straight and it is always cooked. To understand the different types of maca preparations and how each should be consumed please read our blog article here: http://www.selenohealth.com/2018/09/03/different_maca_forms and to read about the drying process our blog here: http://www.selenohealth.com/2018/09/04/dried-maca Also to see the whole process of production view our video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0iHJY2OYjhE&t=35s

      Gelatinised maca is a unique form of powdered maca that is formed by pressure heating raw maca powder (after sun drying), forming a powder that is ready to eat, in essence it simulates traditional cooking and creates a powder that is safe to have in raw foods without the need to further cook. It was created specifically for the export market and is the form that we prefer to export so people do not get sick from eating raw maca.

  11. Mihir October 27, 2018 at 10:41 am - Reply

    Hi, thanks for the detailed response! So what do the ‘fermented’ maca powders do to ferment it then?

    Also, do you have plans for gelatinized versions of red/black powder or perhaps a gelatinized mix of all?

    • SelenoHealth October 28, 2018 at 9:00 pm - Reply

      Reading the details of the products it sounds like they add bacterial culture, water and sugar to the finished maca powder or root and the bacteria feed on the sugar and carbohydrates. For example one product says: “PROPRIETARY FERMENT MEDIA (organic Saccharomyces cerevisiae, organic molasses, organic maltodextrin, organic gum acacia, organic soy flour, lactic acid bacteria [L. acidophilus, B. bifidum and L. rhamnosus], bromelain [deactivated] and papain [deactivated]) and organic maltodextrin.” Others use kefir grains and ingredients like “Water, Organic Maca, Organic Raw Cane Sugar, Active Cultures”. So in essence the bacterial cultures they are adding are consuming the carbohydrates and sugars they also add to make a ‘living’ brew which happens to contain maca. The issue is that they dont say wont kind of maca roots or powder they use, this is important as it can determine the medicinal properties.

      Maca needs to be dried for 3 months to become medicinal, so any therapeutic value will only come after drying and also via heat activation. So if a fermented brew is to include maca it would be best made after these processes. The other issue with brews made from maca powder is surrounding the dosing, no companies measure their macamide levels, so how do you know how much to consume? Here are five questions we believe should be asked before buying any maca: http://www.selenohealth.com/2018/04/29/five-questions-you-should-ask-before-buying-any-maca-powder/

      We believe if people want the benefit of probiotics then use kefir, kombucha, kraut or another probiotic source. Mixing it with maca is only useful if it is standardised to a macamide per mL dose so then you know how much to consume. In our 10g (1 tsp) serve of yellow gelatinised maca we have 65mg of total macamides, ideally you need at least 50mg per day. So it would require 10g per daily serve of fermented drink of powder. It seems more like companies are creating a ‘fad’ product by trying to cash in on the fermenting craze by fermenting all superfoods, regardless of whether they traditionally ferment or not. The problem is that medicinal plants like maca need standardising in order to determine how much to dose, clinical studies have shown a min 50mg of macamides per day for 8+ weeks for benefit. If this is not something that is possible to obtain from a single maca source then you may just be wasting your money. In Peru maca has been used medicinally by boiling the dried roots into teas and broths for 2000 years, it hasn’t been fermented for benefit and probably for good reason. For gut health they prefer chicha de jora (Fermented corn) or Tocosh (Fermented potato) as these foods easily cultivate natural probiotic bacteria. All the ‘fermented’ maca products we have looked at have complex fermented brews added to them containing sugars and bacterial culture. There is no natural fermentation of maca from the bacteria that live on it.

  12. Mihir October 30, 2018 at 5:23 am - Reply

    That was informative. Thanks! About the red/black powder though, you only have atomized versions of those.

    Will you be providing gelatinized versions of Red or black maca? Or perhaps a combined red-yellow-black maca gelatinized mix?

  13. SelenoHealth October 30, 2018 at 11:59 pm - Reply

    For now we sell the atomised (extracted) maca is this is more in line with traditional uses of the red and black forms of maca. To stay in touch with our product updates please follow us on Facebook and Instagram for info.

  14. Mihir November 1, 2018 at 7:32 am - Reply

    Got it. Is the atomized version equally safe compared to the gelatinized versions?

    • SelenoHealth November 1, 2018 at 1:22 pm - Reply

      Yes atomised maca involves boiling with water and plant based alcohols over a 3 day extraction, so safe to consume directly. It concentrates it 10:1 i.e 10kg produces 1 kg of concentrate.

  15. […] In seasonal cheer, Wise Cicada cafe has created a special ‘Festive Gingerbread Maca Latte’ using Seleno Health organic ‘farm to table’ maca powder. Health Article – Why You Should Always Eat Cooked Maca – By Dr Corin Storkey […]

  16. Abigail February 28, 2019 at 3:24 am - Reply

    Hi, I’ve bought a bag of raw Maca powder before I came across this article and started researching it more. I don’t want to waste the Maca powder, how do you suggest I cook it to consume it?
    Would boiling it and drinking as a hot drink be okay?

    • SelenoHealth March 5, 2019 at 9:28 pm - Reply

      Bake at 200-220 degc for 20-30 mins until golden brown or boil for a min 5-10 mins. But for versatility in the future its much better to get an activated powder that is ready to eat.

      • Maca fan April 7, 2019 at 5:42 am - Reply

        Hi,

        I placed my organic Maca powder in a non+stick cake tin and baked at 200C for 20 mins and it produced terrible smell and smoke whilst in the oven. It came out dark reddish-brown and tastes really bitter. Have I burnt it? What could have gone wrong?
        You say to bake it until golden brown, but that’s the original colour of my uncooked organic Maca powder..

        • SelenoHealth April 10, 2019 at 8:47 am - Reply

          Are you sure it was pure maca? Some cheaper powders exported are actually often diluted with starch or additives and/or sugar. Also could be that your oven is too strong, was it on grill or fan forced? You may need to stir the powder around as it heats. It is quite time consuming and difficult, which is why we always advise people to just buy gelatinised or activated maca as this has already been through a heat-activation step and can be consumed straight in raw foods like smoothies.

  17. Susanne March 16, 2019 at 10:04 am - Reply

    How shoud I cook the powder ? In the oven ? I didn’t knew about this issue before buying the maca powder so unfortunately I got a raw powder from Peru. Lukely I havent’ consumed any of it so I can cook it before I use.

    • SelenoHealth March 16, 2019 at 7:44 pm - Reply

      In the villages of Peru they will bake at 200-220 deg C for approx 30-40 mins before consuming maca if they do not boil into food. We recommend buying an ‘activated’ or ‘gelatinised’ maca as these are pre-cooked and ready to eat straight. Our range of activated maca powders can be found here: http://www.selenohealth.com/shop

      • Susanne March 17, 2019 at 2:06 pm - Reply

        Thank you very much for your reply 🙂 I would love to buy yours maca but I live in Europe, do you ship to Europe ? (Fingers crossed)

        • SelenoHealth March 17, 2019 at 6:53 pm - Reply

          Yes we ship to Europe. It is a flat rate $9.90 USD regardless of order size. Expected shipping times are 5-15 working days depending on customs clearance times.

          • Susanne March 19, 2019 at 1:15 am

            Yaay That sounds so good, thank you very much for your help 🙂

  18. Vera Amorim March 16, 2019 at 3:22 pm - Reply

    Hi Seleno Team 🙂 I met you a year ago in Blenheim (Realfood) where I bought my first bag of Seleno yellow Maca and I loved it! since then I consume every day. My partner and I consume 20g of your yellow Maca mixed with water every day and we drink in the morning. we wonder if we can eat it in a dayly basis. Thanks!

    • SelenoHealth March 16, 2019 at 7:41 pm - Reply

      Hi Vera, great to hear you are still enjoying your maca. Yes you can definitely consume daily, there are no negative effects to daily consumption. Maca traditionally is taken daily in Junin (peru) and studies have shown that the effects are not diminished with daily use.

  19. Susanne March 19, 2019 at 1:15 am - Reply

    Yaay That sounds so good, thank you very much for your help 🙂

  20. Ashley March 23, 2019 at 1:27 am - Reply

    Hi, would maca extract be okay to take, does not say it’s gelatinised on the bottle. Many thanks.

  21. Ivriana April 10, 2019 at 2:34 am - Reply

    I already bought raw maca powder. How can I cook it?

    • SelenoHealth April 10, 2019 at 8:51 am - Reply

      We always advise people to buy the gelatinised or activated maca powders as these are pre-cooked and can be consumed directly into foods like smoothies safely. Cooking raw maca, either boil (5-10 mins) in water, tea or other cooked foods or you can bake in the oven, keeping an eye on the powder and agitating over 20-30 mins. But next time go with a pre-cooked powder to save time and hassle.

  22. Bobbie April 20, 2019 at 11:44 am - Reply

    I have whole maca. Any preparation recipe and daily consumption recommendations? One comment above is boiling one dried maca (14 gram) in 1 liter of water. If so how much of that liquid is safe for a daily consumption?

    • SelenoHealth April 21, 2019 at 11:50 am - Reply

      Boiling a 10-15 g dried root per cup of water is a good estimate per person. eg 50g of dried root in 5 cups of water as long as not too much water is lost during boiling then a 1 cup serving would be ideal per person per day as a minimum serve. But it depends on the quality of the root, the size and colour. For a therapeutic treatment it is best to have a standardised powder or extract with exact known macamide levels.

  23. Samuel June 14, 2019 at 8:36 am - Reply

    I bought 3 raw wet maca root ,I boil it for 30minute and drink the water, am I saved and is it OK for drinking and hope it doesn’t have any effect?

    • SelenoHealth June 16, 2019 at 8:47 am - Reply

      Cooking maca may not destroy aflatoxins once they are produced so it really depends on where your maca has come from. The inca believed drying maca made it medicinal and cooking it unlocked the medicine. We now know heat activation actually increases the bio-activity of Maca. The cooking post harvest also kills the mould that can produce aflatoxins, hence solving the problem before it starts. Some studies have shown complete degradation of certain aflatoxins with heat treatment, as many such chemicals can be heat sensitive also, but many aflatoxins are heat stable and cannot be destroyed by cooking. The studies of aflatoxins and mould are new and it is not known yet the extent of degradation with heat treatment but there is a possibility that this could be the case also. We are looking into researching this as it would also help to substantiate the claims made my Incan traditional preparation in which Maca dry bulbs were boiled for many hours before being consumed. But to be safe, best to not buy raw maca powder.

      In regards to eating it raw, one big issue is that most maca is processed in Lima after harvest and many farmers are not able to fully dry their maca for 3 months due to the consumer demand and push to produce. If raw maca with low levels of mould are taken to Lima for processing the damp humid conditions there at that time of year allow for the mould to rapidly grow. Some powders can sit in these conditions for months and the mould could easily spread. The issue is that the raw powder exported has a higher risk for mould that can produce aflatoxins. This was never a problem in Junin and most maca in the region is raw, remains dry and is always cooked after production to protect the digestive systems of the consumer. The other issues with eating it raw include a high starch content that can create gastro-discomfort (bloating, distention) and also high levels of glucosinolates that may damage thyroid activity. Compound this with the fact that cooking doesn’t destroy any of the bio-activity, if anything it may enhance it, then the question we ask is why are we in the West eating it raw? It has never been done in Junin and they advise against it.

      We believe it is more a marketing ploy used by food companies who either (A) dont know any better (raw maca is much cheaper) or (B) find that putting “RAW” on their bag makes it sell better. Either way we believe that the Inca are pretty smart as to the use of maca and 2000 years of practice can teach you a thing or two about its uses. We choose to only sell maca in a pre-cooked form to the global exporting market as we believe it replicates traditional use and is scientifically better for the consumer. We can supply our customers with 4 good reasons as to why we should eat maca cooked and none as to why we shouldn’t. As most people in the Western culture want maca for smoothies or raw type foods we believe the activated form is the best form to use due to safety and potency.

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