In July 2015 my mind and body broke.
At the time my experience of addiction, depression, anxiety, exhaustion and insomnia reached a messy boiling point. I was well acquainted with the tranquillising effects of alcohol and chronic prescription medication. Numb, scared and out of pure desperation I decided things had to change. I booked myself into rehab. There, wrapped in love and supported by kind and caring individuals, I started to rewrite my story.
It was time to recreate my life. Time to change behavioural patterns. Release old trauma. It was time to be alcohol and chronic prescription medication free.
When I left rehab my curiosity for convention challenging addiction recovery methods led me down a path of enormous self discovery. In my search for meaning and healing I started to fill my mind with new ideas and perceptions. I devoured books, read blogs, listened to podcasts and watched inspiring documentaries. I was hungry for change and ready to take inspired action. All of this - taking care instead of creating damage - was very new to me.
I had one goal - to have the experience of joy and happiness appear in my life more naturally. I realised that trying to create joy and happiness using drugs and alcohol was fleeting and a symptomatic attempt to self-medicate my discomfort.
Somewhere I read (I think it was David Wolfe) about maca. I knew very little about it, and he claimed that this ancient Peruvian food was good for adrenal-fatigue, hormones, stress and a multitude of other complaints. I ticked ALL of the maca-boxes and thought 'Why not try it?'. I had a strong sense, a gut feeling, that my body needed it - not knowing that I was about to embark on one of the most significant journeys of my life.
I started using maca daily and rapidly my health started to shift. Today it plays a huge role in my daily wellness management. Maca calms me. Maca strengthens me. Maca re-minds my mind to stay present and focussed. Maca encourages me to keep going when I think I can’t. My connection with it is an emotional and grateful one.
KEEP EXPLORING, KEEP EXPANDING
Fast forward to April 2017 and I met the owners of Seleno Health - the maca experts. Corin and Sally invited me to Peru where I could join a group of volunteers to work at a maca farm, high in the Andes in a region called Junin.
Obstacles are placed in your way for a reason - God is preparing you for something greater than your wildest dreams.
I arrived in Peru in July 2017.
I met maca and the people that love and grow it. I discovered her birth place. I realised the spiritual, cultural, medicinal and historical significance she holds. And I refer to maca as a ‘she’. La Maca means woman.
In Peru maca is often labelled as the ‘food of the God’s’ and has been a staple source of nutrition for the Inca for centuries. It is a root vegetable commonly consumed to promote energy, vitality, virility, hormone balance, and fertility. It is also a Peruvian natural remedy to combat stress and fatigue. In studies maca supplementation has been shown to increase natural hormone production, balance and vitality in both men and women when consumed daily over the duration of a month or more. Additional studies have shown it to be beneficial in managing menopausal and menstrual symptoms in women and libido enhancing for men and women.
What many people aren’t aware of is that it can take up to 10 years to re-mineralise the soil from one batch of maca. The bulb is extremely mineral and metabolite rich. It takes a year to grow and will only grow between 3800-4500m in the rich fertile soil of the Peruvian Andes. Once harvested it is naturally air-dried for up to 3 months during which time the essential glucosinolates within the root break down to combine with free fatty acids and make the unique macamides and macaenes that are believed to be responsible for most of the medicinal properties. It is a combination of these ideal atmospheric and soil conditions that provide the tools the root needs to develop into a medicinal plant. After drying the maca is powdered, however at this stage it is rarely eaten raw as it’s high starch content makes it hard to digest for many.
MACA IS A SURVIVOR
Maca THRIVES where nothing else survives. She flourishes under extreme conditions. I believe this might explain why maca has the ability to restore one's resilience in times of extreme physical, mental and emotional stress. She literally 'downloads' and 'shares' with your being her ‘survival program’…or so is my experience of this wise and ancient plant.
My mind continues to be blown by this super food. The more I know, the more I wish to share.
In the world of mental health recovery this bulb is worth GOLD.
MACA AND YOUR MIND
Some quick science - What makes maca unique is the presence of novel fatty acid derivatives known as macamides. Macamides play a BIG role in the enhancement of hormone production, serotonin regulation and stress management.
HERE'S THE MAGIC...
Macamides act as inhibitors and allow preservation of your own natural circulating endocannabinoids. Endocannabinoids are like the body’s natural THC. One of the main endocannabinoid molecules is named anandamide. In Buddhism and Hinduism ananda means 'extreme happiness' and 'a high state of being'. Anandamide is your BLISS molecule.
Levels of your natural anandamide can be ELEVATED with maca. This has positive physiological effects on hormone management, neurotransmitter (serotonin) regulation, pain reduction, mood, neuro-protection and memory enhancement.
Maca - bliss in a bulb
New research even suggests that macamides could support addicts in their early stages of drug withdrawal. Mother Nature heals and when science proves it, I smile.
Just like a caring mother, maca nurtures, protects and encourages you when you need strength.
When I bless my body with maca, my experience of joy and happiness is enhanced…naturally.
It's evident that I respect this humble bulb. My life is more, not less, thanks to maca. Together with the many other nutritional, lifestyle and spiritual changes I’ve introduced into my new life I continue to rewrite my story with love and kindness.
In love and service always.