The root vegetable maca (Lepidium meyenii) has been cultivated in the high plateaus of the Peruvian Andes for centuries. The crop is a main part of the traditional diet of the region, where it's processed into maca wine, juice, tea, spread, milk, yogurt and a variety of baked products. Maca -- a member of the mustard family that grows exclusively at 13,123 feet and higher -- is rich in iron, iodine and magnesium.
Uses: In the Peruvian Andes, maca is a traditional remedy for infertility, menopause and lethargy. In the U.S., Japan and Europe, commercial maca supplements are taken to increase sex drive and improve sexual performance.
Dose: Doses range widely, from about 500 milligrams to 3 grams a day. Maca supplements are generally sold in tablet form.
Precautions: Maca supplement use hasn't been extensively studied in humans, so there's little information about the safety of long-term use or high doses.