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My History with Maca

story by Mila Lazo

My History with Maca

“What are we going to do with you, my little Miracle” my Aunt Irma said, fawning over me. I’d fallen down and cut myself.  It wasn’t the first time.

farmersAunt Irma reached in her satchel of woven bags, each one filled with leaves and dried flowers she had collected in Peru’s local herb markets.  She mumbled and pulled out three types of red twigs, of Chuchuhuasi, Una de Gato and Sangre de Drago. To that she added some healing flowers for good measure.  In a small bowl Mama Irma broke the herbs into fine pieces. She added a splash of warm water to saturate the compress until it was dripping out a dark red, healing elixir.

“No te preocupes, Milagritos.” “Don’t worry, there won’t be a scar or bruise” I trusted her. She pressed as I cried like a baby.  In my family, Mama Irma was our go-to-girl, our personal “urgent care”.  When I think back on those days I realize that my relatives were all treated with “remedios” (formulas) that had been passed down from their parents.

In Peru’s remote mountains there are often no western style medical doctors, and even as Peru develops today, many middle class families cannot afford one.  That’s why they still value and use traditional medicines and healers (curanderos).   It has been said that in the tradition of Peruvian healing that a good doctor is the one who doesn’t just take care of the physical problem but tries to find its cause.

Working with medicinal plants brings me so much pride.  It’s now been 20 years since we started sharing the first Maca plants with farmers and herbalist in the USA and the world.  Since then, Maca farming has increased from a few remote acres in the Peruvian mountains to over 20,000 acres all over the world!

Who would have known, that Maca’s reputation as Peru’s Ginseng would have gained worldwide fame and that in some crazy destiny I am just carrying on what my aunts and dad had been carrying forward from their parents.

In Peru, we take it serious to be grateful to the earth and its bounty.

So thank you Maca for resisting the changes of the environment…

And staying strong through the changes of politics…

And forgiving the greed of the ones that didn’t honor you enough…

Thank you for allowing us to share your healing to the world…


Mila (Milagritos) Lazo
Co-Founder/Sourcing Manager


  • Annette

    I love and appreciate your products, vision and the memories of those from whom you have gained this wisdom of the Earth. I am grateful to be recipient of this gift. Mucha Gracious!

  • Noelle Barron

    I enjoyed reading your story. Thanks for sharing Mila! I also have appreciated the maca you sent to me. Time to order more 😉

  • Jose Marroquin

    Gracias Mila … for your commitment to remain connected to your roots … and to share its bounty … blessings