Lepidium Meyenii

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lepidium meyenii
KEY POINTS ABOUT LEPIDIUM MEYENII
  • Lepidium meyenii is a traditional herbal medicine used for centuries with great results.
  • Lepidium meyenii relieves menopausal symptoms and increases energy.
  • As it stimulates the endocrine system, Lepidium meyenii is a natural hormonal balancer.
  • Lepidium meyenii is completely safe with no side effects reported.
 
 
 


Lepidium meyenii has been grown for centuries in the Peruvians Andes, and now more and more people all over the world are using it due to its great health benefits. In fact, Lepidium meyenii unique composition is mainly cause by the harsh soils and the extreme conditions in which this plant is sown. Keep reading to learn more about the growing conditions of Lepidium meyenii.

 
  Habitat (Ecological Zone in which Lepidium meyenii is grown)

 

Lepidium meyenii grows naturally from 11,000 to 14,500 feet over the sea level, with most cultivation between 12 795 to 13 450. These ecological zones are known as Suni and Puna ecosystems. These ecosystems contain barren steppes, tundra and alpine plains, usually in limestone and clay soils where low temperatures and strong winds limit other crops.

 

Therefore, Lepidium Meyenii prefers many types of soil with a pH ranging from acid to alkaline and partial to full sun with moderate moisture. But also, several experiments proved that Lepidium meyenii may be adaptable in other environments such as cultivated beds.

 
 


Distribution (Regions in which Lepidium meyenii is sown)

Lepidium meyenii is industrially sown in a very restricted area of the Peruvian Andes. In fact, only the departments of Junín and Cerro de Pasco produce almost exclusively the world supply of Lepidium meyenii.

The most known localities where Lepidium meyenii is sown are:

  • Carhuamayo, considered the capital of Lepidium meyenii (13 779 feet over the sea level)
  • Yanacachi (14 097 feet over the sea level)
  • Villa de Pasco (14 232 feet over the sea level)
  • San Pedro de Pari (13 474 feet over the sea level), among others

Also, there exist some Lepidium meyenii collected out of the traditional area of cultivation like Huancavelica, but this is not a considerable or steady production.

 
  Harvest The process of Harvest:

 

Some authorities consider Lepidium meyenii an annual crop completing its life cycle within a year when climatic conditions are favorable. However, often Lepidium meyenii is considered a biennial plant because it has a vegetative cycle followed by a reproductive phase.

Lepidium meyenii is sown at the beginning of the rainy period (September-November), usually in the morning to avoid winds. Crop duration is 8 to 9 months. Harvesting begins in May or June.

 

After harvesting, the whole plants are dried during the day under the sun for 10-15 days, and covered during the night to avoid rain and frost damage. The leaves are left on the plant during drying because the local farmers believe that this will result in sweeter roots. After drying, the leaves are removed and the hypocotyls/roots are taken to the market or stored in a cool, dark place until they are eaten.

Lepidium meyenii has a great ability to extract nutrients from the surrounding soil in such a way that it sterilizes the ground. Some 3 to 5 metric tons per hectare of organic matter must be added to enable the plant to be sown for a second consecutive year; otherwise, the land must be left fallow for at least eight years to allow it to recover.

 
 

The harsh growing conditions of Lepidium meyenii have made this herb gain the ability to concentrate the nutrients from the unpolluted Andean soils. As a result, this herb has naturally developed several medicinal properties. Click here and read about all the health benefits Lepidium meyenii provides.

   
 
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