Monday, 26 October 2015

Peruvian maca: Two scientific names Lepidium Meyenii walpers and Lepidium Peruvianum chacon – Are they phytochemically-synonymous?

nternational Journal of Biomedical Science

Volume 11, Issue 1, 2015, Pages 1-15

Charles Sturt University and Therapeutic Research, TTD International Pty Ltd, 39 Leopard Ave, Elanora, QLD, Australia
Research Institute of Medicinal Plants, 27 Libelta St, Poznan, Poland
University of Agriculture Krakow, Krakow, Poland


Using Liquid Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (LCMS), profiles of the two isotypes labelled under the same common name Maca deposited in the Medicinal Plant Herbarium, in Australia and Poland, but identified under two different scientific names Lepidium meyenii Walpers (L. meyenii) and Lepidium peruvianum Chacon (L. peruvianum) are presented. The two isotypes correspond to two holotypes of Peruvian medicinal herb known under the same common name “Maca”, as originally deposited in the Herbarium of San Marcos University in Lima, Peru dated back to 1843 and 1990 respectively. The results demonstrate distinct differences in taxonomy, visual appearance, phytochemical profiles and DNA sequences of the two researched Maca isotypes, suggesting that the two Maca specimens are dissimilar and formal use of the term “synonymous” to L. meyenii and L. peruvianum may be misleading. On the basis of presented results the scientific name L. meyenii, used since 1843 up-today for cultivated Peruvian Maca by numerous reference sources worldwide, including Regulatory Bodies in the USA, EU, Australia and most lately in China, appears to be used in error and should be formally revised. It is concluded, that the isotype of cultivated Peruvian Maca labelled under its scientific name Lepidium peruvianum Chacon, provides all the characteristics peculiar to this historically-documented herb grown in Andean highlands, which may be linked to its traditional use and accepted functionality, confirmed in recent clinical study to be relevant to its present day use for expected dietary, therapeutic and health benefits. © 2015 Henry O. Meissner et al.

Author keywords

Glucosinolytes; Hypocotyl; Lepidium meyenii; Lepidium peruvianum; Methoxy flavon; Peruvian maca

Indexed keywords

EMTREE medical terms: Article; controlled study; cultivated species; diet; DNA sequence; herb; Lepidium; Lepidium meyenii; Lepidium peruvianum; liquid chromatography; mass spectrometry; nomenclature; nonhuman; Peru; Peruvian maca; phytochemistry; plant taxonomy; therapy
Species Index: Lepidium meyenii; Lepidium peruvianum