A little more information:
Maca root has been used by the native Indians of Peru as a vital ingredient to health for thousands of years. The use of Maca is known to go back to approximately 3800 B.C., when Peruvian Indians cultivated and ate it for both its nutritional and medicinal value. Records indicate that centuries later in 1549 A.D., when the Spanish explorer Captain de Soto received Maca from the Indians as a gift in return for his help in improving methods of animal husbandry in the Peruvian Castille region. By 1572, as Maca’s health-giving properties gained a revered reputation, the Chinchayochas Indians had begun using Maca root for barter. Finally, in 1843 the Maca plant was studied by scientists and given the botanical name of Lepidium meyenii, Walpers. after German Botanist Gerhard Walpers.