Maca is the common name for the plant Lepidium Meyenii, a plant in the family that also holds cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, collard greens, and mustard. The main edible part of the plant is the root, which grows underground. It exists in several colours, which can be white, red, black, pink or yellow. It is historically cultivated in the Andean region of Peru, Bolivia, and Argentina, and it’s considered a top-selling herbal supplement. Maca has traditionally been used as an aphrodisiac for vitality and fertility by both genders. Maca root is generally consumed dried, in powder form, capsules and as a liquid extract.
Maca is also known as Ginseng Andin, Ginseng Péruvien, Lepidium meyenii, Lepidium peruvianum, Maca Root, Maca Péruvien, Maino, Maka, Peruvian Ginseng, and Peruvian Maca.
Benefits of Maca Root In Women
In women, the benefits of consuming Maca include the following:
- Minimize Menopausal Symptoms
Maca root has been widely used as a natural form of hormone replacement and hormone balancer in menopausal women. Its high nutritious and phytochemical content may be the underlying contributors to this effect. Studies show women who take Maca root supplements experience a soothing relief from common menopausal symptoms, such as sleep disruptions, mood swings, night sweats, depression, vaginal dryness and irritability.
- Improves Sexual Function
Maca has gained a reputation for improving female libido by remedying sexual dysfunction in women. Female sexual dysfunction largely depends on several factors principally centred on age, lifestyle choices, and nutrition. Maca works by subsiding the effects of this dysfunctions, while increasing sexual desire.
- Acts As An Aphrodisiac
Maca is loaded with nutrients crucial for fertility health such as calcium, potassium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, iodine, sterols (6 found), up to 20 essential fatty acids, lipids, fibre, carbohydrates, protein, and amino acids. However, Maca is an endocrine adaptogen, which means that it does not contain any hormones, either estrogen or progesterone. But its high nutritive content supports normal hormone production. A balanced hormone level with a healthy mood makes room for sexual arousal.
- Improves Mood
Fatty acids found in Maca root stimulates proper brain function which is responsible for regulating and stabilizing analytical skills, cognitive function and rational thinking. Maca contains omega-3 fatty acids which are popularly recommended as the first step towards alleviating depression, anxiety, and stress.
Nutrition research using Maca root showed promising results of its protective effect on the brain for supporting mood and overall brain health. Maca is often recommended to those with adrenal fatigue as it nourishes them and reduces stress hormones.
Maca has proven to be effective in enhancing natural fertility and it’s widely taken by both men and women for this purpose. Maca may improve your chances of conceiving by its ability to increase serum luteinizing hormone in the pituitary gland, a hormone associated with fertility.
- Maintains Bone Density And General Health
Maintaining bone density is a prevalent challenge amongst ageing women. Maca could be helpful by enriching the body with iron, which helps restore red blood cells aiding in relieving anaemia and cardiovascular diseases. It also maintains bone and teeth health, helps wounds heal more rapidly and boost energy levels, endurance and stamina.
Also, maca helps in clearing skin blemishes and helps skin withstand extreme temperatures. It equally balances oily skin types.
Note: Talk to a specialist before using Maca If you have liver issues or high blood pressure.
- Energy Enhancer
Maca is rich in vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, and protein. These nutrients naturally boost energy levels and aid in fast recovery from injury. Recent studies show that athletes that incorporate Maca into their diet report accelerated performance and increased endurance levels.
- Aids in relieving Menstrual Symptoms
Maca has been traditionally used to relieve menstrual symptoms such as cramps and aches. Primarily due to stabilizing hormone levels.
Benefits Of Taking Maca In Men
- Boosting fertility and testosterone levels
A study done reported that healthy men taking 1.5g or 3g Maca daily noted that aphrodisia increased by 24.4%, 40%, and 42.2% at 4, 8, and 12 weeks respectively. While another group placed on placebo (a dummy medicine containing no active ingredients) indicated no increase. Maca is believed to increase sperm formation, sperm health and mobility. Maca, in general, appears to be somewhat protective of the testicles.
- Energy booster
Maca’s impact on energy levels, mood, endurance and stamina has been widely recognized in the field of sports and athletics. The explainable reason behind this is Maca’s ability to stabilize blood sugar levels, which determines overall energy levels. Maca plays a key role in maintaining adrenal health which further boosts energy and mood positively.
- Prostate health
Consuming maca may help in reducing the enlargement of the prostate. Maca can act on androgen receptors in the prostate by preventing the binding up of hormones which leads to prostate enlargement. Prostate enlargement is a common problem faced by men and Maca appears to suppress prostatic growth.
- Regulates hormones
Maca root is rich in amino acids, which is a primary building component of hormones. Maca roots contain 20 amino acids out of which 8 are essential amino acids, which aids in the production of regulatory hormones.
- Muscle building
Maca is known to have significant muscle building properties that promote natural muscle growth. Maca roots comprise 18 percent of proteins, rich bio-active proteins which makes it a popular supplement among bodybuilders and athletes.
- Increases memory retention and learning power
Maca has been widely used to improve cognitive skills, memory retention and enhances concentration. Maca regulates the hypothalamus, situated just above the pituitary gland which plays a key role in balancing energy and focus.
- Good for bone health and blood pressure.
The bone density and tissue wither as you grow old, and overall bone-health is affected. Maca is rich in calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium and silica, nutrients that make bones stronger thus, preventing the risks of bone-related ailments.
Also, Maca may possess blood pressure reducing properties that significantly increases in diastolic blood pressure.
How to Take Maca
Maca can be ingested by eating Maca root, or through a Maca extract. Extracts should be in liquid, powder or capsule form. The standard dose of Maca is 1,000-3,000mg. Maca should be taken daily, alongside food. The powder can be mixed into smoothies, soups, baked goods or coffee, or capsules can be easily swallowed.
If you do not currently consume Maca root on a daily basis, you might want to look into increasing your intake for better fertility health.