Maca, also called the Peruvian ginseng
(although it is not of ginseng family) is a
herbaceous plant native to the high Andean
Mountains of Bolivia and Peru. It is one of
the only food plants in the world able to
thrive at such a high altitude.
The root of the maca (Lepidium meyenii) is
shaped like a large radish. It is a cousin
to other cruciferous plants, such as
cauliflower and Brussels sprouts. In
addition to its healthful fiber, complex
carbohydrates and protein, maca provides
numerous minerals, including calcium,
magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, sulfur,
iron, zinc, iodine and copper... vitamins
B-1, B-2, C and E... nearly 20 amino acids,
including linoleic acid, palmitic acid and
oleic acid... as well as various plant
sterols, which are natural
cholesterol-lowering agents. All of these
nutrients have been shown to promote health
in a multitude of ways.
Health Benefits of Maca
Vitamins: Maca is rich in vitamin B12
and protein, which is very helpful for
vegans. It also keeps you healthy by
providing vitamins B1, B2, B12, C and E. It
provides plenty of calcium, zinc, iron,
magnesium, phosphorous and amino acids.
Sexual function: Maca is widely used
to promote sexual function of both men and
women. It serves as a boost to your libido
and increases endurance. At the same time it
balances your hormones and increases
Mensuration & menopause: Maca
relieves menstrual issues and menopause. It
alleviates cramps, body pain, hot flashes,
anxiety, mood swings and depression. If you
are pregnant or lactating you should avoid
Energy booster: Within days of using
maca your energy level may increase. It is
also known for increasing stamina. Many
athletes take maca for peak performance. If
you find yourself tired most of the time,
experiment with maca to see if it helps.
Just a small amount could be exactly what
you need for a boost.
General health: Maca helps your
overall health in a number of ways. It
supplies iron and helps restore red blood
cells, which aids anemia and cardiovascular
diseases. Maca keeps your bones and teeth
healthy and allows you to heal from wounds
more quickly. When used in conjunction with
a good workout regime you will notice an
increase in muscle mass.
But be very cautious if you have a cancer
related to hormones like testicular and
ovarian, among others. If you have liver
issues or high blood pressure you should ask
your doctor before taking maca.
Skin: Many take macs for skin issues,
as for some people it helps to clear acne
and blemishes. Another benefit for your skin
is that is decreases sensitivity. In hot or
cold weather, maca may help your skin
withstand extreme temperatures.
Mood balance: If you find yourself overcome
with anxiety, stress, depression or mood
swings, maca may help alleviate these
symptoms, though of the evidence is
anecdotal. Some have reported an increase in
mental energy and focus.
Maca regulates hormones, and since there
have been no testing to prove the safety of
use in patients suffering from cancers
related with hormones of breast, ovaries,
uterus, testicles – these people need to be
extremely cautious. Maca root powder should
not be taken during pregnancy and lactation.
People who have the gall and liver disease,
or high blood pressure, definitely should
consult a physician before using maca root
powder. It is also not wise to take it if
you are using medications that increase
fertility, as well as with ginseng.