March 23 2021
Maca is a native plant of Peru. Maca has now become a popular plant and is commonly available in powder form or as a supplement. Traditionally, maca root has been used to improve sex drive and enhance fertility. It is believed that Maca improves energy and stamina. So let us explore the various health benefits offered by this plant.
What is Maca?
Maca is scientifically known by the other name of Lepidium meyenii. It is sometimes also referred to as Peruvian ginseng. The plant requires harsh conditions for its growth. Maca grows at a very high altitude of above 13,000 feet.
The plant has a long history of medicinal and culinary use in Peru. Being a cruciferous vegetable, maca is related to cabbage, kale, cauliflower and broccoli.
Interestingly, the main edible part of maca is its roots that grow underground. Often, the root is dried and converted to a powder form. Nevertheless, it is also available in the form of capsules and a liquid extract. It exists in various colours including black and white.
But what's the taste of its root-like? The taste of maca root powder is described as earthy and nutty. Some people dislike the taste. On the other hand, some people add to their smoothies, sweet treats and oatmeal.
Many studies have been done by the companies that produce or sell maca. However, the research is in its early stages only.
Maca is highly nutritious
Maca root powder is a rich source of many vitamins and minerals and hence is considered very nutritious. It contains many essential vitamins and minerals including vitamin c, copper and iron. Further, it is a rich source of carbs and contains a fair amount of fibre. Also, maca root is low in fat.
Besides, it also contains various plant compounds like polyphenols and glucosinolates.
Maca increases libido in men and women
Some various herbs and plants naturally boost libido. And maca is one of them. It's common among adults to have reduced sexual desire and hence the interest in these herbs and plants becomes more important.
Maca is quite effective at improving sexual desire and hence it has been heavily marketed. Also, studies have been done showing that maca improves sexual desire after at least six weeks of ingestion. It has been helpful for both men and women.
Maca increases fertility in men
Talking about male fertility, there is some evidence that shows that maca roots enhance male fertility. When we talk about male fertility we usually refer to sperm quality and quantity. Studies show that maca improves semen quality in both infertile and healthy men.
Another study involving nine healthy men showed that intake of maca for four months resulted in an increase in volume, count and motility of sperms.
Maca relieves symptoms of menopause
What is menopause? Menopause is the time when women's menstrual periods stop permanently. Due to a decline in estrogen, women experience a range of unpleasant symptoms including hot flashes, mood swings, vaginal dryness, irritability and sleep problems.
Studies have found that maca can help menopausal women to alleviate symptoms like hot flashes and sleep problems. Often after menopause, women become more prone to osteoporosis. Animal studies have shown that maca can promote bone health.
Maca improves mood
So there is a plant component called flavonoids. It is believed that flavonoids present in maca are responsible for its psychological benefits. It can help you to enhance your mood, reduce anxiety and symptoms of depression. These symptoms are more common in menopausal women and hence maca may prove to be highly beneficial for them.
Maca boosts sports performance and energy
Many bodybuilders and athletes often take maca root powder as a supplement to gain muscle and improve exercise performance. The maca root powder is a popular supplement to boost energy and increase strength.
Maca supplement improves exercise performance, particularly improving insurance. However, more study is needed to infer its effects on muscles and strength.
Maca protects the skin from the sun
We know that UV rays from the sun damage our unprotected skin. UV radiation causes wrinkles and increases the risk of skin cancer as well. It is believed that maca extract when applied to the skin, can help to protect our skin from the damaging UV radiation.
The protective effect of the maca extract is believed to be due to its compounds like polyphenol antioxidants and glucosinolates. However, it's worth mentioning that maca extract does not replace your sunscreen and it protects your skin only when it is applied to the skin and not eaten.
Maca improves learning and memory
Maca because of its memory enhancing property was traditionally used in schools of Peru to improve children's performance.
A study was done involving memory-impaired rodents. It is found that they improved their learning and memory. Another point worth stating in this reference is that black maca is found to be more effective when compared to other varieties.
Maca reduces prostate
Benign prostatic hyperplasia abbreviated as BPH is quite common in elderly men. What happens in this disorder is that the prostate gland found in men becomes enlarged resulting in various problems while passing urine.
Studies have shown that red maca tends to reduce prostate size. This effect of red maca is attributed due to its high amount of glucosinolates. Glucosinolates are often associated with reduced risk of prostate cancer.
Check out Alen Up Horny goat weed with maca root. The supplement boosts energy and stamina. It is recommended to enhance the performance of both men and women. Horny goat weed also known as epimedium is a native shrub of China and Japan. For over 2000 years, the leafy shrub has been used in traditional Chinese medicine. The ingredients of the supplement include horny goat weed and maca. Also, it includes refined soyabean oil, beeswax 902 and gelatin food grade.
The soft gel capsules are easy to swallow because of their smooth contour and shape. It is easy to supplement with maca. Also, maca is considered safe for most people. It offers several health benefits such as increased libido and better mood.