Cultivated and used medicinally for thousands of years in the Andes of Peru, only recently has the modern world begun to explore the wide range of potential health benefits of this cruciferous root vegetable. This root was used by indigenous Peruvians for a wide variety of maladies. Early Spanish settlers quickly saw the value of this vegetable too, even accepting it as a form of payment for taxes at one time. Today, Maca powder is a growing dietary supplement (some consider to be a super food) that is gaining popularity in part due to emerging scientific studies and articles supporting the centuries old uses of Maca such as;
- Anemia (tired blood)
- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)
- Athletic Performance (such as building muscle mass and increasing energy during workouts)
- Memory (early studies indicate effectiveness at combating degenerative brain diseases)
- Female Hormonal Imbalances
- Menstrual disorders
- Menopausal issues such as hot flashes, sleep problems and instances of depression
- Erectile Dysfunction (ED)
- Libido (benefits for both men and women)
Maca is High in Nutrition
Living Traditionally’s Maca Powder is loaded with essential vitamins, minerals, micro-nutrients, antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. It is also a great source of protein, all 8 essential Amino Acids (20 different amino acids in total), fiber, vitamin C, copper and iron.
Maca is used for many ailments (because it balances out of balance hormone levels, which play a large role in so many health-related issues, Maca is most studied for its role in helping both men and women in a variety of sexual related areas from libido to fertility.
Sexual Libido for Men:
- An older 2002 study compared the sexual libido of men taking 1.5-3 g of Maca per day verse placebo and found that men taking Maca had a increased sexual desire compared to those taking a placebo
- A 2010 review of Maca research came to the conclusion that there is a correlation between taking Maca and a increase sexual desire
Sexual Libido for Women:
- One group of women who are particularly impacted with a low sexual desire are post-menopausal women who are on antidepressants (SSRI’s). A 2015 Study looked at these women and concluded that taking Maca could help improve sexual libido for women on antidepressants.
Erectile Dysfunction (ED)
ED or (Erectile Dysfunction) can be devastating for men. According to researchers at the University of Chicago, about 1/3 of US men age 50-64 (from 65-85 its about 44% of men). All total about half of all men will experience ED at some point in their lives. Maca Powder has long been used to treat men with ED.
- A 2009 Study demonstrated that men taking 2.4g of Maca per day for 12 weeks showed an improvement in erection strength and time.
- A 2016 peer review stated, “Five studies - 3 randomized clinical trials (RCTs) and 2 uncontrolled observational studies (UOSs) - met all of the inclusion criteria. One RCT found favorable effects of Maca on sperm mobility in infertile men. The two other RCTs showed positive effects of Maca on several semen quality parameters in healthy men. The two UOSs also suggested favorable effects of Maca on semen quality. The results of our systematic review provide suggestive evidence for the effectiveness of Maca in improving semen quality”.
Balancing Estrogen Levels
For women, Estrogen is the primary hormone responsible for regulating the reproductive system. When hormones are unbalanced it can lead to bloating, irregular menstruation and mood swings. Also, if Estrogen levels are too high or too low, it may be difficult to ovulate. Maca Root Powder is an effective hormonal balancer and can even help reduce other symptoms due to unbalanced hormones such as acne, excessive body hair growth and weight gain.
As Menopause approaches (perimenopause) estrogen levels fluctuate. This causes symptoms such as hot flashes, sweating, insomnia, night sweats, etc. Due to Maca’s ability to balance hormonal levels (especially estrogen) it can be effective at reducing these symptoms. Also, a 2015 study indicated Maca may relieve depression in post-menopausal women.
The exact way in which Maca increases energy is not really known as it does not contain caffeine. It is believed to be due to its ability to control blood sugar levels (preventing spiking and crashing sugar levels that are often associated with either being jittery or fatigued). Maca is particularly good for athletes as it not only supply’s the necessary energy for effective workouts, but also is rich in protein, amino acids (20 in total), iron, calcium and magnesium (all essential for muscle repair and growth).
How to Take:
Take 2.5 grams (about ½ teaspoon) twice per day 30 mins before meals.
Maca is generally considered safe to use for all people. There are no known drug interactions. You should start taking Maca slowly (1/2 teaspoon per day) and ramp up (no more than 2 tablespoons per day) to avoid digestive issues. Due to it’s high antioxidative ability, symptoms such as acne, insomnia (do not take at night), upset stomach are often due to the body’s release of toxins and not Maca itself.
organic and pure maca; goes great with some cocoa powder in a smoothie of your choice.