Maca is an herbaceous biennial plant of the crucifer family native to the high Andes of Peru. It is used as a root vegetable, a medicinal herb, and a supposed aphrodisiac. Its Spanish and Quechua names include maca-maca, maino, ayak chichira, and ayak willku.
Maca is known as the “Peruvian ginseng” because the two herbs have similar traditional uses in herbal medicine. It is often called “nature’s viagra” for both men and women.
Maca has been used as a food and medicine in the Peruvian Andes for over 2,000 years and its popularity is growing in the United States.
Maca is a root that looks like a radish. Maca root has often been used in traditional medicines as an aphrodisiac and to promote fertility.
Maca root is an adaptogen, which means that it increases the body’s ability to defend itself against from both physical and mental weakening. It helps the body prevent against potential illness. It promotes adrenal and pituitary health, both of which support proper function of your endocrine gland.
- Here are some its health benefits:
- Hormone Therapy:
- Maca root may help perimenopausal women.
- In a study published in June 2006 in the “International Journal of Biomedical Science,” maca root was found to help women’s reproductive system. It helped reduce hot flashes, depression and sleep interruptions.
- Maca root may help prevent bone loss experienced by postmenopausal women.
- Sexual benefits:
- The maca root is considered a potent sexual stimulant in the Peruvian Andes. Maca is believed to have the ability to increase a person’s libido by up to 180 percent.
- Maca root supplements can be used to combat infertility.
- How to take Maca?
- Take maca root three times daily in capsule form.
- It is recommended to consume a total of around 900 mg of maca throughout the day with meals, according to Epigee.org.
- Take 1/2 tsp. of maca powder daily to alleviate menopause symptoms.
- Side effects:
- If you are deficient in iodine, use this herb with care.
- If you take too much of the herb, you could develop goiter
- While many people take maca for thyroid issues, maca can actually worsen thyroid conditions.
- As always, talk to your health practitioner before taking any new supplements or making any changes to your diet.