In the high altitude areas of Central America, grows the maca root or Lepidium meyenii, a hardy perennial plant harvested and consumed for its potential health benefits for more than 2,000 years. The maca root is a member of the cruciferous family, making it kin to broccoli, cabbage and radishes. Maca is harvested and cooked into powder form and can be used cooking, as a breakfast food, or in supplement form.
Maca is rich in antioxidants and is classified as an “adaptogen,” or a substance that may naturally assist the body as it attempts to navigate stressful seasons. Scientists report that maca root “has been demonstrated to possess multiple biological properties, such as anti-fatigue, improving sexual performance and neuroprotective activities.”
If you are looking for a supplement that may potentially support a healthy libido, fertility, energy, memory or mood, read on to learn more about maca root.
May Support Healthy Energy Levels
Studies show that taking maca root powder in water or juice increases energy levels in test subjects. Although the real reason for this stamina-boost isn’t fully understood, it is believed to result from stabilized blood sugar levels and healthy thyroid function.
Supports Healthy Fertility & Arousal
Anecdotal evidence has long supported the belief that the maca root can boost libido and fertility in both men and women. A double blind study suggests that it may also be potentially beneficial as a support for sexual dysfunction as maca “has been shown to increase sperm count and sperm motility, as well as increasing sexual desire.”
Supports a Balanced Hormonal System
One of the more widely known potential benefits of maca is its ability to regulate and restore hormone balance. By supporting thyroid hormone production and promoting pituitary gland activity, maca root assists in optimal hormonal health. It may be a “valuable non-hormonal plant preparation for balancing levels of hormones and alleviating negative physiological and psychological symptoms.”
Balances a Nervous Mood
Maca root may be a stabilizing and uplifting nutrient in the body, bringing balance when your brain is racing out of control or your nerves are fried. A study in Peru on libido, energy, and mood concluded that “the plant seems to have other properties, such as enhancing energy, and reducing depression. This herbal product seems of great potential utility, which we are going to explore” reported doctor Qun Yi Zheng.
May Assist in Memory Recall
From time to time we all struggle with a sluggish or slow memory and mental recall. One of the many potential uses of maca root is to assist and support memory function. Scientists report that “aqueous extract of black maca has been reported to improve experimental memory impairment.”
May Offer Support for Seasonal Health Challenges
Because maca root acts as a natural antioxidant, it may support immune function and ward off seasonal discomfort. As an “adaptogen,” maca naturally supports the healthy processes already at work including immunity and overall wellbeing.
A Non-Dairy Calcium Source
Maca root powder is rich in calcium, proving an easy way to boost calcium intake for those on a vegan or non-dairy diet. In fact, maca root is more nutrient dense and calcium rich than a serving of dairy milk.
Ready To Try Maca Powder?
If you’re sold on the potential benefits of this powerful Central American root, take a look at these products and supplements to experience maca for yourself.
Gaia Herbs Gelatinized Maca Powder is natural energy boost made from pure maca root harvested in the Andes and dried in the sun. Dissolves easily in water, juice, smoothies or oatmeal for optimal levels of energy and stamina.
Maca from Herb Pharm is a dietary supplement that works to support sexual health for both men and women. Maca may offer support for reproductive health as well as promote a healthy hormonal balance. The maca in this supplement is organically grown in the Peruvian highlands, and is steam cooked to promote bioavailability.
Who doesn’t love chocolate? This Maca Chocolate Bar from Vega is a certified organic 70% cocoa dark chocolate bar featuring 4000 mg of maca for a delicious, naturally energizing treat.
Have you experienced the vast potential benefits of maca powder? Tell us about your experiences in the comments section below.