What is Maca Root, where’s it from, Natural Health benefits


What is Maca Root, where’s it from, Natural Health benefits

We are going to discuss What is Maca Root, where’s it from and Natural Health benefits of Maca Root.

 

 

 

Maca (Lepidium meyenii) is the root of a vegetable native to the Andes region of Peru. Known as “Peruvian ginseng,” even though it doesn’t belong to the same botanical family as ginseng. Maca, consumed as a food and said to boost energy and libido.

Typically added to smoothies, juice, and shakes; the ground root powder can also used as an ingredient in coffee, chocolate, or oils. In Peru, whole maca root often added to soup and oatmeal; roasted and consumed as a vegetable, or made into a fermented beverage known as “maca chica.”

 

Maca Root health benefits

 

 

Potential Health Benefits

Few scientific studies have examined the effectiveness of maca. Here’s a look at several findings from the available research:

Sexual Function and Libido

In a report published in BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine; researchers analyzed four previously published clinical trials on the use of maca for improving sexual function.

While some of the studies found that maca may have positive effects on issues like low sexual desire and erectile dysfunction; the researchers concluded that the total number of trials, the total number of patients; and the quality of the studies too limited to draw firm conclusions. They also noted that there is insufficient knowledge of the risks of maca intake.3

An earlier study found maca may improve libido in men. Researchers gave subjects either 1,500 milligrams (mg) or 3,000 mg of maca or placebo (an inactive pill) for 12 weeks. They found both doses of maca increased sexual desire better than placebo, and did not increase testosterone or estrogen levels.4

Antidepressant-Induced Sexual Dysfunction

Maca may alleviate antidepressant-induced sexual dysfunction in women; according to a 2015 study published in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Certain antidepressants are known to cause problems such as low libido, vaginal dryness, and difficulty reaching orgasm.

For the study, women who were taking antidepressant medications known as SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) or SNRIs (serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors) took either maca root or a placebo. At the end of the 12-week study, those taking maca had lower rates of sexual dysfunction.5

Fertility

In a small study published in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine in 2015; semen quality and hormone levels were measured after men given maca or a placebo.

After the 12-week study period, there were no significant changes in sperm counts, motility (how well sperm move), and hormone levels, though sperm concentration and motility showed some improvement.

 

Depression

Maca may help to improve mood in depression, according to a study published in Climacteric in 2015.

For the study, postmenopausal women given maca for six weeks. Compared to those taking a placebo, researchers found significant decreases in depression.

 

Possible Side Effects

Besides, Little known about the safety and risks of short-term or long-term use of maca. Since it is a natural food, it is generally believed to be safe in large doses.

Maca’s effect on hormone levels is poorly understood. For instance, some studies have found no effect on sex hormones, while animal studies have reported higher levels of luteinizing hormone, progesterone, and testosterone.

Because of these possible hormonal effects, if you have one of the following conditions, you should not take maca without consulting your healthcare provider:

  • Breast, uterine, or ovarian cancer

  • Endometriosis

  • Uterine fibroids

  • Thyroid disease

As with many other supplements, maca hasn’t been tested for safety in pregnant people; nursing mothers, children, those with medical conditions, or those taking medications.

Dosage and Preparation

Maca, sold as a powder, in capsules, as gelatin, and as a tincture. It is also sometimes added to foods. Its nutty, earthy flavor pairs well with cinnamon.

Furthermore, there is no standard dosage guideline for maca root. Alternative medicine practitioners recommend starting with 3 grams (1 tablespoon of powder) and working your way up to 9 grams per day.

What to Look For

The maca plant is native to the Andes mountain range. For the best quality product, look for organic maca grown in Peru.

When selecting a brand of supplements, look for products that have been certified by one of the following:

  • Consumer Labs
  • NSF International
  • The U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention

Summary

Maca root added to food to boost libido and energy. Also been studied as a remedy for sexual dysfunction, depression, hair loss, hot flashes, and fertility, yet more studies are still needed to prove these health benefits.

Little, known about the short- and long-term side effects of maca, so you should consult your healthcare provider before trying the supplement. Additionally, Children, pregnant or nursing women, and those with hormone-sensitive conditions should be especially careful.