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Peruvian ginseng or maca (Lepidium meyenii), superfood, is an edible herbaceous biennial plant of the family Brassicaceae that is native to South America in the high Andes mountains of Peru

What is Maca Root? Health Benefits and Possible Side Effects


The maca plant has exploded in popularity in recent years. It’s really a plant indigenous to Peru and is commonly available in powder form or as a supplement.

Maca root has traditionally been used to enhance fertility and sex drive. It’s also claimed to enhance power (energy) and stamina.

What is Maca Root?

The maca plant, also known clinically as Lepidium meyenii, is occasionally known as Peruvian ginseng.

It mostly grows in the Andes of central Peru, in harsh conditions and at quite substantial altitudes — above 13,000 ft (4,000 meters).

Maca is a cruciferous vegetable and so linked to broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and kale. It has a very long history of culinary and medicinal use in Peru.

The main edible part of the plant is the origin, which grows underground. It exists in several colors, which range from white to black.

A lot of men and women add it to their own smoothies, oatmeal, and sweet treats. It is worth noting that research on maca is still in its early phases.

Many of the studies are small, performed in creatures, and/or sponsored by businesses that produce or sell maca.

“Maca is a medicinal plant which mostly grows high up in the mountains of Peru in harsh conditions”.

Maca is Highly Nutritious

The Maca root powder is extremely beneficial and is a great source of several important minerals and vitamins.

One ounce (28 grams) of maca root powder has:

  • Calories: 91
  • Carbs: 20 grams
  • Protein: 4 grams
  • Fiber: 2 grams
  • Fat: 1 g
  • Vitamin C: 133% of the RDI
  • Copper: 85 percent of the RDI
  • Iron: 23% of the RDI
  • Potassium: 16% of the RDI
  • Vitamin B6: 15% of the RDI
  • Manganese: 10 percent of the RDI

Maca root is a good source of carbs, is low in fat, and has a fair amount of fiber. Additionally, it is high in certain essential vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin C, iron, and copper.

Furthermore, it contains various plant chemicals, such as glucosinolates and polyphenols.

“Maca root powder is packed with carbohydrates and rich in a number of nutrients, including vitamin C, copper and iron. It also contains many bioactive plant compounds”.

Maca increases Libido in Men and Women:

Reduced sexual desire is a common issue among adults. Therefore, interest in herbs and plants that naturally boost libido is great.

A review from 2010 that included four randomized clinical trials with a total of 131 participants discovered signs that maca improves sexual appetite after at least six weeks of ingestion.

“It increases sex drive (libido) in both women and men”.

Maca May Increase Fertility in Men:

When it comes to male fertility, semen quality and quantity are quite important. There is some evidence that maca root increases men’s fertility.

A recent review summarized the findings of five small studies. It revealed that maca improved semen quality in both infertile and healthy men.

One of the studies reviewed contained nine healthy men. After consuming maca for four months, researchers detected an increase in the volume, count, and motility of sperm.

“Maca can increase sperm production and enhance sperm quality, thereby increase fertility in men”.

Maca Could Help relieve Symptoms of Menopause:

Menopause is defined as the time in a woman’s life when her menstrual periods stop permanently.

The natural decline in estrogen that occurs during that time can cause a range of unpleasant symptoms.

These include hot flashes, vaginal dryness, mood swings, sleep problems, and irritability.

One evaluation of four studies in menopausal women found that maca helped relieve menopausal symptoms, including hot flashes and disrupted sleep.

Additionally, animal studies suggest that maca will help safeguard bone health. Girls have a greater risk of osteoporosis after menopause.

“It can improve symptoms of menopause, including hot flashes and interrupted sleep through the night”.

Improve Your Mood with the help of Maca Root:

Several studies have demonstrated that maca can boost your mood. It’s been correlated with decreased stress and symptoms of depression, especially in menopausal women.

Maca includes plant chemicals known as flavonoids, which have been indicated to be at least partly accountable for these psychological benefits.

“It may improve your emotional well-being and disposition by lowering anxiety and depression, especially in menopausal women”.

Maca May Boost Sports Performance and Energy:

Maca root powder is a popular supplement among bodybuilders and athletes. It has been claimed to assist you to gain muscle, increase strength, boost power and improve exercise performance.

Also, some animal studies indicate that it enhances endurance performance.

Additionally, one small study in eight men cyclists found that they improved the time it took them to finish a nearly 25-mile (40-km) bicycle ride after 14 days of supplementing with maca extract.

Currently, there’s not any scientific proof to confirm any benefits for muscle mass or strength.

“Supplementing with maca may enhance exercise performance, particularly during endurance events. However, its effects on muscle mass and strength have yet to be studied”.

Maca may help protect your skin from the Sun (When applied to the Skin)

Ultraviolet (UV) rays from sunlight can burn and harm unprotected, exposed skin. Over time, UV radiation can cause wrinkles and increase your chance of skin cancer.

There’s some evidence that employing maca extract, a concentrated form of the plant, to your own skin may help shield it from UV radiation.

One study discovered that maca extract applied to the skin of five rats within a three-week interval prevents skin damage from UV exposure.

Keep in mind that maca extract can’t replace a conventional sunscreen. Also, it simply protects the skin when applied to the skin, not when consumed.

“When applied to the skin, maca extract may help shield it from the sun’s UV rays”.

Maca Might Boost Learning and Performance:

Maca may enhance brain function. Actually, it has traditionally been used by natives in Peru to improve children’s performance in school.

In animal research, maca has enhanced learning and memory in rodents that have memory impairment.

In this regard, black maca appears to be more effective than other varieties.

“Some evidence suggests that maca, in particular the black one, can enhance learning and memory”.

Maca Might Reduce Prostate Size:

Enlargement of the prostate gland also referred to as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), is most common in aging men. The prostate is a gland only found in men.

Lately, a few studies in rodents suggest that red maca reduces prostate size.

It has been proposed that the impact of red maca on the prostate is linked to its high amount of glucosinolates.

These substances are also associated with a decreased risk of prostate cancer.

“A large prostate is common among older men and may cause difficulties with urination. Animal studies indicate that red maca can decrease prostate size”.

Maca is mainly grown for consumption of its root. The majority of harvested maca is dried or powder
It can be integrated into your diet as a nutritional supplement

How to Utilize Maca Root:

Maca isn’t hard to integrate into your diet.

U can take it as a nutritional supplement and also add it to smoothies, oatmeal, baked goods and energy bars, etc.

The optimal dose for medicinal use hasn’t yet been established. However, the dosage of maca root powder used in studies normally ranges from 1.5–5 grams every day.

You’ll be able to find maca in certain niches, in health food stores, and from different online retailers.

It is available in powder form, 500-mg capsules, or as a liquid extract.

While yellow maca is the most readily available form, darker types like black and red may possess different biological properties.

Maca root powder is easy to integrate into your diet and is widely accessible.

Safety and Side Effects of Maca Root:

Maca is generally safe and secure.

But, Peruvian natives believe that consuming fresh maca root could have adverse health consequences and recommend boil them.

Additionally, if you have thyroid issues, you may wish to be cautious with maca.

That’s because it contains goitrogens, compounds that may interfere with the normal function of the thyroid gland.

These chemicals are more likely to affect you if you currently have impaired thyroid function.

Lastly, pregnant or breastfeeding women should consult with their physicians before taking maca.

Maca is considered safe for most people, but those with thyroid issues need to be careful.

Bottom line:

Supplementing with maca may offer several health benefits, such as increased libido and a better disposition.

But, most of the research is small and a lot of these were performed in animals.

Though maca indicates a lot of promise, it needs to be researched more extensively.

Ask your friends and loved ones for support.

If you’re feeling anxious or depressed, consider joining a support group or seeking counseling. Believe in your ability to take control of the pain…

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