The Top 10 Uses for this Remarkable Plant
Maca is an ancient plant that has been cultivated by the indigenous peoples of Peru in South America for thousands of years. It has an amazing array of heath benefits for young and old alike. This article lists just 10 of the most important benefits of maca
All about Maca – What You Need to Know
Like many people, you may find yourself craving tea or coffee when you’re feeling listless or devoid of energy. Why not forego that caffeine boost in favour of a more natural solution? Maca is the perfect alternative! This all-natural tuber provides an amazing boost of energy just when you need it most, and in a way that does not depend on caffeine stimulus. Your body is supported safely and naturally. Maca is a super food that is nutritionally dense. That means it contains high amounts of vitamins, minerals, essential amino acids and enzymes.
Maca Helps Balance the Body’s Key Hormones
Many people suffer from hormonal imbalances without even knowing it. Maca root can help to balance hormones that are out of sync due to any number of environmental factors. Rather than supplement with synthetic hormones, why not consider a more natural solution? Maca is the perfect candidate for boosting the body’s essential hormones and glands, including the hypothalamus and pituitary. These glands function as regulatory mechanisms for secondary glands such as the pancreas, thyroid and adrenal.
Maca is an Adaptogen
One of maca’s key properties is its role as an adaptogen. An adaptogen is a substance that affects the body in a variable way. For example, if your body is producing an overly high amount of a certain hormone, maca will adapt that production downward. Conversely, if production is low, maca will regulate production upward. This can have a beneficial effect on growth, mood, tissue function and sexual development. Maca also may be able to help with diseases such as depression or even cancer.
Maca is Easy to Prepare and Consume as a Food Supplement
Unlike many artificially based food supplements, maca is truly a nutritious food that’s easy to prepare and consume. It has a pleasant, nutty and light flavour that blends seamlessly into many recipes. Just a teaspoon of maca stirred into a hearty but bland soup along with a bit of sea salt will enhance the flavour substantially. Another great way to use maca is to add it to herb-based teas. Sprinkle maca over just-popped popcorn or combine it with maple syrup for a flavour boost that’s nutritious and flavourful. Maca can also be taken in tablet or capsule form.
Maca has Few Known Adverse Effects
Maca is a staple food in South America and has no known serious side effects or toxicities. Be aware, though, that you may experience some minor symptoms when you first start taking maca. Such symptoms may be related to maca’s detoxification properties. Many people are used to consuming cooked and processed foods that contain low levels of many beneficial nutrients. When one begins to take nutrient-rich maca, the body starts to rid itself of unneeded substances. During this time, you may experience some minor discomfort. Be assured that such symptoms will recede after a few days.
Clinical Trials and Recommended Maca Dosage
The recommended dosage of maca can vary. It’s best to start with a small dose, such as 1/2 teaspoon per day and increase gradually over several weeks to 1 or 2 teaspoons per day. Some sources specify 500 to 1000 mg three times daily. Maca has attracted the attention of the scientific community, and there have been two published studies. In the first, maca dosages of 1500 and 3000 mg, were reported not to increase male libido, debunking a commonly-held myth about maca. Because the second study did not use a control group, its findings are regarded as essentially meaningless.
Maca Has Specific Benefits for Women
Maca can help restore the hormonal imbalance caused by menopause. It’s especially useful in reducing the fatigue associated with this imbalance. Many women report that the worst symptom they experience is troublesome hot flashes. Used over time, maca may ease some of these symptoms and re-balance key hormones naturally. Many women prefer this natural solution over the use of synthetic hormones such as oestrogen that are typically seen as recommended treatments. In addition, maca is useful in treating menstrual symptoms, such as cramping or heavy or irregular periods. It also helps with the troublesome symptoms of PMS (premenstrual syndrome).
Cosmetic Use of Maca
Maca is becoming a key ingredient in cosmetic formulas and toiletries. Recent research has shown that maca both softens and nourishes the skin. In addition, maca stimulates the growth of fibroblast cells in the skin. These cells excrete a substance that supports collagen production. Collagen is an essential component of healthy and young-looking skin. It’s thought that maca also increases collagen production, resulting in improved integrity of the skin’s structure. For the hair, maca-infused products fight hair loss and help to maintain thick, healthy hair.
Who Should Not Use Maca?
Although maca has many beneficial properties, it’s wise to check with your doctor before beginning a maca regimen. If you get the go-ahead, try taking it first thing in the morning or in the early afternoon to take advantage of maca’s energy-boosting properties. Don’t exceed the recommended dosage, and don’t take maca if you have thyroid disease, because it’s high in iodine and glucosinolate. If you have polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) or breast cancer, maca is probably not a good choice for you, unless prescribed by a physician.
Maca and the Immune System
Adding maca to your diet, even in small amounts, can have significant benefits for the immune system. This is because maca is very high in protein and functions to strengthen the immune system. Also, it contains five time more protein the potatoes. This extra protein can boost the immune system, along with your energy levels.
Maca, Sexual Dysfunction and SSRIs
There was a scientific study in 2008 that found that it’s possible maca may help relieve the sexual dysfunction caused by the use of selective seratonin re-uptake inhibitors (SSRIs). SSRIs are a class of medications that are used in the treatment of depression. The results found that those with SSRI-induced sexual dysfunction may experience improved libido while taking maca.
With so much to recommend it, why not consider adding maca to your health regimen?