Maca is a pure super root that is part of the brassica family, and is considered a tuber. Often connected with hormones and mood balance, maca may also help the body to react to stress, and is known to increase energy, stamina and libido levels, along with fertility
Maca is rich in Vitamins A and C, B2, B6 and Niacin. It also includes iron, zinc, iodine, calcium, copper, magnesium and potassium. It also contains fatty acids which are heart healthy and help to reduce inflammation.
As an endocrine adaptogen, Maca contains plant sterols that can stimulate hormone level changes and are linked to the hypothalamic pituitary adrenal or HPA axis, which is our central stress response system. The sterols are thought to stimulate changes in the HPA axis, as well as the adrenal, ovarian, pineal, and thyroid glands (2). Thus, Maca helps to balance hormone levels, and most of our hormone levels are off due to environmental estrogens. Anyone with hormone balance issues – PMS, hot flashes, night sweats, cycle issues, and infertility – can ask your health care practitioner about how maca might help.In one study, perimenopausal women who took 2000mg of maca per day for 4 months, had reduced rates of hot flashes and night sweats, and less depression, insomnia and anxiety. (1)
Maca has been long known to boost stamina and energy levels and has been used by athletes to boost performance.
It has also been used to increase fertility and libido. (3)
HOW TO TAKE
Small amounts (I use 1 tsp) taken daily of the gelatinized version, or capsules are recommended. If you are trying to conceive, stop taking once the ovulatory period arrives to avoid taking while pregnant. Below is a brand of powdered maca that I use and like. Do you supplement with maca? What benefits have you noticed?
1 – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3614596/
2 – Hormones Balance
3 – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/187846099