People have used maca root for generations to boost energy and stabilize mood.
This Peruvian herb grown in the Andes Mountains contains healthy amino acids, vitamins, phytonutrients and fatty acids that are essential to good health and beauty.
It is known to boost libido and has been used for medicinal purposes since the times of the ancient Incas more than 3,000 years ago.
What is Maca, Exactly?
The maca plant is a vegetable related to the radish. (cruciferous vegetables)
Unlike radishes, though, the smell of the maca plant is similar to butterscotch.
Peruvians have used maca to make medicine for thousands of years, and it has made a big splash both here and worldwide in recent years.
It is available in either a root extract or powdered form of the root.
The powder may or may not be in capsules.
Health Benefits of Maca
Maca has been used to successful treat a variety of medical conditions.
People have used it to help with anemia, fatigue, memory and fertility.
It has been used to correct hormonal imbalances and problems related to the menstrual cycle.
Women find this herb especially helpful for treating osteoporosis.
Others may use it in addition to regular prescription medication to aid the body in healing from cancer, leukemia, HIV, tuberculosis and other diseases that affect the immune system.
Maca Benefits for Libido
According to WebMD, recent studies suggest that maca benefits men with poor semen quality.
It can also provide relief for menopausal symptoms and reduce the size of enlarged prostates.
Animal studies have demonstrated that maca is an effective aphrodisiac though there have been no significant studies on humans.
Although lacking empirical evidence, thousands of years of health benefits are undeniable.
This plant has an extensive history of helping both men and women with infertility, low libido and other health problems.
Is Maca Safe?
You can obtain the benefits of maca powder by mixing it in food or taking it as a medicine.
When used for medicinal purposes, WebMD reports that it is probably safe for most people in doses of 1500 mg – 3000 mg per day for a period of three months.
After the three-month period, your body needs a break from this supplement.
Be careful about taking other herbal supplements in addition to maca.
Supplements like ginseng, cohosh, licorice root and other herbs to enhance energy and fertility should be avoided while taking maca.
Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should avoid taking maca.
Anyone considering using the herb for the first time should consult his or her physician first.
Are There Any Side Effects?
If you have a thyroid condition DO NOT TAKE RAW MACA! – See comment below
When taken in the above-recommended doses, there are no known side effects to maca powder or maca root.
Introduce it slowly into your system, though, to avoid jolts of energy.
If you are on any medications, ask your doctor if it is safe to add maca root to your daily routine.
It is an effective form of natural therapy, but you should avoid taking large doses of the medicine.
As with anything that is good for you, moderation is key.
Can Maca Powder Be Added to Food?
If you’re not a fan of ingesting the powder plain or taking it in capsule form, try adding it to some of your favorite foods.
Maca root has a nutty, earthy taste that can complement a number of flavors.
It’s easy to get the maca powder benefits when you mix the stuff in smoothies.
One teaspoon of the powder has only 10 calories and can give you an energy boost that lasts all day long.
Add it to your protein drinks, a cup of coffee or tea, or in your favorite soup.
If you have a sweet tooth, put it in your baked goods like cookies and brownies.
Alternatively, you can sprinkle the powder on any food you like, such as pasta, pizza, potatoes and many other foods.
If you don’t particularly like the taste of the powder, sprinkle it on foods with bold flavors so you do not notice the powder’s taste.
What Other Forms of Maca Are Available?
In addition to powder and powder-filled capsules, maca is also available in liquid form or in gel capsules.
All forms are considered safe, so use it in a way that is most comfortable for you.
If you take the liquid form of the medicine, you may take it straight or add it to your drinks, as mentioned above.
Powders are less expensive than the liquid form, which is more concentrated, but both are affordable.
Maca is available online and in many health food stores. For a selection of Maca products available now on Amazon