Maca is also known as Peruvian ginseng and lepidium meyenii. Native to the Andes Mountains, this perennial plant has been cultivated for more than 2,000 years and serves as a medicinal herb and root vegetable. Maca is also known to provide a host of health benefits that include increased libido, relief from menstrual pain, and increased fertility.
The maca root is specifically known for its adaptogenic-type properties. This means that it is able to increase the body's ability to cope with trauma, fatigue, anxiety, and stress. As a result, consumption of the maca root may help to improve your immune system while improving your resistance regarding mental and physical health problems. Maca is also thought to help with alleviating arthritis pain.
1. Benefits for Men
Maca supplements have been shown to be effective in resolve infertility issues in men. Some studies have indicated that this root can have a positive effect on semen volume and sperm production. Men who experience low libido may also find the maca root to be beneficial. In addition, maca has been shown to be helpful with relieving depression, which may serve to increase libido. Men who use maca may also experience relief of erectile dysfunction and impotency. Consuming maca root supplements may also help to increase testosterone and progesterone levels.
2. Benefits for Women
Women who consume maca root supplements may notice an improvement in infertility problems and hormonal imbalances. Symptoms associated with menopause, including mood swings, hot flashes, sleep disturbances, and vaginal dryness may be relieved by the consumption of the maca root either in its natural form or in a supplement. Maca has also been shown to relieve symptoms related to pre-menopause, menopause, and post-menopause. The maca root can also be helpful in maintaining a proper hormonal balance while relieving pain associated with menstruation. Maca may also help to improve sexual stimulation.
The daily recommended dosage of maca is between 3,000 and 5,000 milligrams. A concentrated dosage ranges between 1,500 and 2,250 mg/day. Taking any dosage above these levels can cause the endocrine system to become overwhelmed, which can result in a number of side effects, including the following:
- Hot flashes
- Increased heart rate
- Allergic reactions, including hives, rash, and flushed skin
- Gastrointestinal problems, such as diarrhea and upset stomach
- Mood swings
It should be noted that the maca root has been known to increase testosterone levels in men as well as women. Although this can certainly be beneficial for men, excessive levels of testosterone in women can result in hormonal imbalances. This can cause such problems as development of facial hair, insulin resistance, male pattern baldness, deepening of the voice and uterine and breast cancers,.
The maca root may also interfere with certain types of medications. This is particularly true with medications used for treating thyroid problems. As a result, it is not recommended that thyroid patients use this herb. The maca root also contains the glucosinolate compound, which can result in goiter in excessive amounts. It can also cause goiter in cases of iodine deficiency. This is considered one of the most dangerous side effects of the maca root. You should also avoid using maca root if you are pregnant.