The How, What and When Of Maca
Not a long time ago, a precious plant was just a regular source of food and medicine for the people in the Andean Mountain. This plant, unknown to the North American region, has been thriving for thousands of years in the Andean region. As the plant became popular in the western world, we would be discussing the plant’s benefits and what is the best thing to do to optimize its benefits.
Maca – Peruvian Ginseng
The maca root, also known in the science world as “Lepidium meyenii” or “Lepidium Peruvianum” has been used for thousands of years not only as a food source but also as a treatment for various ailments. The superfood is said to help stabilize mood and improve energy of people who consume it. Aside from this, it contains phytonutrients, vitamins, essential fatty acids as well as amino acids. There are studies that the plant may also contain trace minerals and phytohormones.
Not only is the plant known for its ability to improve strength and increase energy, the plant also seems to have the ability to help support and regulate hormonal imbalance for both males and females. As it regulates hormone production, it helps with regulating digestion, sexual drive, fertility as well as increase energy levels.
The maca is an adaptogen, which is similar to that of ginseng. Adaptogens are compounds that increase the body’s resistance towards diseases and help with stabilizing physiological and emotional balance of the patient. This is ideal for people diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome as it also helps regulate the hormones that are produced by the adrenal and pituitary glands.
Maca and its Uses
In the old days, the maca was used not only as food source, but also, to help with various ailments. It is used to treat menopausal and PMS symptoms. It is believed that the maca is able to help decrease hot flashes as well as nighttime sweating. The maca is currently used as a natural alternative to anabolic steroids for sports athletes in treating muscle hypertrophy. Aside from these benefits, both men and women would find that the plant could also help in increasing their fertility, sexual drive and stamina.
As the maca root becomes more and more popular, studies and researches are now being conducted to test if it can also be used in the skin care industry. The root plant is said to have the potential of nourishing and softening skin as it helps stimulate the production of fibroblasts in vitro, which can result to younger looking skin.
The maca plant can also help increase collagen synthesis, which helps contribute to the integrity of the skin’s structure. One can observe firmer, smoother and younger looking skin. Hair care products that contain maca extracts can also help people maintain hair thickness and prevent hair loss. The maca helps encourage growth by promoting keratinocyte synthesis, which helps protect the hair bulb.
Additional Benefits of the Maca Plant:
- Improves and maintains hormone level
- Strengthens the skin
- Increases sexual drive and fertility rate
- Improves sleep and energy level
- Helps the body to adapt to stressful situations
- Helps improve memory and enhance brain functions
- Has anti-aging properties
- Possible anti-acne properties
- Reduces hormonal imbalance and menopausal symptoms
- Reduces pains
- Strengthens and thickens hair follicle, prevent hair loss
Due to the many uses of the maca plant, it can become one of the ingredients for future skin care and other health care products.
Should you Avoid Maca?
For some people, maca may not be a good thing. For those who are suffering from thyroid problems, it is best to avoid the maca and other products that do contain maca extracts. The plant is rich in iodine and glucosinate that can affect some thyroid conditions. In addition, it is best to consult your health care provider if you are experiencing serious health problems or are diagnosed with cancer or PCOS.