In the Andean mountains of Peru in South America lies the maca plant, which is a staple for many Peruvians. The locals use the plant as a flavoring ingredient as well as for baking using maca flour with their dairy products.
The maca plant is not only a staple diet but it is also popular for its medicinal benefits as it is believed that the plant can help the body fight stress as well as certain sexual dysfunction. The plant is known as an adaptogen; instead of triggering the body’s hormone, it helps stabilize and regulate the body’s metabolism. It is also used for other health problems such as depression, anxiety, fatigue, stress and even sleeping difficulties.
The maca is also rich in vitamins and minerals including but not limited to Vitamin B1 and B12, Vitamin C, phosphorous and calcium. Some research has indicated that it might increase the HDL levels over time, as it is also rich in fatty acids.
That said, the plant not only offers health benefits but studies have also indicated that it can help people who are experiencing sexual problems such as alleviating menopausal problems as well as the possibility of decreasing the chances of prostate enlargement.
Reduction of Prostate Problems with Maca Extracts
In a study published in the Asian Journal of Andrology, male rats who have prostatic hyperplasia were given different types of maca root extracts. It was revealed that the aqueous extract of the red maca has the most effect in decreasing the size and weight of the animal’s prostate.
In another study, the authors performed a clinical trial where volunteer male and female adults were given to the maca. The results show a positive outcome in terms of increasing libido for women who are undergoing their menopausal stage and the adult males. Positive results were also observed for patients with erectile dysfunction. (BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine)
The maca plant was also observed to be helpful when it comes to increasing sperm volume and motility. In a study which lasted for about four months, men ranging from 22 to 44 were given maca extract tablets. Researchers found that the extracts were able to help in increasing the semen volume and motility while hormone levels stayed stable.
Women who have experienced menopausal symptoms may also find that the maca extracts can help them especially those who experience fatigue, hot flashes, depression and vaginal dryness.
Lastly, one other study involving rats given the maca extracts shows an increase in the litter size which helps back up previous studies that shows that the extracts can help with fertility. Limited research also reveals that it is possible to reverse male infertility due to lead exposure.