What is Maca Root Powder (Lepidium meyenii)?
Maca root comes from the Lepidium meyenii plant native to Peru, high on the Andes mountains. It’s also known as Peruvian ginseng; however, they do not share the same family. The name similarity exists because maca and ginseng are both adaptogenic herbs purported to boost energy and libido. Maca is related to radishes and turnips and bears a stronger resemblance to parsnips. Descriptions of the maca plant date as far back as 1553, and it received its botanical name Lepidium meyenii in 1843. It goes by many names in Spanish and Quechua (the indigenous language spoken by the people living in the Peruvian Andes). These include ayak chichira, ayak willku, maino, and maca-maca.
Traditional Peruvian folk remedies used maca root powder for more than two thousand years to improve endurance, energy, vitality, sexual virility, and fertility. Inca warriors consumed maca before going into battle, as they believed it rendered them fiercely strong by increasing their vitality and stamina. Maca powder had high value during Spanish colonization, and Peruvians used maca herbs as currency to pay taxes to conquistadors.
Potential Maca Benefits
Maca root is rich in fiber, fatty acids, and several essential amino acids. It also contains several other nutrients, including Vitamin C, copper, iron, and calcium. However, most of maca root’s beneficial properties are due to its bioactive alkaloid, glucosinolate, macamide, and macaridine content. One study noted that maca’s bioactive compounds boosted participants’ mood and energy levels compared to the placebo group. Maca root is also an adaptogen and may provide stress relief.
Potential Maca Benefits for Men
Maca root powder may improve sperm function in men. A small human study noted maca successfully increased sperm count, sperm motility, and overall seminal volume. Another human study found that men taking a maca root supplement experienced improvements in sexual desire, whereas the placebo group did not. Researchers also found that male athletes taking maca supplements had significant improvements in sexual desire within 14 days of starting the trial compared to the placebo group. That same study noted maca supplement improved the athletes’ exercise performance. Further research shows that maca supplements improve men’s perception of their general and sexual well-being compared to the placebo group. Another study supported this finding and reported that maca supplements exerted a beneficial effect on libido and mood.
Maca Root and Ashwagandha
Maca root and ashwagandha
are both adaptogens that may help relieve the physical and psychological effects of stress. Pairing these two supplements may enhance those properties.
PureBulk carries numerous adaptogenic supplements. These include:
Potential Maca Benefits for Women
Women’s estrogen levels decline with age and often result in unpleasant side effects, including mood swings, low libido, hot flashes, and problems sleeping. Numerous studies have explored maca root’s effects on menopausal and postmenopausal women. Two studies noted that maca helped relieve some of the unpleasant symptoms of declining estrogen—particularly hot flashes and sleep disruptions. Another study noted maca supplements improved mood in postmenopausal women. These groups of women may also experience libido benefits by taking a maca root supplement. Preliminary findings show that maca root reduced stress, improved sexual function, and enhanced sexual desire in postmenopausal women.
Potential Maca Root Side Effects
Human trials show that most individuals tolerate maca root supplements well without experiencing any significant side effects. Individuals with metabolic syndrome should consult with a physician before taking maca root supplements, as it may raise their AST levels when taken in large doses.
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