Maca, scientific name Lepedium meyenii, is an herb with a fleshy taproot that belongs to the same family as broccoli, cabbage, and mustard native to the Andes Mountains in Peru. The taproot is prized for its medicinal and nutritional values in Peru for over 2,000 years. Maca is also famous of its other names as “Peruvian ginseng” and “Peruvian Viagra” for its benefits on supporting sexual energy. This root vegetable belongs to a group of herbs called adaptogens, which help the body fight the physical, mental, and emotional effects of stress. Maca supplements have long been used to improve stamina, vitality, and mental alertness which can be taken either as capsules, powdered root, or liquid extract.
Maca is rich in essential nutrients such as carbohydrates, fatty acids, proteins, Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B12, calcium, and phosphorus. Roots even have higher levels of calcium than milk, cheese, yogurt, and other dairy products. According to studies, these nutrients are responsible for its abilities to calm the nerves, provide nervous system support, enhance appetite, and promote healthy digestion. Maca contains active ingredients called macamides and macaenes, which are thought to be responsible for its aphrodisiac effects.
Most famous for its benefits on sexual health in both men and women, it can be particularly helpful in women during the menopausal stage where hormones are fluctuating, and can also help older men dealing with low libido as part of ageing. It shows potential for improving fertility for both men and women. Taking maca supplements has been found to promote healthy sperm count and sperm motility. The most common causes of male infertility is low sperm count and impaired sperm motility. For female fertility, maca is thought to exhibit conception-promoting properties. However, more studies are needed to figure out how maca works for women wishing to get pregnant. Maca is of different types, including black, red, and yellow. Black maca appears to have more impact on male fertility while yellow seems to benefit female fertility.
Maca can also promote sharper mind for improved mental performance. Emerging studies have discovered that it has stress-relieving properties and hormone-balancing actions by acting on the endocrine glands, helping ensure that they produce adequate level of essential hormones. You can also use maca to strengthen immune defences against common infections.
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