In recent years Maca trees have been widely known.
This plant is native to Peru and is often used as a powder or supplement
Maca root has been used to enhance fertility and sexual desire.
It is also said to improve energy and endurance.
What is Maca?
Maca tree has a scientific name Lepidium meyenii It also has another name, Peruvian ginseng.
This plant grows mainly in the Andes of central Peru under extreme conditions and at elevations of more than 13,000 feet (4,000 meters).
Maca is a type of vegetables with relatives with broccoli, broccoli, cabbage, and Kale . Peru has long had a long history of using cuisine in combination with medicinal materials .
The tubers growing underground are edible parts of maca. The bulbs have many colors ranging from white to black.
Maca root is usually dried and ground into a powder, but it is also made into a capsule or solution.
Here are pictures of maca and tubers:
The taste of soil and hazelnut of maca powder is not very popular among people. Many people add maca to vitamins, oatmeal and sweet foods.
It is worth noting that the study of new maca tubers is just at the beginning.
Most of these are small studies in animals or funded by maca production and trading companies.
Conclude: Maca is a major medicinal plant grown in extreme conditions in high mountains in Peru.
1. Nutritious food
Maca root is very nutritious, a great source of some vitamins and minerals .
1 ounce (28 grams) of maca root powder includes:
- Calories: 91
- Carbon hydrate: 20 grams
- The protein: 4 grams
- Fiber: 2 grams
- Fat: 1 gram
- Vitamin C: 133% of recommended amount (RDI)
- Copper: 85% (RDI)
- Iron: 23% (RDI)
- Potassium: 16% (RDI)
- Vitamin B6: 15% (RDI)
- Mangan: 10% (RDI)
Moreover, the maca tree contains a lot of plant ingredients in it and .
Conclude: Maca root powder has a high content of protein, carb and some nutrients including vitamin C, copper and iron. It also contains many active plant ingredients.
2. Maca increases sexual desire in men and women
Reducing sexual desire is a common problem in adults
So people are very interested in herbs and plants that enhance desire.
According to many studies done, Maca has been advertised as a product to improve the desire efficiency .
According to a review from 2010 including 4 randomized clinical studies with a total of 131 participants showed that maca improved sexual desire at least 6 weeks after eating .
Conclude: Maca increases sexual desire in both men and women.
3. Maca helps increase fertility in men
When it comes to male fertility, sperm quality and quantity are very important.
There has been some evidence that maca tubers help increase male fertility .
A recent review synthesized the findings of five small studies. This review indicates that maca helps improve semen quality in both infertile and healthy men .
One of the studies did experiments on 9 men. After eating maca for 4 months, the sperm of these people increased in volume, quantity and activity .
Conclude: Maca promotes sperm production and improves sperm quality, thereby enhancing fertility in men.
4. Maca helps relieve symptoms of menopause
Menopause is a woman's menstrual period that lasts forever.
Estrogen depletion that occurs during this period can cause a range of unpleasant symptoms.
Symptoms include flushing, vaginal dryness, mood swings, insomnia and discomfort.
An evaluation of four studies in menopausal women showed that maca reduced menopausal symptoms including flushing and poor sleep .
In addition, animal studies suggest that maca may support bone protection. Women are at high risk of postmenopausal osteoporosis .
Conclude: Maca helps improve menopausal symptoms including burning and sleepless nights.
5. Maca helps improve mood
Some studies have shown that maca can help better condition.
Specifically, it helps to reduce anxiety, especially depressive manifestations in postmenopausal women .
Maca contains botanical ingredients called flavonoids that are more or less psychologically beneficial .
Conclude: Maca can improve mental health and mood by reducing depression and anxiety especially in postmenopausal women.
6. Maca helps increase energy and improve athletic performance
Maca root powder is a very popular functional food among athletes and bodybuilders.
This type of food is claimed to help increase muscle, strength, energy and improve motor performance.
Some animal studies have shown that maca also enhances achievement in endurance exercise .
In addition, a small study of eight male cyclists found time to cycle nearly 25 miles (40 km) shortened after 14 days adding maca .
There is currently no scientific evidence that confirms the benefits of maca to muscle development.
Conclude: Maca supplementation helps improve motor performance especially in endurance sports. However, muscle strengthening effects are still in the research phase.
7. Maca protects the skin in the sun
Ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun can cause sunburn and skin damage if not protected
Over time, UV radiation can cause wrinkles and increase the risk of skin cancer .
One has evidence that rubbing maca extract, a concentrated form of plants, on the skin helps protect the skin from UV radiation .
A study in which five rats were applied to maca extract over the skin for 3 weeks and their skin was protected from UV damage .
There is such a protective effect due to polyphenol antioxidants and glucosinolates in maca .
One thing to keep in mind is that maca extract cannot replace conventional sunscreen. And it only protects the skin when applied directly, not through eating.
Conclude: Maca extract, when applied to the skin, helps protect the skin from the sun's UV rays.
8. Maca helps improve learning and memory
Maca can improve brain function .
In fact maca is still used by Peruvian people to improve children's academic achievement .
In animal experiments, maca improved learning and memory of memory impaired rodents .
In improving learning and memory, black maca seems to be most effective .
Conclude: Some evidence has shown that maca especially black maca can improve learning and memory.
9. Maca helps reduce prostate size
Prostate is only found in men.
Prostate enlargement, also called (BHP) is a common disease in older men .
Large prostate gland can make it difficult to urinate because the prostate gland surrounds the urinary tube where urine passes.
Some rodent studies indicate that red maca may reduce prostate size .
High glucosinolate content is believed to contribute to the effect of red maca on the prostate. It also helps reduce the risk of prostate cancer .
Conclude: Large prostate is a common problem in older men and can cause difficulty in urinating. Experiments on animals have suggested that red maca helps reduce prostate size.
How to use Maca
It's easy to add maca to your diet.
Maca is used as a supplement or added to vitamins, oatmeal , baked goods, energy cakes and other foods.
The optimal dosage for maca use has not been given yet, but the dose of maca powder used in studies is about 1.5 to 5 grams per day.
Maca is sold in supermarkets, healthy food stores and many other online retail stores. The product is available in powder form, 500mg capsule or extracted solution.
Maca gold is the easiest to buy while the darker types such as red and black possess different biological properties .
Conclude: It is easy to add maca root powder to the diet and it is widely sold
Safety and side effects
Maca is considered a safe food .
However, Peruvian people believe that eating fresh maca can have adverse health effects and it is recommended to boil maca before eating.
Moreover, if you have problems with your thyroid, you should be careful when using maca.
The reason is that in maca there is a substance called goitrogen that interferes with the normal function of the thyroid gland. These compounds may affect you if you have impaired thyroid function.
Finally, women who have changed and breastfed should consult their doctor before taking maca.
Conclude: Maca is considered a safe food for most people, but people with thyroid problems need to be careful when taking maca.
Things to remember
Maca supplementation can bring many health benefits such as increased libido and improved mood.
However, most studies are only small-scale and many of them are done in animals.
Although maca promises a lot of potential, it still needs more research.