Peruvian Maca, or just Maca, is a tuber of the turnip, cabbage and watercress family that has important medicinal properties and is traditionally used to increase vitality and libido, and is therefore known as a natural energizer.
The scientific name of this medicinal plant is Lepidium meyenii and it may be known in other places as Ginseng-dos-Andes or Viagra-dos-Incas. Maca is also considered a superfood for being rich in fiber and essential fats, nourishing the body and contributing to increased energy and physical vigor.
Maca is relatively easy to find, and can be purchased at health food stores in the form of capsules or powder, which can be mixed with vitamins or fruit juices, for example.
Peruvian Maca can traditionally be used for various purposes, however, the benefits with proven scientific effect are:
- Increase sexual desire
Maca has stimulant, tonic and antidepressant properties and, therefore, is considered a powerful sexual stimulant, being indicated to increase sexual desire.
- Decrease tiredness and fatigue
Maca essential oil provides excellent amounts of fatty acids and is therefore great for increasing energy and performance, both physically and mentally.
- Improves concentration and reasoning
The fatty acids present in the essential oil of Maca, help to increase mental performance, improving reasoning and concentration.
- Contributes to anxiety reduction
Maca helps to optimize hormone production and increases vitality, so it is a great choice to help reduce anxiety and depression symptoms.
In addition, there are still some studies that show that Maca can also be used to lessen feelings of depression, optimize hormone production, increase the frequency of erections and lessen menopausal symptoms.
Maca can also be used as a supplement during weight loss processes because, although it does not increase metabolism or fat burning, it favors energy levels, leaving the person more willing to exercise and follow the diet indicated by the nutritionist.
How to take
The recommended daily dose of Maca is approximately 3000mg, divided into 3 times, taken with meals for up to a maximum of 4 months.
However, the dosage may vary depending on the type of treatment or the problem being treated. Therefore, it is always best to consult a nutritionist or a naturopath before using Maca capsules.
Maca can also be consumed as a food, in the form of a root or powder, and should be added in the preparation of dishes or drinks, for example, in the proportion of 2 to 3 teaspoons.
Possible side effects
This food is usually well tolerated and therefore no side effects are described. However, some people may be allergic to maca, so it is important to try a small dose first, under the guidance of a doctor or nutritionist.
Who should not take
In most people, Peruvian Maca is well tolerated, being widely consumed in regions of South America, but for safety reasons it should not be used during pregnancy or breastfeeding.
In addition, and although there is no consensus on the effect of Maca on hormones, consumption of Maca should also be avoided without guidance in children or in the case of people with a history of some type of estrogen-dependent disease or cancer such as breast cancer or uterus.
GONZALEZ Gustavo; VILLAORDUÑAS Leonidas et al. MACA (Lepidium meyenii Walp), UNA REVISIÓN SOBRE SUS PROPIEDADES BIOLÓGICAS . Revista Peruana de Medicina Experimental y Salud Pública. 31. 1; 100-110, 2014
GONZALES Carla, YUPANQUI Irma et al. Acceptability, Safety, and Efficacy of Oral Administration of Extracts of Black or Red Maca (Lepidium meyenii) in Adult Human Subjects: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study. Pharmaceuticals . 9. 3; 1-23, 2016
STOJANOVSKA L, LAW C et al . Maca reduces blood pressure and depression, in a pilot study in postmenopausal women . Climacteric