“The Versatile Adaptogen”
- an adaptogenic herb
- hormonal balance
- traditional use in women-specific medical conditions
Maca (Lepidium meyenii) is a Peruvian plant that grows in harsh conditions in the cold climates of the Andes. It can be found at very high altitudes, up to 4500 m and it is also known by the name Peruvian ginseng. Maca is a cruciferous vegetable related to broccoli, kale, and cabbage.
Maca root has been traditionally used since ancient Incas times till the present in high regions of the Andes, as a vital dietary supplement and important staple food component in their diet. Maca is an adaptogenic herb, which, when taken regularly, has been shown to help restore metabolic harmony and induce hormonal balance appropriate to gender and age.1 Maca root has also been used by traditional cultures to treat women-specific medical conditions such as menstrual irregularities, hormone imbalances, infertility, loss of energy and libido, and menopausal symptoms.
One of the studies on postmenopausal women concluded that maca appeared to reduce both blood pressure and depression.2 Maca was also proven to reduce psychological symptoms, including anxiety and depression, and lowers measures of sexual dysfunction in postmenopausal women independent of estrogenic and androgenic activity.3
Supplementing with maca may also improve exercise performance. A study focusing on endurance and performance of maca supplementation was conducted on male cyclists. 14 days of maca supplementation improved cycling time performance in trained cyclists.4
- Meissner, Henry. (2014). Die Einzigartigen Kräfte der Maca-Wurzel – Wissenschaftliche Fakten Hinter Traditionellem Wissen.
- Stojanovska, C. Law, B. Lai, T. Chung, K. Nelson, S. Day, V. Apostolopoulos & C. Haines (2015) Maca reduces blood pressure and depression, in a pilot study in postmenopausal women, Climacteric, 18:1, 69-78, DOI: 10.3109/13697137.2014.929649
- Brooks, Nicole & Wilcox, Gisela & Walker, Karen & Ashton, John & Cox, Marc & Stojanovska, Lily. (2008). Beneficial effects of Lepidium meyenii (Maca) on psychological symptoms and measures of sexual dysfunction in postmenopausal women are not related to estrogen or androgen content. Menopause (New York, N.Y.). 15. 1157-62. 10.1097/gme.0b013e3181732953.
- Stone, Mark & Ibarra, Alvin & Roller, Marc & Zangara, Andrea & Stevenson, Emma. (2009). A pilot investigation into the effect of maca supplementation on physical activity and sexual desire in sportsmen. Journal of ethnopharmacology. 126. 574-6. 10.1016/j.jep.2009.09.012.
Gonzales, Gustavo. (2012). Ethnobiology and Ethnopharmacology of Lepidium meyenii (Maca), a Plant from the Peruvian Highlands. Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine : eCAM. 2012. 193496. 10.1155/2012/193496.
Hermann, M. & (eds, J. & Heller, J & Engels, Johannes. (1997). Andean roots and tubers: Ahipa, arracacha, maca and yacon.
Meissner, H. O., Mscisz, A., Reich-Bilinska, H., Kapczynski, W., Mrozikiewicz, P., Bobkiewicz-Kozlowska, T., … & Barchia, I. (2006). Hormone-balancing effect of pre-gelatinized organic Maca (Lepidium peruvianum Chacon):(II) physiological and symptomatic responses of early-postmenopausal women to standardized doses of Maca in double blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, multi-centre clinical study. International journal of biomedical science: IJBS, 2(4), 36