The internet abounds with much information on maca powder health benefits and reviews. Whilst maca powder has deservedly attracted much attention, only some of it’s purported health benefits are backed up from scientific evidence. In this post we thought we’ll try to separate some of the indisputable truth from the hype.
Where does Maca come from?
To begin with the Peruvian Maca Plant (sometimes referred to as Peruvian Ginseng) grows high up in the Andes mountains in the harshest of conditions. Aside from huge temperature difference between day and night, the soil it grows in is hard and rocky. The resilience required to survive in this environment is perhaps partly why Maca has developed such an extraordinary nutritional profile. It’s little wonder then why Peruvians have for generations used maca to stay vital and health, whilst treating conditions such as lack of energy and fatigue.
First Some of the Hype on Maca
Beyond it’s claim to increase vitality and mental clarity, maca has often been epoused for it’s ability to increase libido. Whilst folk belief passed down from generation after generation may provide anecdotal evidence, scientific evidence on its effectiveness is limited. A few animal studies have found maca is an aphrodisiac, but major studies are lacking on humans. What some scientific studies have found though, is that maca may improve semen quality and reduce enlarged prostrates. Whilst for women certain studies suggest that it may relieve symptoms of menopause (although there has no been any clinical trials performed).
The Facts – Health Benefits of Maca
What is certainly indisputable about maca root is that it has extraordinarily high nutritional values, containing an amazing profile of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, sterols, fatty acids and glycosinates.
- Proven solution for Fatigue
- Helps maintain healthy blood sugar levels
- It’s high calcium content protects against osteoporosis
- Boosts memory and learning capabilities
- Has adaptogenic qualities i.e it helps balance hormones to optimal levels
- Maca root has fertility enhancing qualities in both men and women
Maca Root Side Effects
There doesn’t appear to be any scientific studies suggesting that maca root consumption can be dangerous for certain people. It’s perhaps only when taking maca in high qualities where some precaution should be taken due to it’s potent ability to increase metabolism. Anybody taking maca should increase it’s consumption at 1 teaspoon at a time until a level is reached which feels right (for most people between 4-8 teaspoons seems to be average). Truth is 2 tsp a day is a good amount for most people on a daily basis. People with a history of high blood should consult with their doctor before taking maca in higher doses.
Maca root isn’t recommended in women who are breastfeeding or pregnant, only because there aren’t enough studies on this group of subjects.