Maca Root Powder

A heap of maca root powder on a white background.

What Is Maca or Lepidium Meyenii

What we know and love as maca root powder is the nickname for Lepidium Meyenii. But what is maca root powder? This is a common question we often get asked, and rightly so, as it is a potent compound which has a rich history since the early European explorers first discovered it in the high Andes of Peru. But, of course, Maca root had been used for centuries by indigenous South Americans before Europeans stumbled across it.

Maca root, or maca root powder capsules, as we will refer to it, or Lepidium Meyenii, as it is rarely called these days, has been used for many different purposes over the centuries, from a playful aphrodisiac to a bitter medicine. Whatever the use, maca root powder is held in high regard by the Peruvians and the people of native Central America. Therefore, Maca root powder is essential for those who have used it as part of their customs and heritage.

The First Studies On Maca Root

A German botanist, Gerhard Walpers 1843, conducted the first studies on maca root. However, the first in-depth studies were carried out by a Peruvian biologist named Gloria Chanconde Popivvci Pd.D. Her study was orientated towards the alkaloids, an element contained by the root. The alkaloids were tested on rats to ascertain their effects on fertility. Her experiments showed that their ovaries increased activity within 72 hours of the rats being dosed with the extracted maca root alkaloids.

Benefits of Maca Root Powder

Maca root powder has been used in many different ways over the centuries, but the three most reasons it is used are:

  • Nutrition supplement
  • Medicine
  • Aphrodisiac

Each of the three uses utilises the same raw product, Maca. The root vegetable can be prepared in different ways to reap the various benefits it has to offer.

Numerous conclusive studies have proven that Maca root powder is safe for both men and women.

Maca Powder Benefits As a Nutritional Supplement

Maca root is most commonly used as a nutritional supplement these days. Many urban myths surround Maca, most along the lines that only women should use it, but this is untrue. Men can reap the many benefits maca root powder has, but it is true that in women, Maca helps address specific hormone imbalances that can, in turn, aid fertility.

Maca root is known as an ‘adaptogen’, which means it is a highly complex term, but in the case of Maca, it can decrease cellular sensitivity to stress and rebalances the body. Maca doesn’t contain any hormones. What it does is help the body to produce the hormones it is lacking and provide a sense of overall well-being.

This return to balance that the body experiences help improve several stress-related ills, such as:

  • Improving libido
  • Aiding fertility
  • Improving sperm count
  • Clearing up acne and skin conditions
  • Boosting overall energy levels
  • Easing menopausal symptoms
  • Regulating menstrual cycles
  • Balancing glade functions and regulating chemical imbalances

Maca Root Benefits For Men

Maca affects men physically in different ways than women. For example, men usually notice that they can build and maintain muscle mass more easily; bodybuilders and athletes commonly use maca root.

Middle-aged men experiencing a drop in libido, a period known as ‘andropause’, can benefit significantly from using maca root. In rare cases, ‘andropause’ can lead to short-term impotence, but it is usually easily reversible.

Men can also benefit from the hormonal rebalancing that regular maca use provides, as testosterone and progesterone levels destabilise when the body ages.

Maca Root Powder Benefits For Women

For women, maca root powder has the most dramatic effects. It helps the body restore order and maintain hormonal balance, even when significant changes happen. Many users also reported that Maca adds curves to the female form, larger breasts, and more evenly distributed proportions.

It has been hypothesised that because Maca is an ‘adaptogen’, it redistributes body fat to areas which may not have formed fully during puberty. Notable changes are reported by female users that excess fat, which would usually find its way to the arms and thighs, is migrated to the breasts and posterior.

The consumed powder improves virility in women by allowing more balanced hormones to be released into the body during excitement.

Maca Root Used As A Medicine

Before the rapid development of pharmaceutical medicines, Maca would have been at the front of Peru’s ‘go-to’ medicine cabinet. However, there suggests Maca has been used as a food source and to treat illness for over 2000 years.

How To Use Maca Powder

Maca root is very easy to consume. Just by adding a couple of teaspoons into a glass of water, Maca has a great taste and is easily digested by the body. Traditionally in Peru, where Maca is not only a medicine but also a stable vegetable, it is consumed in various ways, from roasting to boiling in soups, much the same as Europeans would eat turnips or parsnips.

Maca is available in many forms, but organic maca powder is the most popular and readily available. It also comes in soft gel capsules, which are convenient to take and store.

Women Who Should Not Use Maca

Maca is entirely safe for men and women in nearly all circumstances. However, there is one instance when Maca is not recommended to be used by women. Caution should be exercised by women who may have endometriosis. Women with endometriosis generally experience high levels of oestrogen, which increases their risk of breast cancer. This is about the only hormonal imbalance that Maca is not recommended for.

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