Maca roots, also known as Peruvian ginseng, have been used for centuries for their medicinal properties. These roots are native to the Andes mountains of Peru and have been traditionally used to improve energy, endurance, and fertility. Maca roots are now increasingly popular worldwide and are available in various forms such as powder, capsules, and extracts. In this article, we will explore the top 5 FAQs on maca roots and provide a comprehensive guide on the benefits, dosage, and potential side effects.
WHAT IS MACA?
Maca is a cruciferous root vegetable – a relative of turnips and radishes. It grows in Andes mountains and is a common ingredient in Peruvian cooking that gives dishes an earthy flavor. Maca roots can also be ground up into a powder form and added to smoothies and meals.
Apart from it’s dietary uses, maca may contain some health benefits. In this article, we’ll discuss 5 health benefits of Maca root.
5 Benefits of Maca Root
- 1 . May help boost fertility and and libido
One of the most popular benefit of Maca root is it’s potential ability to increase your libido.
According to Ehisani, maca roots has effects on reproduction especially in Men. Ehisani, notes that one small study found Maca roots to positively affect fertility in healthy adult Men, by increasing their sperm concentration and motility.
However, you should keep in mind that she advises people to consult with a health care professional (such as a registered dietitian nutritionist) before using Maca for these specific benefits.
- 2 . Improving mood
Maca contains flavonoids, which are considered to improve mood and reduce anxiety. A study once done in 14 postmenopausal women found that it may help reduce anxiety and depression.
Another study in 2015, found that it could reduce the depression in Chinese women in their postmenopausal stage.
- 3 . May lead to an increase in energy
Many people consume it for an energy boost due to it’s caffeine-free nature. While not much studies have been done concerning Maca roots, a pilot study in 2009 found male cyclists improve in performance in a 40-kilometer time trial. Although, the results weren’t that distinctive in improvements compared to those that took placebo.
- 4 . Reducing sun damage
An older study found that the roots may help protect the skin on an animal model from UV rays.
One other study also also found extracts from its leaves might help hinder the formation of sunburn cells.
- 5 . May improve memory and aid learning
Many native Peruvians are said to use Maca to improve their child’s learning in school.
Some animal studies also found Maca’s ability to support brain functions and memory in the elderly.
Are there risks to using the roots?
Maca root is not considered unsafe and is currently not associated with any health risk in most people and is unlikely to cause any side effects in moderate doses (about a teaspoon a day).
However, some people would need to exercise caution. These include those with thyroid conditions who are advised to minimize the consumption of cruciferous vegetables such as Maca. It is this way because vegetables contain substances known as goitrogens, which may interfere with normal thyroid function.
Should I avoid MACA roots if I’m pregnant?
You may want to avoid it during pregnancy and lactation due to lack of safety and data. If you’re considering any major dietary changes or intend to supplement your diet, please consult your GP or registered dietitian to get a go ahead.
MACA has a range of potential health benefits particularly for sexual health and fertility and may help reduce menopause symptoms and improve mood in certain people. However, a lot more research needs to be done before it can recommended for treating any health condition or symptom. If you have interest in taking it, consult your healthcare professional first. They would be able to help you determine whether it is right for your health needs.
What are MACA roots and where do they come from?
Maca roots are the edible root of the Lepidium meyenii plant which is native to the Andes mountains of Peru. They have a long history of traditional use in Peruvian culture for their medicinal properties.
What are the benefits of consuming MACA roots?
Maca roots are known to provide a variety of benefits such as increased energy, improved mood, and enhanced sexual function. They are also believed to help regulate hormones and relieve symptoms of menopause.
How is MACA root consumed, and what is the recommended dosage?
Maca root can be consumed in various forms such as powder, capsules, or extracts. The recommended dosage varies depending on the intended use and the individual’s health status. It is generally recommended to start with a small dose and gradually increase it over time.
Are there any side effects associated with consuming MACA roots?
While MACA roots are generally considered safe, some people may experience side effects such as digestive issues, headaches, or insomnia. It is important to consult a healthcare professional before consuming the root, especially if you have any underlying health conditions or are taking medications.
Can MACA root help improve fertility and sexual function?
Maca root has been traditionally used as an aphrodisiac and is believed to help improve fertility and sexual function in both men and women. While some studies have shown promising results, more research is needed to confirm these effects. It is important to note that the root should not be used as a substitute for medical treatment for fertility issues.