Using Maca to Boost Your Fertility

Maca  is a vegetable shaped like a turnip, and is somewhat like a root. It grows at 12,000 feet and is only grown on the high Andes of Ecuador and Peru.

For more than 2000 years, natives to Peru have used maca root as medicine and food. They also use it to support and turns infertility, enhance energy, sexual really and vitality.

How was maca discovered?

History tells us that the Spaniards overtook the Andes Mountains and took control. Soon after arriving, they began to lose their sex drive. Both women and men alike suffered from sterility and their libido, too, suffered at that altitude. Therefore, they could often not conceive and if they did, they could often not carry their pregnancies to term.

In addition, their animals, too, began to suffer reproductive difficulties. Horses, mules and dogs stopped having offspring. Even so, the Spaniards began to notice that local animals such as llamas and other animals reproduced fine and did not have any trouble with their libido.

What was the difference? The locals ate a root that only grew high in the mountains. Animals, too, dug this root up and ate it. The people cooked with it, and would mash it into a powder, which they would then consume continuously.

The Spaniards began to take note of this and began to feed this root, maca, to their animals, and they began to consume it themselves, too. They found that the native Peruvians were smart to do so.

The Spaniards’ sex drive came back dramatically; animals, too, began to engage in reproductive activities once again, and the women could both conceive and carry their infants to term. In short, they lived happily ever after, as the story goes.

What is this magical root and how does it work?

Maca is great for both women and men.

It is a nourishing food for the endocrine system and is an aid to the granular system as well, including thyroid, adrenal and pituitary glands, all involved in hormonal balance. Maca can impact key hormones in both the men and women to their advantage, but it doesn’t contain hormones itself.

Maca helps nourish and stimulate the pituitary gland. It acts as a tonic for the hormonal system. When the pituitary gland is functioning optimally, the entire endocrine system, too, regains its balance, because pituitary gland is in control of the hormonal output of the other three glands involved.

For women, maca controls estrogen in the body. If a woman’s estrogen levels are too high or too low, this can affect a woman’s ability to become pregnant or to carry a fetus to term. If there’s too much estrogen, progesterone levels may also reactively become too low. Therefore, if a woman takes maca, she may help increase her progesterone levels, which are essential to carrying a pregnancy to healthy term.

With men, too much estrogen produces erectile dysfunction, and can also result in a lowered or completely absent libido. In addition, it can impact sperm count negatively, and can also lower the volume of seminal fluid overall. When a man takes maca, he can increase his libido and can also increase healthy sperm production.

Maca may help:

Reestablish hormonal balance in women. Increase sex drive in both women and men. Protect eggs’ health. Increase sperm count in ejaculate, increased seminal volume overall, and improve sperm’s motility.

Should you use maca?

Maca is especially beneficial to you if you are trying to become pregnant or if you are getting ready to become pregnant relatively soon. Because it is a food, you can take it whenever you wish. However, if you are a woman who is experiencing any of the following, it may be especially beneficial to you:

· Substandard egg health· Stress-induced infertility · Hormonal payments for ultimate in vitro fertilization · Miscarriage · Polycystic ovarian syndrome · Endometriosis Maca also helps you incur a sense of well being and have a sharper mind because hormonal balance can improve these things.

Using maca

Maca comes in tincture, pills, capsules or powder. The powder is great to include in smoothies, while the capsules are convenient to make sure you get maca in your diet every day.

If you wish to purchase maca, make sure it’s organically grown. Today, some of the areas in the Andes are contaminated by water from the mines, so if the maca you buy is nonorganic, you may be putting yourself in danger of lead or mercury contamination. Your maca root should also not be diluted with additives or fillers.

The maca sold here is 100% pure.

The recommended dosage: it is recommended that you take maca in a dosage of 2000 to 3000 mg a day. You also need to make sure you take it every day, for optimal results.

Remember that there will be no side effects when you take maca, because it’s a food. If you take it in capsule format, three to six capsules a day will provide you an optimal dose. If you use the powder form, start with half a teaspoon of powder and work up to one tablespoon.

Studies about maca:

Study #1: Maca’s effects on the endocrine glands Dr. Gloria Chacon of Lima, Peru isolated four alkaloids that are present in the maca root. She carried out animal studies with female and male rats that were given either powdered maca root or alkaloids isolated from the roots themselves. Those who received either powder or alkaloids showed multiple egg follicle maturation in females and significantly higher sperm production and motility in males than did the control groups who were not given these substances. Dr. Chacon found that the alkaloids in the maca root produced fertility effects on the testes of the male rats and the ovaries of the female rats respectively. In addition, these effects could be measured within 72 hours of dosing. With the experiments, she found that the alkaloids acted on the hypothalamus and pituitary gland. This may explain why both female and male rats gained positive benefits that were gender appropriate. This may also complain why human effects are not limited to just ovaries and testes, but also benefit the adrenals, which gives one a feeling of greater vitality and energy. Maca root also acts positively on the thyroid and pancreas. -(© Dr. Gloria Chacon, Lima- Peru) Study #2: Maca study shows increase in libido and sperm production In Lima, Peru, researchers at the Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia ran a 12 week double-blind placebo-controlled randomized trial. In this study, active treatment utilizing different doses of maca was compared with placebo. In the study, men between the ages of 21 and 56 were given 3 g of maca. Within eight weeks of treatment, the sexual desire improved. However, serum testosterone and estradiol levels did not change between the men treated with maca versus those treated with placebo. Study #3: A second study shows that maca increases libido and sperm production Another study looked at the benefits of a four-month course of maca tablets and their effect on semen in normal adult men between the ages of 24 and 44 years old. In this study, nine and received maca tablets totaling 1500 or 3000 mg a day for four months. The following measurements were made both before and after treatment: estradiol and testosterone levels, serum luteinizing hormone, prolactin, testosterone and follicle stimulating hormone levels. Maca treatment caused sperm count per ejaculation, sperm motility and seminal volume to increase. Serum hormone levels were unaffected.

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Looking For More Info and Support?

I hope you found this article helpful. If you end up having any questions I would suggest for you to join the Natural Fertility Community and post them there. Not only will you have access to natural fertility speciallists, but you can also get feedback and support from women who are going through the same experience as you.

Maca Root Side Effects

Maca is a Peruvian root that is used both in cooking and medicine. Its fans cite benefits such as increased energy and libido, encouraging more consumers to buy this product. While it can help you feel more energetic, you need to consider the possible side effects of taking this herb. As with any herb, always check with your health care provider before adding maca root to your diet.

What Is Maca Root?

Maca root is an herbal supplement that comes from the Peruvian maca plant. It has been hailed in Peru for years as a superfood that can help improve health and vitality.

The latest in a long line of superfoods making their way to North America and Europe from other continents, maca is believed to be an adaptogen, or an herb that helps the body resist stress, trauma, and fatigue. It is believed to enhance immunity and increase energy. Maca may also elevate energy levels, improve immune function and provide vital nutrients to malnourished bodies.

There are many other promoted benefits of maca root, including hormone balancing, healing skin conditions, preventing migraines and many more.

Maca Root Side Effects

If you believe the press, maca root is all benefits. Are there maca root side effects? Before trying maca root yourself, consider the following caveats, side effects and cautions.

High in Iodine
Maca root is extremely high in iodine. While some iodine is necessary for thyroid function, too much can worsen the symptoms of thyroid disease. It also has a chemical in it called Glucosinolate, which may lead to the growth of goiters.Those with thyroid disorders should proceed with extreme caution and check with their endocrinologist before consuming maca root.

Allergies
Like any herb, there may be those who are allergic to maca root. If you have plant based allergies you may want to check with your allergist before consuming maca.

Testosterone Function
Maca is believed to increase the production of testosterone in the body for both men and women. While men may benefit from this, too much testosterone can cause problematic hormonal changes in women including:

Growth of facial hair
Deepening of voice
Changes in body shape
Male pattern baldness
Insulin resistance
Breast and uterine cancers
There may also be mood swings, anxiety and excessive anger in both sexes; most likely attributable to the increased testosterone. It is interesting to note that New York University’s Langone Medical Center reports that there does not appear to be an increase in testosterone levels for people taking maca.

Skin Problems
Because maca increases hormonal activity, it can cause adolescent type breakouts and acne.

Altered Hormone Levels
Changes in hormone levels can also lead to menstrual problems, decreased sex drive and weight gain or even hot flashes.

Upset Stomach
One of the side effects of maca can be nausea and stomach upset.

Increased Heart Rate
The root is a stimulant, and can caused increased heart rate. If you have a history of heart disease or disorder, check with your cardiac care physician before taking maca root.

Heartburn
Some people taking maca root have reported increased incidence of heart burn.

Headaches
Some people taking maca root report headaches that are increased in frequency and severity.

Sleeplessness
The stimulant properties of maca root may make it difficult to sleep.

Take Maca Root Cautiously

According to the University of California at San Diego, there are no known drug interactions with maca and, with the exception of the increased incidence of goiter, there are no scientifically based negative side effects, either. Every person handles substances differently, however, so be cautious when taking maca or any herb. Don’t ignore any symptoms that you may have.

Always check with your health care provider before taking any herb, but especially before adding maca root to your health care regime. If you do decide to take maca root, it is best to slowly build up your dosage to the recommended amount to reduce incidents of side effects. If you do experience any of the above side effects or any other changes you should stop taking maca root immediately and talk with your personal health care provider.

Cycling on maca root supplements is recommended to reduce the incidence of side effects. A typical recommended cycle is two weeks on followed by two or three days off. Never take more than the recommended dosage of maca root.

Not Evaluated by the FDA

None of the claims made about maca root have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration, nor have any human studies been done. Because of this, it is difficult to know what dosage should be recommended or can be considered safe. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding you should not take maca since its effect on your baby is unknown.

It may take a few weeks for side effects to show up; they may show up immediately, or you may not experience any side effects at all, so it is important that you carefully monitor yourself while you are taking maca root. As you can see, while maca root may have benefits, it is important to always proceed with caution when taking an untested herbal supplement.

Maca for erectile dysfunction

Is erectile dysfunction having a negative impact on your life? Do you constantly have a low libido, with no desire to have sex with your partner? I have good news! Avoid all pharmaceuticals and their nasty side effects, and instead seek out a natural cure for your erectile dysfunction. One of the premier herbs for such a symptom is Maca root. Although varied, Maca benefits for erectile dysfunction hinges on its ability to enhance and boost stamina. This article will detail the specific advantages in taking Maca for your erectile dysfunction.erectle dysfunction

Maca root, otherwise known as “Peruvian ginseng”, is a root plant consumed as both a food and medicine. It’s native to the high Andes of Peru around Lake Junin. Its Spanish and Quechua (indigenous Peruvian language) names are maca-maca and maino. Before going to battle, Incan warriors consumed Maca root to enhance their stamina and increase sexual health and virility. Maca did such an outstanding job at increasing libido that its use wasrestricted for Incan warriors upon returning home!

Typically taken in either a capsule, or ground up as powder and consumed, proponents of Maca claim the following health benefits: increased energy, fertility, and help with erectile dysfunction. Although there is limited scientific evidence for Maca benefits for erectile dysfunction, a couple clinical trials have been carried out. In clinical trials, Macahas had a positive effect on male sexual dysfunction.

One example comes from a 2008 study by CNS Neuroscience & Therapeutics. In this study, researchers tested a group of males who were taking selective-serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI’s) for depression. While taking these SSRI’s, patients also suffered from sexual dysfunction. Consuming a controlled dose of Maca root each day helped to improve the libido of every client. In total, there have been over 160 controlled trials indexed by the United States National Library of Medicine on the health benefits of Maca.

Scientists in Italy also carried out a double-blind clinical trial using 50 men affected by erectile dysfunction. Half of the men received a dry Maca extract of 2,400 mg, while the other half received a placebo. The men who consumed Maca root had a significantly higher score in both physical and social performance compared with their baseline scores.

A third and final example comes from Peru, where in 2002 56 healthy male subjects, aged 21 to 56, were given Maca to determine measures of sexual desire. The men received 1,500 mg, 3,000 mg or a placebo. Measures of sexual desire improved by 42.2% in the 3,000 mg group. Further analysis revealed consuming Maca root was the primary cause for this significant increase – not changes in mood or hormones.

Maca is sold both in retail health and food stores and through the Internet.  It has a sweet taste and can be eaten raw, baked, dried or boiled. As a general rule, consuming Maca in its gelatinized form will result in the highest likelihood of receiving Maca benefits for erectile dysfunction. With Maca that is ungelatinized, the body must process it within the digestive system, an unnecessary step that complicates bioavailability

Benefits of Maca Root

Find yourself depending on coffee for a boost in the morning? Why not try maca instead? Maca is a root from Peru; it’s a tuber, like a potato, and offers an amazing energy boost for those with low energy. Maca however, unlike coffee, offers energy in a non-caffeinated way that supports the body.

Maca is a nutritionally dense super-food that contains high amounts of minerals, vitamins, enzymes and all of the essential amino acids. Maca root is rich in B-vitamins, which are the energy vitamins, and maca is a vegetarian source of B-12. To boot, maca has high levels of bioavailable calcium and magnesium and is great for remineralization.

Maca root helps balance our hormones and due to an over abundance of environmental estrogens, most people’s hormones are a bit out of whack. Maca stimulates and nourishes the hypothalamus and pituitary glands which are the “master glands” of the body. These glands actually regulate the other glands, so when in balance they can bring balance to the adrenal, thyroid, pancreas, ovarian and testicular glands.

Instead of providing hormones to the body, maca works as an adaptogen which means that it responds to different bodies’ needs individually. If you’re producing too much of a particular hormone, maca will regulate the production downward. However, if you’re producing too little, it’ll regulate the production upward.

Hormones regulate many things including mood, growth, sexual development, and tissue function. Hormones also play a role in many diseases, like cancer and depression.

Maca root has been shown to be beneficial for all sorts of hormonal problems including PMS, menopause, and hot flashes. Maca’s also a fertility enhancer and is best known for improving libido and sexual function, especially in men. For this reason, it’s earned the nickname “nature’s Viagra.”

Enjoy the Benefits of Maca as Food

Maca has a light, nutty flavor and some easy, delicious ways to consume maca powder as a food are to: Stir a teaspoon of maca in a bowl of vegetable and lentil soup before serving; sea salt and maca root are a wonderful soup flavoring. Add a teaspoon to any herbal tea. Pour maca powder over organic, non-microwaved popcorn and flavor with coconut oil and sea salt. If you’re not watching your sugar intake, mix a bit of maca powder with enough grade B maple syrup or honey to produce a wet paste, and enjoy with a spoon. It’s a delicious dessert-like treat, and it’s great on bananas too. If you’re one who “needs” a sweet fix, this is delicious and healthy way to do it.

It’s recommended to start with a 1/2 teaspoon a day, and work up to a teaspoon or two a day over the course of a few weeks. If you’re taking it daily, it’s best to take a day off each week.

Maca is a food staple in Peru and there are no known effects of toxicity. However, occasionally some people experience adverse effects when they start taking maca, and these symptoms may actually be detoxification symptoms. This is because when a body more accustomed to consuming processed and cooked foods starts taking in such a nutritionally dense supplement, the body will absorb the superior nutrients it needs and “throw off” the old junk it doesn’t need for elimination. If this happens, you might feel badly but it generally lasts just a few days. You may also want to consider doing colon and liver cleansing before or while taking maca to quickly remove some of the waste your body is trying to eliminate. Doing so will help with many adverse symptoms.

About the author

Kim Evans is a natural health writer and author of Cleaning Up! The Ultimate Body Cleanse. Cleaning Up! offers deep cleansing and using methods in this book, people have gotten rid of dozens of different types of health problems, as well as just losing excess weight, thinking more clearly, and feeling better.

Kim’s next book chronicles events in her life that happen to match patterns in the Bible. She’s also found three places in the Bible that tell us its about these patterns and even asking you to match them.
Here’s a little from the upcoming book…
In Isaiah 22:20, it says, “And it must occur in that day that I will call my servant, namely Eliakim.” But, because these prophecies are cryptic and they aren’t meant to be understood until they are understood, it’s only the last three letters.
A few lines later, it says, “From the land of Kittim it has been revealed to them.”
Here, you just take out any three middle letters, and again, it’s the name of the person bringing you this message, or the sacred secret of the prophecy. Actually, if you take those two passages, Kim is about the only name you can get from both of them.
In Numbers 1:1 – 1:18, it’s talking about “the family” and mentions Pagiel. It also twice mentions February 1st, (Kim’s birthday) and then says that the youngest is 20 years old. Kim’s little sister Paige is currently 20 years old.
In Chronicles 1 11:20 it mentions the brother of Joab and then in the same sentence uses the word brandishing. Kim’s middle name is Jo and her older sister’s name is Brandi. There are other patterns to her sisters too but these sort of mention them by name.
Of course, it helps if you know that there is a magical spiritual reality available that comes deep cleansing and often major dietary upgrades. It’s also why Jesus was teaching the same thing, if you find his teachings in the Essene Gospel of Peace. In this text, he even says things like, “You’ll never see the father unless you clean your colon.” But, this is paraphrased…
In the Bible Jesus says things more like, happy are those who wash their robes, as they can enter the tree of life. The tree of life is elsewhere explained as God’s paradise. He also said, first clean the inside of the cup and then the outside will also be clean.

The Power of Maca

We are now almost at the end of our second trial week for the maca project (read about it here, and the first part of the maca diaries, here), and it is going very well. I think it’s time for me to give you a little more information about this amazing root.

What is it?

First of all, maca is a cruciferous root found growing in the high regions of Peru and has been cultivated for about two thousand years. It has been traditionally and is currently used as a food. The Peruvians believe it gives strength and endurance, enhances ones fertility, and supports pregnancies.

As maca has been put more in the spotlight in recent years, many studies have been done on it, everything from feeding farmed trout, to treating sexual problems (how’s that for a wide variety of uses!). As I have read about it, I realized that there are many, many different applications that maca could be used for. However, even though there are a lot of studies about maca, most of them center around certain topics, so there are still huge gaps of scientific information. This is frustrating because how I got interested in maca was it’s traditional use to support a pregnancy, and it’s claimed ability to balance hormones, and these two uses of maca have not been addressed at all, or at least, as thoroughly as some of the other uses.

So, for some of the uses, people are still relying on tradition and clinical results. Keep that in mind as you research maca yourself. But let me share what I have found out about maca.

Note Different Varieties of Maca

Before I started researching, I figured that maca was all one variety, but that is not true. In fact, there are at least three common types (yellow, red and black), and these different varieties do have slightly different results. In fact some of the studies actually compared the effect of more than one type, to see which one would be effective for a certain application. Because of that, when a study I site used a particular variety of maca, I will make sure to list it. If you are interested in maca for a certain use, make sure that you get the right type of maca.

Maca is a High Nutrient Root

First things first, maca is a high nutrient vegetable. It is full of calcium, magnesium, some b vitamins, vitamin c, as well as zinc and many other important minerals, protein and fiber. For a detailed list of what maca contains, I found that macamagic.com has thorough information.

You could consider maca a superfood from looking at how nutrient dense it is.

Maca could help prevent Osteoporosis caused by lack of estrogen

In fact, one study tested the ability of maca to reduce bone loss in estrogen deprived rats. The conclusion? It was ” indicated that higher dose of ethanol extract of Maca was effective in the prevention of estrogen deficient bone loss.”

Maca Supports Fertility

Unfortunately, infertility has become more and more of an issue for many of us. I think that overcoming infertility can and should be multifaceted. But as I have researched maca, I have wondered if maca could be helpful for many people dealing with infertility, especially if it was taken while making other healthy changes. Maca is unique in that is helps both men and women’s fertility.

Maca Increases Men’s Fertility

Maca was once thought to increase men’s sexual hormones which would account for it’s ability to increase one’s sex drive and increased fertility, but while recent studies confirm that maca has the powerful ability to increase male fertility, it doesn’t change men’s hormone levels. In one four month study using black maca, it was found to increase sperm count, motile sperm count and sperm motility and increase seminal volume, all without making any changes in the men’s hormones. I should mention that this was one study, among many, all showing similar result.

Maca Could Help Depression and Black Maca could Increase Learning and Memory Abilities

In one study, they studied the effect of the three different types of maca in decreasing depression and increasing learning abilities in mice. They found that all three had anti-depressant effects, but only black maca had the ability to increase learning and memory abilities. In a follow up study on black maca, they found that it helped improve scopolamine-induced memory impairment in mice.

Maca Could Help Prevent UV Skin Damage

Maca was found to have UV protection abilities. I wondered if this is because of the antioxidants in contains. In a Food Chemistry 1 article, although maca was found to have lower levels than green tea, they did find it to have the capacity to scavenge free radicals and protect cells from oxidative stress. Antioxidants are supposed to keep prevent skin damage as well.

Maca Could Help Glucose Control

Maca could be very useful for those struggling with blood sugar issues. Researchers found that maca “significantly” increased glucose tolerance and decreased blood sugar. I have personally found that maca seems to be helping me keep my blood sugar much more stable. This could be significant to those with diabetes or hypoglycemia.

Maca Helps Menopausal Women

In a study designed to examine the effects of maca on hormones and the symptoms of postmenopausal women, it was found that that maca didn’t change their hormonal balance at all! But that it did help significantly aid in the symptoms of menopause, including depression, sexual dysfunction, and anxiety.

There is not a lot of scientific studies (at least, that I have found) specifically studying the effect maca has on the hormonal balance of women. Clinical and personal observations claim that maca has proven helpful in this area, but it is yet to be proven scientifically. This study seems to support the idea that it doesn’t touch actual hormones, but instead works independently of them to relieve certain female issues.

This is one of the uses of maca that I personally hope researchers will put more research into. In fact, there ends most of the most helpful research I found. There are still a lot of traditional uses of maca that many people have found true for themselves, but are not yet studied.

But I would remiss if I didn’t mention one other well documented use of maca.

Maca Can Help With Sexual Problems (for both men and women)

Maca is used to treat certain sexual problems in both men and women with very good results. Feel free to research this if you, or a loved one, deals with this very personal issue. It could be very useful for you.

Here is a list of other important uses for maca:

Maca could help those with Thyroid and Adrenal problems or Chronic Fatigue

While I have not been able to find any official studies on the effect maca has on thyroid health, it doesn’t take long to find testimonies of those helped by maca in this area. I have personally found that I do seem warmer while taking maca (temperature control is related to thyroid function) and I do have better energy (adrenal). For further reading, here are just a few links for you.

Dr. Muller answer Questions about Maca

A forum discussion about maca and thyroid function

Article on Maca

While reading about about maca, since there are no hard facts about how it works, some doctors consider it an adrenal stimulate (and therefore not the best choice), and others don’t think that it’s the best for some thyroid conditions. Others think it’s the best choice available, so do your own homework before using. It seems to be working for me, but that’s just my personal experinece.

Maca Can Give Endurance and Energy

One of the traditional uses of maca is for energy and endurance, for that reason some athletes are now using maca with good results. But who needs to be an athlete to want more energy and endurance!

Maca can help with PMS and other hormonal issues

While the “why” of how maca works in this area has not been answered for me, many people find maca to be very helpful in these areas.

Like I mentioned before, Maca was traditionally used not only to help one get pregnant, but to stay pregnant as well. This has not been tested for safety or effectiveness, but is a traditional use of it.

While there are many other claimed uses for maca, I think that covers most of the main points. As I read more and hopefully find more information, I will do updates.

Who Shouldn’t Take it?

While maca is not considered to be toxic, because of the lack of information, different sites did caution against using maca if you have a high risk of breast or prostate cancer. This was probably because it is still widely thought of as increasing certain hormones (which could be bad for certain cancers), which recent research doesn’t seem to back. But do take note.

Those with a high risk of goiters should also be careful, though there have been no reported cases.

Those pregnant or nursing are not officially advised to take maca from any company because it is not tested yet.

Some advise those with a hyperthyroidism not to take it.

In one study, those taking a large amount of maca every day, did have slight elevations of blood pressure. Keep this in mind if you have blood pressure issues.

If you are interested in taking maca, I encourage you to do your own research and talk it over with a qualified health care provider (some love it, some aren’t so sure about it). Maca appears like it could indeed be helpful for many, and while it is, after all a FOOD in Peru, it doesn’t hurt to err in caution.
Maca Flour

The Nourishing Gourmet’s articles are purely for educational purposes. Please use the information I share to spur you on to your own research, partnered with your health care providers advice. It should not be relied on to determine new dietary changes, medical diagnonsis or sources of treatment

Maca is the ancient superfood of the Incas

Superfood enthusiasts know all about the incredible nutritional powers of maca. This superfood, grown in the high Andes mountains in Peru, is packed with vitamins, minerals, proteins, tannins, complex alkaloids and other phytochemicals. It’s one of the favorite powders to add to any smoothie, and it’s used by virtually all the raw foodies and superfood advocates, including myself.

A few years ago, long before NaturalNews, I visited Macchu Picchu. I hiked there over a 7-day walk, clambering up and down steep mountain sides with my lungs heaving in the thin air (I was also overweight at the time, so it wasn’t easy). I remember spending one entire day climbing UP through a pass at 14,000 feet. It was called “Dead Woman’s Pass,” and hiking through it myself, I quickly came to understand why. The climb was grueling.

It was soon followed by another entire day spent climbing DOWN, which turns out to be just as brutal on the legs. Imagine walking down a flight of stairs that goes on and on for eight hours… that’s what this was like.

After seven days of hiking and climbing, we arrived at a crest overlooking Macchu Picchu, the “city in the sky” that was built by the Incas. And there, my jaw just about dropped to the ground when I looked at the scene below and saw the 20-ton boulders that had been dragged up the mountain side by the thousands in order to build this ancient city.

As I stood there, marveling at the magnificent scene below, I thought to myself “I just barely dragged myself up the mountain! How on earth could these Incas — using virtually no technology — lift 20-ton rocks up steep mountains and drop them into place as temple walls?”

Clearly, these folks weren’t surviving on Big Macs and Diet Pepsi. They were eating quinoa, spirulina and maca root powder. They lived on superfoods.

Little did I know at the time that I would one day become a strong advocate of superfoods.

The magic of maca

Through the leverage we have as one of the world’s largest online natural health news destinations, we’ve been able to acquire a one-time shipment of 100% organic, raw Peruvian maca powder at an amazing price. We’re passing on the savings directly to you through our NaturalNews Store, where our readers have come to expect great prices on the very best superfoods from all over the world.

A one-pound bag of organic, raw, premium-quality Peruvian maca powder normally retails for somewhere around $24. The “street price” of this one-pound bag is around $18, depending on where you get it. But through this one-time direct offer at the NaturalNews Store, we’ve been able to bring you this one-pound bag of premium, 100% organic and raw Peruvian maca powder for just $12.95.

But it gets even better: When you purchase a 3-pack of our maca powder, the price drops to just $9.98 per pound. That’s more than 50% off the typical retail price! It is the very best price you will find on this premium-quality maca product.

What is maca?

Maca is the powdered root of the Lepidium Meyenii plant. Known for its ability to support healthy energy levels, maca has been used by the Incas as a kind of “Incan superfood” for thousands of years.

It was a central part of the Incan diet when they built Macchu Picchu, in fact.

As we all know today, you can’t build a city in the sky when you’re living on processed junk foods. And the metaphor is true in your own life: Whatever mountain you are attempting to climb right now, superfood nutrition can help you get there! Whether it’s maca, or chlorella, or hemp protein, these superfoods can help give your body (and your mind) the level of nutritional support you need to accomplish great things.

Try something new in your life!

Maca is one of those life-changing superfoods. If you’ve never tried it before, pick up a bag right now and blend a teaspoon of maca powder into your morning smoothie. It goes great with chocolate smoothies, avocado smoothies, and even strawberry and banana smoothies!

Maca tastes a little like roasted chicory root, which tastes a little bit like coffee. But it’s not a caffeine stimulant like coffee. Rather, it’s considered an “adaptogenic” herb that supports healthy energy without blasting your nervous system with chemical stimulants.

If you’re new to maca, try just 1 teaspoon at a time. Then notice the difference in your awareness or energy levels. It’s a subtle but very real effect, and I believe maca is one of the superfoods that gave ancient Incas the nutritional support to achieve great things in their own lives — things we continue to marvel at today.

Remember, our 100% organic, raw Peruvian maca is on sale at the NaturalNews Store right now for less than 50% off the typical retail price.

This is our one-time special purchase at a special price, so pick some up today, while supplies last

The active constituents of maca

Dried maca is approximately 60% carbohydrates (starches and sugars), 9% fiber, and slightly more than 10% protein. It has a higher lipid (fat) content than other root crops (2.2%), of which linoleic acid, palmitic acid, and oleic acid are the primary fatty acids, respectively.

Maca is also a rich source of plant sterols, including sitosterol, campestrol, ergosterol, brassicasterol, and ergostadienol. From a mineral standpoint, maca exceeds both potatoes and carrots in value, and is a source of iron, magnesium, calcium, potassium, and iodine.

About Maca

Maca (Lepidium meyenii) is a root plant consumed as a food and for medicinal purposes. Maca is also known as “Peruvian ginseng” (despite the fact that it is not a member of the ginseng family), because it is used as a folk remedy to increase stamina, energy, and sexual function. It is typically taken as a pill or liquid extract or as powdered maca root.

Long used to enhance energy and boost stamina, maca is often touted as an aphrodisiac and a natural means of improving sexual performance and fertility. Although few scientific studies have tested maca’s medicinal effects, some research suggests that maca may offer certain health benefits.

Why Do People Use Maca?

Proponents claim that maca may help with these health concerns:

  • fatigue
  • infertility
  • symptoms of menopause
  • sexual dysfunction in women
  • sexual dysfunction in men (including erectile dysfunction)

Maca is also said to aid in the treatment of cancer.

Benefits of Maca

Here’s a look at the available research on maca and its potential health benefits:

1) Sexual Function

There is “limited evidence” for maca‘s effectiveness in improving sexual function in men and women, according to a 2010 report published in BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine. The report’s authors analyzed four clinical trials, two of which found that maca may have positive effects on sexual dysfunction or sexual desire in healthy menopausal women or healthy adult men. However, the other two trials found that maca failed to produce any positive effects on sexual function.

In a 2008 study from CNS Neuroscience & Therapeutics, researchers found that maca may help alleviate sexual dysfunction caused by use of selective-serotonin reuptake inhibitors (or SSRIs, a class of medications used in treatment of depression). The study involved 20 people with depression, all of whom were experiencing SSRI-induced sexual dysfunction. Results revealed that maca may also help improve libido.

2) Fertility

One small study looked at the effect of 4 months of treatment with maca tablets on semen quality in nine adult men. Treatment with maca resulted in increased semen volume, sperm count, and sperm motility. Serum levels of testosterone and estradiol were not affected.

There are different types of maca, including yellow, black, and red maca. Black maca appears to have the greatest effect on sperm count, followed by yellow maca, which has moderate effects.

3) Mood in Menopause

Maca may help ease anxiety and depression in postmenopausal women, according to a 2008 study from the journal Menopause. For the study, 14 postmenopausal women took 3.5 grams of powdered maca for six weeks and then took a matching placebo for another six weeks. Study results showed that maca helped reduce anxiety and depression, as well as improve sexual function.

4) Energy

Although preliminary findings from animal-based studies indicate that maca may help improve endurance, there is currently a lack of scientific support for the claim that maca can help boost energy and fight fatigue.

5) Cancer

To date, there is no evidence that maca can help treat cancer.

Side Effects of Maca

Little is known about the safety and side effects of short-term or long-term use of maca. In addition, it’s not known whether maca may produce harmful effects when combined with other medicine.

Using Maca

Powdered maca root can be added to smoothies, juice, and shakes. Raw powdered maca root is available for people on a raw food diet. Maca is also available as a nutritional supplement, in liquid or pill form.

Sources

Balick MJ, Lee R. “Maca: from traditional food crop to energy and libido stimulant.” Altern Ther Health Med. 2002 Mar-Apr;8(2):96-8.

Brooks NA, Wilcox G, Walker KZ, Ashton JF, Cox MB, Stojanovska L. “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. 2008 Nov-Dec;15(6):1157-62.

Dording CM, Fisher L, Papakostas G, Farabaugh A, Sonawalla S, Fava M, Mischoulon D. “A double-blind, randomized, pilot dose-finding study of maca root (L. meyenii) for the management of SSRI-induced sexual dysfunction.” CNS Neurosci Ther. 2008 Fall;14(3):182-91.

Gonzales GF, Cordova A, Gonzales C, Chung A, Vega K, Villena A. Lepidium meyenii (Maca) improved semen parameters in adult men. Asian Journal of Andology. 3.4 (2001):301-3.

Gonzales GF, Gonzales C, Gonzales-Castañeda C. “Lepidium meyenii (Maca): a plant from the highlands of Peru–from tradition to science.” Forsch Komplementmed. 2009 Dec;16(6):373-80.

Shin BC, Lee MS, Yang EJ, Lim HS, Ernst E. “Maca (L. meyenii) for improving sexual function: a systematic review.” BMC Complement Altern Med. 2010 Aug 6;10:44.

Valentova K et al. The in vitro biological activity of Lepidium meyenii extracts. Cell Biology and Toxicology. (2006) 22.2:91-9.

Suggested Reading
  • 10 Natural Aphrodisiacs
  • Natural Remedies for Sexual Dysfunction in Women
  • Natural Remedies for Erectile Dysfunction
Suggested Reading
  • Ginseng
  • Saw palmetto
  • L-Arginine
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