Maca has been well known for decades for its ability to regulate hormonal imbalances. Many women whom are experiencing chronic fatigue, menstrual irregularities, disrupted sleep, low libido, hot flashes, mood swings, and fertility issues, can find great relief in maca root.
In this blog, we will discuss some of the research behind this powerful hormonal superfood, and how it can improve uncomfortable symptoms affecting the quality-of-life of many women. Whether you are dealing with PCOS, painful periods, peri-menopause, menopause, or post menopause, Maca may be for you!
What is Maca?
Maca, sometimes referred to as Peruvian ginseng, is a cruciferous vegetable. The root of the maca plant is what is most commonly used for therapeutic treatment. It contains fiber, amino acids, vitamins and minerals that can boost overall health. It grows in the Andes mountains, thousands of feet above sea level in Peru. It has a nutty taste, and comes in tincture, powder or capsule form.
Maca Can Help the Body Adapt to Stress and Hormonal Imbalances
Research shows that maca has quite strong apoptogenic properties. This means it assists the body in adapting to both physical and mental stressors (1). Chronic stress can wreak havoc on the female body, especially our adrenal glands, which are responsible for balancing hormones. Since maca supports our adrenal glands, it can lead to hormonal harmony. Stressed adrenals can exacerbate hormonal imbalances, negatively impact the thyroid, and trigger autoimmunity. Happy adrenals are step one to relieving symptoms of hormonal chaos.
Maca Can Improve Libido and Sexual Function
Maca has been shown to regulate estrogen levels, and other vital hormones needed for sexual function, sexual desire, and fertility. A 2015 study in 45 women who were experiencing antidepressant-induced sexual dysfunction found that taking 3,000 mg of maca root per day for 12 weeks significantly improved sexual function and libido compared with a placebo (2). Furthermore, a 2010 review concluded that maca improved sexual desire after just 6 weeks (3). If you’re working on sexual vitality, maca may be the answer.
Maca is a Nutrient Powerhouse
In order for our engine to run optimally, we must give it adequate fuel. This means, if we are not providing our body with essential nutrients, our hormones will suffer. Maca is rich in natural antioxidants, which fight off chronic disease and cellular damage. A study done in 2014 concluded that maca had high antioxidant activity, and was effective in fighting free radical damage. It also contains over 100% of your daily recommended dose of vitamin C and copper. Moreover, It is high in fiber, B vitamins, potassium, and iron. Lastly, it contains over 20 amino acids – including all eight essential amino acids.
Maca Can Balance Estrogen Levels
Estrogen is responsible for overall female health, more specifically, regulating the reproductive system. If estrogen is not balanced, women may experience symptoms like fatigue, low libido, vaginal dryness, PMS, mood swings, irregular periods and so much more. Moreover, women with estrogen levels that are too high or too low can lead to infertility and difficulties ovulating. One study from in the International Journal of Biomedical Science gave 34 early post-menopausal women a tablet containing either maca or a placebo twice daily for four months. Not only did maca help balance hormone levels, but it also relieved symptoms of menopause, such as night sweats and hot flashes, and even increased bone density (5). In addition to reducing symptoms of menopause, regulating estrogen levels may also help reduce symptoms related PCOS such as excess hair growth, weight gain and acne.
Not sure if Maca is for you? Hop onto our live chat and speak to our product specialists and in-house nutritionist.
Written by Allison Sherkin, RHN, CHNC
Allison is the in-house nutritionist at House of Wellness. She is a registered holistic nutritionist with experience in weight loss, mental health, hormonal balance, and digestion. She is passionate about helping others elevate their health and truly discover their highest potential! Allison believes in products made with integrity and focuses on effective solutions to help her customers and clients.