What is Maca Powder?
Maca Powder (also known as Peruvian Ginseng) is a highly nutritional powder that is made from dried Maca root. Maca is a radish like herbaceous plant which is indigenous to Peruvian highlands and Bolivia. The powder is known for its rich nutritional value since it contains high concentrations of vitamins (B1, B2, B12, and C), minerals (calcium, potassium, selenium and magnesium), essential trace elements (copper, iodine, iron, copper, manganese, and zinc), fatty acids (linolenic acid, oleic acid, palmitic acid as well as 19 amino acids) and plant sterols. Maca powder is also known as a good source of dietary fiber, carbohydrates, protein, and good fats. Researchers have found that Maca Powder contains a molecule which promotes a healthy central nervous system and it consists of alkaloids which are imperative for the nourishment of the endocrine system - the system which produces and maintains hormones in the body.
What are the Benefits of Maca Powder?
Maca Powder has been used for its therapeutic qualities for centuries. Traditionally Maca Powder was used by Incan warriors to boost stamina and energy but over the years studies have found a myriad of other health benefits of this dynamic supplement. It has been used to treat stress, anxiety, menopause symptoms, infertility, low libido levels in men and women, premature ejaculation in men, fatigue, less physical endurance, weakened immune system, hormonal imbalance, digestive problems, memory loss and many other cognitive conditions. Due to its anticarcinogenic and antioxidant activities, Maca Powder has also been used to help suppress the development of cancer cells and it may also help to slow down the aging process.
Uses of Maca Powder
Treating Menopause Symptoms
Menopause in women and andropause in men occur primarily due to an imbalance in hormone production. Studies have shown that Maca Powder contains alkaloids which may regulate the production of hormones in the body and may help reduce symptoms of both menopause and andropause. Therefore, a simple remedy for menopause symptoms is to take one tablespoon of Maca Powder supplement once every day.
It has been reported that Maca also contains a chemical called p-methoxybenzyl isothiocyanate, which is known for its aphrodisiac/libido enhancing properties in both men and women. Adding one tablespoon of Maca Powder to a glass of milkshake and drinking it before going to bed every night may help boost libido levels in men and women. A few clinical trials have also shown improved libido, increased sperm production and motility, and better mood and energy levels in people who took Maca Powder regularly for twelve weeks.
Maca Powder is known to improve fertility in both men and women. Taking one teaspoon of Maca Powder three times daily may help couples that are trying to conceive. Maca Powder can be added to drinks or sprinkled on prepared meals. It can also be incorporated into recipes as a replacement for flour.
Increase Cognitive Performance
Research has shown that Maca Powder can enhance mental clarity, concentration and learning ability. It is also known to help improve the functionality of neurotransmitters and enhance memory in people suffering from memory loss. Simply taking one tablespoon of Maca Powder twice every day may be beneficial for improving or maintaining cognitive health.
Increase Endurance and Stamina
Maca Powder contains over 55 active phytochemicals which are known to help increase energy levels and build stamina. Taking two tablespoons of Maca Powder every day may promote physical endurance in people participating in extreme sports, bodybuilding and heavy workouts.
What are the Side Effects of Maca Powder?
Maca Powder does not have any known side effects when used in moderation. It is a non toxic and non addictive product and can be used on a regular and long term basis. However, some people could have an allergic reaction to it, particularly if they are prone to food allergies. Common signs of an allergic reaction include difficulty breathing, chest pains, and tightness in the throat. It can also result in skin rashes, hives, itchiness, or swollen patches of skin. If you notice any changes in your health after beginning to use Maca Powder, it is important to consult your physician immediately.
Where and How to Buy Maca Powder
Maca Powder can be found at most herbal and health food stores in the form of raw or gelatinized powder, or in capsule form. To ensure the best quality and high potency, look for products which guarantee that only low temperatures were used when drying the Maca roots. Light heating is sometimes beneficial to make the powder last longer, and also to make the powder easier to digest. If the powder is claimed to be raw, then you can be certain it hasn't been heated and will therefore contain the maximum amount of nutrients.