WHAT IS MACA ROOT
The maca plant, known scientifically as Lepidium meyenii, is sometimes referred to as Peruvian ginseng.
Maca is a cruciferous vegetable related to broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and kale.
Maca is native to the high plateaus of the Peruvian Andes mountain range.
In fact, Andean people have cultivated maca for more than 2,000 years. It’s one of the few edible plants that can survive the harsh weather conditions above 4,000 meters (13,123 feet) in the Peruvian Andes.
Traditionally, the Andean people used maca as a food, consuming it in a fermented drink or porridge. Additionally, the Andean people used maca as a natural medicine to treat various health conditions, such as respiratory conditions and rheumatic disease.
The demand for maca products has grown in recent years, likely because of claims that the plant can promote libido and fertility.
Because of the rise in worldwide demand for maca, people have begun to mass-produce this plant in other parts of the world, including the mountainous Yunnan province in China.
Maca root, the part of the plant most commonly used, contains fiber, amino acids, vitamins, and minerals.
It also contains other bioactive compounds, including macamides, macaridine, alkaloids, and glucosinolates, which are thought to be responsible for maca’s medicinal benefits.
Even though people claim maca supports health in many ways, research is currently limited and study findings on its effects have been mixed. More research is needed on maca’s effectiveness.
Here are some potential benefits of maca.
1. May increase libido
2. May help relieve symptoms of menopause
3. May improve mood and energy
Other potential health benefits
Human research investigating the potential health benefits of maca is limited.
However, initial findings from animal studies suggest maca may affect health in the following ways:
– May help preserve cognitive function. Rodent studies have demonstrated that maca helps improve cognitive function and motor coordination and may help slow age-related cognitive decline (15Trusted Source).
– May benefit benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). Findings from animal studies suggest that maca may help reduce inflammatory proteins and inhibit BPH or enlargement of the prostate (16Trusted Source).
– May benefit skin health. Maca has been shown to speed up wound healing, and an older study found that it protected against UV damage when applied to the skin of animals