Maca Root: for Fertility & Libido, and More!
Clinical Herbalist Reviewed on June 5, 2011 by Paulina Nelega, RH
Maca root, also called “Peruvian Ginseng,” has been used by peoples of the Andes extending back to Incan times. It has traditionally been used as both a food and a medicine. The root has an extremely high nutritional value and is cooked as a vegetable or made into flour.
Maca is probably best known for its ability to enhance libido and sexual vitality in both men and women. It increases energy, sex drive, and stamina by its tonic effect upon the hormonal system, rather than through a stimulating effect. Maca is considered an adaptogen, a category of herbs that strengthens our resistance to stress and improves overall endurance and health. It provides excellent adrenal support and also helps to calm the nerves and alleviate depression.
Maca is also renowned for enhancing fertility. Studies have shown that men taking Maca have increased seminal volume, better sperm motility, and higher sperm counts, all of which are important for ensuring fertility. In women, Maca is exceptional for balancing the delicate cascade of female hormones necessary for healthy sexual functioning and optimal fertility – including the ability to ovulate, conceive, and maintain a pregnancy. Enhancing female hormone balance can also alleviate painful menstrual dysfunction and assist in a smoother menopause. Maca root is very useful for hot flashes that often accompany this transition in a woman’s life.
Maca’s ability to normalize and balance the hormones in both men and women is very likely due to its remarkably rich nutrient profile. It provides optimum levels of many amino acids, minerals, vitamins, fatty acids, starches, and sterols that nourish the body’s endocrine (hormonal) system, specifically the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. The HPA is a very important neurotransmitter and hormone-messaging system in the body.
What is Maca Root used for?
• Promotes hormonal balance in both men and women
• Enhances libido and sexual desire
• Improves endurance and stamina
• Increases energy levels
• Enhances fertility
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Paulina Nelega, RH, has been in private practice as a Clinical Herbalist for over 15 years. She has developed and taught courses in herbal medicine, and her articles on health have appeared in numerous publications. She is very passionate about the healing power of nature. Ask Dr. Jan