Many people take maca root powder to balance their hormones. Some believe this plant that grows in the Andes Mountains can help control estrogen dominance.
Peruvian Maca Root Benefits
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Maca root potentially has a wide range of other positive effects as well, according to various natural health experts. It’s often used to boost energy levels. Both men and women also take it to increase fertility.
The benefits of Peruvian maca root have long been known by traditional healers. But they’re now being confirmed by scientific research.
Maca and Estrogen Dominance
Some alternative practitioners blame excess estrogen for a wide range of health problems, including allergies, autoimmune disease, breast cancer, mood swings, insomnia, infertility and thyroid problems, to name a few. They believe maca can help this condition.
It’s also believed maca can alleviate symptoms associated with low estrogen. This is something that’s often seen after menopause.
This is why a growing number of people are now taking maca root for hormone balancing. This Andean food staple has a long track record of safety. It’s also not as risky as hormone replacement therapy, or HRT.
Side effects of a certain type of HRT include stroke, heart attacks and breast cancer.
Raw Maca Powder Health Benefits
Maca, on the other hand, has been widely consumed in the Peruvian Andes for thousands of years, by men, women and children.
No one is sure exactly why maca root powder seems to have powerful effects on the body. But it contains so many nutrients that’s it’s considered a super food. It’s a very good source of B Vitamins, as well as calcium, zinc and magnesium. It also contains many of the trace minerals lacking in our modern diets.
In addition, maca root provides a rich supply of amino acids, needed for our bodies to produce hormones.
Is Maca an Adaptogen?
Many herbalists believe maca root is an adaptogen. This is a plant that helps with physical and emotional stress. Adaptogens also build up the adrenal glands and help reduce excess inflammation. In addition, they assist with the detoxification process.
Estrogen, for instance, is processed by the liver. But this becomes difficult if this organ is overburdened by toxins, according to various holistic health experts.
Adaptogens are also considered good for improving your mood. Maca root powder has also gained a reputation of working well as a mental balm.
Maca Powder for Inflammation
Since I suffer from chronic nerve inflammation, I’m able to keep it under control, and live practically symptom free, thanks to various natural remedies, including adaptogens. Conventional doctors may disagree. But they have nothing better to offer. They consider as my condition “incurable.”
It’s believed maca can reduce inflammation. I was able to find one study that showed it helped patients with arthritis. But they also took glucosamine along with the maca. So the results aren’t conclusive.
Please understand that I’m not a doctor. So I can’t give medical advice, or promise that any natural remedy will alleviate your health problems. I can only share my own experience with using maca root powder, which has a delicious taste that resembles butterscotch. In our house, we use it to make fruit smoothies. The maca adds an extra layer of deliciousness.
(In the picture above, you can see my daughter about to put a scoop of maca into a blender. We also own a Nutribullet smoothie maker. But that was being washed at the time.)
Does Maca Root Balance Hormones?
Although mainstream medical researchers haven’t figured out exactly how maca root could relieve hot flashes, early research indicates that it does. There’s also some evidence that shows it helps fertility.
One study of rats given maca led researchers to conclude that this food may have the potential to safely mitigate unpleasant symptoms in menopausal women, and also may help correct hormonal balances in younger women. This paper was published in the September 2006 edition of the International Journal of Biomedical Science.
Gelantinzed Maca vs Raw Maca
These rats were given what’s known as gelatinized maca root. Some alternative health experts believe this lightly processed maca is the best form, since the starchy parts that can’t be digested have been broken down.
Peruvians generally don’t eat maca raw. Instead, this tuber is cooked and added to different foods. Or, it’s may be roasted, similar to potatoes, another Andean staple.
So, under most circumstances, if you’re shopping for a good maca supplement, it makes sense to buy one that’s not raw, so the parts that can’t be digested are removed.
Where to Buy Organic Maca Root Powder
I first heard about maca about eight years ago, during a trip to my local health food store. Now, it’s practically become a household word.
In recent years, maca has become wildly popular. The market has exploded and so has the number of vendors selling maca. Most of them sell raw maca powder, which is often added to smoothies. It’s also available in capsule form. Relatively few of these companies, though, offer what’s known as “gelatinized” maca.
The VivaLabs organic maca root powder shown below has been gently processed, to break down the starchy parts that can’t be digested.
Also, make sure you choose a brand made from maca roots. The leaves and stems do not have the same medicinal benefits. Some maca now comes from China, so, when you’re buying this supplement, it’s very important to check the source. VivaLabs maca root powder comes from Peru, where it’s harvested in its natural environment.
These statements have not been approved by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
People with health concerns should discuss them with a doctor. Although maca is a food, eating for thousands of years in Peru, women who are pregnant or nursing should not use herbal remedies, unless under the direction of a health care professional.
I am not a medical professional All of the above statements are my personal opinion, and are not intended as medical advice.