Maca Root Benefits

Overview

Maca root is an annual herb that grows in the central highlands of the Peruvian mountains. Maca root is rich in potassium and has higher calcium content than milk. The Inca valued the root for enhanced strength, energy and libido. Maca root production is increasing every year in Peru as the world begins to appreciate the root's benefits.

Enhanced Strength and Energy

Maca is sold as an effective adaptogenic herb, meaning that it can rejuvenate tired adrenal glands. Maca root can offer an energy boost to the body that can help improve physical stamina and mental clarity. Peruvians consume maca root as a food; they cook the roots fresh in underground ovens or dry and boil them for mixing with milk, honey and fruit to make drinks.

Enhances Resistance

Maca root is an adaptogen, a term coined in the 1930s by Russian scientists, which refers to a plant that promotes nonspecific benefits to an organism with no negative side effects. As an adaptogen, maca root enhances the body's resistance power and increases its ability to adapt to external conditions. This means that maca will help your body rebuild a weak immune system and help to remineralize bodies that are poorly nourished.

Medicinal Benefits

Some of the chemicals found in maca root are saponins, which have anti-inflammatory properties. The benefit of saponin in maca contributes to its use as a natural pain reliever. Maca is also being studied for its natural ability to lower cholesterol as it is a rich source of sterols. Maca is a natural source of nearly all essential amino acids and may be beneficial as a booster for the immune system.

Enhanced Virility

One of the benefits claimed by Maca root enthusiasts is improved sexual function. Male impotence and erectile dysfunction also seem to be helped by consuming Maca root. The benefits of increased sexual desire in both men and women are also touted by proponents of the herb. The pharmaceutical industry is now the main consumer of maca for testing and supplement production. You can find maca supplement products in capsule, tablet and powder form.

Hormonal Balance

Maca is rich with phytoestrogens and may regulate and restore pituitary gland hormone secretions to a normal level. Hormones regulated by the pituitary gland include testosterone, estrogen, progesterone and HGH (human growth hormone). Relief of menstrual and menopausal symptoms may also be a benefit of consuming maca root supplements.

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About this Author

Katherine Kally is a freelance writer specializing in eco-friendly home-improvement projects, practical craft ideas and cost-effective decorating solutions. Kally's work has been featured on sites across the Web. She holds a Bachelor of Science in psychology from the University of South Carolina and is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.