Maca, also known as Peruvian ginseng, has been cultivated for thousands of years and used for a variety of medicinal purposes. The root of the maca plant is typically dried and consumed in powder form, often added to smoothies and other beverages.
Here are some of the many health benefits of maca.
Boosts Energy and Endurance
This healthful root has been noted to provide energy without the jittery side effects of caffeine. In fact, the supplement is popular among athletes to both boost energy and increase endurance.
One study found that male cyclists who supplemented with maca powder for 14 days were able to significantly improve their performance.
Maca contains plant-based flavonoids, which are known to have mood-enhancing effects.
In a study of post-menopausal women, it was found to reduce symptoms of depression (and improve blood pressure to boot!) when compared to a placebo.
Other studies have highlighted maca’s stress-reducing properties, including this one that showed the positive effect on depressed women who suffered from antidepressant-induced sexual dysfunction.
Perhaps one of the most well known benefits of maca is its ability to boost libido in both men and women.
In a 12-week study of healthy adult men, an improvement in sexual desire was reported in study participants who supplemented with maca when compared to those who received placebo.
Another study found maca to be effective at enhancing sexual function in post-menopausal women.
Though maca is a natural product and unlikely to cause side effects when taken in moderation, it is always advised to check with your doctor before starting a new supplement.
Add 1-2 teaspoons to a smoothie or your favorite beverage.
Take 1-2 capsules daily, or as advised by your health professional.