Peruvian Maca. The strength from Andes.

Maca, the strength from Andes.

Maca is a perennial plant belonging to the Solanaceae family, which is found in regions of high altitudes (above 11,000 feet, or 3.350m), often cultivated in the Peruvian Andes. Its natural environment is rocky, infertile and cold. Natives of Peru have been using Maca as food since Incas time because of its nutritional characteristics and medicinal properties. Earliest records date back to Spanish colonization in Andes, more specifically in Peru, when the Spanish learned from the Incas about the medicinal properties of MACA roots. Resistance of the species is surprising, even in the special climatic conditions of the Andean altitudes and with temperatures that oscillate between 20 degrees positive and 25 degrees negative, according to the period of the day and the time of year.

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In fact, the little phytotherapic diffusion after Spanish “discovery” was occasioned by the difficulties of plant acclimatization. A settlement in the Andes was the scene of research that proved the benefits of maca in the fight against aging. It was then that Maca, only known and consumed by the inhabitants of the region, won the world. Today it is exported mainly to Asia and its cultivation has generated work and income for the region. According to the endocrinologist Gustavo Gonzales, from Cayetano Heredia University, maca increases the quantity of spermatozoa in males, in females decreases mortality of embryos, thus increasing fertility.

This herbal medicine has many indications, such as energy and physical and psychological restorative, improves memory and concentration; Strengthens the immune system; Regulates menstrual cycle and increases fertility; Reduces symptoms of PMS and menopause, increases spermatogenesis and sexual potency. Maca is an adaptogenic plant, what means, it restores the body's homeostasis and can be used as an alternative to anabolic steroids because it is rich in sterols. Cases of malnutrition, decalcification, depression and osteoporosis can also be treated with Maca.

Maca for women health 

When it comes to health and beauty women are always looking for new ways to keep their bodies healthy. Maca can be a great ally in the maintenance of hormonal balance, increasing libido and  sexual performance. Women in Andes region started to use Maca root and feel all the benefits that Maca can provide to women's health conditions, including hormone replacement, regularization of menstrual cycle, relief of menopausal symptoms and increase of female sexual desire. Hormonal replenishment is its main benefit, and is believed to be related to hormonal issues, including libido, menstruation, and menopause.

Recent studies say that consumption of Peruvian maca is also effective in fixing hormonal imbalance, and in some cases proves to be even more effective than hormone replacement therapy. Regard to menstruation maca root acts directly on common menstrual problems that affect childbearing age women, such as irregularities in cycle, cramps, discomfort, mood changes and vaginal dryness. In this sense, the root acts to alleviate colic and pain, regulating the cycle, controlling vaginal dryness and possible mood changes without causing side effects, unlike what happens with the use of contraceptives.

Maca active ingredients also act on pre and post menopausal symptoms. The sensation of constant body heat, fatigue, and changes in sleep are frequent problems at this stage of a woman's life, but can be treated through the consumption of Peruvian maca which decreases intensity and frequency of hormonal changes of that period.

Maca is effective for increasing sexual desire and acts as an energetic, both in women and men, and for that reason is also known as "Peruvian ginseng." Studies are also currently being carried out to prove Maca performance in nervous and endocrine systems health.

How to consume Peruvian maca?

Peruvian maca is usually found in capsule or powder. When in powder, it can be added in fruits juices and smoothies, and the ideal is to consume between 1 and 2 spoons a day. When in capsules usually two capsules are consumed before main meals. However, that amount may vary according to the milligrams provided in each capsule. Another alternative of Peruvian maca consumption is through its root as a food. When it is consumed in this way, it is necessary to be cooked first, since it is a strong root and can cause irritation in the stomach wall and, consequently, digestive disorders.

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