Maca plant in recent times has become extremely popular for its several health benefits. The botanical name of maca plant is Lepidium meyenii. It grows at high altitudes of Andes Mountains in Peru. Hence some literature also refers this plant as Peruvian ginseng. Peruvian used this plant, especially the root of the plant for medicinal and culinary purpose since centuries. Root is the edible and densely packed with several nutrients. The root is of many colors. Normally Maca root is dried and powdered for its use. The powder is available in capsules.People also consume maca powder by adding it in smoothies and simple drinks. The taste of maca root powder is slightly nutty and smells like butterscotch. The antioxidants and micronutrients present in maca have given maca a superfood status. Let us know various benefits of maca powder.
Maca Root Benefits:
Maca root is considered to be highly nutritious. It consists of several vital vitamins and minerals. An ounce of maca powder contains; 90 calories. It also contains protein, carbohydrate, fiber, vitamin C, B6, iron, copper, manganese, and potassium besides polyphenols and glucosinolytes both plant compounds.
- Increases libido in males and females: Since ancient days, people living in peru and especially on Andes mountain used maca root as a potent sex stimulant. This herb is known to increase libido in men as well as women. It is considered to be one of the natural herbs to increase sex drive in women, especially after menopause. It also reduced anxiety and depression associated with menopause.
- Increases male sperm count: Maca root powder is known to increase sperm count in men. After few weeks of maca root intake, the quality and quantity of sperm was found to be increase in infertile men.
- Relives post menopausal problems: Once the menstrual cycle stops, many women suffer from unpleasant symptoms such as hot flashes, dryness in vagina, mood fluctuations, increased irritability, depression, etc. Maca root powder is found to be useful to reduce these symptoms.
- Enhancement in mood and energy: People who took maca powder regularly found more energized with an increase in stamina. They found improvement in their mood. Hence it is a popular supplement among sportsperson and athletes.
- Maca root powder is found to improve memory and learning. Peruvians often give maca powder to their children for improvement in their learning skills and memory.
- Maca is known to reduce the size of prostate in men suffering from benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH). The glucosinolates present in maca is believed to be active in reducing the size of prostate in men suffering from BPH.
There is no specific dosage yet known for various benefits of maca powder. The dose specificity may vary from people to people. For example many people living in Andes Mountains in Peru consume one ounce of maca powder daily. However, supplements in capsule form contains 1 gram to 5 grams. In the beginning a person may start with one teaspoon of the powder daily which over a period of time can be increased to two teaspoon. Since maca in known to be an energizing powder, many people take it before their workout to increase their stamina. People suffering from goiter must avoid this powder because it contains many goitrogens which may interfere with thyroid function. Pregnant women and breastfeeding women must also avoid maca because researchers are not able to clearly know action or reaction of maca powder among this group.