Despite being revered for its medicinal properties for thousands of years, maca root is one of the newest remedies to take center stage in the natural health community, and its newfound superfood status is well-deserved. Researchers are continually turning up new health benefits associated with this powerful root vegetable, and we at FarmMed were able to grow it, harvest it, and put it into supplement form, so you can take advantage of it in all parts of the world.
So….What is maca? Known by its scientific name, Lepidium meyenii, maca is a kind of cruciferous vegetable that is native to Peru (more specifically the Andes Mountains). Maca has a similar appearance and size as radishes or turnips with green tops and roots that range in color from yellow to purple and black.
Maca is also known as a natural source of healing nutrition and it also has a long history of being a safe superfood that has been consumed for its health benefits for thousands of years in regions of the Andes Mountains. It’s also considered an “adaptogen,” (along with a few of FarmMed’s other products) which, is a name given to certain herbs, plants and natural substances that help the body naturally adapt to stressors like a busy schedule, demanding job or illness.
Not only that, but maca provides a host of important micronutrients and is jam-packed with antioxidants, and it has been shown to improve sexual health, balance hormone levels, and boost energy, mood and memory.
So, what top benefits is Maca known to have?
- Highly nutritious: Maca root powder is high in carbs and rich in a number of nutrients, including vitamin C, copper and iron. It also contains many bioactive plant compounds.
- Reducing erectile dysfunction: Maca root could also have benefits for people with erectile dysfunction (ED).
- Boosting energy and endurance: Some athletes and bodybuilders use maca root as a supplement to increase energy and performance. Some evidence exists to support this.
- Increasing fertility: Another widespread use of maca root is to increase fertility, particularly in men. A 2016 review Trusted Source found some evidence that maca root may increase semen quality in both fertile and infertile men. However, more research is needed.
- Improving mood: Maca contains flavonoids, which are thought to improve mood and reduce anxiety. A study in 14 postmenopausal women found that maca may reduce feelings of anxiety and depression.
- Reducing blood pressure: It is possible that maca root can also help to improve blood pressure. The same 2015 study: Trusted Source also found that 3.3g of maca per day for 12 weeks lowered blood pressure in Chinese postmenopausal women.
- Reducing sun damage: An older study: Trusted Source in an animal model found that maca might help protect the skin from UV rays. Another animal study in 2011Trusted Source found that extracts from maca leaves might help prevent the formation of sunburn cells.
- Fighting free radicals: Maca root also promotes natural antioxidants in the body, such as glutathione and superoxide dismutase. Antioxidants help to fight off free radicals, which can damage cells in the body. Some people believe antioxidants can help prevent some health conditions, including heart disease and cancer.
- Reducing menopause symptoms: Some proponents of maca root believe it may help balance levels of the hormone estrogen. During perimenopause, the stage before a woman reaches menopause, estrogen levels fluctuate and cause a variety of symptoms.
- Improving learning and memory: Maca may help improve learning and memory performance.
- There is some evidence to suggest that maca can improve learning and memory. For example, a 2011 study found that maca could improve memory in mice. Also, a 2014 review of the literature suggested that maca may have benefits for learning and memory performance. Researchers suggested that it could be helpful in treating conditions that affect these processes, such as Alzheimer’s disease.