Maca properties

Maca benefits, uses and medicinal properties


What is maca and what are its benefits?

Maca (Lepidium meyenii Walp.) Is a valuable reserve root, called hypocotyl, from a plant native to Peru. Maca has been used as food and, above all, as a natural remedy since the time of the Incas.

Native to Peru, Maca has spread throughout the world as a medicinal plant, and is cited in Peruvian Herbal Medicine to stimulate the immune system by increasing defenses, treating anemia, tuberculosis, menstrual disorders, revitalizing, increase fertility, as an aphrodisiac, to treat erectile dysfunction, to improve memory and for the symptoms of menopause.

maca properties

Aphrodisiac and fertility stimulating properties of maca

The use of Maca to increase fertility and its aphrodisiac properties is perhaps the most popular and traditional of this vegetable.

Used for this purpose by the Incas since ancient times, the maca was a magical plant and used in sacred rituals for the prosperity of the people.

Also known as Peruvian viagra, Maca is used to treat impotence or erectile dysfunction, to increase fertility and to remedy the lack of libido or sexual desire.

What are the active principles of the plant?

The active components responsible for these effects are the macamides. The macamides or alkaloids of the maca are components that act in the hypothalamus and the adrenal glands, regulating the hormonal levels and having an energetic effect and an increase in virility.

Dr. Chacón adds that maca has properties in the cardiovascular system, which can increase blood flow in the pelvic area and thus stimulate sexual potency.

In addition, maca is a hypocotyl or reserve root very rich in minerals, such as copper, an important mineral for fertility; and zinc, the constituent mineral of sex hormones and sex cells.

Aphrodisiac effects of maca for men and women

Modern studies and the tradition of its use confirm the remarkable qualities of maca for fertility and its aphrodisiac properties, for both men and women.

The properties shown are summarized in the following list about the benefits of maca:

  • Increases sexual desire or libido and boost virility
  • Improves sperm production and motility of sperm: In both humans and animals, maca improves the quantity and quality of sperm.
  • Effective remedy for people with sexual impotence: Scientific studies support that people with sexual impotence improve their symptoms with maca supplementation.
  • Stimulates the production of sperm, even at high altitudes: Maca is a plant that grows at very high altitudes and has been used since ancient times to prevent the inhibition of spermatogenesis produced by height. For this reason, maca was part of the rituals for the prosperity of the people.
  • Increases female fertility: Maca is also a suitable plant to improve fertility in women.
  • Scientific studies have shown the protective role of maca in the prevention of prostate hyperplasia.

The aphrodisiac and fertility effects of Maca are due to the effect of the alkaloids and minerals that the medicinal plant possesses. Numerous scientific studies show that the benefits of maca do not affect the hormonal parameters: maca does not have hormonal activity.

* More information: Maca for fertility

Maca as an energetic restorative: Doctor Macasi

According to the inhabitants of the Central Sierra, people who consume maca are strong, live for many years and in full use of reason, which is why Maca is called Doctor Macasi” (O. Garay, INIA).

Maca supplementMaca supplement

Maca is a highly nutritious and energetic food, which also contains other stimulating and regulatory substances in the body. Among its components is iron, in quantities between 12 and 15mg. per 100g. This amount is the highest iron figures found in plant foods.

Do you know that …

  • Maca was used by troops of the Tahuantinsuyo Empire before the battle to increase the physical strength of its soldiers.

Maca for fatigue and for athletes

Maca has shown benefits in patients with chronic fatigue. In addition, scientific studies show the benefits of maca in sports performance. Maca sports supplements improve the athletes’ ability and physical endurance at height. The results of the study were observed with the administration of 1.5g. of maca for 60 days.

It also contains natural phytosterols that can help lower cholesterol.

Maca for menopause

The beneficial effects of maca during climacterium and menopause are due to its revitalizing, remineralizing and libido-increasing effects.

During this stage, many women may feel less sexual desire due to the lower natural estrogen production of their body. Maca has aphrodisiac substances, such as the compound called methoxybenzyl isothiocyanate, which helps improve sexual desire.

In addition, because of its high calcium content (400 mg / 100 g of food), dried maca root is a good food or supplement to take with meals, stews or soups in osteoporosis prevention. (Add maca powder to meals)

Maca stimulates immune system

The extract of maca has shown stimulating effect of the immune system due to the activity of its alkaloids (macamides).

The alkaloids of maca have anti-tumor and immunomodulatory activity through the stimulation of defensive cells (phagocytic).

Therefore, maca is a supplement to prevent colds and in situations in which the immune system can be compromised, such as times of nervousness or stress.

Maca as a natural antidepressant

Maca was shown to be an effective supplement for people on treatment with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressants. This type of medication usually produces inhibition of sexual libido as a side effect.

Maca supplements, administered in doses of 3g. daily for 20 days, inhibited sexual dysfunction induced by SSRI antidepressant medication. Therefore, maca avoids the lack of libido produced by antidepressant medication.

Studies on maca for depression

In another study, the antidepressant effects of three varieties of maca were determined: black, yellow and red maca. The results were that all varieties of maca have antidepressant activity, being the black maca also effective to improve memory and learning.

The substance responsible for increasing libido appears to be a type of isothiocyanate, called methoxybenzyl isothiocyanate.

For all these reasons, maca is a non-toxic and effective supplement, recommended for people with depression. People who are taking antidepressant medication can take maca, although it is always recommended to perform supplementation under advice and medical supervision.

Maca improves memory and cognitive abilities

Maca supplements have shown positive effects on learning ability and memory improvement. Black maca has been detected as a variety of maca more effective to improve cognitive abilities.

main healing properties of maca and its health benefits.

Summary with the main healing properties of maca and its health benefits. Maca is an important nutritious food since ancient times because of its aphrodisiac properties and for the prosperity of the people

Maca for osteoporosis

Maca has a high amount of calcium (220mg / 100g), which makes it a very suitable vegetable food in diets for osteoporosis.

Dr. Aguila Calderón, former dean of the Faculty of Human Medicine of the National University Federico Villarreal in Lima, notes that “Maca has a large amount of easily absorbable calcium, as well as magnesium and a good amount of silica. useful in the treatment of bone decalcification in children and adults. ”

In his practice, Dr. Calderón uses maca for male impotence, erectile dysfunction, symptoms of menopause, and general fatigue.

Maca as anticancer

Maca is a plant belonging to the botanical family of crucifers. Other known plants of the same family are broccoli, cabbage, watercress, arugula, mustard , etc

Plants that belong to the cruciferous family are widely known for their anticancer properties due to their glucosinolate content.

Glucosinolates are sulfurous components, characteristic for having a slightly spicy flavor, which in the body are broken down into isothiocyanates. These components have an important antioxidant function that helps keep the organism healthy.

Numerous studies have investigated the antioxidant properties of isothiocyanates, concluding that they are a potent medicinal agent, involved in many studies for the prevention and treatment of cancer for their tumoricidal, apoptotic (which cause the natural death of damaged cells), antimutagenic properties and antidegenerative.

Despite all this, there are a number of cancers in which the use of maca is not adequate. (More information)

High iron content of maca

The high iron content of this plant is due to its food nature of great heights, because iron is responsible for transporting oxygen in the body, and in the heights of the Andean mountains there is less oxygen due to pressure.

The high dietary iron contribution of maca helps prevent anemia due to lack of iron and strengthens the body. For this it is necessary to consume it as a powder or as a food, since in the form of capsules it does not provide enough of this mineral to consider its contribution.

Other minerals of maca

Other restorative and energizing components are iodine, an important mineral for the proper functioning of the thyroid gland; calcium, important for many vital functions; and zinc, a mineral that regulates the immunity of the organism.

Due to its restorative properties, maca is recommended as a supplement in cases of fatigue, weakness, asthenia, stress, mental exhaustion, loss of memory and people in convalescence. This supplement provides an optimal physical and mental state, adding energy and vitality to our body.

Sun protection and maca

From the adaptive factor of maca to the altitudes of the Andean plateau, its capacity to protect itself from the high ultraviolet radiation to which it is exposed is deduced.

An experiment wanted to demonstrate the sun’s protective properties of maca. In this, it was observed that exposure to ultraviolet radiation causes an increase in the thickness of the skin layer called epidermis in rats. However, the animals that received treatment with aqueous extract of yellow maca did not present thickening of the epidermis, demonstrating the effectiveness of yellow maca for sun protection, even superior to the protective power of SPF 30.

For these reasons, maca extract can be an interesting ingredient to introduce in cosmetic creams and sun creams.

Dosage of maca

Maca is a food in addition to a medicinal supplement, so it can be used in much higher doses than other medicinal plants and for a long period of time without harmful effects.

Supplements / tablets / capsules: Dose of 1.5 to 3g. daily. It can be taken in capsules or mixed in juices.

Gelatinized maca: during the gelatinization process occurs the breakdown of the carbohydrates of starches, thereby improving the absorption of the active components of the plant. Take from 1.5 to 3g. of maca daily.

Root powder: To add to creams, smoothies, soups, etc. It is important for the maca to be kept in a tight glass container, in a cool and dry place; for a period of time not exceeding 2 years. It is recommended not to exceed 25g. daily.

Where to buy maca?

Maca can be bought in powder or extract, in specialized dietetics stores and in parapharmacies or pharmacies with parapharmacy section.

When buying maca, we will find that there are different types of preparations:

  • As an antidepressant food, for defenses, invigorating or mineral supplement, powdered maca is recommended.
  • If what is desired is an aphrodisiac effect, it is more advisable to take supplements with concentrated maca extract rich in macamides. It can also be combined with a recipe with powdered maca (previous point).

Nutritional value of maca

Below is the nutritional composition of powdered maca, a supplement that is increasingly common to find in the diet or food stores and that is marketed as “superfood” or superfood.

Table nutritional composition of the maca

From the nutritional composition of maca it is extracted that:

  • It is a nutritional supplement with few calories.
  • It is very rich in fiber, potassium, proteins and calcium
Composition of powdered maca per 100 gr.
NutrientsRaw organic maca powder
Calories400 Kcal
Fat0 g
Protein20 g
Carbohydrates80 g
Fiber20 g
Potassium2.060 mg
Calcium400 mg
Sodium0 mg
Iron7,20 mg
Zinc0,17 mg
Vitamin C24 mg
Vitamin B61.200 mg
Vitamin A0 IU

punto rojoMore information on maca.

This article was endorsed by Vicente Martínez Centelles - Founder of the web and director. Teacher of natural sciences, expert in plants, natural remedies and botanical photography.
Written by Editorial Botanical-online team in charge of content writing

16 December, 2020

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