Maca (Lepidium meyenii)

Maca Overview:

Maca is a root vegetable to the peoples living in its environment, which is high up in the Andes mountains of South America. The carbohydrates in the root of this plant provide ample nutrition, and delivers a potent source of neurotransmitter building amino acids and B vitamins.

Maca also contains alkaloids thought to be behind the adaptogenic effects of the herb. Long term use of maca has been shown to provide modulation of the hypothalamus pituitary adrenal axis (HPA axis), which is the bodies stress response system.

Maca is also a popular herb for promiting libido and sexual fertility and overall function, as well as hormonal imbalances in men and women. Taking maca to achieve these effects needs to be regular, and in fairly high doses. Claims made about this herb are often exagerated, there are entire communities of people that eat high doses of maca on a regular basis as a food, and do not have any special abilities as is claimed often around the web.

maca-root-lepidium-meyeni.jpg

+ Indications

  • Adrenal insufficiency
  • Low libido
  • Athletic performance enhancement
  • Improve the stress response
  • Osteoporosis
  • Poor fertility (men and women)
  • Altitude sickness

+ Contraindications

  • Severe insomnia

Main Herbal Actions:

  • Adaptogenic
  • Anti-diabetic
  • Antioxidant
  • Aphrodisiac
  • Neuroprotective
  • Thyroid supportive
 

Main Uses:

Maca is mainly used as an aphrodisiac, athletic enhancement supplement, and to improve the bodies ability to resist stress. It is useful for adapting to altitude sickness, pushing through intense training regimens, and other high-stress periods.

Medicinally, it is useful for post menopausal women to prevent or resist osteoporosis, and to improve fertility in both men and women.

 

Daily Dosage

Powdered Herb

Ratio: 1:1

10-15 g

Weekly Dosage

Powdered Herb

Ratio: 1:1

70-85 g

 

Part Used

Roots

Family Name

Brassicaceae

Distribution

South America, Andes mountains.

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Constituents of Interest

  • Beta-ecdysone
  • Alkaloid content

Common Names

  • Maca
  • Peruvian ginseng
  • Peppergrass
  • Chichira

Botanical Info:

Maca is part of the Brassicaceae or "mustard" family of plants. The lepidium genera is one of the largest in the family.

Maca is famous for its incredibly high distribution. It thrives where very few other plants will grow, at altitudes of up to 4500 M above sea level.

 

Level Of Research:

 

Clinical Applications Of Maca:

In order to get the full benefits of maca, it needs to be consumed in high doses, on a regular basis, over long periods of time. It is a great supplemental herb for athletes, those seeking to improve libido, or to buffer overall stress resistance. It is also highly useful in this way for post-menopausal women to avoid symptoms, and slow the onset of related disease states such as depression and osteoporosis.

 

Cautions:

None noted.

 
 
 

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References:

See full maca monograph.