Maca as a Herbal Alternative to HRT
Thursday, October 23rd 2003
Most women who thought they were safe from the negative impact of declining hormones during menopause by using HRT were left scrambling for an answer to the health issues that accompany menopause: hot fl ashes, night sweats, fatigue, and heart disease when the real dangers of HRT made the headline news. Health authorities in the USA now require HRT drugs containing oestrogen to carry warning labels about the proven dangers of heart attack, stroke, blood clots and breast cancer. Women who had been taking HRT for many years were suddenly searching for a safe alternative.
Further data is now available confirming earlier reports that women who take hormone replacement therapy for five years or more are doubling their risk of developing breast cancer (British Medical Journal 2003; 327:g).
Besides, who wants to take extracts of horse urine and increase their risk of cancer?
Premarin is made from pregnant mares' urine (PREgnant MARes' urINE) and is just one of the range of HRT drugs.
It All Began With Mountain Men and Their Farm Animals?...
Maca is a root-like vegetable shaped like a radish that grows high in the rugged Andes mountains. The Peruvians have used it as both a food and medicine for thousands of years for women, men and animals. Nature's Way (USA) Standardised Maca capsules were introduced to New Zealand in 1999 and many thousands of New Zealand women are now using it because of its unique ability to improve libido and stop hot fl ashes, night sweats and fatigue.
Maca's action is on the pituitary gland which produces the precursor hormones which ultimately end up balancing oestrogen, progesterone and testosterone levels, as well as helping to nourish the adrenal glands, thyroid and pancreas. This occurs naturally while increasing energy.
What Are the Benefits of Using Maca?
MACA eases the sudden menopausal hormonal decline to a much slower decline thus preventing those uncomfortable symptoms of menopause.
Dr. Hugo Malispina, MD, the Peruvian cardiologist who practices alternative medicine, believes the earlier, the better when it comes to adding Maca to a woman's health regime.
Women experience the irregular periods associated with both PMS and perimenopause are now taking Maca to reduce cramps, bleeding and fatigue. These beneficial effects accumulate with prolonged use of Maca. Women using Maca report increased energy levels, increased ability to function under stress, increased libido and the elimination of hot flushes and night sweats.
When menopause arrives, the ovaries do not produce the oestrogen and progesterone which the body requires to function. For this reason, women should start with Maca before menopause as it seems to help the endocrine system stay in balance.
Maca works on both men and women by regulating hormone production according to the needs of the individual regardless of sex.
Reproduced unabridged from the October - December 2003 issue of Health and Herbal News, with the kind permission of Health and Herbs International Ltd.
Footnote from Ideal Health:
The following products are all useful for Hormonal Balance:
Related health information can be found here:
Chaste Tree (Vitex agnus castus) as a hormone balancer
DIM Plus to assist in cancer prevention
Improve fertility levels and libido with Tribulus
Protein - A macronutrient so often overlooked
Suffering from menopausal or menstrual problems? Then consider Dong Quai - the queen of female herbs
Related articles can be found here:
Balance your hormones the Peruvian way - The amazing Maca
Current Combined HRT Use Doubles Risk of Breast Cancers
Hot Flushes? An Internationally Recommended Herb
Stroke Risk Increased in Hypertensive Women Using HRT.
If you need help or advice, you are welcome to email our naturopathic team with your health question.
Disclaimer: The health information presented here has been written for the New Zealand health consumer. It is of a general nature and is only intended to provide a summary of the subjects covered. The information is not intended to be comprehensive or to provide medical advice to you. While all care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information, no responsibility or liability is accepted, and no person should act in reliance on any statement contained in the information provided. All health ailments should be treated by a qualified health professional.
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22 Oct 2003
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