Saturday, April 2nd 2005
How can one herb increase fertility, energy, libido, and athletic performance while helping with erectile dysfunction, menopausal problems and chronic fatigue?
What is Maca?
Maca is a little known root vegetable from the same family as brussel sprouts, broccoli and turnips. It grows at 15,000 feet in one small region of the high Andes of central Peru and has been used as a food source for the past 5,800 years. The indigenous Peruvian people have eaten Maca and fed it to their animals to increase fertility for centuries.
Maca appears to be highly absorbable and has obvious benefits for people such as anorexics, people convalescing, those suffering from stress and people with gut absorption problems such as colitis or Crohns disease.
It's the hormones!
At the end of a long, tiring day, it's the hormones via the adrenal glands that want rest. When a headache comes on during menstruation, it is probably the hormones that need balance. When grief or shock hits and energy is low or chronic fatigue slows you down, the hormone signaling glands are usually struggling to cope. Many of these conditions may benefit from Maca's ability to improve the hormone signaling system.
If both the thyroid and adrenal glands need a "pick me up" then Maca could be indicated. This makes Maca ideal for students, professional people, writers, athletes, marathon runners, martial arts enthusiasts, weary travelers and people who simply need a lift or who want to maintain intense work or sports schedules.
Hormonal help for men and women
Hormonal signals to the testes and ovaries improve with the addition of Maca to the diet. An improved hormonal signal from the pituitary to the ovaries helps the production of both estrogen and progesterone and seems to increase the chances of conceiving. PMS, menstrual irregularities and menopause can be due to hormones that are out of balance.
Hormonal levels decline, in both males and females as we age. Current scientific data indicates that Maca significantly increases sperm count, motility and volume in males. In females, it has been indicated to improve conception and birth-rates while lowering the rate of miscarriages.
The improvement of the hormone system not only helps athletic performance but the steroid like properties of some of the constituents (stigmasterol, sitosterol) gives it an anabolic use for sports people trying to maintain their best. Maca provides a natural and safe alternative to synthetic anabolic steroids.
Reproduced unabridged from the April - June 2005 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 Energy, Stamina & Hormonal regulation:
Black Cohosh Standardised
Ginseng 5 Exhaustion Relief
Herbal Y Extreme for Men
Meno-Life 24 Hour Menopause Support
Super B Daily Stress +
Related health information can be found here:
Related articles can be found here:
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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