Maca powder derived from the dried root of the plant Lepidium meyenii is known as aphrodisiac because of its ability to improve sexual functioning.
The powder is a rich source of health promoting nutrients such as aminoacids, minerals, vitamins, antioxidants and fattyacids.
Benefits of maca powder
Maca powder is known to provide several benefits to body. Some of them are:
- Improves hormonal imbalance: Maca powder treats hormonal imbalance by regulating the functioning of the major glands of the body the pituitary and hypothalamus. The regulatory hormones secreted from these glands in turn control the functioning of other glands such as thyroid, pancreas, adrenal, testes and ovaries. The powder helps regulate both increased and reduced hormone production.
- Treats mood swings: Conditions associated with mood changes such as depression and anxiety can be treated well with maca powder. It is of great value in treatment of mood swings observed in menopausal women.
- Treats sexual dysfunction: Sexual desire reduces with age and is almost lost in menopausal women. Use of maca powder treats sexual dysfunction and arouses the sexual desire in both men and women. It is termed as nature’s Viagra by many. Even post menopausal women can enjoy improved sexual activity.
- Improves semen quality: The powder is valuable in improving the semen quality i.e. the volume and sperm count of the semen. Even the extent of motility of the sperms improves.
- Treats symptoms of menopause: Women close to menopause suffer with symptoms such as hot flashes and mood disturbances. Maca powder offers relief from these symptoms.
- Prevents frequent illness: It is considered as an adaptogen i.e. it improves the ability of the body to fight against disease causing germs. It not only improves physical fitness but also the emotional fitness. On the whole it reduces the risk of falling ill.
- Boosts the energy levels: The ability of the maca root to improve general well being and energy levels makes it an ideal energy booster for athletes. Unlike anabolic steroids it does not result in abnormal activation of the endocrine glands. It also free of chemicals observed in
artificial energy boosters.
- Exhibits analgesic action: Saponins and terpenoids contained in the herb help reduce pain. They also serve as expectorant and sedative.
- Other benefits: Delayed aging, improved brain activity, increased ability to cope-up with stress and increased strength are other benefits of using the herb.
Side effects of using maca powder
Cautious use of maca powder preferably under the guidance of physician does not cause any side effects. Inappropriate use of the powder results in certain complications.
- Goiter and hyperthyroidism: Thyroid conditions such as hyperthyroidism become worse with maca. It causes goiter in people suffering with iodine deficiency.
- Gassiness: High fiber content of maca causes increased gas production initially. Hence, very low dose should be used initially.
Using maca powder as a food
Use of maca powder is more advantageous than other forms of root as it gets absorbed and digested in the body easily. Better taste and ease of usage makes it the preferred form of root used by many. Maca powder can be made part of regular meal in different ways.
- The delicious mild nutty flavor of maca powder makes it a best flavoring agent to soups. Addition of maca root powder and sea salt to the soup gives a wonderful flavor to the soup.
- Can be added to herbal tea.
- Use it as flavoring agent to popcorn along with sea salt and coconut oil.
- Mix maca powder, honey or grade B maple syrup to a make an appetizing dessert. The paste can also be had along with bananas. This dessert will definitely satisfy your craving for sweet.
Few people develop allergic reactions against maca root.
Hence, it is safe to start with ½ teaspoon a day and increase the amount to one to two teaspoons gradually depending on the body’s response. People taking maca powder daily should skip taking the powder one day in a week.