Why we love Maca & its amazing benefits

Why we love Maca & its amazing benefits

What is Maca?


I first heard about maca in 2012 when the term superfood was being thrown around in mainstream media and Instagram. Maca has been used by the Peruvians for thousands of years as both a food and medicine but like many superfoods, it’s only in the past few years that maca has been recognised for its amazing benefits by Western society. Maca is an apoptogenic root that helps balance hormones, improve moods, increase energy, and libido. It's considered a superfood due to its rich content of antioxidants, minerals, and essential vitamins. It is a cruciferous vegetable meaning it belongs to the same plant family as broccoli, bok choy, and cabbage. Taste-wise, it's malty, warming, and slightly nutty.


Reduces Stress


In the modern world, we are bombarded with stressors (such as running late for the train, university assessments, an overbearing boss at work, etc.) and despite our best intentions, we can be pushed to feeling overworked and stressed. Unfortunately, when we’re faced with burnout and excessive stress, our hormones become imbalanced. When our hormones become imbalanced this results in fatigue, low libido, irregular (or even absent) cycles.

Maca is an adaptogen, and adaptogens can improve the body’s ability to cope with stress and produce fewer stress hormones. Furthermore, as an adaptogen, maca can assist our body to adapt to hormonal imbalances. Hence by including maca into our diet, we can become more resilient to stress and support both our female and stress hormones.


Improves mood



Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) refers to the physical and mental symptoms that women may experience in the 1-2 weeks leading up to their period. Symptoms can include increased irritability, bloating, low moods, and fatigue. Maca has a calming and anti-depressive effect and hence using maca can improve the mental symptoms of PMS. In 2015, a randomised control study found maca significantly reduced depression symptoms in postmenopausal women.


Boosts energy



Traditionally, maca has been used by the ancient Peruvian warriors for its stamina boosting effects. A 2009 scientific study supports maca’s energy-enhancing effects when they found maca supplementation for 14 days improved endurance performance in male cyclists. So why not give maca a go in your morning smoothie for a non-caffeinated energy boost?


Improved sexual health & libido



Maca has been used traditionally as an aphrodisiac and can improve sexual performance and desire. In 2015, a study found daily supplementation with maca root improved sexual dysfunction, libido, and sexual activity in postmenopausal women after 12 weeks. In another follow-up study, daily supplementation of maca has shown to increase sexual desire and reduce erectile dysfunction in men. It’s basically nature’s Viagra.


Moonbox Recommendations


Luna Gold Latte makes it super convenient and easy to incorporate maca into our daily wellness routine. Luna Gold is our all-in-one anti-inflammatory and antioxidant-rich product that contains maca and a few other delicious ingredients (think turmeric, cinnamon, and ginger). Enjoy Luna Gold daily for at least 1-3 months to reap its hormone supporting benefits. Some delicious ways to consume Luna's gold is to combine it with nut milk to make a frothy Luna Gold latte, blended into smoothies, stirred into oatmeal, or even make into raw energy balls. 


References



da Cruz, A., Guerra, N., de Souza, K., de Castro Eleutério, I., da Silva, L., & Otoni, E. et al. (2018). The action of herbal medicine on the libido: aspects of nutritional intervention in increasing sexual desire. Nutrire, 43(1), 29. doi: 10.1186/s41110-018-0063-4


Dording, C., Schettler, P., Dalton, E., Parkin, S., Walker, R., & Fehling, K. et al. (2015). A Double-Blind Placebo-Controlled Trial of Maca Root as Treatment for Antidepressant-Induced Sexual Dysfunction in Women. Evidence-Based Complementary And Alternative Medicine, 2015, 1-9. doi: 10.1155/2015/949036


Meissner, H., Mscisz, A., Reich-Bilinska, H., Mrozikiewicz, P., Bobkiewicz-Kozlowska, T., & Kedzia, B. et al. (2006). Hormone-Balancing Effect of Pre-Gelatinized Organic Maca (Lepidium peruvianum Chacon): (III) Clinical responses of early-postmenopausal women to Maca in double blind, randomized, Placebo-controlled, crossover configuration, outpatient study. International Journal Of Biomedical Science, 2(4), 375-394.


Liao, L., He, Y., Li, L., Meng, H., Dong, Y., Yi, F., & Xiao, P. (2018). A preliminary review of studies on adaptogens: comparison of their bioactivity in TCM with that of ginseng-like herbs used worldwide. Chinese Medicine, 13(1), 57. doi: 10.1186/s13020-018-0214-9


Stojanovska, L., Law, C., Lai, B., Chung, T., Nelson, K., & Day, S. et al. (2014). Maca reduces blood pressure and depression, in a pilot study in postmenopausal women. Climacteric, 18(1), 69-78. doi: 10.3109/13697137.2014.929649


Stone, M., Ibarra, A., Roller, M., Zangara, A., & Stevenson, E. (2009). A pilot investigation into the effect of maca supplementation on physical activity and sexual desire in sportsmen. Journal Of Ethnopharmacology, 126(3), 574-576. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2009.09.012



Zenico, T., Cicero, A., Valmorri, L., Mercuriali, M., & Bercovich, E. (2009). Subjective effects ofLepidium meyenii(Maca) extract on well-being and sexual performances in patients with mild erectile dysfunction: a randomised, double-blind clinical trial. Andrologia, 41(2), 95-99. doi: 10.1111/j.1439-0272.2008.00892.x