Why do we love Maca at Moonbox and what are the benefits?
- 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.
2. 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.
3. 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?
4. 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.
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