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MACA (Lepidium meyenii), a member of the radish family, addresses the needs of the glandular system. It grows in the Andes mountains of South America and may provide a natural means for improving sexual desire and performance. Maca may also support physical and mental strength in both males and females. Also known as Peruvian ginseng, maca may help enhance physical energy and endurance, promote mental clarity and concentration and boost work capacity. As an adaptogen, it helps restore stamina and buffer the effects of stress.
Peru is home to many beneficial plants and herbs, including maca, a popular sex-enhancing root that dates back a far as the Incas. Thus as far back as 500 years ago, maca's reputation for enhancing strength, libido, and fertility was already well established in Peru. To many in South America, maca has been dubbed the 'Peruvian ginseng,' even though it is not chemically similar to ginseng. However, like ginseng, maca is employed by many to increase energy, strength, stamina, and sexual drive - a winning combination of benefits.
While native to South America, maca is now available as a supplement in U.S. health food stores.
What is Maca?
Maca is an annual which produces a root that appears like a radish. The root of maca is typically dried and when preserved properly, will easily last for seven years. The herb is grown and cultivated in the Junin plateau of Peru's Central Highlands and was highly revered by the Inca for its medicinal and stimulating abilities.
Today, maca's popularity continues to grow as people discover that the plant does in fact increase libido, sexual function, and overall energy. The amount of land in Peru dedicated to Maca cultivation is increasing every year as demand for the herb rises, and a number of medical researchers have turned much of their attention to validating the properties of this root. In Peru, maca is generally used by both men and women who want to spice up their sex lives. In the U.S., Europe, and Japan, dietary supplements containing maca are growing very rapidly in popularity.
An in-depth analysis of maca was conducted in 1998 by Dr. Qun Yi Zheng and his associates at PureWorld Botanicals showning that maca contains about 10 percent protein, almost 60 percent carbohydrate, and an assortment of fatty acids. These ingredients are actually quite common and nothing noteworthy. However, investigators also discovered two groups of unique chemical compounds called macamides and macaenes. Both of these agents are believed to be directly responsible for maca's sex-enhancing ability.
To test the validity of these findings, researchers carried out a series of animal experiments, the results of which were published in April 2000 in the medical journal Urology. Rodent specimens given MacaPure extract, which contains relatively high concentration of macamides and macaenes, demonstrated greatly increased energy and stamina. The rodents also exhibited a very noticeable increase in sexual drive and stamina as compared with other rodents that were given a lesser amount of macamides and macaenes. So how does maca work for humans? As shown in the results of the animal studies, individuals who consume maca also exhibit sexual results. Men and women with low libido feel an increase in sexual desire, and men with erectile problems notice greatly improved sexual function.
Today, maca's popularity continues to grow as people experience that the herb really does enhance libido, sexual function, and overall energy.
Other Uses for Maca
Maca and maca extracts are also employed in medical practice in Peru. A doctor first discovered maca through a group of sexually active older men patients who were using the plant to maintain and enhance their sexual function. 'One of this group started taking maca and found he was able to perform satisfactorily in a sexual relationship with a lady friend. Soon everyone in the group began drinking the powdered maca as a beverage and enjoying the boost that the root was giving their hormonal functions. I have several of these men as patients, and their improvement prompted me to find out more about maca and begin recommending it to my other patients.'
Another physician, Doctor Aguila Calderon, M.D., a former dean of the Faculty of Human Medicine at the National University of Federico Villarreal in Lima, uses maca for male impotence, erectile dysfunction, menopausal symptoms, and general fatigue, and claims good results.
Arizona physician Gary Gordon, M.D., former president of the American College for Advancement in Medicine, also believes in the medicinal benefits produced by maca. 'We all hear rumors about various products like maca. But using this Peruvian root myself, I personally experienced a significant improvement in erectile tissue response. I call it nature's answer to formula.
What I see in maca is a means of normalizing our hormones like testosterone, progesterone and estrogen. Therefore it has the facility to forestall the hormonal changes of aging. It acts on men to restore them to a healthy functional status in which they experience a more active libido.'
How Much Maca Should You Take?
Keep in mind that maca is a food and is not used in tiny quantities. Most supplement companies that are selling maca are putting about 500 milligrams of ground, dried maca in each capsule. Some recommend three capsules daily, while others recommend six.
Maca also contains several flavones and flavonoid glycosides, which may support the balance of female reproductive hormones.
Benefit of MACA Extract:
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