A relatively little known herb called Maca (lepidium meyenii) gives a surprising boost for energy and vitality. It is related to radish and turnips and really should be considered a medicinal food.
This Peruvian grown plant has been well used by people in Peru for centuries. It is considered a nutritional food with about 60-75% carbohydrates, 10-14% protein. It is used as a food for humans and animals in Peru. The latest craze when Maca was introduced to the U.S. was as an aphrodisiac improving sexual function, but there are mixed reviews about this effect.
Its value is the property of increasing vitality and endurance. It provides support to the central nervous system (CNS), so as a food it is supportive and nurturing to the CNS. In my research I found numerous studies that support its use with relatively low side effects.
In a small study of menopausal women who took Maca for 6 weeks they reported symptoms of depression and anxiety reduced even though hormone levels did not change. Another study did show a similar positive effect for men.
A paper published in 2003 from the Czech Republic reviewed the many chemical constituents; they concluded how useful Maca can be for chronic disease including diabetes, cardiovascular disease and chronic fatigue.
Here is my suggestion:
- Use Maca as a medicinal food in moderation to improve energy and stamina, support healing in the body with chronic illness.
- Use Maca for menopausal support.
- Purchase from a reliable source such as Herb-Pharm who is a conscientious herbal collector who works with sustainability of all its products.
- Maca comes in a dried powder or liquid tincture. I like to use the powder and add to smoothies.
This is another way to become actively involved in your own wellness program and supporting vitality. If you have questions you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org