Maca for Women

Screen Shot 2016-09-03 at 6.34.40 PMMaca root, also known as Lepidium meyenii1 has been used for medicinal purposes and protein source for indigenous people in Peru for centuries. I recently wrote an article about the benefits of maca for men, but I don’t want to forget about the ladies. It’s equally as beneficial for women. First, I’ll discuss how maca can alleviate symptoms during peri-menopausal and menopausal stages of a women life, then I will tackle how it can benefit post menopausal women.

Maca and Menopause

Many women who are peri-menopausal or menopausal experience symptoms such as, hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, hair loss, and weight gain. Most of these symptoms are due to a shift in the hormonal cycle as it prepares itself to shut down the reproductive system. These symptoms are aggravated be extreme drops in estrogen and even sometimes in testosterone. Some women choose to use hormone replacement therapy (HRT) to remedy the intensity of some these symptoms. Research has found that maca can substitute HRT be balancing hormone productions.

Maca is an adaptogen. An adaptogen is a substance or herb that brings the body back to a place of homeostasis.2 For instance, if estrogen is low, an adaptogen will act as an estrogen supplement and if testosterone is low it will act as a testosterone supplement. Maca isn’t unique in this regard, but it is one of the best and safest sources of an adaptogen substance. Because of macas ability to work as an adaptogen it is very useful for women suffering from Pre-Menstrual Syndrome (PMS).

WomanRunningRiverMaca and Your Menstrual Cycle

As many as 30% of women suffer from severe PMS in regards to the syndrome effecting the daily activity or lifestyle.3 All women experience some sort of effect from the shifting of hormones throughout her cycle, but PMS is characterized by effects which change daily patterns due to the symptoms. Maca helps alleviate some or all of these issues through the regulation and balancing of hormone production.4

Issues such as mood swings, cramping, heavy menses, and extreme appetite shifts can be due to an imbalance in the hormone relationship. As a women goes through her cycle certain hormones are higher or lower. Maca can help regulate these shifts. This is very useful not only for ease of managing lifestyle and emotions, but also if a woman is trying to conceive.

Maca and Infertility

Infertility has become a resounding issue among females of reproductive age. Part of the issue is diet and lifestyle which causes an imbalance in the hormone cycle. Women with infertility might suffer a variety of different conditions. Some these being endometriosis, poly-cystic ovary syndrome, or even irregular cycles. Improving lifestyle and dietary conditions will add in preventing or remedying infertility. These conditions can also improve with the addition of maca root.5 Peruvian women have used maca root as a conception aid for centuries and also as a valuable protein source.

In addition to all the wonderful uses maca has in regulating and balancing hormone production, maca is an excellent protein source. Packed with 14g of protein per 100g, maca is a great addition for those looking to increase protein consumption. It’s a great addition for vegans who sometimes find it difficult to get the recommended daily allowance of protein in. So, if you’re looking to improve your hormones, muscle tone, energy, skin, hair and nails think maca. It’s a do it all food.

1.
Lepidium meyenii – Wikipedia. en.wikipedia.org. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lepidium_meyenii. Accessed December 2, 2016.
2.
Adaptogen – Wikipedia. en.wikipedia.org. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adaptogen. Accessed December 2, 2016.
3.
Takeda T, Ueno T, Uchiyama S, Hiramatsu K, Shiina M. Relation between premenstrual syndrome and equol-production status. J Obstet Gynaecol Res. 2016;42(11):1575-1580. [PubMed]
4.
Hormone-Balancing E ect of Pre-Gelatinized Organic Maca (Lepidium peruvianum Chacon): (I) Biochemical and Pharmacodynamic Study on Maca using Clinical Laboratory Model on Ovariectomized Rats. InternatIonal journal of BIomedIcal science. https://www.formula41extreme.com/uploads/maca-pdf.pdf. Published 2006. Accessed December 14, 2016.
5.
Gonzales G, Gonzales C, Gonzales-Castañeda C. Lepidium meyenii (Maca): a plant from the highlands of Peru–from tradition to science. Forsch Komplementmed. 2009;16(6):373-380. [PubMed]

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