Maca (Lepidium meyenii) is a cruciferous root crop belonging to the same vegetable family as kale and cabbage. It was raised for food high up in the Andean mountains, first by the Incas and, centuries later, by the Peruvian farmers. It can grow even in the harshest terrain and weather conditions. Maca is the only known food crop that can grow and flourish in very high altitude and extreme weather such as found in the Andes region. For more than two thousand years, the people of Peru have raised maca both as a food source and as medicine to improve endurance, enhance sexual desire, and cure infertility. There are many stories that have gone down through generations about maca’s fertility-promoting powers. These stories have gone as far back as the 16th century during the Spanish colonization of South America.
According to one story, the Spanish conquistadors became unwell and experienced infertility. This was true with their livestock as well. The Peruvian natives advised the colonizers to use maca for themselves and their animals. The outcome was so amazing that most of the first Spanish records about their life in the Andes were reports concerning their use of maca. There were also ancient records of the colonizers preferring to accept maca for payment as an alternative to gold.
The Effects of Maca in the Body
Maca is an adaptogen. In herbal medicine, this means it is a natural substance that can help produce a normalizing effect upon bodily processes. It contains 60 powerful phytonutrients and 31 minerals, which is why many users consider it as a superfood. Using maca helps nourish the endocrine system. It supports the adrenal, thyroid, and pituitary glands which are all major players in balancing hormones. While maca doesn’t contain hormones, it has the ability to stabilize the key hormones in the human body. Scientific studies on maca’s role in fertility have been going on since the early 1960s. Some of the findings have shown that maca contained certain components called glucosinolates which have notable effects on male and female fertility. These components play a big role in maca’s ability to balance hormones.
How Maca Came to Be Used for Fertility
During the time of the Inca civilization centuries ago, Incan farmers noticed how their livestock became stronger and sturdier after being fed maca roots. As they fed them more maca, the farmers also observed that the animals copulated more frequently and produced healthier offspring. Soon after that, the childless natives started to use maca themselves in the hope of increasing their chances of bearing children. Because of maca’s success in promoting conception, the Andean natives have used maca for a long time to increase their fertility. News of maca’s great success to enhance fertility spread beyond Peru and attracted the attention of doctors and researchers from the United States and Europe as early as the 1960s.
How Maca Affects Male and Female Fertility
Maca is similar to ginseng and licorice that are considered as adaptogenic plants. These herbal adaptogens can cope with diverse condition within the body and help to repair and normalize its various functions. Maca has many health benefits but its primary focus is on the endocrine system where it promotes hormonal balance in both males and females. Research and tests have shown that the regular use of black maca can raise the sperm count and even improve sperm motility in men. Female subjects who used maca in similar studies demonstrated easier ovulation and more regularity in their monthly cycles. Another big benefit of using maca for fertility is the noticeable increase in sexual desire in both male and female subjects. Apart from its work of stabilizing hormones, maca is also a great source of nutrient-rich content. It contains an abundant supply of minerals, vitamins, essential fatty acids, phytonutrients, and amino acids. Ample nourishment from regular maca use can increase the probability of men and women to become fertile and conceive a child.
Maca’s Effect on Male Fertility
Male subjects were observed for four months in a study conducted on the effects of taking Maca. By the end of the study, the men showed a substantial increase in semen volume, motility, and sperm count. Studies of maca’s effects on animals revealed that it can positively affect sperm health in general and stimulate the production of healthy sperm. The fact that men may experience heightened sexual desire is just an added benefit of taking maca to ensure a successful conception.
Maca’s Effect on Female Fertility
Maca is believed to benefit female fertility due to its ability to restore and normalize the balance of hormones. It is thought of that maca can help diminish the over-production of estrogen and, instead, create a more favorable balance of estrogen and progesterone which is likely to result in pregnancy. Reports of increased sexual desire and function in women have also been received.
A Short Guideline for Using Maca Root for Fertility
If you and your partner are looking forward to increasing your chances of conceiving a child, without the need for costly surgery or invasive procedures, then you should definitely give maca supplementation a try. Making maca a part of your fertility efforts can also help improve your general health as well as boost your likelihood of conception. Should you decide to use maca to enhance fertility, here are some guidelines to bear in mind and follow to achieve your fertility goal.
- Only organic and certified maca powder should be used. Be sure that the maca you’ll use is fresh and of excellent quality. Be aware that several inferior maca products being commercially-sold are actually grown using chemicals or made from aged maca roots that are no longer potent.
- Women should use red maca as it is nutrient-packed and most conducive to female fertility.
- Men should use black maca as it is best for increasing sperm count and better sperm motility.
- Do not be tempted to take too much maca. If you will use maca as a fertility aid, then you should use it therapeutically. You should thus take it in therapeutic amounts and in a regular manner.
- Both you and your partner should take maca to achieve your goal of conceiving a child. It will not work as expected if one of you will not cooperate. Since maca comes with a lot of benefits apart from boosting fertility, convincing your partner won’t be that difficult.
- Both partners should undergo a cleansing and detox program to ensure that the benefits of maca are maximized. A good cleansing and detox will clean your digestive system and enable your body to absorb more nutrition.
Apart from the many health benefits it provides the body, maca has shown itself to be a terrific fertility booster and herbal restorative. To make it successful as a complement to any fertility program, it should be used without fail every day to achieve the expected results. It can be used along with other fertility-enhancing herbs. Peruvian natives have used maca as a source of food for hundreds of years without worrying about toxic effects. Studies have found no adverse consequences or toxicity in its usage. As always, it is always safe to follow the manufacturers’ recommended dosage. Before taking maca, be sure to read about the possible Side Effects of Maca.