Maca is a nutritious root vegetable cultivated on ancient terraces of Peru's central highlands ...
This hardy plant thrives where little else will, at high altitudes and intense sunlight, high winds and low temperatures. Native Peruvians have used Maca for thousands of years to increase stamina, libido and fertility in both men and women.
Today, we continue to use Maca for hormonal regulation and support. In the case of Amenorrhea (absent menses, unrelated to pregnancy), Maca has been found to lower FSH levels. High levels of this hormone has been associated with low estrogen. It has also been shown to increase lutenizing hormone (LH), stimulating ovulation. In this sense it can be used as a hormone tonifier, supporting and balancing both estrogen and progesterone.
Studies are also supporting the use of Maca for postmenopausal women suffering from psychological symptoms such as depression and anxiety, as well as sexual dysfunction. It has been shown to have a positive effect in all of these areas. It has also been shown to increase energy, while decreasing night sweats and hot flashes in this population. It is for these reasons, it is now often being included in combination menopause products.
One of the postulated mechanisms by which Maca has these effects, is that it stimulates the pituitary gland and hypothalamus. When pituitary and hypothalamic function is working optimally, the entire hormonal system is balanced. The pituitary gland controls the hormone output of the thyroid (metabolism), ovaries or testicles (sexual functioning and tissue growth) and adrenal gland (energy and fluid balance). Proper balance and functioning of these hormones prevents diseases such as Cushing's, Addison's, Hypo and Hyper thyroidism, as well as infertility and menopause, as discussed in previous sections.
Athletes have started using Maca as an alternative to anabolic steroids for increasing strength, energy and stamina. Unlike steroids and some energy boosting herbs, Maca does not contain harmful stimulants and is not addictive.
Maca is found as powdered root or encapsulated root. Maca is found in formulas for energy, stress reduction and sexual enhancement. Increased demand for this plant may make Maca an endangered species, as has happened to other South American botanicals. You may want to inquire about the source and farming practices of the Maca that you purchase.
People who are sensitive to the nightshade family of plants, including peppers, tomatoes and potatoes, should not use Maca. Maca should be used with caution by individuals taking hormone replacement therapy or contraceptive medication or by pregnant or nursing women. Due to its potassium content those with kidney disease or those on diuretics should use Maca cautiously.
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Superfoods From Around The World
At Organic Traditions they provide nutrient dense superfoods from many healing traditions. They are commited to supporting farmers who are dedicated to their principals of sustainable and fairtrade agriculture. Now more than ever we need to nourish ourselves with the nutrition needed to support the challenges that come with living in a faced paced world.
Be adventurous! These superfoods are versitile. Incorporate them into recipes in any creative way you see fit. Create smoothies, sauces, soups, marinades, dips and more! Food is powerful. Make choices for
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