Considered to be a “Peruvian Magical Remedy,” Maca Root has gained much popularity over the past few years in the western hemisphere. Grown in very harsh conditions of Peru, the Maca Plant (Lepidium meyenii or Peruvian Ginseng) can be noted for some very interesting effects, many of which may prove to be beneficial for women with PCOS.
The root is the part of this cruciferous plant that is typically used. It is dried and ground into powder form which Peruvian Locals often use to increase their children’s learning power when they attend school. Possibly one of the most fascinating things about maca root powder is that it is a LOW GI Carbohydrate that is also rich in fiber. So for women following a Mediterranean Eating Lifestyle or even for those who are following a low GI eating pattern, this could prove to be a great source of carbohydrates for your body and brain!
In addition to being a healthy carb, maca root powder is packed with vitamins and minerals which are beneficial for both men and women. For instance:
- Vitamin C
One of the main reasons women choose to consume maca root is to increase their libido. In a study that took place over 12 weeks, it was shown to increase the libido of all the women who were in the maca consumption group compared to the control group. (It can also do the same for men, not just women!)
Because of its usefulness in treating postmenopausal women, it is thought to also have potentially beneficial aspects for premenopausal women as well. This is primarily because of its ability to naturally balance hormones. In a study of Swiss mice, it was shown to have lowered Adrenocorticotropic Hormone, Cortisol, and free Testosterone levels, while increasing Thyroid Stimulating Hormone and progesterone levels. (1) This study also showed a long term cognitive improvement and additionally, antidepressant tendencies in the group that received maca root powder as well.
Other amazing benefits of Maca Root Powder:
- Assists with vagnial dryness
- Lowers mood swings and irritability
- Reduces hot flashes
- Increases the ability to sleep through the night
- Improves endurance when exercising
- When applied directly to the scalp, it can stimulate hair growth
- Improves memory.
Maca Root Powder tastes kind of earthy and nutty, which some people may like and other may not care too much for. A great way to incorporate maca root powder into your diet might be to add it into your morning smoothies, chia pudding or oatmeal. You can also include it in baked goods! I think it would be incredible in pumpkin spice muffins personally – oh, I might have to try adding it next time I make them. You can also take it in pill form if the taste really isn’t for you.
Here are some great options from Amazon:
- Meissner, H. O., Mrozikiewicz, P., Bobkiewicz-Kozlowska, T., Mscisz, A., Kedzia, B., Lowicka, A., Reich-Bilinska, H., Kapczynski, W., & Barchia, I. (2006). Hormone-Balancing Effect 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 : IJBS, 2(3), 260–272.