What is Maca?Maca comes from a plant – in this case, Lepidium meyenii. This plant is native to high altitude areas of South America, near the Andes, most notably in Peru. This is one of the reasons it is sometimes known as Peruvian ginseng. It appears similar to ginseng, carrots, or radishes as well, a root-like vegetable that’s a ginseng-like color. It also has a butterscotch-like odor. Maca is most often ground into a powder, and used in traditional medicine in the Andes region, where the plant has been cultivated for over 3,000 years. In modern times, it is used as a supplement for a wide variety of purposes, including fighting fatigue, boosting energy and endurance, stamina, athletic performance, and much more, as we’ll elaborate on in the next section.
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What is Maca Used For?As mentioned above, it (especially when combined with Rhodiola) is mostly centered on fighting fatigue, enhancing exercise or athletic performance, balancing and improving energy levels, and similar energy-based improvements. There are also many other purported positive effects, such as enhancing memory, balancing sex hormone levels, improving fertility, enhancing sexual performance and desire, and boosting the immune system. It is important to note, however, that many of these effects have been unsubstantiated, and the main supplemental use is for energy and fatigue. The proven evidence of energy boosting is a key factor why Access HCG Drops, which contain maca complement the HCG Drops Diet so well.
What is the Typical Dosage of Maca?Maca is supplied in capsule or tablet form most often, with dosages from 500 mg to 1000 mg in strength. As with most supplements, caution is advised, and doctors and health professionals instruct those beginning a supplement regimen to start on the lower end of the dosage range, and work their way up slowly as needed, since everyone can respond to these natural products slightly differently. Combo packs may also be available, with maca mixed with other herbs and plant-based compounds, such as regular ginseng, suma, astragalus, rhodiola, and others.
What are the Side Effects of Maca?Like all supplements and medications, no matter how natural they may be, maca has the potential for some side effects. It is important to remember that it has been used in traditional medicine for hundreds, if not thousands, of years in many cases. While modern Western medicine has not validated many of the effects, as an alternative treatment or nutritional supplement, many people swear by the positive benefits of this root. Nevertheless, the most common side effects are listed below, including:
- May increase hunger or food cravings in individuals for a period of time following use
- May mimic MAOI-like substances, which have many known interactions and contraindications with a host of other substances, medicines, and supplements, so use caution
- May be contraindicated for those with estrogen-specific conditions like uterine, breast, or ovarian cancer, as maca may act like an estrogen in the female body (though conclusive evidence on this matter is still uncertain)