What is maca powder? Is it good for hormones, and why?
Maca (Lepidium meyenii) is a hardy plant found in South American countries. Once harvested, the maca root is dried and powdered. It has a malty, slightly sweet flavour which can be used in smoothies, soups and cereals. In fact, it is widely available and fairly cheap to buy in countries such as Peru where natives traditionally use it to enhance nutrition and fertility.
Scientists think that maca acts like testosterone, which helps to increase sperm count, sperm mobility and sexual desire in men. In women, a daily dose of maca may also help improve libido pre and post menopause by regulating the production of luteinising hormone in the pituitary gland.
Anti depressants can also reduce sexual desire, which may be helped by maca, with no adverse effects. In a clinical trial, a dose of 3 grams per day had the best results of increasing libido in female participants. For those in need of a fertility boost or increase in libido, maca may be worth a shot. However, more rigorous testing is needed on larger groups of humans to draw firm conclusions on its effectiveness on sexual function.