Maca is an adaptogenic plant that grows in the high Andes mountains of Peru; it is also sometimes referred to as Peruvian ginseng. Native growers have acknowledged four different varieties or ‘colors’ of maca (based on root color): cream-yellow, half purple, purple, and black. The root of the maca plant is prized for its many health benefits.
Benefits of black maca in particular may include:
In this blog, I want to talk about maca’s classic benefits as a fertility and libido booster, but also about newer research which has shown that maca may even benefit our mood, and potentially alleviate anxiety and depression. We’ll sum up by discussing the best form of maca to take and why.
Maca for Libido and Fertility In Men and Women
In the puna grasslands of the Andean Mountains, maca has been harvested and used for centuries, mostly as an effective libido-boosting adaptogen. This is likely still maca’s most popular use today. But how does this mountain root achieve its potent effects on fertility and sex drive?
It turns out that several placebo controlled studies have found that maca can increase feelings of sexual desire and support a healthy sex drive in both men and women. One study even found that these benefits occur independently from maca’s other beneficial effects on testosterone and depression and anxiety.
Black maca has also been shown to improve fertility levels. Interestingly, it has a particularly potent effect on male fertility levels, and has been shown to increase sperm quality, quantity and motility in adult men.
Maca for Mood | Effects on Anxiety and Depression
Not only can maca help ‘get you in the mood,’ but more and more research is also finding other benefits of maca for mood support; namely the fact that it can help alleviate stress, anxiety, and depression.
Stress might not be as surprising, as virtually all adaptogens work by improving and ‘adapting’ the body’s stress response by healing and harmonizing the adrenals. But can maca really have an effect on subtler mood disturbances like anxiety or depression?
Studies have found that black maca, compared to all the other maca varieties, is the most effective type of maca for supporting cognition and relieving depression. Studies conducted on humans have found maca may provide potent anxiety relief, particularly for menopausal women. One study found that maca “reduces psychological symptoms, including anxiety and depression, and lowers measures of sexual dysfunction.”
What’s the Best, Most Effective, Form of Maca?
To fully enjoy maca’s benefits on libido, fertility and mood, it's important to take maca in the most potent and effective form possible. Raw maca is difficult to digest due to its thick fibers and goitrogen content. For this reason, Maca is best enjoyed as a concentrated herbal extract.
Hyperion Herbs’ Black Maca Extract is a dual (alcohol and hot water) extract in which 10 pounds of whole maca are distilled into 1 pound of purely potent extract. Simply add ½ teaspoon to the food or beverage of your choice and fuel your healthy lifestyle with the power of maca.
Grab yours today and learn more about maca on the product page here!