Macaroten har odlats i tusentals år i Andernas bergstrakter där den fungerat som beskyddare inte bara åt en massa andra grönsaker utan även med sitt rika näringsinnehåll närt många generationer av peruaner.
Maca hittas framför allt i Anderna på en höjd av 3500 meter och har livnärt den peruanska bergsbefolkningen i årtusenden. Man har spårat användandet av växten till för ungefär 2000 år sedan i centrala Peru där Anderna breder ut sig.
Maca kommer från samma grönsaksfamilj som rädisan och är känd för sin tålighet i tuffa höghöjdsklimat med extremt väder. Den ger dessutom skydd åt närplanterade grönsaker, varför den ses som oumbärlig bland Andernas jordbrukare.
Fröna sås vanligtvis i september och trycks ofta ner i jorden med hjälp av får. Efter cirka 9 månader dras roten upp för hand innan den torkas och mals ned till ett finkornigt pulver.
Användning och recept
Macapulver blandar man enkelt i ett glas varmt eller kallt vatten, men det fungerar såklart även utmärkt i valfri energismoothie. Smaken påminner om palsternacka och pepparrot, varför maca blir en utmärkt ingrediens i en grönsaksshake. Man kan även med fördel använda sig av macapulver i matlagningen.
Human beings have used Maca (Lepidium meyenii) as fertility boosting supplement for centuries; however, a recent study conducted by researchers in Australia looked into the effectiveness of Maca for blood pressure and depression.
The study involved 29 Chinese women who were in their post-menopausal stage.The subjects were randomly divided into two groups–an active group and a placebo group. Each participant was administered 3.3 grams of Maca or placebo per day for six weeks during the three months study. At week 6 and week 12, the researchers tested and recorded the relevant health indicators of the participants.
The results showed that the subjects who received Maca demonstrated a substantial reduction in depression and diastolic blood pressure. It also found that there was no significant variation in other health indicators like glucose level, estradiol, and lipid profiles of the active group participants relative to the placebo group participants.
The study concluded that Maca did not cause many hormonal changes in subjects studied, but is effective in decreasing depression, and normalizing blood pressure in post-menopausal women of Chinese origin. The possible cultural differences among Chinese and women from other cultures shall betaken into account while studying this research.
* Stojanovska L1, Law C, Lai B, Chung T, Nelson K, Day S, Apostolopoulos V, Haines C (2015). Macareduces blood pressure and depression, in a pilot study in postmenopausal women [Abstract]. Climacteric, the Journal of the International Menopause Society (IMS), 18(1), 1-26.
Boost athletic endurance and sexual performance with Maca
Maca is a popular herb from South America mostly used as an energy-boosting supplement by athletes and sportspersons. The herb is known for boosting the strength and stamina of its users besides uplifting their sexual vivacity. Does maca really do what its proponents claim it to do? A study looked into the so-called benefits of the herb and specifically investigated the effects of maca supplement on the strength level and sexual longing of expert, male cyclists.
The investigators selected eight trained cyclists and asked each of them to complete 40 kilometers ride before using the supplement. Their cycling time and sexual desire inventory were noted. The participants were then randomly administered both maca extract (ME) and placebo for 14 days after which each of them was again sent on 40 kilometers ride. Their sexual drive inventory and cycling time were noted again.
The study’ s final result showed that the cycling time performance of the participants who were administered ME enhanced notably relative to the baseline trial; however, it did not improve relative to the placebo test after the participants took ME. It was noted that maca supplement enhanced the self-rated sexual desire score substantially than that during the baseline trial and the placebo test that followed the ME administration.
The final finding was that maca supplement significantly improved the cycling time performance and sexual desire of the study participants. The promising result has opened a new and exciting arena of investigation for long-term researches, so the effects of maca on the strength and sexual desire of its users could be corroborated.
* Stone, M., Ibarra, A., Roller, M., Zangara, A., Stevenson, E.J. (2009). A pilot investigation into the effect of maca supplementation on physical activity and sexual desire in sportsmen [Abstract]. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 126 (3), 574-576.
Maca has long been used as a supplement to improve a number of health and performance factors, including athletic performance and sexual drive. However, the effects of maca on endurance performance and sexual drive were not fully validated. Researchers from the Northumbria University in Newcastle undertook an investigative study to see if maca is effective where physical activity and sexual desire in sportspersons is concerned.
The subjects of the 14-day-long study were 14 fully trained, male cyclists. They were made to complete a 40 kilometers cycling before and after randomly administering them maca or a placebo. Their sexual desire inventory was also recorded before and after the administration of maca supplement or placebo.
The results showed that the cycling time performance of participants after the administration of maca supplement drastically enhanced as compared to the timing before the supplementation (P=0.01). However, the placebo group participants did not show any significant improvement in the 40 kilometers cycling time performance before and after the placebo administration (P>0.05). Moreover, participants who took the maca supplements demonstrated increased sexual desire compared to the baseline trial, but not compared to the placebo test after supplement administration.
The study concluded that maca supplements might improve endurance performance and sexual desire in human beings. The researchers called for more clinical studies for further validation of what they found.
* Stone M, Ibarra A, Roller M, Zangara A, Stevenson E. (2009). A pilot investigation into the effect of maca supplementation on physical activity and sexual desire in sportsmen [Abstract]. Journal of Ethnopharmacol, 126(3), 574-6.