Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Maca: Nature's Wholefood Hormone Balancer

Maca is a nutritious root vegetable cultivated on ancient terraces of Peru's central highlands. This hardy plant thrives where little else will, at high altitudes and intense sunlight, high winds and low temperatures. Native Peruvians have used Maca for thousands of years to increase stamina, libido and fertility in both men and women. Recently Maca has been used to help alleviate the symptoms of menopause, chronic fatigue, depression and stress as well as to boost fertility. Maca does this by stimulating the pituitary gland.When the pituitary gland functions optimally, the entire hormonal system becomes balanced, because the pituitary gland controls the hormone output of the thyroid (metabolism), ovaries or testicles (sexual functioning and tissue growth) and adrenal gland (energy and fluid balance). Athletes have started using Maca as an alternative to anabolic steroids for increasing strength, energy and stamina. Unlike steroids and some energy boosting herbs, Maca does not contain harmful stimulants and is not addictive. Maca is found as powdered root or encapsulated root. Maca is found in formulas for energy and stress reduction. Increased demand for this plant may make Maca an endangered species, as has happened to other South American botanicals. You may want to inquire about the source and farming practices of the Maca that you purchase. People who are sensitive to the nightshade family of plants, including peppers, tomatoes and potatoes, should not use Maca. Maca should be used with caution by individuals taking hormone replacement therapy or contraceptive medication or by pregnant or nursing women. Due to its potassium content those with kidney disease or those on diuretics should use Maca cautiously.

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