Maca – Your Wonder Herb for Fertility
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A couple who is planning to start a family but has fertility problems will be asked to maintain a good diet, exercise, and lead a healthy lifestyle in order to improve their fertility levels. However, following a healthy diet and exercising may not work for all couples. They may have to resort to certain herbs which are known for their fertility-enhancing properties. If your fertility issues are still not resolved, after doing enough research, you may have come across the herb ‘maca’, which is known to improve fertility levels, energy, and libido. Rich in essential vitamins, minerals, and unique compounds, this natural adaptogen has been traditionally used for its hormonal-balancing properties, which may support reproductive health in both men and women.
But how does this wonder maca root work for fertility? Let’s find out! In this comprehensive article, we will delve into the science behind maca’s fertility-enhancing properties and its growing popularity among individuals seeking natural ways to boost their chances of conception. We will also read about this herb’s benefits, how to take it, and side effects, if any!
What Is Maca?
Maca, which is also known as Peruvian Ginseng and Lepidium Meyenii, is a cruciferous herb that resembles a turnip. Maca is the only food crop that can grow in extremely harsh conditions. The plant faces harsh winds, intense sunlight, and freezing weather while growing and has been used by the natives of Peru for over two millennia as food and medicine.
Maca is divided into different categories depending on the colour of the root. These can be pink, black, yellow, or red. The yellow kind is the most commercially sought after type of Maca root. Maca contains many different nutrients that offer egg and sperm support, for improving libido and energy as well as help those who have high-stress levels.
Now let’s find out how maca works for fertility.
How Does Maca Work for Fertility?
Maca is nourishing for the endocrine system as it helps the adrenal, thyroid, and pituitary glands and can influence the important hormones in both men and women, though it does not contain any hormones itself. It has 60 different phytonutrients and 31 different minerals and also contains glucosinolates, which is the compound that affects fertility in men and women. This is what makes maca a good choice for infertility.
Benefits of Maca for Boosting Fertility
Here are some ways that Maca benefits fertility:
1. It Acts as an Aphrodisiac
The sterols in maca have been known to boost testosterone and block estrogen production. The natural hormone-balancing properties also aid in this function as the fatty acids, zinc and iodine help balance the sex hormones.
2. Helps Balance the Hormones
Though the root itself does not contain any hormones, it acts as an endocrine adaptogen, as it contains the nutrients required to support healthy and natural hormone production. The hypothalamus and the pituitary glands are known as the master glands in the body, and these get highly nourished by the nutrients present in Maca. When these master glands are balanced, they help restore the balance of other glands such as the thyroid, testicular, ovarian and pancreas glands. Women who are going through menopause, hot flashes or even PMS tend to benefit from this herb.
3. Improves Sperm Count and Regulates Cycles
There have been studies that show that Maca can help improve sperm count, which in turn can enhance fertility in men. For women, it can help regulate their cycles, which improve their fertility.
4. Stress Reduction
Maca acts as an adaptogen, helping the body adapt to stress. By reducing stress levels, it can indirectly improve fertility, as high stress can disrupt reproductive hormones.
5. Enhanced Energy and Stamina
Maca is known to increase energy levels and stamina, which is beneficial for couples trying to conceive by improving their overall vitality and endurance during the process.
6. Enhanced Overall Health
Maca is a nutritional powerhouse packed with essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Improved overall health can contribute to better fertility outcomes.
Maca root is high in minerals like calcium, potassium, magnesium, zinc, iron, and phosphorous. It also contains sterols, fibre, twenty essential fatty acids, lipids, protein, amino acids, and carbohydrates which can help improve health. Furthermore, maca powder is readily available in many health food stores. It is also available in the form of capsules. Maca powder or capsules are cheaper than most fertility treatments and have a good record of helping people with fertility problems by helping regulate the hormones.
When You Can Take Maca for Fertility?
The following are the best times to take maca root for fertility:
1. Transitioning off Hormonal Birth Control
Maca can be particularly useful for individuals who have recently discontinued the use of hormonal birth control methods. It may assist in restoring hormonal balance and supporting natural fertility.
2. Advanced Age (Over 35)
Maca is an option worth considering for individuals who are over the age of 35 and seeking to conceive. Its hormone-regulating properties can help address age-related fertility challenges.
3. Planning for a Second Child
If you are planning to expand your family with a second child and have previously given birth but are facing difficulties conceiving again (secondary infertility), maca can be a suitable choice to aid in your fertility journey.
How to Take Maca for Fertility?
If you are taking maca for fertility, ensure that you choose the maca that contains only the root and does not have either the leaves or the stem. Maca is available in three forms: powder, capsules and tincture. These three forms in which you can buy maca are discussed below:
1. Maca Powder for Fertility
The powdered form of maca comes in two types. One is raw maca powder, and the other is gelatinized maca powder. The raw powder is just plain maca root that is taken and crushed, while the gelatinised powder first undergoes a vegetarian process where the starch in maca is removed to make it more concentrated, and so that the assimilation is improved. Also, the gelatinized maca powder is easier to digest. Maca powder can be added to smoothies, juice, baked goods, and yoghurt. No animal ingredients are used in the gelatinised powder, so it can be used by both vegans and vegetarians.
2. Maca Capsules
Most people prefer maca root capsules for fertility as they are more convenient and can be consumed at any time with a glass of water.
3. Maca Tincture
This liquid extract of the root has the medicinal properties of the maca and can be added to juice or smoothies. It can also be taken with plain water.
Recommended Daily Intake of Maca for Fertility
The general maca dosage for fertility is 1000 to 3000 mg per day. It can be taken in one dose, or it can be consumed throughout the day in smaller dosages. As maca can be quite stimulating when it comes to energy and tends to give it a boost, it is best taken before 3 pm so that it does not interfere with your sleep at night. Note: Fluid intake is a must with maca. So make sure you drink enough water when taking maca, be it in any form.
Are There Any Side Effects of Consuming Maca for Fertility?
Maca is considered to be very safe for consumption. But some women may experience stomach upsets and spotting initially, i.e;, when they start taking the plain, non-gelatinized maca. They may experience spotting or a change in their menstrual cycles, but this is normal and should not be a cause for concern as it is taken as a sign that the hormones in your body are beginning to balance themselves due to the supporting nutrients and minerals that maca provides.
Maca root and fertility can be associated. Maca is a wonder herb and can improve fertility. It can be used on its own to try and solve fertility problems and also with other herbs that help improve fertility as it is a great superfood, supplement, and tonic. But it should not be taken during pregnancy.
If you’re looking to improve your fertility levels with this herb, we suggest that you check with a doctor and understand the benefits and potential side effects of maca to make an informed decision.
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