Libido In the Tank-Fill ‘Er Up With Maca

Maca, the Peruvian herb, has been generating lots of buzz about its reputed ability to boost libido.
It is revered in the ancient Incan culture for its many medicinal purposes. According to folk belief, it is a plant known for its legendary ability to deliver energy and mental clarity, and enhance sex drives in Peruvians for more than 2,000 years.
Maca is an herb that has plenty of anecdotal information passed down from generation to generation, but scientific evidence on its effectiveness is limited. Researchers continue to study how it may help men and women with low libido. Some studies suggest it may improve semen quality, relieve symptoms of menopause, and reduce enlarged prostates.
A review of maca in the journal Current Sexual Health Reports concluded “there is no strong medical evidence in support of its use for female sexual dysfunction.”
In Peru, maca has been a staple in the diet of men, women, children, infants, pregnant and lactating women, elderly, and the infirm — out of necessity. Only two crops grow in the higher elevations in Peru: potatoes and maca.
In the Andes, people typically eat about half a pound of maca daily. Maca (Ledpidium meyenil) is an Andean root, referred to as an herb. It’s a starchy tuber that resembles a radish or a turnip but tastes more like a potato.
Like other starches, maca contains carbohydrates, protein, fats, and dietary fiber. It is also rich in plant sterols and a good source of iron, magnesium, selenium, and calcium.
There have not been reports of adverse effects of eating maca, so it is probably safe.
Talk to your doctor before taking any supplements because even though maca is a natural product grown in the Peruvian highlands, there are always potential side effects, including those from processing.
A growing demand for maca has resulted in a wide variety of products online and in health food stores boasting sexual health and stamina-enhancing claims. Maca, like other dietary supplements, are not reviewed or approved by the FDA.
This article was excerpted from an article in WebMD by Kathleen Zelman, MPH, RD, director of nutrition for WebMD.

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