Maca is an adaptogenic herb that has been grown and cultivated high in the Andean Mountains of Peru for thousands of years and while its benefits have long been known there, only recently is the word reaching around the world. Recent studies reveal that maca is one of the most optimal and natural ways to balance the endocrine system by regulating healthy hormone production with its adaptogenic qualities. While maca itself contains no hormones, this root contains a rare set of nutrients that nourish the endocrine system and supports the adrenal glands and thyroid to produce hormones in proper amounts for each individual. Want to learn more about how maca can benefit your body? Take a look!
Maca and the Endocrine System
The endocrine system is instrumental in regulating mood, growth and development, tissue function, metabolism, sexual function and reproductive processes. While this system is in charge of slow processes in the body (like cell growth) it includes some major glands: hypothalamus, pituitary gland, thyroid, parathyroids, adrenal glands, pineal body, reproductive glands (including ovaries and testes), and the pancreas. So what does the endocrine system do, really?
Once a hormone issecreted it travels from the endocrine gland that produced it through the bloodstream to target cells that are designated to receive its “message”. As it travels to the target cells, special proteins bind to some of the hormones and these proteins act as carriers that control the amount of hormone available for use. Once the hormone has latched on, chemical instructions to the inner workings of the cell are transmitted. The role of maca in the endocrine system is that it stimulates the pituitary gland and when this gland is performing optimally, the entire endocrine system becomes balanced. Because the pituitary gland controls the hormone output of the other glands, keeping this particular gland healthy means hormone levels remain stable and the chance of hormonal imbalance and endocrine system dysfunction are lessened.
Maca and Hormones
So many of us have hormone levels that are unbalanced due to xenoestrogens in the environment and the stressors of day-to-day life. The water supply, pesticides on produce, hormones in dairy and meats, and cortisol (the adrenal stress hormone in the body) all impact the healthy hormone balance in our bodies. Maca does not contain any hormones but instead regulates their production in your body. If you’re producing too much of one particular hormone, maca will regulate the production downward. Producing too little? Maca can regulate the production upward. This may sound too good to be true but maca is an adaptogen, a unique group of herbs and plants that respond to different bodies’ needs individually. Each adaptogen has a system or organ it benefits more than others and, while the body as a whole improves from incorporating an adaptogen into your regimen, maca is specific to the endocrine system and hormone balance. (Learn more about adaptogens)
Because maca encourages the body to produce its own hormones in the right proportion to each other it has been touted for success in curbing the common complaints of menopause including mood swings, hot flashes, night sweats, low libido and problems with concentration. Women aren’t the only ones to benefit from maca. Current research points to promise in treating prostate cancer and studies have already shown that this adaptogenic root can address impotence, erectile dysfunction and sexual desire in aging men.
But Wait, There’s More!
Maca contains higher concentrations of calcium than milk and once harvested has a shelf life of up to 7 years. As a nutritionally dense super-food, maca contains high amounts of minerals, vitamins, enzymes and all of the essential amino acids. Because it is rich in B-vitamins maca can naturally nourish your adrenal glands and keep your energy levels up without the need for that cup of coffee during the 4 o’clock slump. The alkaloids present in maca activate hormone regulators in the brain and regulate the metabolism of calcium and phosphorus in the blood. The nutritional value list of maca goes on and on and includes micro- and macronutrients, fiber, protein, copper, fatty acids, silicon, phosphorus, manganese, magnesium, potassium, sodium and zinc, just to name a few.
With incredible benefits to the health of the endocrine system and adaptogenic benefits for the entire body, it’s understandable why some call maca the magic root! Check out our favorite maca products from Whole World Botanicals!<< read less