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Maca Root for Menopause


Maca root can be used during menopause to balance your hormones, reduce or eliminate hot flashes, improve your mood and energy level, and more.  There are many varieties of the plant, but the maca from Peru is best.


This maca is a plant native to Peru, in the Andes Mountains.  It grows above 8,000 feet.  There may be different varieties available, but the one you are looking for is:  Lepidium peruvianum Chacon, which is believed to be a species that is cultivated today.  This plant replaces Lepidium meyenii Walpers. According to www.rain-tree.com, “While most maca sold in commerce today still refers to the L. meyenii name, economic botanists believe most is L. peruvianum.”  


Maca as Food


Maca root is used as food in it's native country, and it is highly nutritious.  It is high in calcium, magnesium, selenium, potassium and iron.  According to J. Rea, in a chapter called, Lepidium meyenii Walp., at http://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/1492/roots.html, “It is found only on the central sierra of Peru in the departments of Junín and Pasco, in the puna agro-ecological zone above 4000 m where low temperatures and strong winds limit other crops.


When the fresh hypocotyls have been harvested, the peasant usually roasts them in the field in the form of huatias (cooked between clods of red-hot peat) on pachamancas (cooked in contact with hot stones taken from a wood fire and covered with earth). However, most of the harvest is left to dry and can then be kept for several years.”


And from Lost Crops of the Incas, “To Andean Indians, maca is a valuable commodity. Dried, the roots can be stored for years. They are often exchanged with communities at lower elevations for staples such as rice, and they reach markets as far away as Lima. The sweet, spicy, dried root is considered a delicacy. Maca boiled in water is sweeter than cocoa. In Huancayo, Peru, maca pudding and maca jam are popular.”


Benefits of Maca Root in Menopause

Maca is classified as an adaptogen, which means it helps the body adapt to various forms of stress. Other adaptogens include ginseng, Siberian ginseng, licorice and ashwaganda.  Maca is the only adaptagenic herb that seems to help balance hormones and reduce several menopausal symptoms. Maca root also supports your thyroid, which is another issue that can come up around the time of menopause.  For more on this, see thyroid and menopause


It also appears to help with prevention of osteoporosis.  Because of the way your body responds to this herb, maca can reduce many menopausal symptoms.


Royal Maca Supplement


Royal Maca is a certified organic maca root grown and collected by local farmers in Peru.  Whole World Botanicals was founded by two women in 1997, and is the distributor of Royal Maca.  


They conduct their business according to the principles of fair trade.  The company's mission includes working to protect the Amazon Rainforest.  From their website: “In 2007 the Peruvian government granted WWB a Concesión para Conservación, a Forest Reserve of more than 10,000 acres of virgin old-growth rainforest near the National Park Pacaya-Samiria. It is our responsibility to protect the trees in this territory from the human predators and to work with the two native populations whose own traditional lands border this forest area to sustainably collect the renewable small medicinal plants, fruits and nuts in the protectorate.”  (http://www.wholeworldbotanicals.com/SocialMissionPage2).  


The company gives back some of it's profits to the farmers through education, loans and other services. They offer the highest quality maca root, sun-dried and precooked (native food uses of maca are always with the cooked root, they don't eat it raw).  Their products do not contain additives.  You can buy it in 500mg capsules or as a powder.



Dosage

If you are taking any form of hormone replacement therapy, including herbs such as black cohosh, red clover or soy, you will need to stop all of these herbs and hormones for at least two weeks before starting with maca root.  You should not take your full dose until you have been off of hormones or phytoestrogenic herbs for four weeks.  You also need to avoid adaptagenic herbs such as ginseng when taking maca root.  


If you have a hormone-related cancer or are taking birth control pills, do not take maca root.







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