Myself and Kevin have been alchemizing away on our Sacred Soma Supplements to refine our Formulas in time for the new year. A main superstar of our growing apothecary lineup is Maca. Maca (Ginseng Andin, Peruvian Ginseng, Lepidium meyenii, or Lepidium peruvianum) is a plant that grows exclusively on the high plateaus of the Andes mountains in Peru. Andean people have cultivated Maca for more than 2,000 years. It’s one of the few edible plants that can survive the harsh weather conditions above 4,000 meters. From a body alchemy perspective; due to its benefits - we have included it in our latest Supplement formula which can also fondly be referred to as the LOVE formula. Cue the sound of kissing and a sexy saxophone. Or of a really well endowed eggplant!
Maca and Sexual Health
There are a whole host of benefits to supplementing with the ancient Peruvian root Maca, but for the purposes of this article I am going to focus on sexual health. The reason behind the focus on this particular advantage of Maca is because I can personally vet the benefits. As well, as I was working on my other health article about our happiness hormones (that is; Dopamine, Serotonin and Oxytocin) I found out about the very promising possible benefit of Maca on women's libidos who were taking anti-depressants. I have a whole lot of stuff to open the book on as it comes to SSRIs but for now; one of the main side effects of SSRI's is low libido and a frustration when it comes to reaching climax. There was a 2015 study on 45 women who were experiencing antidepressant-induced sexual dysfunction found that taking 3000mg of Maca root per day for 12 weeks significantly improved sexual function and libido.
There is an interesting connection here between sexual health and mood and reduced symptoms of depression. In 2002 there was a study of supplementing men with Maca which led to higher sexual desire. There is also research that supports that the use of Maca can possibly also improve sperm mobility and motility. A 2010 review of 131 participants all had reports of increased sexual desire and energy overall; as well as a reduction in blood pressure and symptoms of depression. Here's the funny thing, however, researchers and the traditional medical community don't know how Maca works exactly.
Maca as an Ancient Food Group
The Incas and the ancient civilizations of Peru considered Maca as an important part of their dietary intake. As such, I find the reports of cautionary tales as it comes to supplementing with Maca a touch ironic as this is a food that has been in use for thousands of years. That being said, as with all supplements and food - not every substance is for everyone. The good news about Maca is that if you feel like you are experiencing any negative side effects, you can simply stop. You cannot say that about every medical intervention out there however.
Similar to cacao, ancient warrior tribes would ingest Maca before a great battle or activity that would require energy to help power their earth avatars, Maca is also related to veggies such as radishes and turnips and so contain something called glucosinolates which have been found to be anti-cancer in nature. Additional benefits to Maca are:
Increased bone density
Increase in sexual desire and libido
The last point is especially interesting because Maca is known as a hormone balancer. This is in direct contrast to something like soy, which is known to increase levels of estrogen in some folks with consumption.
The HPA Axis and Maca
When our body is placed under stress the master glands of the brain known as the Hypothalamus and Pituitary are given the task to help deal with the stress. They link with the adrenal glands situated above the kidneys to create a hormonal response cascade through what is called the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis or HPA. When the HPA axis is out of whack, it can cause a lot of issues down the line as it is the body's main way to adapt to stress.
Maca works in the endocannabinoid system of the brain and body. The main medicinal properties can be attributed to bio-active chemicals called macamides and macaenes. These metabolites are completely unique to maca and are responsible for most of its adaptogenic activity. Maca can harmonise the HPA axis of the nervous system and balance our response to stress by protecting our natural anadamide.
Superpowered Supplement in Maca
Maca will be the latest superstar ingredient that will be featured in our weekly Soma Supplement Seminar Series. It is also featured in our latest Formula 3 Soma Supplement along with a special friend! The special friend part will be gatekept on the Warrior Class but part 1 will be available very soon. Remember that you can grab your own Supplement Checklist here for just $3.33. Happy New Year!