Maca (generic name)
treats Aphrodisiac, Hormone regulation, and Spermatogenesis
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TraditionWARNING: DISCLAIMER: The below uses are based on tradition, scientific theories, or limited research. They often have not been thoroughly tested in humans, and safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider. There may be other proposed uses that are not listed below.
Adaptogen, AIDS, anabolic, anemia, anxiety, aphrodisiac (female), athletic performance, cancer, chronic fatigue syndrome, cognitive function, depression, fertility, food uses, hepatoprotection, hormonal imbalances (female), immunostimulant, joint diseases, leukemia, menstrual irregularities, metabolic enhancement, nutritional supplement, osteoporosis (postmenopausal), prostate enlargement, sexual function, sexual performance, stimulant, tonic, tuberculosis.
Adults (18 years and older):
Maca is likely safe when consumed by healthy adults in doses of 1,500-3,000 milligrams per day for up to four months as an aphrodisiac or to improve spermatogenisis, however, there is no proven effective dose for maca. Traditionally, up to 6,000 milligrams or more per day in divided doses has been used. Root powder containing 2,800 milligrams of maca root placed in 8 ounces of water has also been used up to three times daily. Commercially prepared concentrated extracts containing 450 milligrams taken twice daily has been used as well.
Common dietary consumption in native populations is greater than 100 grams, or equivalent to greater than 1.4g per kilogram, daily.
Children (younger than 18 years):
There is no proven safe or effective dose of maca, and use in children is not recommended.
SafetyDISCLAIMER: Many complementary techniques are practiced by healthcare professionals with formal training, in accordance with the standards of national organizations. However, this is not universally the case, and adverse effects are possible. Due to limited research, in some cases only limited safety information is available.
Avoid in individuals with a known allergy or hypersensitivity to maca (Lepidium meyenii).
Side Effects and Warnings
Available studies in humans have only been performed on male subjects. In these trials, no side effects were noted and maca was generally considered safe. Maca has not been studied in women.
Maca may cause changes in some sex hormones, although animal studies have demonstrated conflicting results. Preliminary evidence from studies in humans has failed to show that maca induces changes in luteinizing hormone, follicle stimulating hormone, prolactin, testosterone, and estradiol. However, use cautiously in patients with hormone responsive cancers such as breast cancer, or prostate cancer, and patients who are using birth control pills due to the potential effects of maca on sex hormone regulation.
Consumption of large amounts of maca may cause bloating and flatulence. Consumption of fresh maca may cause stomach pain.
The use of maca may increase leukocytes. The use of maca may decrease PT/INR values in patients being monitored for anticoagulation therapy.
Maca may also lead to stimulation of the central nervous system. Use cautiously in patients with hypertension (high blood pressure), due to the possibility of central nervous system stimulation.
Pregnancy and Breastfeeding
Maca is not recommended in pregnant or breastfeeding women due to a lack of available scientific evidence.