Maca extract...for anxiety and depression?

Maca extract can help in reducing anxiety and depression. A study published in the Menopause Journal (2008, Sep. 6) tested 14 postmenopausal women using maca and a placebo. It found that maca reduced psychological symptoms including anxiety and depression.

Although this is a very small trial, it is encouraging.

This would not be at all surprising to natural medicine advocates in South America where maca root extracts have been in use as food and medicine for centuries. It is highly regarded there as an herbal treatment for depression as well as an enhancer of sexual energy, vitality and virility.

What is Maca?

Maca root extract is considered to be an adaptogen meaning that it helps the body to adjust during times of physical and psychological trauma. This vegetable, which is shaped like a radish, is grown in a narrow high-altitude zone of the Andes Mountains in Peru. And now that its use for medicinal properties is increasing, it is being harvested for food purposes to a much lesser extent.

Lab rodent studies

To date, many studies have been performed on the effects of maca extract on laboratory rodents such as mice and rats.

Red maca was found to reduce prostate size in rats according to a study published in the Journal of Reproductive Biology and Endochrinology (2005, Ja. 2005).

Other studies on humans have found that maca improved sperm production, sperm motility, menstrual and sexual disorders.

Maca root extracts side effects

There are some reports saying that high doses can cause insomnia due to its stimulating properties. And other reports caution that those with thyroid conditions should avoid it.

If you are pregnant, check it out first with your doctor. Doctors are constantly complaining that their patients don’t inform them of the fact that they are taking a form of alternative medicine.

It is probably best to take it in a low dose form to begin with and then stop if you experience any adverse reactions.

Natural health practitioners may suggest that you take it for a few weeks and then take a break from it for one week before starting again.

Do I take it?

I take it in tea-extract form as part of a mineral and adaptogen commercial cocktail. About 1-2 ounces of this cocktail adds a nice flavour to my cleansing nutritional protein shake which I prepare every morning.

Maca extract can help to strengthen the body along with all the other life-supporting factors: herbs, minerals, vitamins and regular nutritional cleansing which helps to remove health-threatening toxins on a regular basis.

It the Body-Mind connection; let’s cleanse the body to clear the mind.

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