What Is Maca

What Is Maca

The Vitality of Maca for the Benefit of Beauty

It’s time to take a look at one of those precious plants that most people don’t know about. In fact, how many of you have even heard of the Maca root? Maca root, also known in science land as Lepidium meyenii or Lepidium Peruvianum, has been prized for generations as an energy enhancer and mood stabilizer. It’s a nutritionally and powerfully complex with life-giving (and beauty-enchancing) ingredients like a high amount of amino acids, phytonutrients, fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals. Plus, there’s an abundance of trace minerals and phytohormones.

So, what does it do? Maca root has the capability to regulate, support, and balance the hormonal systems of both men and women. Hello promising anti-acne herb! And since it’s boosting the hormones, it may also help with fertility, digestion, energy levels, and all things sexual. Peruvian Maca root is an adaptogen (I love that word), sharing many similarities with ginseng. Adaptogens are, by definition, substances that raise your body’s resistance to diseases through physiological health and emotional health improvements. That means it can be a big help for people fighting the symptoms of chronic fatigue. It’s believed to do this by helping the adrenal and pituitary glands. In short, it makes you feel good, body and soul.

Traditionally, Maca has also been used to treat PMS and menopause. It’s rumored to really cut down on all those hot flashes and nighttime sweats. It’s been used recently as a natural alternative to anabolic steroids for athletes who are trying to achieve muscle hypertrophy. Both men and women have used it to increase their libidos, fertility, and stamina. Rawr!

You can expect to hear more about Maca root in the coming years as Maca root is becoming more popular in the skin care and toiletry industry. Recently, it was shown that Maca root nourishes and softens the skin. Laboratory studies have shown that Maca root stimulates proliferation of fibroblasts in vitro, resulting in younger looking skin.

How does it work? As we age, the cohesion between the dermis, epidermis, and basement membranes in the skin decrease, causing communication and nutrition to decrease in skin tissue. Your skin becomes collagen-impaired. In the same time, repeated sun exposure breaks down the collagen, making difficult new collagen to be created.

Let me explain a little about the science behind Maca’s amazing skin restoration. If science isn’t your thing, feel free to skip to the next paragraph because this is going to get long-winded. Research from Naturex, showed that Maca root extract stimulates adhesion. The extract from Maca root, (Macaderm) has been tested in vitro, on keratinocytes, which are responsible of the synthesis of extracellular constituents. Cells reside in a protein network, moulded by extracellular matrix constituents. The most important constituents of cell adhesion are integrin and collagen type IV. While integrins interact with extracellular matrix and mediate various cell signals, collagen type IV promotes cell attachment and proliferation. It was shown that in anti-aging skin care formulations, Maca extract enhances keratinocyte production, giving the basement membrane a better network structure. So by increasing keratinocyte production, Maca may increase collagen synthesis, improving the integrity of the skin’s structural matrix.

The results are amazing! Skin becomes firmer, smoother, and younger-looking! Adhesion has become an important key in hair care as well. Maca-infused products help maintain hair thickness and fight hair loss. It encourages hair growth and maintenance by promoting keratinocyte synthesis and protecting the hair bulb.

As Patricia Rousselle, a known scientist in cell adhesion, stated ”restoring the activity of some proteins involved in the epidermal junction seems to be more than ever a key element in the fight against signs of aging skin.”

So, here’s a quick list of the potential benefits of Maca root for you:
•    balances mood
•    strengthens skin
•    increases energy
•    increases libido and fertility
•    better sleep
•    helps your body adapt to stress
•    increases memory and brain power
•    anti-aging properties
•    anti-acne properties
•    increases endurance and stamina
•    reduces symptoms of PMS and menopause
•    helps to reduce aches and pains
•    strengthens hair and reduces hair loss

Boosting adhesion may become a future skin care trend. Remember that you read about Maca root here first. There’s sure to be a wave of Maca-infused hair and skin products on the way. In fact, I bet you’re going to hear a lot about Maca in the future as it’s potential is more fully explored. Don’t worry, I’ll be here to buy as many Maca products as I can and test them out for you

Maca root can be quite energy enhancing for some people so take it first thing in the morning or in the early afternoon.  Don’t over do the dosage (a teaspoon/5 grams is a good place to start), take it slow and gradually increase as you go.  If you have thyroid disease this is probably not the best thing for you.  Maca root is high in iodine and glucosinolate, which is not ideal for your condition.

Has anyone out there tried Maca root yet? Did you like it?

Nicole <3

4 thoughts on “What Is Maca

  1. Hi Nicole,

    Where would I purchase maca root?

    Is it only available in powder form or in an extract as well for the facial skin?

    Please advise.

    Thanks.
    D.

    1. Hi Debbie,
      You can get it at most Whole Food stores as well as vitamin or health food shops. It is in a powder or an alcohol-based tincture form.

      As for skincare, you would have to make your own products from the powder or perhaps the tincture.

      These lines as well as others have maca-based skincare – Condensé (Deep Moisturizing Cream), Pure Altitude Bio-Organic range has a maca elixir and Nuxe Nuxuriance antiaging Re-densifying Emulsion contains maca. All these lines are relatively natural and/or organic.

      Nicole <3

  2. I was wondering about your comment re: thyroid disease. I can see why someone with an overactive thyroid could be harmed by this as it would cause a lot of the same effects as their thyroid condition. I have the kind: it doesn’t work enough so people w this thyroid problem experience weight gain, loss of energy etc. Although I’m on medication to regulate it and my levels are now in the normal range so as long as I take my meds I don’t experience those symptoms as severely. I’d really like to try this and I’m just wondering if it is bad for any type of thyroid disease or just the overactive one? Any info you provide I would appreciate. I’ll also talk to my Dr. but she may not have heard of this- idk. Also for the skin you mentioned using it as a cream. Wouldnt simply ingesting it still affect skin cells? It seems creams often don’t permeate far enough to have the affect one desires, wgere as if it’s already IN your body- yOur cells would absorb it and use it. Interested to hear what you think. If a cream is the best way to go to acheive the desired skin affects. However having it inside yOur body makes sense to me, physiologically.
    Thank you, looking forward to your response!
    Also do you recommend the powder or tincture more?

    1. Hi Brianne,

      Thank you for the very thoughtful comment! It can impede on your medication working properly or irritate your condition further. Your best bet would be to talk to your doctor who is hopefully open-minded to superfoods! Although it is not proven, for some patients maca can interfere with medicines administered to thyroid. This is due to the fact that maca is composed of a variety of minerals, such as calcium and iron, which prevent the optimal absorption of thyroid medications. Also, 1500 mg of dried maca has a high iodine content of 78µg. This can aggravate thyroid side effects in an individual.

      Now for the skin benefits, yes ingesting maca you will get those benefits but you can also topically apply maca to reap even more! Internally number 1 but for a nice boost to your skin, add some to a carrier oil like Hemp, make sure it dissolves and rub on your face like a moisturizer mask, leave on for about 20 minutes for a instant glow.

      I prefer the powder, raw (dried under low temperatures to keep all the vitality in tact)

      <3,
      Nicole

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