Maca (Lepidium meyenii) also known as “Peruvian ginseng” is a root plant (unrelated to ginseng) that has been consumed as a medicinal food for centuries and has been associated with aiding fertility over recent years.
Grown high in the Andes of Peru and Bolivia, South America, Maca is the world’s highest growing food crop. Much like the Chinese origin of ‘horny goat weed’, which received its name from the goats that enjoyed grazing on the weed, Maca was observed by the Incan farmers to improve stamina and healthy offspring from the livestock that consumed it.
From those initial observations, the Incan men would eat Maca to improve their energy and stamina particularly when sexual virility was required.
Currently there a few scientific studies on the medicinal benefits of Maca, however several studies are suggesting that there may be numerous health benefits.Through the years, generations of South Americans have used Maca for fertility and the interest gradually spread worldwide in the 1980’s and 1990’s.
It is believed that Maca is one of a few herbs that can adapt to a variety of conditions within the body to help restore its balance, particularly with hormone issues.
Rich in essential nutrients needed for fertility, some studies are suggesting that Maca can not only strengthen sperm in men but also regulate menstrual cycles and ovulation in women.
This coupled with increasing libido; it seems Maca may be a potent all-rounder when it comes to fertility.
Although many studies in the past few years are showing positive results such as increased birth rates, egg follicles and sperm counts, some studies on Maca show little or no effect.
However as with many naturally occurring food sources with health and healing properties that come with centuries of real life documented benefits, scientific research does not always show favorable results.
Make of that what you will.
If you feel that Maca may make a difference to your fertility then it’s worth a try, at least for a month or two to really decide if it’s benefiting you or your partner.
If you do want to give it a try then find a good quality source as many products out there are either from synthetically modified material or old Maca which may have lost some or all of its potential potency. Red Maca is supposed to be the most potent; however Yellow Maca and Black Maca have been used in previous studies with favorable results.
Also try to be consistent in taking the recommended dose. It’s no good taking Maca every third day and deciding it doesn’t work. If you want to give Maca a go, give it Maca a chance.
Personally, I’ve had several patients who have used Maca and reported improved menstrual cycles and ovulation after only a few months of taking Maca. If for whatever reason they stopped taking it for a period of time, they noticed subtle decreased changes such as fewer mid cycle secretions.
This may suggest that Maca only helps while you are taking it or depending on the individual, it could eventually help the body to make permanent re adjustments over time.
Whichever way, in terms of fertility, even temporary changes from taking Maca to help you to become pregnant must be seen as a positive.