Maca: peru's natural viagra | sequel naturals

Maca: Peru's Natural Viagra | Sequel Naturals Discovery Health Channel: Maca-Peru's Natural Viagra
by Chris Kilham
The South American country of Peru is home to numerous benefi-cial plants, including maca, a legendary sex-enhancing rootpassed down from the Inca. I'd heard about maca for years. It hasbeen dubbed "Peruvian ginseng," even though it bears no relation to ginseng. But like ginseng, the plant is employed to increase strength, energy, stamina,libido and sexual function, a winning combination of health benefits if there ever wasone.
To investigate maca's health benefits and understand the role that maca plays in Peru-vian culture, my wife and I headed down to Peru to explore the maca trail. In theprocess we met with maca traders, growers and scientists, and came back tremendouslyimpressed by this plant, which is now available as a supplement in U.S. health foodstores.
What is Maca?
Maca, Lepidium meyenii, is an annual plant which produces a radish-like root. The rootof maca is typically dried and stored, and will easily keep for seven years. The plant iscultivated in the Junin plateau of Peru's Central Highlands, and was highly revered bythe Inca.
During the height of the Incan empire, legend has it that Incan warriors would consumemaca before entering into battle. This would make them fiercely strong. But after con-quering a city the Incan soldiers were prohibited from using maca, to protect the con-quered women from their powerful sexual impulses. Thus as far back as 500 years ago,maca's reputation for enhancing strength, libido and fertility was already well estab-lished in Peru.
Today, maca's popularity is very much on the increase, as people discover that the plantreally does boost libido, sexual function and overall energy. Acreage in Peru dedicatedto Maca cultivation is increasing every year to meet demand, and a number of scientists Maca: Peru's Natural Viagra | Sequel Naturals have turned their attention to the properties of the root. In Peru, maca is used by menand by women who want to put more fire into their sex lives. And in the U.S., Europeand Japan, dietary supplements containing maca are gaining ardent devotees.
Maca Nutrition
What natural ingredients in maca promote its reputed sex-enhancing effects? In-depthanalysis of maca conducted in 1998 by Dr. Qun Yi Zheng and his colleagues at Pure-World Botanicals shows that maca contains about 10 percent protein, almost 60 percentcarbohydrate, and an assortment of fatty acids. These ingredients are common and noth-ing special. But the investigators also discovered two groups of novel compounds, themacamides and the macaenes. These agents are believed to be directly responsible formaca's sex-boosting powers.
To test this idea, researchers conducted a series of controlled animal experiments, theresults of which were published in the April 2000 issue of the medical journal Urology.
Rodents fed MacaPure extract, which contains a concentration of macamides andmacaenes, demonstrated greatly increased energy and stamina. The animals also exhib-ited a striking increase in sexual activity as compared with non-maca-fed animals, orthose fed lesser amounts of macamides and macaenes. So how does this translate to hu-mans? Individuals who consume maca also get sexual results. Men and women withlow libido feel a boost in sexual desire, and men with erectile problems notice markedimprovement in sexual function.
Maca Use in Peru
In Peru, maca is a food. At the Third Annual Maca Festival in Churin, Peru, we samplednumerous products made with the sex-enhancing root. Peruvians make cookies, cakes,hot porridge, chips and blender drinks with maca root, which has a pleasant flavor simi-lar to graham flour.
At several booths, women were making maca blender drinks. Maca roots soaked in jarsof water, and the tables were laden with all the ingredients for a drink. The typicalshake includes a couple of soaked maca roots and a little bit of the soak water, a handfulof fresh papaya (trucked up from the warm lowlands), some condensed milk, an egg, Maca: Peru's Natural Viagra | Sequel Naturals honey and vanilla, all put together with vigor and smiles. I asked a number of peoplewhy they used maca, but one woman stands out in my mind. She smiled at my questionand replied, "Well, for the sex, of course." Doctors Comment on Maca
Users aren't the only ones making comments about maca. The root and its extracts areused in medical practice in Peru. In the November 1988 Townsend Letter for Doctors,physicians were quoted regarding the therapeutic and salutary uses of maca. DoctorHugo Malaspina, M.D., a cardiologist practicing complementary medicine in Lima,Peru, has been using maca in his practice for 10 years.
Malaspina first found out about maca through a group of sexually active older men whowere taking the herb with good results. "One of this group started taking maca andfound he was able to perform satisfactorily in a sexual relationship with a lady friend.
Soon everyone in the group began drinking the powdered maca as a beverage and en-joying the boost that the root was giving their hormonal functions. I have several ofthese men as patients, and their improvement prompted me to find out more aboutmaca and begin recommending it to my other patients." Another Peruvian physician, Doctor Aguila Calderon, M.D., is the former dean of theFaculty of Human Medicine at the National University of Federico Villarreal in Lima.
Doctor Calderon uses maca for male impotence, erectile dysfunction, menopausal symp-toms and general fatigue, and claims good results.
Arizona physician Gary Gordon, M.D., former president of the American College forAdvancement in Medicine, is also a maca supporter. "We all hear rumors about variousproducts like maca. But using this Peruvian root myself, I personally experienced a sig-nificant improvement in erectile tissue response. I call it nature's answer to Viagra.
What I see in maca is a means of normalizing our steroid hormones like testosterone,progesterone and estrogen. Therefore it has the facility to forestall the hormonalchanges of aging. It acts on men to restore them to a healthy functional status in whichthey experience a more active libido." How Much Maca Should You Take? Maca: Peru's Natural Viagra | Sequel Naturals Keep in mind that maca is a food, and is not used in tiny quantities. Most supplementcompanies that are selling maca are putting about 500 milligrams of ground, dried macain each capsule. Some recommend three capsules daily, some six.
I believe that many people think of herbs like drugs, and assume that small amountswill do some good. In most cases, that's not true. As a rule, consumers take too little ofmost herbs to derive the benefits those herbs can impart. Rare is the herb that works insmall doses. And many herbal product labels offer dosage recommendations based noton efficacy, but on price.
To be consistent with Peruvian use you'd take a minimum of six to ten 500-milligramcapsules of powdered maca daily, equal to 3,000 to 5,000 milligrams of maca. You cancertainly take more. You can also obtain powdered maca root under some brands. Withthose products, you can toss a tablespoon full into a blender drink every day and enjoymaca the way the Peruvians do.
MacaPure, which is a standardized, concentrated extract of maca, is a different story.
Companies selling MacaPure are recommending one 450-milligram capsule of Maca-Pure extract twice daily, equal to 900 milligrams of MacaPure extract. I personally thinkthat four to five capsules (between 1,800 and 2,250 milligrams) daily is the right range.
The more maca or maca extract you consume, the more benefit you are likely to get. Intoxicity studies conducted in the U.S., maca showed absolutely no toxicity and no ad-verse pharmacologic effects. In animal studies, the more maca animals consume, thestronger and more sexually active they become. You can be generous with the amountsof maca products you take. With maca, you have a safe, effective, nontoxic way to sig-nificantly boost your sexual function, without the hazards of prescription drugs.
[Editor's note: While natural herbs can have many positive effects on your health, includingrestoring or improving your sex drive, you should discuss the use of specific herbs with your doc-tor. Most herbs are safe on their own but your doctor can help you know if they can have poten-tial adverse interactions with other medications you may be taking or other health conditions youhave.]



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