Maca, More than Menopause
Reproduced with kind permission from the Conscious Living Magazine May 2003
Maca is a root vegetable cultivated high in the mountains of Peru - for thousands of years locals have revered the plant as a saviour, sustaining them in a climate and altitude where it is virtually impossible to grow any other crop. Ground into powdered form for easy consumption, Maca (when non-irradiated) remains high in important nutrients like trace minerals, EFA's, amino acids and vitamins - pure and unadulterated just as Nature intended. The popularity of this nutritious food source has grown steadily, with thousands of people now relying on it to maintain a healthy, balanced lifestyle.
This Incan superfood seems to benefit the body not just on a nutritional level, but also attune it on the hormonal, emotional and physical levels as well. With all the 21st Century interference -- like oestrogen-mimicking compounds, mobile phone/computer VDT emissions, and lack of purity in our air, food and water -- it is no wonder our hormones are out of balance. Apparently, Maca stimulates our master glands, the pituitary and hypothalamus, to re-direct our hormones to optimal function.
In recent years, many concerned Australian women have turned to Maca as a natural alternative to Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT). Previously, the choices for women were largely artificial and carried with them a range of potential side-effects. Rather than introducing hormones from the outside, which can send a message to the body to shut down its own hormone production, Maca effectively encourages the glands in the body to produce the hormones needed for each individual's unique requirements. From a biochemical perspective, it is surprising how many common health issues can be triggered by hormonal disruptions - such as infertility, osteoporosis, obesity, constipation, depression, insomnia and PMT.
Today, Maca is consumed by a very diverse range of people in the Western world, allowing us to better cope with the stressful demands of this millennium. For example, athletes find they have more endurance, improved performance results, and a faster recovery time from both workouts and injuries. Vegetarians thrive on the proteins so difficult to get in a plant-based diet, yet so critical to good health and natural beauty. Students are better able to cope with exam stress and poor diet, while experiencing improved concentration and memory retention. People involved in Yoga and the martial arts move effortlessly deeper into their practice with a heightened sense of awareness and focus after adding Maca to their diet. Chronic Fatigue sufferers enjoy enhanced quality of life when they have more energy for tasks throughout the day, and a more refreshing sleep at night.
Many people have experienced profound life shifts after introducing Maca into their diets. Some in the natural health field believe that Maca opens the 'third-eye' chakra, from where we "see the bigger picture". Working at such an elemental emotional level, people who feel they have lost their zest for life can see issues and obstacles more clearly, and feel psychologically prepared to step out of the old and into the new. From every perspective, there certainly seems to be a lot of people today who could benefit from the power and vitality of this age-old Peruvian superfood.
'Conscious Living' Magazine - May/2003