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Maca

Officially known as lepidium meyenii, but most commonly known as maca, this herb’s root has long been used as an aphrodisiac. While some have promoted it as a testosterone booster, the truth is that maca has zero impact on either testosterone or estrogen. Despite this, maca displays some extremely positive benefits that should not be overlooked.

What it does

First and foremost, maca is an extremely effective aphrodisiac, proven to significantly increase libido in men[1][2][3]. Outside of its most common usage, Maca also appears to be able to help enhance erection quality[4], and reduce anxiety in postmenopausal women (although not in healthy young men)[5].

Although there is little data to corroborate it outside of what is listed below, maca may be able to be used as a nootropic due to its ability to reduce the symptoms of depression and potentially enhance cognition.

How it works

Although large increases in libido are usually associated with hormonal changes, maca does not appear capable of altering hormone levels. It is currently theorized that the active components of maca reside in the “macamide” (fatty acid or lipids found within the herb), and although it is not completely understood how these would impact libido or erection potency. This does appear to be the best guess at maca’s mechanism of action as it takes maca time to “build up” in its effects, which more commonly occur in lipids which take time to build up within the body.

Dosing

For maximum results, maca should be dosed in the 1,500-3,000mg per day range. To guarantee complete absorption, consume maca with or after a meal. Due to the large dosing range, splitting dosages up to 2-3 servings per day (500mg-1,500mg per serving) is suggested.

References

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12472620
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18801111
  3. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19781622
  4. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19260845
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18784609