ORGANIC MACA POWDER

Kat Hoyle Updated by Kat Hoyle

Maca is a root plant from the Peruvian Andes that is celebrated for a multitude of health benefits, largely attributed to its adaptogen status and unique metabolites. Maca was one of our first products, an ingredient we love and use in some of our products but also offer as a sole ingredient product. Our Maca is certified organic, 100% yellow Peruvian gelatinsed Maca root powder. Gelentisation is a process of removing the tough starchy fibers to make Maca easily to digest. The traditional method was to dry the Maca root and then boil to remove the starchy fibers, as raw Maca is not easily digested.

What are adaptogens?

Adaptogens are a collection of plants that are aptly named for their ability to access and adapt to the environment they find themselves in (you!) to encourage a return to homeostasis, this was considered sacred by our fore-bearers. This phenomenon has been known by the Ancients and adaptogens have long been used for their healing benefits, but modern science is also starting to explore and uncover exactly how these wonderful plants do their work, there is still much to discover but that is part of the magic! Adaptogens work by tapping into the HPA axis (hypothalamus, pituitary, adrenal), a hormonal and neural feedback loop that determines how we manage stress, immunity and even fertility. Stress can come in many forms, physical, mental, environmental and how we balance our physiological response to it is crucial to our wellbeing.

Benefits of Maca

Maca’s health supporting benefits are largely attributed to its abundance in secondary metabolites. Primary and secondary metabolites are bio-active compounds found in plants that elicit health effects. Primary metabolites are mostly involved in growth (carbohydrates, lipids, proteins) whereas secondary metabolites are somewhat more specialist and support the bodies more intricate systems like the immune system, adrenals etc. Metabolites are unique indifferent plant species and the secondary metabolites found in Maca are Macamides, which are believed to be responsible for the pharmacological benefits of Maca supplementation.

Endurance Performance

Various human and animal studies have explored the use of Maca for improving endurance performance. Maca was observed to modulate metabolism including the increase in fatty acid mobilization and decreased glycogen depletion in one study, and another saw an improvement in cycling time trial performance in trained cyclists. There is more to be explored regarding Maca’s endurance performance boosting effects, but as a natural alternative to a stimulant the energizing effects of Maca can be felt quite tangibly and the Indigenous peoples of Peru have used it as a natural energy booster for millennia. 

Hormone Balancing

Maca has a balancing effect on our hormones due to its adaptogenic properties as mentioned above. Maca has demonstrated its ability to regulate women’s hormones and even reduce the severity of menopausal symptoms/discomfort. One study implemented a 4-month intervention of Maca supplementation on early pre-menopausal women and the intervention group exhibited lower BMI, increased serum iron and plasma calcium, as well as increased bone density. The women from the intervention group all reported improvements in areas of their life that pre-intervention was considered disrupted due to menopausal symptoms (poor sleep, low mood for instance). The Ancients celebrated Maca for its fertility boosting potential and in modern times there have been many small sample studies exploring the effects Maca can have on sexual function in men and women, which have shown positive results. More research is needed to determine the exact mechanisms by which this occurs, but it is postulated that it is because ofMaca’s adaptogenic, hormone balancing properties.

Brain function

The macamides present in Maca can increase levels of anandamide, a neurotransmitter that binds to the endocannabinoid receptors in our brain. Anandamide is known as the “bliss” molecule, named from the Sanskrit word for bliss, Ānanda. Maca is believed to prolong the effects of anandamide in our brain and in turn promote an uplifted and blissful state of mind. Maca has even been shown to improve cognitive function in stroke patients.

Nutrient content

Maca is known to be rich in amino acids, vit C, B6, copper, potassium and iron.

How do I use it?

Maca can be added to smoothies, oats or hot drinks to name a few. It has a rich, earthy flavor so added in with complimentary flavors it works very well. Check out our recipe page for inspiration!

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is gelatinised Maca?

Our unique gelatinised maca undergoes a natural gelatinisation process to remove the tough starch molecules, which make maca difficult for the body to absorb. Gelatinised maca is easier to digest, gentler on the endocrine system, and has over four times the nutrients of raw maca.

  • What does Maca taste like?

Maca has a delicious earthy caramel taste that works perfectly in smoothies, hot drinks, oatmeal, cookies and much more.

  • Does Maca contain caffeine?

Maca provides a natural energy boost without the crash of caffeine!

  • Does Maca contain any added sugar/sweeteners?

Maca has a natural caramel taste, so there is no need for added sugars or sweeteners!

  • What is the serving size of Maca?

We recommend a total intake of 5 - 15 grams per day of maca. 5g is approximately 1 teaspoon. We recommend starting at the lower end and gradually increasing your intake as you feel the need. Most people feel the benefits at the lower end of the spectrum so you can get the same benefits with less.

  • Will Maca affect my hormone balance?

Maca is an adaptogen, meaning it 'adapts' to hormonal imbalances in the body and works to correct them. Maca acts as a natural remedy to help rebalance hormones. However as with any new supplement we always recommend consulting your doctor or healthcare practitioner to make sure it is right for you.

  • Does Maca contain B Vitamins?

The levels of each B vitamin would not be listed as an ingredient as they are naturally occurring components of the Maca roots. Maca is an excellent source of vitamin B2, B3 and B6 but as the amounts can vary from root to root, we do not have an accurate calculation for these vitamins in the product, as the B vitamin levels of Maca are well accepted especially when coming from a high quality source.

  • Where do you source your Maca?

Our yellow maca roots are organically grown and processed in Peru.

  •  How will Maca help me?

Maca is an ‘adaptogen’ meaning it adapts to specific imbalances in the body and works to resolve them. Maca is one of the most scientifically studied herbs on the planet and has been shown to balance hormones, boost mood and even improve memory, is scientifically proven to boost libido and sexual function, and naturally boosts energy levels and endurance without the crash of stimulants.

References

Alejandro J Pino-Figueroa, Timothy J. Maher. (2010). A possible cannabinergic neuroprotective mechanism of action of Lepidium meyenii (Maca). The FASEB Journal: Experimental Biology. 24 (1), 763-765.

Chen Xiaa, Jian Chena, Jun-Lin Deng, Yong-Qing Zhu, Wan-Yi Lib, Bu Jiec Tian,Yuan Chend. (2018). Novel macamides from maca (Lepidium meyenii Walpers) root and their cytotoxicity. Phytochemistry Letters. 25 (3), 65-69.

Demain A.L., Fang A. (2000) The Natural Functions of Secondary Metabolites. In: Fiechter A. (eds) History of Modern Biotechnology I. Advances in Biochemical Engineering/Biotechnology, vol 69. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg. https://doi.org/10.1007/3-540-44964-7_1

Huyen Vu. (2012). Fatty Acid Amide Hydrolase (FAAH) Inhibitors: Discovery in Lepidium meyenii (Maca) Extracts. . Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. 1 (3), 29-31.

Kuljeet S, Gugnania Nguyen Vub Alejandro N, Rondón-Ortiza, Mark Böhlkea, Timothy J, Mahera Alejandro J, Pino-Figueroa. (2008). Neuroprotective activity of macamides on manganese-induced mitochondrial disruption in U-87 MG glioblastoma cells. Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology. 340 (3), 67-76.

Mark Stone, Alvin Ibarra, Marc Rolla, Andrea Zangara, Emma Stevenson.. (2009). A pilot investigation into the effect of maca supplementation on physical activity and sexual desire in sportsmen. Journal of Ethnopharmacology . 126 (3), 574-576.

Meissner, H O et al. “Hormone-Balancing Effect of Pre-Gelatinized Organic Maca (Lepidium peruvianum Chacon): (III) Clinical responses of early-postmenopausal women to Maca in double blind, randomized, Placebo-controlled, crossover configuration, outpatient study.” International journal of biomedical science : IJBS vol. 2,4 (2006): 375-94.

Natália da Silva, Leitão Peres, Letícia Cabrera, Parra Bortoluzzi, Leila Larisa, Medeiros Marques, Maysa Formigoni, Renata Hernandez Barros Fuchs, Adriana Aparecida Drovald and Flávia Ap. (2020). Medicinal effects of Peruvian maca (Lepidium meyenii): a review. Food & Function. 1 (1), p34-56.

Quin Yang, Wenwen Jin, Xueyuan Lv, Pengfei Dai, Yanxiao Ao, Mengying Wu. (2006). Effects of macamides on endurance capacity and anti-fatigue property in prolonged swimming mice. Pharmaceutical Biology. 54 (5), 827-834.

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