Hormone imbalance is a huge health issue, and one that’s often sidestepped or mistreated because of its complexity.
The endocrine system (hormonal) is an incredibly subtle and complicated system that regulates a wide array of crucial bodily functions, including metabolism, energy production, growth and development, sleep, mood, tissue function, sexual function, and reproduction.
Our society’s daily dose of stress, bad food, and industrial endocrine disruptors has inevitably led to widespread endocrine dysfunction, which underlies many of our society’s most prevalent health problems.
Mainstream medicine’s fix for this issue—particularly for those with measurably low levels of certain hormones, or for menopausal and post-menopausal women—is hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and related treatment practices.
As we’ll explore in this article, though, HRT comes with accompanying problems, potential side effects, and limitations—so many, in fact, that researchers have begun to test the hormone-balancing capacities of medicinal plants like maca.
Thankfully, nature does provide us with a small number of foods that contain noted hormone-balancing properties!
Ancient superfood, modern medicine
Maca, a root vegetable in the cruciferous family (like kale, broccoli, and radish), was one of the original superfoods. It’s grown high in the mountains of South America (mainly in Peru), and has served as a nutrient-dense food staple and health tonic for thousands of years.
The people of the Andes Mountains have long turned to maca for strength, endurance, and longevity. It’s even considered to be a powerful aphrodisiac and magical fertility remedy.
The magic part aside, modern medical researchers are in agreement with these ancient opinions. An increasing number of studies conclusively demonstrate that maca is profoundly balancing for the endocrine system, which translates into increased fertility, strength, stamina, immune function, memory, focus, and more.
A number of doctors have reported remarkable results after using maca to treat hormonal imbalances like low estradiol (a primary estrogen hormone), low testosterone, and sexual dysfunction. Dr. Jeffrey Dach observed that for one patient, maca had effects comparable to the prescription drug Clomid (and without any of the side effects sometimes caused by pharmacological hormone therapies).
Dr. Hugo Malaspina gave 1,200-3,600 mg of maca to menopausal and post-menopausal women, and concluded that maca is an “effective and superior substitute for a pharmaceutical hormone replacement therapy.” One patient, who switched to maca because HRT was causing her unpleasant side effects, saw her estradiol levels rise from 15 to 75 in just two months—and she enjoyed complete relief from hot flashes and other menopausal symptoms.
And research supports these doctors’ experiences—a 2014 study showed that maca can increase levels of luteinising hormone (LH), which is crucial in both men and women for hormone production and endocrine regulation.
In another groundbreaking study, a large selection of early post-menopausal women were given maca on a daily basis. The researchers reported that after two months, estradiol levels significantly increased. Additionally, the women also exhibited decreased levels of the hormones that contribute to the physiological and emotional imbalances associated with menopause, including cortisol and adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH).
With consistent and prolonged use, maca root has been touted to have the following benefits:
- Help promote balance: Maca works by releasing chemicals and nutrients that sends message to the pituitary gland, which tells the body how much of each hormone to produce, whether it is producing enough, too much or just the right. So if things are out of whack, think of maca is like the good friend who tells the body what its doing wrong and how to correct the problems.
- Improve energy and wellness
- Improve libido leading to its other nickname, ‘nature’s Viagra
- It is also frequently recommended for adrenal fatigue because it nourishes sufferers and reduces the stress hormone, cortisol.
- Beneficial in providing relief to symptoms from menopause like hot flashes
- Improve fertility
What makes maca so outstanding is this modulatory activity—that is, maca’s ability to increase levels of some hormones and decrease others, as needed. For this reason, it’s often referred to as an “adoptogen” (because it boosts your body’s innate ability to adapt to environmental stressors and modulate itself accordingly). This is also why maca works wonders (in different ways) for both men and women.
Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) isn’t even comparable, as even the most sophisticated programs still deconstruct the endocrine system into specific variables, rather than treating the entire system. Targeting specific hormones in this way can easily lead to unforeseen imbalances with others (which is why many women don’t do well with HRT).
For example, attempting to increase estrogen levels can sometimes lead to an associated increase in levels of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), which helps regulate menstrual cycles and the production of eggs by the ovaries. But because menopause ceases these functions, increased levels of FSH are no longer necessary or natural.
After two months of the maca regimen mentioned above, the women in the study exhibited decreased FSH levels, which shows that maca is capable of bringing the hormonal system into whatever natural state of balance it requires, rather than indiscriminately raising hormone levels.
Finding high-quality maca
Whether you’re seeking to correct a specific hormone imbalance, or just would like to experience increased energy, vitality, focus, and fortitude, maca is definitely worth trying.
As with all superfoods these days, though, not all products are created equal. For best results, you’ll want to find organic, Peruvian maca that’s as fresh as possible (some maca sits in warehouses for an unacceptable length of time before even appearing on store shelves).
We highly recommend Dr. Anna Cabeca’s Mighty Maca Greens . She’s taken optimal-quality Peruvian maca and synergized it with forty-one other incredible superfoods, to create one of the most powerful maca formulas on the market. Each serving contains 600 mg of high quality maca from Peru.
Maca was one of the primary remedies that helped Dr. Cabeca lose weight, regain her energy, overcome insomnia, and bring her endocrine system back into total balance—and now her happy customers are enjoying the same benefits from her amazing product.
So if you’re wondering how to get started with maca, this product (affiliate link) is an excellent choice.