The endocrine system is a group of glands which release various types of hormones responsible for growth, metabolism, sexual function, reproduction, sleep, mood and a host of other things.
A proper balance of these hormones keeps the body working at an optimal level.
But if the balance is somehow altered, one can experience a large number of symptoms, varying from simple lack of energy, to more serious ailments like pain, diabetes, thyroid disease, and even cancer.
The balanced way in which the hormones are released by the endocrine system can be thrown out of balance by a number of factors.
Stress is a major factor that affects the hormone balance.
The high pressure lives we often lead, cause stress which in turn alters our hormone balance (cortisol and serotonin) resulting in over or under thyroid function, menstrual irregularity, weight gain, adrenal depletion, headaches and sexual dysfunction.
Reduced Hormone Production is Natural as We Get Older
Just the natural process of aging, results in decreased production of some hormones.
Environmental toxins, which are so common in the modern world, are another major cause of hormonal imbalance. Synthetic materials like pesticides, plastics and dioxins, as well as pharmaceutical hormonal preparations, all disrupt the delicate endocrine system.
It is a well documented fact that the production of some hormones is dramatically diminished later in life, which you can read more about in our article titled ‘Maca for Menopause’, where you can read about how maca can help women through one of the toughest stages of their lives.
Consumption of maca root (by menopausal women) helps to ease symptoms like mood swings, vaginal dryness and irritability by returning the natural hormonal balance of the body.
As men age, they too face hormonal issues like erectile dysfunction and decreased libido.
Maca is known to work as an aphrodisiac. In fact the Peruvian natives have used maca to enhance libido and sexual endurance, for centuries!
History has it that the tribal warriors also consumed the root before going into battle, to greatly increase their strength and fighting ability, but after battle, they were not allowed to consume the root, thus shielding the women from the men’s overactive libidos!
More recently, a number of studies on mice have shown that maca enhances sexual drive, while other studies on humans have shown that the use of maca improves sperm count, increasing men’s fertility.
Acne is another hormone related problem. The surge of hormones during teenage years leads the body to change quickly, leaving teenagers feeling clumsy at the inability to deal with the related issues, acne being the most obvious among them.
Maca can ‘calm’ hormones, helping to relieve the spread of acne (1).
Maca Stimulates the Body’s Natural Hormone Production
Maca is an adaptogen herb cultivated in the plateaus of Peru. It works by adapting to the body’s needs, making it produce the hormones that are in short supply and cutting down the ones in excess.
It is important to note that the root does not contain any hormones itself, it just tells the body to regulate its supplies.
It is a highly nutritional food source that contains the essential building blocks needed by the body to balance the hormones.
Maca root works for both men and women, using the building blocks according to individual needs.
In the menopause phase of a woman’s life, the body experiences a variety of hormonal changes which lead to symptoms like night sweats, palpitations, fatigue or dizziness.
This is an indication that the hormones are out of balance.
The alkaloids, glucosinolates, flavonoids and phytohormones in maca stimulate the hypothalamus and the endocrine glands to produce the necessary hormones to sustain the homeostasis of the body, making the transition through this chaotic period much smoother.
Maca is a safe product.
The Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO, a branch of the United Nations) in a 1991 conference recommended that the Peruvians should return to eating native foods (2).
Maca was included in the list of recommended foods Peruvians should consume to combat nutritional issues caused due to the shift to processed foods.