Medical science is still finding difficulty in locating a “female Viagra”. While some promise has been shown in boosting testosterone in women, the reported side effects are concerning. However, maca extracts have been the subject of much speculation as of late, and the results are very promising.
Modern Test Results for an Ancient Herb
Small-scale clinical trials have been held using pure maca on both men and women. While the plant-based extract did show an improvement in libido for men, the most surprising results came for women. Maca is said to help increase energy level and endurance, as it is believed to be a mood enhancer. The reasoning is that maca is an adaptogen and actually improves the body’s ability to cope with stress and resist disease. The effects of maca also help to regulate the hypothalamus gland’s production of cortisol. Cortisol is, of course, the “stress hormone”, and stress is a verified mood killer.
Maca root and libido studies also show that maca can affect a woman’s reproductive health; namely in balancing hormone changes, relieving menstrual symptoms (which are believed to result from a woman’s inability to absorb nutrients she needs) and combating an infertile environment—at least according to preliminary rat studies.
The belief is that maca has prostaglandins and sterols that could directly influence human sexual appetite. In addition, it has 31 different minerals and 60 different phytonutrients, which helps improve function of the endocrine system and various glands, which affect hormonal balance. This extract has actually been studied by the scientific community for over 50 years as a fertility treatment, possibly because of glucosinolates.
Another issue regarding maca and libido in women is that of safety. Unlike many medications and even herbal products, maca is not believed to cause any noticeable side effects when taken according to suggested dosage. The extract has been tested for toxicity and has shown no ill effects. Furthermore, the herb has been used for thousands of years by the Peruvian population as a food and as a natural remedy. The only anecdotal effects reported have been upset stomach and slight changes in the menstrual cycle.
While a good diet and exercise are the best natural cures for low libido in women, hormonal changes should be considered as another influencing factor. Maca has proven to be safer than hormone replacement therapy (which has many reported side effects, including an increased risk of cancer), and the results are very promising to the homeopathic field.
Michael A. wrote this article on maca and its affect on female libido.