Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Maca Root Could Ease Menopausal Symptoms
There’s an herb from Peru that might have potential relief for menopausal symptoms . The average age of menopause is around 50 and can last for a year or more in some cases. Generally doctors consider a women post menopausal when she has stopped menstruating for at least 12 months. Menopause
is sometimes called the “change of life.”
Maca, a Peruvian herb which is also found in the Andes of Bolivia, is grown at a very cold climate in poor soil conditions at around 15,000 feet. Used as a root vegetable, much like its cousins the radish and the turnip. For over 2,000 years maca has been a staple in cultural diets and as a traditional medicinal plant in the areas where it is found.
Highly nutritious, maca comes in different colors, which are traditionally cultivated for different uses. The roots can be a gold or cream, purple, black, red or green. Each color signifies different properties for therapeutic or nutritional value. Golden roots are a sweet Peruvian favorite while the bitter black variety is supposed to carry the most potent medicinal qualities. Maca has been used as an aphrodisiac, a strength enhancer, endurance raiser, and long ago as a Spanish currency.
Maca can be prepared in several ways but is always cooked in its traditional format. The fruit can be roasted in a pit, boiled and mashed like a potato, juiced, dried and used in milk as porridge, or ground into a type of flour for baking. Lesser known forms of the root have been made by fermenting it to make maca beer and the leaves have been chopped raw for consumption in salads or cooked and used like cabbage.
Recent scientific research shows that maca could be beneficial in treating hormonal imbalance which in turn helps menopausal symptoms like hot flashes, night sweats , fatigue, changes in mood, memory problems, insomnia, and the weight gain that most women incur. Further studies are required, however early research shows some positive results.
You might be able to find maca root in some specialty grocery stores or try your local health food store for maca supplements. If you are trying to find an answer solution to your menopausal symptoms, maca could be worth a try.
photo by Cheeseslave