Maca grows in the Andes Mountains in South America. Locals consume this herb to enhance their energy and vitality. Now, research shows that it could be beneficial for postmenopausal women.

Researchers at Australia’s Victoria University gave 14 postmenopausal women 3.5 grams a day of maca for six weeks, and compared them to a group receiving placebo pills. They also checked their hormone levels before and after treatment. The women who received the maca had a significant reduction in anxiety and depression, as well as improved sexual function. The researchers’ conclusion: “Preliminary findings show that maca reduces psychological symptoms, including anxiety and depression, and lowers measures of sexual dysfunction in postmenopausal women independent of estrogenic and androgenic activity.”

Even though this study used 3.5 grams (3,500 milligrams) of maca a day, I would recommend using less – 500 to 2,000 mg a day – if you plan to take the herb for an extended period of time. Long-term studies with maca supplements are not available, so it may be a good idea to take a few days off each month until we learn more. At this point, it is not clear how maca interacts with estrogen hormone replacement therapy (HRT). If you are on HRT, you may consider using 500 mg a day of maca for a week, and then adjust the dosage up or down.

[Ed. Note: For more on the maca herb – and dozens of other nutritional supplements – visit the natural healing website of Ray Sahelian, MD, at www.raysahelian.com. You can also purchase maca straight from Dr. Sahelian by clicking here.]

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