Tired of living in your Menopausal body? Want to be more like Wonder Women? Maca may be the answer to your woes. Millions of women worldwide are currently experiencing hormonal disharmony, commonly known as the menopause. Of these women that seek medical assistance, a high percentage will be prescribed HRT to keep their symptoms at bay.
But what is available to women if they choose not to use HRT? What other options are there?
“No matter how many hours I slept, each morning I would wake tired and exhausted. I was turning into a frazzled, tired, overweight, working mother. I did not want to go on HRT for various reasons, but also knew that I could not keep living like this.” – Jane B.
Jane is not alone in her quest for alternative therapies for relieving menopause symptoms such as hot flushes and night sweats. While anti-depressants, painkillers and sleeping pills may be prescribed for various complaints associated with the menopause, these are only short-term solutions. They are only addressing the symptoms; the true root cause of hormonal imbalance is not being addressed.
Maca is an adaptogenic herb that is cultivated in the central Peruvian Andes at 12-14,000 feet under harsh natural growing and weather conditions. Double blind studies have shown benefits of taking Maca including:
- Production of sex hormones
- Enhanced sex drive
- Stimulation of body metabolism
- Control of body weight
- Increased energy
- Stress reduction
- Antidepressant activity
- Memory improvement.
Here are 5 Surprising Benefits of Maca Root in the Menopause in More Detail
1. Bone Health
Hormones have a major affect on bone density. Every day your cells are breaking down old bone (osteoclasts) as well as building new bone (osteoblasts). These cells act under the guidance of hormones and are hence invigorated or slowed down by your hormones.
Oestrogen slows osteoclast function, thus slowing bone loss. Testosterone and progesterone invigorate osteoblasts thus supporting bone growth.
As you approach menopause, bone starts to break down faster than it is being created due to the decrease in oestrogen being produced. Gastrointestinal absorption and metabolism slow down also with increasing age, thus reducing absorption of key minerals such as calcium, magnesium and vitamin K, thus adding to your bone density woes.
Maca supports the HPA axis (hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis), which assists with having a positive impact on hormone production as well as metabolism, thus increasing absorption of much needed minerals for bone development.
2. Mental Health
Cognitive function, memory loss and mood fluctuations are three symptoms commonly seen in menopause. The cause of these debilitating symptoms is low levels of oestrogen circulating.
Low levels of oestrogen can result in mood changes, memory issues and brain fog as well as impacting on the transmission of serotonin. Serotonin is the most important neurotransmitter for mood regulation, especially depression. Stress is also very common in menopause. Where there is stress, cortisol is released to help the body cope with the stress, which has a myriad of effects on mood also.
Maca has been found to support oestrogen and may reduce cortisol when it is secreted in excess.
3. Hair, Skin & Nails
Oestrogen plays a major role in regulating the thickness of your skin; its moisture content, suppleness, wrinkle formation and blood flow to the skin.
Oestrogen also affects hair growth. Post menopausal women often find themselves with head hair thinning while facial hair may grow thicker. In these women, oestrogen is decreasing more than testosterone levels leaving the woman with more testosterone than she would like to have.
Maca assists in balancing testosterone and oestrogen, as well as cortisol, resulting in improvements in complexion, skin elasticity and quality of hair growth.
4. Reduces Hot Flushes and Night Sweats
As a hormone balancer, research shows that women taking a maca root supplement enjoyed a reduction in many of the most common menopause symptoms, such as hot flushes, sleep disruptions, night sweats, and depression. It was noted that the gelatinised form, as opposed to powder, of Maca works best in this situation.
5. Weight Loss
Sudden weight gain is a common complaint in the menopause.
Maca supports your body by balancing and regulating your happy and stress hormone. By aiding your response to stress in menopause, in its adaptogenic role, Maca also helps in the battle of the bulge. Stress can lead to binge eating, especially regarding unhealthy foods interfering with success in losing weight.
Maca assists in helping you gain energy necessary for you to thrive any hectic lifestyle. Your stress levels will be naturally decreased and you will achieve greater control over your eating habits thus reducing the chances of gaining fat.
Please note Maca is not recommended for individuals who have been prescribed or are currently taking Tamoxifen or any medications used to suppress hormone production. As always, be sure to seek medical assistance if you wish to try Maca root, or any other alternative remedy suggested for menopause.