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5 Surprising Benefits Of Maca Root in the Menopause

5 Surprising Benefits Of Maca Root in the Menopause

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Last Updated on July 8, 2020

18 Benefits of Journaling That Will Change Your Life

18 Benefits of Journaling That Will Change Your Life

The act of writing in a journal often seems daunting or unnecessary to many people. Even authors who work on novels might shun the idea of daily diaries. What purpose does jotting down words on a regular basis do if not contributing to the next novel, play or song? I know from experience many benefits of journaling that I wish to share.

1. Understand Yourself Better

Though many people and even writers avoid keeping journals, I vow to do it more often. Not only do I desire to take up daily journaling but also I plan to do it with pen to paper.

Some of the benefits I’ve found from my more active days include finding myself in the sense of understanding what matters to me and what I want out of life. I’ve been incredibly fortunate to find a spouse who is my best friend and advocate in raising children. I attribute this and much more to what I learned about myself in keeping journals for years.

2. Keep Track of Small Changes

I’ll admit that I never got very far with my guitar lessons, but in writing in a journal, I have seen the ability to track small changes like those that come when you practice anything.

Those learning a musical instrument often fail to see the small improvements that come with regular practice. Writing won’t help you switch chords any faster, but it will help you to develop a better sense for language and grammar just by doing it.

3. Become Aware of What Matters

As you continue to write in a journal, following a stream-of-consciousness feel, you can look back on the topics that you chose to write about. Those issues and emotions that poured out of you will provide insight on to what matters most to you.

You may not even realize that you’re job is depressing you or that you want to spend more time with your kids until you look over your thoughts that you weren’t really thinking about.

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4. Boost Creativity

The idea that the brain and its neural activity across hemispheres encourages learning also shows up in increased creativity. Just like with learning an instrument, your increased activity will inspire your thoughts to connect and reconnect in different ways.

When I wrote in a journal, I often wrote poetry as well as just my thoughts as they came out. I started to hear poems more in my mind; so much so that I took to scrawling lines on napkins and finding metaphors in mundane activities.

You really are what you do, so writing helps grow more than being a writer. Writing boosts the way you communicate and structure language, which really is a creative process.

5. Represents Your Emotions in a Safe Environment

A journal is as private as it gets. You can lock it in a safe or tuck it under a pillow and no one will accidentally share it on social media or have an opportunity to “leave a comment.”

Write about your sorrow as much as your happiness and frustration and know that you don’t have to keep your emotions inside your body. You can put them on paper.

6. Process Life Experiences

When you take the time to look back over what you’ve written, be it a week or a year later, you will have the distance you need to more objectively interpret your raw feelings.

Everything from losing a job to losing a loved one can emerge in a new light for a fresh perspective. Figuring out how the benefits of journaling affect your perspective on life will create connection and increase creativity.

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7. Stress Relief

In combining the exercise inherent in fine motor coordination that comes from the act of writing with the emotional release of self expression, those who maintain a journal relieve stress.

Try it out. Go home and write about your day. Write about the traffic. Write about the coffee order the barista got wrong but you didn’t have time to change. See how you can physically purge some of that pent-up stress by putting it on paper.

8. Provide Direction

Though journaling is often conducted as an activity without much direction, it often provides direction.

One of the biggest benefits of journaling is that your chaotic thoughts merge to show a direction in which to head. Asking the right questions is the only way to achieve the best solutions, so look to your journal to find your way toward your next goal.

9. Solve Problems

Just as in practicing math problems, we all get better at finding hidden solutions through the act of processing.

Think of your next goal as X and solve your life problems by reading your journals as word problems. The benefit of journaling here is that you write, explore and process to recognize and then solve problems.

When life is too in-your-face, you have to step back to see reality. Living in the moment allows us to write in the moment and use that expression to solve problems.

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10. Find Relief From Fighting

Solving your problems only comes after time to process, recognize and strategize. Just as in the benefit of journaling where relief comes from the act of writing, relief from fighting comes when you decide to “sit this one out” and communicate one-way.

Fighting is only productive when the fighters care to communicate and find common ground. When the emotions are as high as the stress levels, writing will function as the best time out.

11. Find Meaning in Life

Journaling will show you why you are living, whether you are wallowing in things you wish to change or striving to make the changes. Your life will begin to take on new meaning and your own words will reveal the actions that got you where you are so that you can assess and pave a new path for your future.

12. Allow Yourself to Focus

Taking even a small amount of time out of every day will provide you with not only peace of mind but also increased focus. Taking a break to meditate in writing and journaling will sharpen your mental faculties.

13. Sharpen Your Spirituality

When we write, we allow all the energy and experiences to flow through us, which often provides further insight into our own spirituality. Even if your parents didn’t raise you to follow a specific religion, your thoughts will start to show you what you believe about the universe and your place in it.

14. Let the Past Go

I’ve mentioned a few examples where going back over your writing offers advice and direction, but the simply truth is that writing down our feelings can be the best way to let them go. We can choose to literally throw these pages away when they’re filled with negativity and hate.

15. Allow Freedom

Journaling is the perfect way to not only express yourself but to also experience the freedom of being who you are. Your books can stay private or you can publish them. Your freedom stems from your sense of self and your perception of your thoughts.

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16. Enhance Your Career

Again, the private act of pen-to-paper processing provides the benefits of journaling mentioned above, but you can also enhance your career when you take similar ideas and categorize, edit and publish them in an online blog.

Your thoughts will often be personal and express emotions, but another benefit of journaling is uncovering fresh ideas about your work.

17. Literally Explore Your Dreams

All the benefits I’ve mentioned explore ideas, thoughts and emotions, which is also what our dreams and nightmares do. Through writing down your dreams from the previous night, you can enhance your creativity as well as connect some of the metaphorical dots from the rest of your journal.

18. Catalog Your Life for Others

No one wants to think about dying, but we all die. Leaving a journal will act as a way to reconnect with family and friends left behind. The ideas you wish to keep personal while you process the life you’re living will serve to rekindle and inspire those who loved you through the process.

We consider our partners our life witnesses, but writing provides a tangible mark on the world.

Now that you’ve learned all the benefits of journaling, it’s time to start writing a journal:

Featured photo credit: Kelly Sikkema via unsplash.com

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