Peruvian Maca (the botanical name is Lepidium meyenii) is a plant that grows in seven perennial species, all native to the crests of the Andes Mountains.
Between the 13th and the 16th century pre-Colombian civilizations cultivated this plant because of its high nutritional and energetic value. Maca has always been considered precious food by the Indios who make use of it when carrying out hard work. It is also very useful because of its adaptogen qualities and is used to cure impotence and infertility. More recently attention has been drawn to the antidepressant qualities of the plant.
Maca is particularly interesting because of its polyendocrine effect: it contains substances that stimulate the production on natural hormones in men and in women.
According to some Peruvian studies Maca has aphrodisiac qualities and can increase fertility.
Experiments on mice show an increase in fertility in females, together with an increase of estrogen and follicle stimulation; in males it shows a positive effect on spermatogenesis and ejaculation, while a high dose of Maca seems to significantly reduce the intercopulatory interval.
Fertility in men can be considerably improved through an acceleration of sperm maturation, an increase in number and in sperm motility. Furthermore Maca, because of hormonal stimulation, causes a vasodilatation in genital organs. This means an increased vascularization of both the corpus cavernosum penis in men and of the clitoris in women.
An increased vascularization in female genital organs increases lubrification, a mechanism that derives in part from the transudation of liquid from blood vessels. In women Maca is particularly effective in resolving and preventing menstrual irregularities and absence of menstruation, that can be caused also by anorexia, and disorders linked to climacteric and osteoporosis that occur in menopause.
The recommended dosage is of 1,5g of purified extract to be divided in three separate doses to be taken in the morning, afternoon and evening, on a full stomach. The dosage does however depend on the specific problem being treated.