Maca Root: A Powerful Hormone Balancing Smoothie Recipe
History And Origin
Maca, Lepidium meyenii, is a tuberous root that grows in the high elevations of the Andes mountain range. Maca is known as an adaptogen, broadly contributing to overall wellbeing and a healthy mood.
According to folk belief, Maca is an aphrodisiac, enhancing sexual drive in humans and domestic animals which tends to be reduced at higher altitudes. Maca is in the Brassicaceae family and shares many of the beneficial constituents of other members in this plant family such as broccoli, kale, cabbage, rutabagas, turnips, radishes, and many more.
Maca grows both wild and in cultivation in a naturally occurring variety of colors. Variation of color relates to the periderm or the outer covering, however, the majority of biomass found in the core and main mass of all Maca looks the same.
Traditionally, all colors of Maca were harvested and used together by the Andean people. In 2008, the Peruvian government decided to clarify the confusion between the two scientific names that were used for Maca, Lepidium meyenii and Lepidium peruvianum. It was decided that L. peruvianum would be used to describe the cultivated type of maca grown in Peru only, and L. meyenii would be used to describe a more wild type of Maca. Cultivation does not change the lineage of genetics, which taxonomy is based on. Therefore, L. peruvianum is not currently considered an accepted scientific name for Maca, nor is it considered a synonym of L. meyenii.
It has traditionally been used as an aphrodisiac and a small amount of research suggests that it can notably increase libido.
Further research is needed to determine the main mechanism but it doesn’t work through hormones and does not increase testosterone. It might increase estrogen for women, but studies are quite mixed.
Since the majority of research on Maca comes from Peru, research from other regions would go a long way toward confirming Maca’s effects. It may also reduce the symptoms of menopause, particularly those related to mood, but also possibly hot flashes, though more research is needed to decide if it's particularly effective. There is also literature to suggest that it may have an inherent ability to treat erectile dysfunction, though it doesn’t do so through altering hormones. Much more research is needed to confirm this.
Maca root contains alkaloids, steroids, and chemical compounds as glucosinolates, isothicyanates, macamides, and alkamides.
Forms Of Use
It tends to be turned into a dried powder which can then be mixed into smoothies and other beverages.
Chinese Chive seeds, Fagara tessmannii (Zanthoxylum), Scientific and other names: Lepidium meyenii, Maca Negro, Black Maca, Yellow Maca, and Red Maca.
Recipe: Hormone Balancing Smoothie By Keepin' It Klassy Blog
- 1 Ripe Banana (Fresh or Frozen)
- 3 Pitted Dates
- 1 Cup Non-dairy Milk
- 1 Tbsp Almond Butter
- 1 scoop Protein Powder
- 1/2 Tsp Cinnamon
- 1 Tsp Maca Powder
- 1 Tbsp Flaxseed
To make this smoothie, simply add all of the ingredients to a high-speed blender and process until smooth. This smoothie is best served fresh, but it will keep in the fridge for 24 hours. I prefer using frozen banana in this recipe, but you can also use fresh. If using a fresh banana, you will want to add a handful of ice so that the smoothie is nice and cold.