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This One Root Can Enhance Your Libido Like Almost Nothing Else

Although small, the Maca root may not be familiar to you, but it should be. The Peruvian root is grown in the harsh terrains of the Andes Mountains, and it’s widely becoming known as a booster for fertility, as well as an aphrodisiac.

The root also provides a plethora of nutritious benefits from being high in iron, copper, potassium, as well as being a strong source of Vitamin C and B vitamins. The Maca root can be found in a variety of shades, with the darker roots being higher as a rare source of iodine. It also can do wonders for you and your partner in the bedroom.

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Maca Affecting The Libido

Although researchers have not reached a definitive explanation, studies reveal that maca consumption consistently increases libido in consumers. If anything, it presents a more effective option than traditional alternatives, such as powdered rhinoceros horn.

There have been a number of studies done around it. In one study, 20 men suffering from depression reported that taking 3 grams of maca every day helped increase their libido, but 1.5g didn’t. The same effect happened to 45 women on antidepressants as well.

An experiment was done in 2002 that had 57 men receive one of three options: 1.5g of maca, 3g of it, or a placebo. It found that after 2 months, the men who took the maca said they had an improved libido. Eight endurance athletes took the equivalent of 10g a day of maca and mentioned a stronger libido too.

Note that all of these studies were small and were based on self-assessments. However, the experiments were all double-blind, placebo-controlled, and randomized. Moreover, a 2001 study concluded that a daily dose of 3g and 1.5g of maca resulted in increased sperm count and motility, with another study concluding that it improved erectile dysfunction.

Thus, the recurring pattern of maca as an aphrodisiac cannot be ignored–but how is maca working its magic?

Recall that most of our libido drive comes from a response from one’s hormones. In the case of maca, there is no evidence highlighting the root’s role in stimulating or affecting those hormones responsible for us being in the mood. Even for those who reported heightened levels of desire, researchers did not identify any changes measured in the patients’ estrogen or testosterone levels. Thus, researchers are still left in the dark as to wonder how the root acts to boost the libido.

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Some Possible Side Effects

Taking the maca root can cause some side effects such as thyroid issues and brain fog, but they are easy to avoid if you take it right. Still, it is worth discussing potential side effects and learning the ways to make sure they are avoided.  

Maca is a cruciferous vegetable like cabbage, kale, or cauliflower. Maca is part of the Brassica family and is going to contain goitrogens. Goitrogens are anti-nutrients that disrupt thyroid hormones. Other cruciferous vegetables include cauliflower, kale, brussel sprouts, and cabbage. 

There are two ways to lower the amount of goitrogens in maca root. One is to cook the whole maca (same with your cauliflower and kale). If it’s whole, then bake it and prepare it the same way you’d prepare potatoes. You can also make the maca gelatinized, which ensures that proteins, starches, and anti-nutrients will be removed while still keeping the aphrodisiac properties of the root intact. It is important to note that despite the name, gelatinized maca is not gelatinous and will mix well into most dishes. 

The important thing to know is that maca root has the chance to become moldy. Mold formation occurs during the drying process after the dry maca root is crushed into fine powder. The mold that can form contains a potential carcinogen called aflatoxin. Unfortunately, aflatoxin can be present in even the most pure forms of maca (up to 13 ppb aflatoxin). 

It is therefore a good idea to purchase a high-end brand of dried maca powder. If any sluggishness or sickness is experienced following maca intake, it is most likely going to be due to a moldy batch of the maca root.

You can opt for an extract over a powder so the mold can’t grow, or buy the root whole and soak it overnight, washing away mold toxins. 

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Using Maca Powder

Maca has a nutty, subtle sweet flavor that bodes well with any chocolate or vanilla item. It is therefore great to add into smoothies or protein shakes. You can even throw a teaspoon of it into your morning coffee. Just know that adding it means adding a high starch content that can affect your ketosis. 

Recall that even as little as 1.5 g of maca a day can see increases in sexual desire. Thus, a simple teaspoon of 5g into your smoothie or shake should be more than enough. Maca can also be found in a capsule form; just make sure to follow the directions on the package.

Remember that the locals in Peru eat a serving or more of maca everyday (along with their potatoes). There has been no research showing maca intake to be harmful, so it should be pretty safe to treat maca as a herbal supplement.