Maca is a Peruvian plant that is grown high up in the Andes. It is part of the cruciferous family of vegetables and related to cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower and kale. It is rapidly becoming known as a superfood due to its high nutrition content and many health benefits.
The root of the maca plant is ground up to produce a fine powder that can be mixed with food or drinks, or taken in a tablet form. The powder is becoming increasingly available in supermarkets and health food stores across Australia.
As well as being great for improving energy levels and stamina, maca is purported to enhance libido, improve fertility, reduce blood pressure and be good for reducing anxiety. But my interest in maca is around its ability to reduce menopausal symptoms, specifically hot flushes.
Maca has been used by Peruvian women for centuries to balance oestrogen levels during their menopause years. They believe it to be helpful with a range of symptoms including mood swings, sleep issues, night sweats and hot flushes.
A few months ago I was able to put it to the test first hand when literally overnight I went from having no hot flushes to about a dozen a day. After about a week of putting up with them I started taking two teaspoons of maca powder each day. Within three days my hot flushes had decreased considerably and after about a week they had disappeared completely. I was amazed and delighted.
I kept taking the maca for about a month when I was unfortunately unwell and had to stop having it. My hot flushes stayed away for another two weeks and then I had a couple again. I took two teaspoons of maca for another two days and the flushes stopped. That was about ten days ago now and I haven’t had a recurrence yet. If I do I will start taking maca again and hope that it continues to work as effectively as it has up to this point.
It’s obviously impossible to know the pattern my hot flushes would have taken had I not started on the maca path, but I believe that it has been instrumental in balancing out my oestrogen levels and stopping them. I am now a firm believer in the power of this plant to alleviate one of the more unpleasant symptoms of menopause.
My preferred way to take maca is as follows:
SilverOwl Maca Smoothie
- 250ml light soy milk
- 2 teaspoons organic maca powder
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon powder
Blend all ingredients together in a high powered blender for 30 seconds and drink immediately.