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What Are Maca Root and Ash­wa­gand­ha Good For? Nat­ur­al food fans, natur­opaths and nutri­tion­al experts have long tout­ed the ben­e­fits of con­sum­ing cer­tain foods they con­sid­er essen­tial for our phys­i­cal well-being. Blue­ber­ries, wal­nuts and oth­ers are labelled “super­foods” because they’re packed with nutri­ents like antiox­i­dants, which fight dis­ease and ward off demen­tia. Doc­tors and sci­en­tists also rec­og­nize that what we con­sume deter­mines to a large degree, how well our bod­ies and brains function. This is equal­ly true of cer­tain spices and herbs. Take gar­lic, for exam­ple. Experts agree it boosts immu­ni­ty and can there­fore help fight colds and flu. This post offers a roundup of infor­ma­tion on two super­foods you may be a lit­tle less famil­iar with. Ash­wa­gand­ha, which is also called Indi­an gin­seng or win­ter cherry. And Maca, which is also called Peru­vian ginseng. Read on to learn how these nat­ur­al prod­ucts can help bal­ance your mood, increase fer­til­i­ty, height­en libido, and even reduce stress and calm your mind. Moth­er Nature nev­er made her offer­ings so good and so beneficial! We explain what each one is, how to con­sume them, and all the advan­tages you get by mak­ing them a reg­u­lar part of your diet.

What Is Ashwagandha?

what is maca root and ashwagandha good for Ash­wa­gand­ha is an ever­green shrub that’s native to parts of Africa. It has been used in native med­i­c­i­nal prac­tices for cen­turies. Although it is a lit­tle less well-known here than oth­er organ­ic well­ness prod­ucts, it deserves a big rep­u­ta­tion and lots of applause for the ben­e­fits it brings.

The Benefits Of Ashwagandha

1- It May Increase Energy Levels

It can increase ener­gy. You can con­sume Ash­wa­gand­ha in a pow­der form, adding it to smooth­ies and shakes. Hav­ing one first thing in the morn­ing means Ash­wa­gand­ha will help give you plen­ty of ener­gy to get through your busy day. Hav­ing a smooth­ie first thing in the day with a table­spoon of Ash­wa­gand­ha pow­der is an excel­lent way to ensure you’ve got plen­ty of vigour to cope with a demand­ing schedule.

2- It May Help Reduce Stress

It pro­motes calm­ness. While it may seem counter-intu­itive that Ash­wa­gand­ha boosts ener­gy and also fos­ters calm, it isn’t! Con­sid­er how phys­i­cal exer­cise accom­plish­es both these out­comes. You feel pep­pi­er after you exer­cise but also stead­ier emo­tion­al­ly. Ash­wa­gand­ha offers a sim­i­lar ben­e­fit. It helps you feel more ener­getic but not edgy, not that “jagged ner­vous­ness” you get from too much caffeine.

3- It May Reduce Inflammation

Ash­wa­gand­ha can help reduce inflam­ma­tion in your joints. Any­one with even a touch of Arthri­tis knows how mis­er­able it can be to have less func­tion in your joints and limbs. Chew­ing a cou­ple of gum­mies chock full of Ash­wa­gand­ha can help ease those sore joints and even reduce vis­i­ble signs of swelling. And it’s not just for those folks with chron­ic con­di­tions like Arthritis. If you’re cop­ing with a sports injury, for exam­ple, a swollen ankle from a sprain, Ash­wa­gand­ha can help calm the tem­po­rary inflam­ma­tion. Try mak­ing a cup of tea in the morn­ing with crushed Ash­wa­gand­ha. Its prop­er­ties fight inflam­ma­tion all day long.

4- It May Enhance Brain Function & Memory

Ash­wa­gand­ha’s effects on the brain are still being stud­ied, but so far, the news is promis­ing. Ear­ly research demon­strates that Ash­wa­gand­ha may help peo­ple retain mem­o­ry, and that’s good news for any­one head­ing into their 60s, 70s and 80s. But it may also help pre­vent mem­o­ry loss from devel­op­ing. Again, the research is in its infan­cy, but Ash­wa­gand­ha may help pre­vent the devel­op­ment of demen­tia in some peo­ple. Using it while in your 30s and 40s may, when com­bined with oth­er fac­tors like a healthy lifestyle, keep your brain fir­ing on all cylin­ders for years to come!

5- It May Support The Immune System

The ben­e­fits of cer­tain herbs on immune func­tion are no secret – sci­en­tists have been study­ing them for decades. A strong immune sys­tem helps you fight off colds and flu germs, and Ash­wa­gand­ha con­tributes to that. Whether you brew it as tea, put the pow­der in a smooth­ie or shake, or take it in cap­sule form, Ash­wa­gand­ha helps your sys­tem stay strong and free of germs and virus­es, even in the worst flu sea­son. Because it’s an all-nat­ur­al prod­uct, it won’t “fight” the oth­er sup­ple­ments you take, so con­sume it in the morn­ing when mak­ing break­fast. Or take a cap­sule right along with your dai­ly vitamin.

6- It May Help Improve Sleep

It pro­motes sol­id sleep by eas­ing ten­sion. We’ve all had those nights dur­ing which we toss, turn, and relive the day – prob­lems at the office or issues with the kids or the in-laws. Ash­wa­gand­ha pro­motes phys­i­cal relax­ation, and that, in turn, helps you sleep bet­ter. And when you’re well-rest­ed, there is almost noth­ing you can’t tackle! In sum­ma­ry, Ash­wa­gand­ha is an herb that deserves a promi­nent place on your shelf of organ­ic, nat­ur­al sup­ple­ments. It improves over­all phys­i­cal and men­tal health – and it’s not a phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal. That’s an impor­tant fac­tor when decid­ing what to put into your body to enhance wellness. For cen­turies, African peo­ple have embraced this Indi­an gin­seng for its heal­ing prop­er­ties. It’s time it became bet­ter known among West­ern con­sumers and organ­ic health pro­po­nents too.

What Is Maca?

what is maca root and ashwagandha good for Maca is also a type of gin­seng, but it does­n’t come from a shrub-like Ash­wa­gand­ha does. Maca is a cru­cif­er­ous veg­etable that is native to Peru. It grows at the foothills of the Peru­vian Andes moun­tain range, and its ben­e­fits have long been known and laud­ed by the Indige­nous peo­ple of Peru. You may be more famil­iar with cru­cif­er­ous veg­eta­bles, such as kale, broc­coli, bok choy and arugu­la, but you should also know maca. This South Amer­i­can trea­sure offers plen­ty of nutri­tion­al punch, but in pow­der form, it also pro­motes your men­tal health, sta­bi­lizes your hor­mone lev­els, and more.

The Benefits Of Maca

1- It May Help Balance Your Hormones

It’s good for hor­mone pro­duc­tion. Ingest­ing maca reg­u­lar­ly pro­motes the pro­duc­tion of hor­mones like estro­gen, which women need for lots of rea­sons, includ­ing repro­duc­tive and cog­ni­tive health. Hor­mone lev­els taper off some­what once we enter our 40s and 50s and sharply decline dur­ing menopause. Maca can help curb that decline nat­u­ral­ly. For cen­turies, the maca root has been used by Peru­vians to increase libido and aid in fertility. A study done in 2010 of peo­ple with depres­sion-relat­ed low sex­u­al desire lev­els took maca as an all-nat­ur­al treat­ment. And while the sam­ple size was small – just over 130 peo­ple – the results were promis­ing. Par­tic­i­pants report­ed feel­ing a mea­sur­able increase in sex­u­al desire. More research is nec­es­sary, but maca root may prove to be a healthy alter­na­tive to pre­scrip­tion med­ica­tions for low libido and sex­u­al dys­func­tion. There are even some ear­ly indi­ca­tions that tak­ing two grams of maca root in pow­der form increas­es sperm motil­i­ty. How­ev­er, sci­en­tists are quick to point out that much more research is need­ed into tak­ing maca to pro­mote male sperm con­cen­tra­tion issues.

2- It May Help Relieve Menopause Symptoms

Stud­ies are being con­duct­ed on maca as a healthy tool for reliev­ing hot flash­es and night sweats. There is anec­do­tal evi­dence that it does curb the sever­i­ty of these symp­toms, but more research is required.

3- It May Ease Mild Depression & Low Energy

A study done sev­er­al years ago into whether maca root pow­der helped ease depres­sion in some indi­vid­u­als yield­ed promis­ing results. Par­tic­i­pants said that with­in about six weeks, they expe­ri­enced an uptick in both mood and ener­gy lev­els. Whether maca pro­vides a viable, sus­tain­able alter­na­tive to pre­scrip­tion drugs for depres­sion on a long-term basis is still unknown. But work is con­tin­u­ing, and as most adults can con­sume maca with no adverse effects, it may be a gen­uine­ly health­i­er choice for symp­toms of mild depres­sion and low ener­gy levels. Research into maca con­tin­ues as sci­en­tists explore all its oth­er poten­tial ben­e­fits. Some ear­ly stud­ies sug­gest maca enhances your skin’s health and appear­ance. Anoth­er study showed that tak­ing maca root reg­u­lar­ly improves cog­ni­tive func­tion­ing in some people.

Summing Up

There is still much work still to be done on maca and on Ash­wa­gand­ha, but today the out­look for both as organ­ic answers to many health con­di­tions is good. Nat­ur­al treat­ments for com­mon con­di­tions, like mild depres­sion, occa­sion­al insom­nia and low sex­u­al desire, deserve study. After all, if the oppor­tu­ni­ty exists to treat these con­di­tions with prod­ucts pro­vid­ed by Moth­er Nature, not those man­u­fac­tured at phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal plants, isn’t that a wis­er, health­i­er choice? These are both sold by most health food stores in pow­der form or cap­sules. Both can be added to smooth­ies and shakes, even home­made pro­tein bars and pud­dings. Ash­wa­gand­ha is sold in gum­mies, too. Although both maca and Ash­wa­gand­ha are tol­er­at­ed well by most adults, you should dis­cuss them with your doc­tor if you are tak­ing pre­scrip­tion meds. Even the most gen­tle sub­stance can upset your tum­my if tak­en with cer­tain drugs. Once you get the green light from your health­care provider, go explor­ing at your neigh­bor­hood organ­ic gro­cery store. No doubt you’ll be delight­ed – and per­haps a lit­tle sur­prised — by the wide vari­ety of pos­i­tive out­comes both of these super­foods offer.

*Medical Disclaimer

Please note that all the con­tents appear­ing on our site are the opin­ion of SeizeY­ourLife­To­day and are intend­ed for infor­ma­tion­al and edu­ca­tion­al use only. None of our con­tent is meant to replace reg­u­lar doc­tor vis­its or physi­cian con­sul­ta­tions. If you have a med­ical ques­tion or con­cern, we advise you to speak to a doc­tor as soon as possible. SeizeY­ourLife­To­day and the pub­lish­ers of our con­tent do not claim any lia­bil­i­ty for any dam­ages or health com­pli­ca­tions that may emerge from users fol­low­ing the infor­ma­tion giv­en on our site. All users are advised to speak to their physi­cian or licensed health­care provider before start­ing any diet, tak­ing any sup­ple­ment, or fol­low­ing any rec­om­men­da­tion they find on our site.  

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